What is The Best Alternative to Cable TV? (Paid and Free Options)

By | October 13, 2019

What is The Best Online Alternative to Cable TV
Cord cutting has become commonplace as more people are leaving cable and satellite TV for online streaming services.
 
Last Quarter Cable TV lost 1.1 million subscribers who ditched traditional TV packages for online sources.
 
It is estimated they are currently losing 10,000-15,000 customers a day.
 
With the many online streaming packages growing daily it is no mystery as to why traditional cable is losing subscribers.
 
The most popular services currently is Netflix followed by Hulu and Amazon Prime but many others are soon to join.
 
For example MSNBC and Fox News recently announced they will be launching streaming services soon.
 
Disney also announced it was pulling all their content from Netflix and soon to launch a streaming service called Disney+ in late 2019.
 
This means that there has never been a better time to ditch cable or satellite TV.
 




 
So What are the Best Cable TV Alternatives?
How To Get Free TV Without Cable or Satellite Company 2018
With the many online services available there is no one best source and often only a few will be used.
 
Netflix is no-doubt the first place most go-to when starting with online streaming but there are many others even free sources.
 
The great thing about online services is there is no contract so you can binge out on one service for a month or so leave and go to another.
 
While online streaming services are great there is a completely free TV that is still widely used, which is using a TV antenna.
 
There is also many free online streaming sources.
 
Most everyone has a Pay-for-TV model through their cable company or satellite provider.
 
Many don’t realize that free Over-The-Air TV or streaming from online sources is easily done with no need to pay large sums to a Cable company.
 
Free over-the-air TV is the only completely free method since to stream shows from online sources an ISP will need to be paid for an internet connection.
 
Alternatives To Cable and Satellite TV
What is The Best Alternative to Cable TV Paid and Free Options
 
Completely Free Over-The-Air TV
Free TV stations broadcast over the air have been around since the beginning of TV and are still alive and better than before.
 
This includes FOX, CBS, NBC, PBS, weather, and much more.
 
Much like the old days of rabbit ear antennas picking up stations for free can still be done.
How To Get Free TV Without Cable or Satellite Antenna
Not only can many stations still be picked up but they have all gone digital making the signals high definition.
 
Most the content sent out is old TV shows and movies but it is completely free with no bill to pay.
 
Of course new shows on broadcast TV networks can be seen along with local news, weather, and much more.
 
If you are far from the broadcast towers than an antenna may be needed to pick up the stations.
 
To test what station you can get with your TV internal antenna simply go into your TV menu select over-the-air TV and scan for available channels.
 
Each TV has a slightly different menu system but it will be there somewhere.
How To Get Free TV Without Cable
 
Read Here For More Information on Digital TV Antennas
 
Streaming from Online Sources
Paying for internet only and canceling your TV package is much cheaper than any combination package.
 
Depending on where you live different Internet-only-solutions can often be had for $50-$80 dollars a month.
 
To stream movies or TV shows at least a 10Mbps connection is needed but obviously faster the better.
 
Once you are connected to the internet there are many sources to stream content from free and paid.
 
I always suggest Kodi which is completely free and and a cord-cutters dream. Of course there is some technicality to Kodi which is not for everyone.
 
Read Here for More About Kodi
 
Our Picks for Best Online Alternative to Cable TV
 
1… Pluto TV (Free)
What is The Best Online Alternative to Cable TV Pluto TV
Pluto TV is a great resource with lots of content and best of all it is free and legal.
 
The downside is it doesn’t have the latest movies and TV shows but does have lots of content to find something to watch.
 
Pluto TV can be watched from a computer and has Apps for smartphones and even the Fire TV stick.
 
Click here for Pluto TV Website
 
2… Tubi TV (Free)
Tubi TV is another free online source that is similar to Pluto TV but different content.
 
Like Pluto TV they don’t have new movies or TV shows but are loaded with content that is free and legal to watch.
 
While free services will not have the best content it can be surprising what they do have.
 
Tubi TV can be set up on most any device, there is even a Kodi Addon to play content with.
 
Click here for Tubi TV Website
 
3.. Netflix
No list would be complete without Netflix as it is currently the go-to streaming provider for many.
 
