Cable TV is an expensive proposition. With prices going up significantly, we won’t be surprised if many cable users are looking to cut the cord and go wireless. There are several offerings out there that offer the same feature set as standard cable connectivity, but with the convenience of using services on your smartphone or tablet. Naturally, there are quite a few competitors out there, including a bunch that have only recently surfaced. Keeping this in mind, picking out the best alternative to conventional cable TV can be quite tricky.
However, we’re going to make your job easier today by talking about some of the best alternatives available in the market today for cable TV. While we’re talking about all the key competitors here, we’ve also included an unconventional name in the list. So let’s have a look.
5 Best Alternatives to Cable TV
Hulu is an exceptional streaming service with a robust collection of content, including popular and award winning titles like The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu has changed up its subscription tiers somewhat, and with the arrival of Hulu with Live TV, things have changed significantly. This particular offering is designed specifically to give cable users the extra incentive to cut the cord and make the switch to an online service. You get access to all the major live TV channels with over 60+ live TV channels available as of now.
Hulu with Live TV starts at $39.99, and you get to add additional services like Showtime for $8.99 per month. Naturally, Hulu doesn’t ask you to sign up and pay up outright. You can use a 7-day free trial to assess the feasibility of Hulu with Live TV before making the big decision. If you’re looking for standard Hulu subscriptions priced at $7.99 and $11.99 per month, with the latter being an ad-free offering.
Sling TV is a name that pops up quite often when we discuss cable alternatives. The company’s tiers are divided into two – Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Prices start at $25 per month, with the ability to add further services like HBO for an extra $15 per month. The top end Sling TV tier offers 45 channels to stream, which is quite decent for just $25 per month.
Naturally, users are free to customize their package the way they want, adding and removing channels as they see fit. This customization aspect makes Sling TV one of the best cable alternatives out there. The channel selection isn’t a whole lot, but at the same time, subscription prices aren’t too high either.
Naturally, it’s not the best cable TV alternative out there, but it’s worth considering for all the features that it offers.
Sony’s standalone streaming service with live TV, known as PlayStation Vue has been making ripples around the industry and with good reason. Despite being one of the most steeply priced offerings on the market, Vue offers a bunch of good packages, suitable for the moderate as well as full time viewers. In terms of pricing and features, Vue can be likened to AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which is pretty popular.
Vue comes in packages ranging from $29.99 to $64.99 with the high-end tier giving you access to over 90 channels along with HBO and Showtime. One of the features that makes Vue standout is the ability to create up to five user profiles (like Netflix), allowing each member of the family to have their own profile with recommendations.
Sony is currently offering a five-day free trial of Vue, letting you test out the service. The feature that will benefit a lot of users is cloud DVR support, which saves prompted content on the cloud for later viewing. Vue is not the cheapest offering out there, but it’s certainly one of the most comprehensive offerings we can find.
DirecTV has split its plans into four ranging from $35 to $70, making it a suitable to those looking for a comprehensive package with all the major channels. You get access to about 120 channels with the most expensive tier, but you will have to add an additional $5 to your bill if you need services like HBO or Cinemax. DirecTV Now recently added a cloud DVR service in limited regions, so it’s worth checking out if you’re tired of dedicated DVR boxes giving up on you. You’re not required to sign a contract with DirecTV to use DirecTV Now.
Naturally, you can choose to try out DirecTV Now before shelling out your money, thanks to a 7-day free trial offered by the company. Given the vast library of channels available with DirecTV Now, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most popular online alternatives for conventional cable connections.
Philo is a relatively new entrant in the scene and offers a decent feature set to lure in prospective customers. While there’s a lot going for Philo, the one key drawback here is that it lacks any live sports channels. So you will be limited to non-Sports live TV channels on Philo. So while this narrows the user base for Philo, it also means that customers who do sign up end up paying significantly lesser for live TV than they would with other services like DirecTV Now or Hulu with Live TV.
Philo’s cheapest subscription tier is priced at $16 per month, which gives you access to 37 live TV channels, including HGTV. You can get a $20 plan that offers up to 46 channels including live TV. Naturally, the folks at Philo will let you try the service at no cost for a period of 7-days.
Since sports channels are the primary reason for the high subscription costs, Philo has maneuvered around that to offer only non-sports channels. It won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who don’t invest their time in sports, this is definitely a worthwhile option. In a time when cable alternatives charge upwards of $50 for their offerings, one really has to commend a new entrant that can offer most of the same content for a fraction of the price.