Cut the cord, save money with alternative cable options

Anabel Sanchez

Online Editor

 

Have you ever stopped to think that you watch far less cable television than before? Perhaps you’ve even looked at your cable bill and wondered why you still bother? Or maybe even realized that out of the hundred-odd channels you have, you watch only a few of them?

If so, then maybe streaming cable services might be the solution for you.

The success of popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have paved the way for alternative cable services to arrive on the scene. The average American family pays around $100 or more, monthly, for a typical cable tv package. While this usually tends to include 150+ channels, the reality is that the chances of you watching most of them on a weekly basis are slim to none. These cable packages are often bloated with music stations and networks that one rarely ever watches.

This is where alternative internet television services have the edge.

With new services springing up as the demand increases, streaming services such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and PlayStation Vue have put together flexible cable packages that can be altered to the viewers tastes.

Sling TV, for example, starts off with a $25 a month cable package and features 25+ channels. It also includes channels such as ESPN and Disney, but not FOX or NBC.

Their Sling Blue package, which is also $25, features 40+ channels and features NBC and FOX, but not ESPN and Disney. You can also add on International or Latino packages, which range from $10-$30, and premium channels such as HBO, Starz, or Showtime, which range from $9-$15. The flexibility in options makes Sling TV one of the most popular choices of the lot.

In turn, Youtube TV starts off at $40 a month, and is $5 cheaper than PlayStation Vue’s $45 basic package. It even comes with certain channels not featured in Sling TV’s basic package, and it’s viewable via Chromecast and Apple TV.

Then, with Hulu Live With TV’s service, you get a $40 a month package that includes the $7.99 per month on-demand service. It features 50+ channels and includes Hulu Originals and exclusive series. There’s also the added benefit of being able to record live TV starting with 50 hours of storage.

The prices and possibilities to select from can be mind-numbing to rifle through, but that is the beauty of these services: you get to choose.

Of course, there are some downsides to streaming cable services.

Overall, standard cable television still offers more channels, and therefore shows, than streaming services. Standard cable services also offer the most complete packages of sports channels for the sports lover.

Furthermore, most streaming cable services do not show local channels, so if you enjoy watching your local news station or certain live events on that station, you’ll be missing out.

Other things to consider are that streaming sucks a lot out of your internet bandwidth. You have to have the appropriate internet service package to accommodate that. Also, regardless of the streaming service you choose, you’ll still have to pick from predetermined packages. Certain streaming services only have access to certain major channels.

And if you are considering Sling TV, one major drawback is that you can’t watch it on more than one device at the same time with its basic package. One has to upgrade to their Sling Blue or Sling Orange service to do that.

In the end, what it comes down to is what is more convenient for you and those in your household. At the very least, it’s good to know that, as consumers, we certainly have options out there.

sancha9@mail.broward.edu

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