Technology

Cut cord? These streaming services replace cable on the cheap

Cutting the cord is a new thing, and cable TV is kind of dead, and that’s not just our opinion. recent report (will open in a new tab) showed that in the first quarter of this year (January-April 2022) alone, almost 2 million US consumers switched from cable. Over the past 4 years, 20 million have said so long to the big six cable providers, which account for 95% of the entire market.

So, you may ask, where did those millions and millions go? What are they doing now? We bet that many of them are subscribed to one of the best alternatives to cable TV. But making the decision to subscribe to one of these services isn’t easy—each one is different in its own way, and one of them is too cable-like for our liking. However, even our least favorite option actually serves a specific purpose for a specific audience.

That’s why we’ll take a moment to walk you through each of these services, in order from cheapest to most expensive entry-level pricing. And the best news? Each one is a monthly service, so unlike cable, you won’t be locked out in the long run.

Should I cut the umbilical cord with Philo?

Streaming service Philo TV

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Fans of a select set of popular entertainment channels have a better way to cut the cord, as Philo only makes $25 a month. That gives you AMC for shows like Better Call Saul, Comedy Central for the new South Park, Paramount Network so you can watch Yellowstone, and plenty of reality TV networks including A&E, TLC, and VH1. Philo also has children’s networks and news channels including four Nickelodeon channels, BBC World News, AccuWeather and Bloomberg Television.

This may be enough. You might look at all of this and ask, “Why not ESPN?” and “where are network TV channels broadcast?” So, for that, you need to check out the following options as these channels are more expensive and you will need to spend more to get them.

Price: $25 per month (will open in a new tab)
Channels: more than 60
Cloud DVR: Unlimited with 1 year limited
Simultaneous streams: up to 3
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast via Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Internet, iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets.

Should I cut the cord with a Sling TV?

Updated Sling TV Home Menu

(Image credit: Sling TV)

Several Tom’s Guide employees choose Sling TV because it gets almost everything right. Depending on whether you get Sling Blue (FOX and NBC) or Sling Orange (ESPN channels), you can get channels Philo doesn’t have. Also, interestingly, you get TNT, which is critical to live NBA coverage – a channel that sports FuboTV doesn’t offer.

On the other hand, the Sling TV’s DVR capacity is paltry, and its $5/month DVR Plus package only gets you up to 200 hours, not without the limits that competitors offer. And while we did run into some buffering issues with Sling TV, Sling says they’ve been fixed.

Price: $35/month (orange or blue), $50/month (orange and blue). (will open in a new tab)
Channels: 31 (Sling Orange), 41 (Sling Blue), 47 (Sling Orange and Blue)
Cloud DVR: 50 hours
Simultaneous streams: 1 (Sling Orange), 3 (Sling Blue)
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, LG, Vizio and Samsung smart TVs, Oculus, TiVo, Internet, iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets.

Should I cut the cable from YouTube TV?

Cutting the YouTube TV cord

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

By raising the monthly price, we find YouTube TV clinging to its $65/month price while lower competitors have become more expensive. The first major TV streaming service to offer unlimited DVR, this feature has also been copied. It has all the local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) you’ll need (with the exception of most regional sports networks) and a really large selection of cable channels for all the standard sports and news channels.

The best part about YouTube TV is that its apps are simply better polished than most of the competition, as YouTube has reworked its knowledge from online video hosting. YouTube TV is a great option for a service that has the most to offer, but competitors are trying to beat it on price. YouTube TV does not include the bonus services that Hulu offers and is not as cheap as Sling TV.

Price: $65 per month (will open in a new tab)
Channels: more than 85
Cloud DVR: Unlimited (nine month limit)
Simultaneous streams: 3
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, LG, Vizio and Samsung smart TVs, Oculus, TiVo, Internet, iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets.

Should I cut the cord from Hulu with Live TV?

Cutting the cord with Hulu with Live TV

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Hulu with Live TV is very similar to YouTube TV. He recently added an unlimited cloud DVR, it has the broadcast channels you need and all the great cable networks. Plus, you get Hulu originals. Oh, and for those who are upset that Hulu with Live TV costs $5 more than YouTube TV? Well, that five gives you both Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

Why not Hulu with Live TV? You may not need Disney Plus (maybe you’re already sharing someone else’s account). Also, ads seem to be more visible on Hulu with Live TV than on any of its competitors, and we don’t know why. We also noticed that Hulu with Live TV had a slightly lower stability than YouTube or Sling TV.

Price: $70 per month (will open in a new tab)
Channels: more than 75
Cloud DVR: Unlimited (nine month limit)
Simultaneous streams: 2
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox, PlayStation 4 and 5, LG, HiSense, Vizio and Samsung smart TVs, TiVo Stream 4K, Xfinity Flex, Internet, iPhone/iPad, phones and tablets Android. .

Should I cut the cord with fuboTV?

cutting cord with fuboTV dough

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

fuboTV positions itself as an alternative to cable TV for sports fans. And if you ask us, they left out the word: fuboTV is more of a service for international sports fans. While DirecTV Stream has several regional sports networks in the US, DirecTV Stream has more and is the industry leader. But with fuboTV you get countless football leagues including Premier League and UEFA Champions League, La Liga and MLS and more.

This is thanks to several beIN Sports and TUDN networks, as well as the usual stuff like the ESPN and Fox Sports networks. Oh, and fuboTV has one feature we wish everyone else had: the ability to watch multiple channels at the same time. And it works very simply: you just select the channel you want to hear the sound of.

Why not fuboTV? Well, the aforementioned lack of regions, as well as the lack of TNT (huge for the NBA playoffs) is a huge buzz.

Price: $70 per month (will open in a new tab)
Channels: 125
Cloud DVR: 1000 hours
Simultaneous streams: 10
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox, LG, HiSense, Vizio and Samsung Smart TVs, Internet, iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets.

Should I cut the cord with DirecTV Stream?

Recordings DirecTV Stream DVR

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

There are two types of people who receive DirecTV Stream. The first (and correct) group are fans of US sports teams who play on regional networks that are only found on DirecTV Stream. Check out my guide to where cord lovers can live stream the NFL, NBA, MLB and more to see where your team is playing. Other people who get DirecTV Stream are probably DirecTV customers who are tired of spending so much on cable TV and getting a lot of DTVS advertising.

Big problem with DirecTV Stream? Not only is its apps and DVR not as good as YouTube TV or Hulu, it hides those regional sports channels behind an $89.99 Choice package. And with such a course? We’re guessing you’ll want to stick with cable.

Price: $70 per month (will open in a new tab)
Channels: more than 65
Cloud DVR: unlimited (90 days)
Simultaneous streams: unlimited at home, 3 on the go
Supported devices: Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Samsung smart TVs, Web, iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets.

Perspectives: Cord Cutters Have Options

The good news about post-cable life is the fact that contracts are a thing of the past (although DirecTV Stream offered yearly discounts). Regardless of which of the above services you use, you have the option to opt out after one month.

You can see if you like Sling and have enough channels, then switch to YouTube TV if you’re willing to pay more. Or you can just go to Hulu or fuboTV if you want to live the life of Disney Bundle or International Sports respectively. In any case, you should find your cable provider’s number, because I’m sure your package is over $70 a month.

Today’s best Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and FuboTV deals

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