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Replace Your Cable TV Without Losing Your Favorite Channels

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If you think cable television is the only way to watch your favorite shows, think again. Today, new and cheaper options such as streaming have helped many households cut the cord and save money. 

Streaming services have made it possible to watch shows at any time, for a much lower price than cable television. In this article, we explain which steps must be taken to cut the cord without losing access to live channels or your favorite shows.



HD Antenna

The least expensive option is purchasing a high definition antenna. These devices are fairly cheap and can be used to watch live TV without having to subscribe to any services at all. HD antennas are modern versions of the old school   antennas which are likely no longer compatible with today’s televisions.

An HD antenna is best when within range of a signal from local broadcast stations. The antenna will pick up news and sports stations. A good HD antenna can be purchased for less than $50. There are no subscription fees or fixed contracts. As soon as the antenna is plugged in, viewers will know what  channels are available in their area. 

HD signals can travel over 20 miles without losing quality but that means you will have to live relatively close to broadcast towers. If you live close to the busy part of your city there likely are broadcast towers around.

Living further away may deteriorate the picture quality through an HD antenna. In such a case, purchasing a streaming device or a streaming subscription may be a better solution.


Streaming Devices

For a wider selection of options, try a streaming service. Streaming works best on smart tv’s but even older units stream using a specially made device. The market currently has many different options to choose from, including set-top boxes, game consoles, streaming sticks, and more.

Among these, the most popular devices are Roku Express, Google Chromecast, Amazon Firestick and Apple TV because their products are of higher quality. Buying a game console from Sony or Microsoft is also a choice, although they are more expensive. Sony’s PlayStation 4 costs between $250 and $400. The Xbox One, sold by Microsoft, can be purchased for a similar price.

Before buying a device however, consider that in recent years, Smart TVs have become increasingly common and are much less expensive so it may be worth buying a brand new “smart TV” equipped with internet and apps that can stream.

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Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

Streaming Services

There are many streaming services to choose from, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Netflix costs between $9 and $16 per month, while customers can subscribe to Amazon Prime for $120 per year. Both streaming services include access to movies and TV shows. 

However, some content is not available on these platforms. Companies like Disney have developed their own streaming solutions for customers who are only seeking content from specific producers. Also, the basic streaming plans do not include access to live TV. This service is offered in more comprehensive plans, though they are also more expensive.

Cable-Replacement Services

Standard streaming services are not meant to replace cable television. However, there are online solutions good enough to replace cable. The most popular cable replacement services are Hulu TV, DirecTV Now and Youtube TV. Other services, such as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, are also available.

Cable replacement streaming plans work just like having cable at home. The main difference is that live channels as streamed over the internet rather than coming through an analog wire. The number of available channels will depend on which streaming company is chosen, though they all carry the most watched channels such as ESPN, NBC, CBS and CNN.

Hulu TV for example offers access to many popular shows. It also includes a original movies and series across a wide variety of genres. Customers can also buy access to more channels, such as HBO, for an additional monthly fee. A comprehensive package, which costs about $45 will include all other content.

Hulu is owned by Disney and NBCUniversal. As a result, movies and shows produced by these companies are often available first on the platform. Customers who want to try the service can take advantage of a trial offered to new subscribers. The first month is given for free. New customers also gain access to seven-day trials of premium channels such as HBO.




Other Services

The streaming market has thousands of channels, movies and TV shows to watch. Viewers can organize their library with services like Plex, which allows them to manage content from their computers and then stream it to the television, mobile device or other computer. 

Plex can also be used to watch and record live TV, which makes it a useful tool for people who have an HD antenna or pay for services like DirecTV Now and Hulu TV. Plex is also useful to keep track of live shows that are not available yet in streaming platforms.

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