While they do have lots of content unless you can find one of their original movies and shows interesting it can become stale quickly.
 
Don’t get me wrong many people love Netflix and it has lots to offer but not everyone will find their new movies and TV shows worth paying for.
 
The first month was great but after binge-watching old TV shows and trying to watch their new content I couldn’t find anything to get into.
 
I still have Netflix but have cut to the lowest $7.99 month plan since it is a good way to keep the kids busy with tons of cartoons.
 
4… Hulu
Hulu like Netflix is another top online streaming TV and Movie service.
 
It has a lot to offer with many old TV shows and movies.
 
For example it has Married with Children, Family Guy, South Park, Greys Anatomy, Top Chief and much much more.
 
Currently it cost $5.99 a month and can cancel at any time.
 
Click here for Hulu Website
 
5… Prime Video (Amazon Prime)
Amazon is another top streaming service with a lot of good content.
 
Amazon has created its own ecosphere with the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Box that streams Amazon Prime content.
 
Their service can be played on most any device so there is no need for a Fire TV, but with the millions of Fire TV devices sold it shows how big their streaming community is.
 
If you have an Amazon Prime account for free shipping the Prime Video is included.
 
If you don’t have Amazon Prime account they have a 30 day free trial to test it out.
 
Click here for Amazon Prime Website Free Trial Page
 
Summary
Receiving over the air TV is the only truly free source of content.
 
Using only online services is much cheaper than any TV bundle but still does cost for an internet connection.
 
Personally I have a long range over the air TV antenna and internet only for streaming.
Free TV Antenna Channels  No Cable or Satellite  Easy Basic Tutorial Set-Up
This keeps my monthly bill at $75 dollars which I also replaced the rented cable modem from my ISP with my own to save more on cost.
 
If you have no other option (and no money) go with over-the-air TV. Even though the content is not the greatest it is still there at no cost.
 
Local news and even popular shows such as the Big Bang Theory, Jeopardy, and so on can be watched for free.
 
In today’s world with a bit of technical ability paying for cable is no longer necessary and even boring to go back to.
 
Shows today can be watched on-demand when you want to with no need to wait for a certain time and then wade through commercials.
 
Have you ditched cable or satellite TV recently let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 




 

14 thoughts on “What is The Best Alternative to Cable TV? (Paid and Free Options)

  1. Joe

    I’ve been using TVZion of late. It has been working very well and updated frequently. It’s totally free, all the new movies and TV shows. It even searches all the providers and starts automatically. There is the occasional ad, but easy to “click” out of them.

    Reply
  2. donna

    I’m thinking of going cold turkey no more TV. But I really like getting the news but I think I could go without it to

    Reply
  3. AnnieMick

    Very interested in this subject because I pay through the nose for cable TV. i’m in the same boat as the person who commented above regarding only satellite available; Plan to call my internet provider tomorrow and pick their collective brains. I am addicted to my TIVO of 25 years, so don’t know if I can live without it – (heavy sigh….)
    but before the balloon in the WH has us paying $100/mo for access to the internet, I need to investigate options.

    Very informative site.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Paul

    Interesting reading, but of course all of this is exclusively relevant to North American users who tend to be exclusively interested in their own language and culture. Here in Europe I receive around 10,000 FTA TV stations to select from with my C- and Ku-band satellite dishes. Programmes ranging from Eastern Siberia till Southern Chile not to mention most European and African broadcasters. But of course it helps a great deal if you speak a number of foreign languages (in my case five). Americans speak of themselves as “the great melting pot” but in reality most other than those with Latino background only speak and understand english. I do wonder if people living in the US could use Kodi or another service to watch the two dozen different commercial-free German public broadcasting services like Phoenix, ZDF-neo, Arte and WDR-tv? I felt very isolated from good objective news programming in the years I lived in the US, such opportunities would have made my stay a lot more bearable.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Neufeld

    I just had back surgery I was heavily medicated my bill showed -400$ I thought cool I’ll get my daughter a phone then I remembered last time I was in the – with a bill telus screwed me over well they did it again lighting hit my house and surged my router I didn’t know it showed my wifi was working but my tv was out 2 tech guys came put a new router in my bill was 1700$ for a month telus has blocked my bill I can’t see it plus when I called in my password was changed I’m a great customer of theirs I can’t believe they dI’d this ! I want free everything with no provides help me please !

