Alternative TV Services Your Cable Company Doesn’t Want You to Know About
With streaming services and other alternative technologies, many viewers are ditching cable. These products will help you cut the cord and save money without losing your favorite shows.
High Definition TV Antenna
You might think of an antenna as that silver wire thingy on your grandparents’ old TV they were constantly adjusting for a better signal. But TV antenna technology has come a long way. The Mohu Leaf Antenna ($40) is a paper-thin HDTV antenna that pulls in signals within 40-mile radius, so you can watch news, weather, sitcoms, kids and sports programming with no monthly contract or bills.
You might be thinking, if I get rid of cable, how will I record my favorite shows or important football games? All you need is an over-the-air DVR. The Amazon Fire TV Recast ($230) lets you record all your favorite shows that come in through your antenna. Plus it includes two tuners, so you can record two shows at once. And there’s enough space to record 75 hours of programming.
Roku Streaming Stick
With the endless amount of shows available on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, many people simply don’t see the need for cable TV or even physical media anymore. If you don’t have a smart TV, which has streaming channels and apps built-in, you need a streaming player. The Roku Streaming Stick ($50) is a great option if you want something compact and affordable. Simply plug it in to your TV and access all your favorite movies and TV through your WiFi network.
If you want a streaming device with a few more bells and whistles, you can go with Apple TV, but it will cost you a little more. The Apple TV 4K ($200) allows you to watch not only streaming apps, but also iTunes movies and TV shows. Other features that you definitely won’t get with cable include games, AirPlay content from other Apple devices and a Siri-enabled remote.
A smart TV is another way to access streaming channels, so you can say bye-bye to the cable company. With a smart TV, you won’t need a streaming device because the TV has streaming apps built right in. The most popular and affordable model is the TCL Roku TV ($278). Besides accessing more than 4,000 streaming apps, it has a simple interface and beautiful LED picture quality.
If you’re interested in dumping cable and you also happen to be a gamer, you can do both with a gaming console. The Xbox One S streams movies and TV and plays Blu-rays, in addition to its gaming capabilities. Users like the easy setup and simple-to-use interface. Plus, at $210, it’s more affordable than most popular gaming systems.
Android TV Box
An Android streaming box ($75) is yet another option that allows you to stream Netflix, Hulu and other services. But it also functions as a gaming console for Android games. It’s a great choice if you have an Android phone and you prefer the Android-style operating system.