***The following post is strictly my own opinion. I was not credited or paid in anyway for my opinions stated below.***
Cable fees got you down? The feeling that long contracts locked into high pricing seem to go on forever? There just may be an alternative. Today, if you look on your World Wide Web or search popular social media you most likely will find many different applications with enticing promotions to join now and begin watching television and movies at next to no cost monthly. Let’s see, we have Hulu-Netflix-SlingTv and DirectvNow just to name a few.
My family was locked into a contract for years paying close to $120 a month for our televisions in the home to watch standard programming. When the new year began we decided to cut expenses and cut the cord on contracts and try new applications as we had heard so much about saving money from friends. The following are my findings as I have tried all the below companies. This is our journey!
1. Netflix: if you remember Netflix most likely you think of movies. You may remember receiving DVDs in the mail and then sending them back in once you were finished for a low monthly rate of $7.99 a month. Not a bad deal if you are a movie renter and want to see the newest films. Also, as the Emmys showed us this year Netflix currently holds a following now with tv exclusive shows such as Ozark, Disjointed, Orange is the New Black and Narcos which can only be seen on Netflix and most likely to the viewer is far worth the $7.99! The first month is free and offers a few options such as three tier plans to choose them. Basic for $7.99 which is 1 screen of viewing and no HD, the standard which is 2 tvs for $9.99 with HD or finally the premium at $11.99 with 4 tvs, HD, ultra HD, and unlimited movies and tv shows at your disposal with being able to cancel anytime.
I really enjoy Netflix for its exclusive shows but if you are a regular tv viewer of your popular syndicated shows on say your local channels you will most likely find Netflix lacks in this area. This is definitely more of an exclusive programming and movie application.
2. Hulu: I really enjoy Hulu as well and was recently shown Hulu Live which opens up television viewers to a whole new world of viewing. Hulu plans start as allow as $5.99 a month as a special offer if redeemed by 1/9/18. Otherwise, typically runs equivalent to Netflix at $7.99 a month with a package delivering popular shows like Family Guy, Law and Order SVU, Seinfeld, This is Us the new hit show from NBC, Saturday Night Live and many more including exclusive Hulu originals like the Handmaids Tale and The Path. Hulu, in my opinion, is a whole lot of package for a small amount of money. This is where you will note a big difference between Hulu and say Netflix. If you want to cut cable but not miss out on the popular hit shows Hulu most likely will be offering these episodes to you. Also, with Hulu, like Netflix you can cancel anytime. Just note with Hulu that there are limited commercials at $5.99/mo. and no commercials for $11.99/mo. Though, I have paid the $11.99 and still get bombarded with commercials quite frequently.
Hulu now has another add-on called Hulu Live which for a higher price closer to Cable and or Dish prices presents you with live shows on the major channels such as Food Network, HGTV, History, Disney, FX, TNT and many more. Catch all your favorite teams even on the go with live games from NBA, MLB and NFL and NHL! You can also add on Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax for extra additional charges. Hulu Live TV has a one week free trial then costs $39.99/month. Just make sure you have either Roku, Firestick, Xbox one or Chromecast to watch this feature. Hulu live also lets you watch on two screens at the same time and record live tv with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. This is a no-brainer for anyone looking for a no contract reasonable television package.
3. SlingTV: I’m sure you have seen the commercials about watching a la Carte tv. SlingTV is a program that gets you the channels you watch with Live Tv on a Roku device, Xbox One or Chromecast and Firestick. The first seven days are free and then sign up starts at just $20/mo. for live tv shows on TBS, A&E, ESPN, and a ton more. Sling has two different packages an Orange Package and a Blue or an Orange and Blue combined package. You can combine and customize your own channels with no hidden fees or contracts. I chose the top package to try and had all my favorite shows and channels minus CBS for my soap opera which ultimately is why I canceled and went back to Hulu. The only reason was my soap opera or I would have stayed with Sling. The programming is much more user friendly and about equivalent if not cheaper in price. You appear with SlingTV to get more channels than with Hulu Live. The company assured me they are always adding more channels so I hope they get my soap opera so I can come back! This is by far the best application to watch all your favorite shows at the lowest price.
Also, if you sign up now with SlingTV and you get two months of tv service they are now offering a free Roku!
4. DirectvNOW: The final application I tried was DirectvNOW and I was happy with the programming content but the price seemed a bit steeper like normal pricing of cable minus a contract. Also, DirectvNow could not be used with my Xbox One or tv so I had to go out and buy Chromecast to use. My soap opera on CBS was again not able to be watched as it is on Hulu which was disappointing because I definitely enjoyed this format also more than Hulu Live. Hulu Live for someone who is not tech savvy could be very confusing.
Overall, we ended up with Netflix and Hulu Live. I would have chosen SlingTV and Netflix and still had been cheaper than my regular cable bill but I just can’t pass up my soap opera daily. I am continually monitoring the different websites to see if this ever changes as they expand. I hope this was helpful to anyone conflicted like I was on what was the best route to take for a cable alternative.