    Reply
  6. BARBARA

    I purchased a KODI box for free TV, I also have satellite internet and when trying to watch tv we get a clear picture for about a minute. The tv is constantly buffering or the show will start over from the beginning. We purchased an Ethernet cable and ran it from the modem to the tv and still know progress. we can’t get major networks like NBC which is our favorite for watching the news. is there anything we should be doing to fix the television problem. we haven’t watched a decent show in weeks and I am a tv junkie. in dire straights.

    Reply
    1. David Larson

      Get your a good paid VPN. See about adding Real Debrid to your Kodi. Make sure you have high speed internet. I use IPVanish for my VPN. Real Debrid will give you a better picture and faster connection with less buffering. It’s always a good idea to have high speed internet if you’re streaming. Do you have a android TV box or a Kodi box. I don’t trust a box with Kodi is installed already with the build and all the addons. Their usually a cheap box with out of date apps and hardware.

      Reply
  7. Vincent Vu

    Today most of people have a smart phone on they hands,so why they stli need cable or satellite or internet provider ?If you have data plan about $30.00/month you can have everything : new, free movie free tv show etc…there are a lot of free software out there to get that and good thing is you can mirror all content of your phone on big screen Tv too with buy a device like Mirecast for iust under $25 .each.So just kill cable and satellite and enjoy you life.

    Reply
  8. Whatme

    I moved out from my parents for over a year now and when they come to visit they always ask why I dont have cable. The reason is I dont want to pay more for a product I will not fully use or use properly. I’d rather pay money’s worth for a service I use fully AND could also serve the same function as cable only its more tailored to my liking. I pay less money and shoot two birds with one stone.

    Reply
  9. Rex Craig

    After reading the above comments it easy to conclude that TV entertainment is not free through the internet either. Huge expenses are incurred by the people generating TV entertainment. Of coarse someone must pay the price of watching that entertainment.
    From the beginning TV was paid for by advertisers and they in turn were paid by customers who rewarded the advertisers with their $ and enjoyed the products advertisers wanted us TV watchers to buy. Broacast TV is still out there and we TV viewers can still enjoy it for free . But if we want the convenience provided by cable or satellite ,then say goodby to free .
    By listening to the various bits and peaces of others , l also thought that there may be a ” free ” way to get the TV entertainment by implementing the technology gadgets and milk the programs of my choice with out the big expense of a satellite provider from the internet.. lm starting with very little knowledge but will begin the search for free entertainment from the TV.

    Reply
  10. Gary

    I have been EffluxTV for about a year now. It is an IPTV service that costs me $25 a month which makes it a great primary. I believe you can use the service on any device now and they give you 3 per account. They have a decent VOD but it is no Netflix. The live channels are nice and clear and with IPTV some do have issues from time to time. I did have one small issue once and although it was tough to get through the phone line, their live chat team was all over reporting the channels and not to long after it seemed to correct itself. I wish they had an option to record. They told me through a chat when I asked not to long ago we should all see them release one at the first of the year. They have all the network channels but you cant get locals for your area. I just found a free app to watch my news on so it doesn’t even matter to me anymore. I do keep a backup service just in case but haven’t found myself using it the last few months. These companies seem to come and go but I hope these guys can stay around a while.

    Reply
  11. Jeff

    Our satellite provider’s customer service gave us one lie after another and that was that for them. We switched to OTA with a TiVo Romio ($15 service for the guide) and HD antenna on the roof (we called “franks Antenna’s”, I wasn’t going up there on a ladder). Frank was happy to stretch a Cat 5 cable through the attic and drop it with the coax at the same time. So OTA and internet for Netflix/Prime etc. to the TiVo was solved and we haven’t looked back. We recently added a small PC (8.86 x 1.97 x 7.01 inches Intel 5th Generation i7 Broad Well CPU NUC, and now we can browse Ancestry on the 65″ screen as well.

    Reply
  12. andy natos

    there are all kinds of good working iptv if you can find anything good your not looking

    Reply

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