Where to Stream TV When You Just Cut the Cord

The best streaming services for the TV lover’s needs after saying goodbye to cable.

Table of Contents

  • Streaming Overview
  • Hulu + Live TV Overlook
  • Is Netflix Good?
  • Is HBO Max Worth It?
  • fuboTV for Sports Fans
  • Is Disney Plus Good for Families?
  • How to Stream TV at Home

Summary

It seems as though there’s always a new streaming service available, and with as much as there is to choose from, how do you know which ones are worth buying? In an age when everyone is cutting cords to save money, customers are turning to a variety of streaming services that each have their respective strengths. Read on to learn more about these services and what they excel in.

Here's the Run-Down on Streaming

When you were a kid, you probably could have never imagined not having cable. Sitting around the living room with the fam to watch television has been a nightly staple for decades. Although this hasn’t changed too much, the platform has changed thanks to the ever-evolving technology and internet possibilities. Now, families can get those sweet live TV, DVR, and local channel benefits of cable deals without making the (sometimes) expensive jump to bundle their internet with it. It’s just a matter of what you want, and what monthly cost works best for you.

My Hero Academia’ Season 4 Come Back on Hulu
Image source: slashfilm.com

Hulu + Live TV - A Cord Cutter’s Dream

Hulu is known to be a pretty solid hub for entertainment TV even without the live part, hock full of horror films like The Lodge, original content like The Handmaid’s Tale, and tons of Japanese anime like My Hero Academia. Hulu tried throwing live TV in the mix and it is working wonders. Not only do you get the on-demand features of Hulu, but with the live TV addon you also get local channels depending on your zip code, and 55 other live TV channels like Disney, A&E, the Travel Channel, and tons of other sports favorites like all the ESPN channels, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports. All for a cheaper price than your average provider’s cable deal.

Cost: $69.99/mo. (NOTE: Hulu may have a promotion for $49.99 for the first three months, but the bill will return to the standard amount after the promotional period is over. Also, if you’re interested in this option, try to sign up sooner rather than later—their website suggests that the price of this service may increase to $74.99 by December 8th, 2022. Check before you make your purchase.)

Streams: 2 simultaneous streams

Channels: 75+

Pros
  • Original and on demand content in addition to live channels. Best of both worlds.
  • Currently, this package includes Disney+ and ESPN+
Cons
  • Live channels lack in entertainment (but it’s made up for in their on-demand content)

Winner for this category: Overall best

Queen Gambit
Creator: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX | Credit: Phil Bray/Netflix. Copyright: © 2020 Netflix, Inc.

Netflix - Rich in Original Content

Oh Netflix… The granddaddy of streaming. We know you’ve heard of it. It’s the one that started it all from their DVD subscriptions to now a go-to app for pretty much every smart TV in the world. Their service has the most impressive evolution for original content, even starting up interactive Netflix originals like Bandersnatch, where the viewer gets to choose the fate of the main character. It’s pretty cool, we won’t lie.

Cost: $9.99 – $19.99/mo.

Streams: 1 – 4

Pros
  • Tons of curated original content based on what you watch
Cons
  • No live TV or local channel options
Game of Thrones on HBO
Image source: wired.com

HBO - Shows That Are Just Really Good

Almost no other streaming service has been nominated for as many Emmys as HBO’s original content has. They are just that good. We of course have Game of Thrones (a personal fave, but let’s be honest, everyone loves it). In addition to True Detective, another top show is Barry, which stars Bill Hader in a semi-serious role of a military-grade assassin who has big dreams to be a Broadway actor. Yet another popular series is Succession, which follows the power struggles between members of a dysfunctional corporate dynasty. HBO is chock-full of rich, can’t-take-your-eyes-away, days-on-the-couch-binge-worthy content. Although it is on the pricier side, there is a lot to be found on this streaming service platform. Read more in-depth about HBO Max.

Cost: with ads is $9.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.; ad-free is $14.99/mo. or $149.99/yr.

Streams: 3 simultaneously

Pros
  • Tons of award-winning prestigious shows and movies
Cons
  • A lot pricier than its counterparts

Winner for this category: Top quality shows: Tie between HBO and Netflix

Sergio Ramos hoisting the European Champions Cup as Real Madrid celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League
Image source: fifa.com

FuboTV - For Sports Fans

FuboTV is an all-encompassing solution for a perfect mix of entertainment and live sports. In fact, speaking of Netflix, FuboTV has had a mission to be the “Netflix of soccer” for a while now, and it still holds up to that. With this service, you can get up to 103 channels that are mostly sports channels including the basics like NHL Network, NBA TV, NFL network, plus the motherload of soccer channels you might not even recognize but can still enjoy. Plus, you get 1000 hours of DVR space with most packages.

Cost: $69.99 – $99.99/mo. ($33/mo. for Latino package)

Streams: 2 – 5 streams at once

Channels: up to 235

Pros
  • Sports heavy, especially for soccer
Cons
  • Entertainment is lacking

Winner for this category: Sports Favorite

Avengers: Infinity War Ending on Disney Plus
Image source: denofgeek.com

Disney+ For Families Who Watch Together

This streaming service came out just at the right time for the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020, giving people no choice but to check it out at least once during their quarantining days. Heck, I even took them up on their stash of Star Wars movies during that time that I binged and absolutely fell in love with. But I digress. Outside of Star Wars, they have an abundance of different avenues from Disney channel original movies, to the entire Marvel universe, to Pixar short films. Basically, with Disney+, we get to taste the fruits of Disney’s empire. To see more information about family-friendly viewing options, please visit our related post about streaming services for kids.

Cost: $7.99/mo. or $79.99/yr.

Streams: 4 simultaneous streams

Pros
  • Family-friendly content you can’t really get anywhere else
Cons
  • Only Disney-owned shows and movies

Winner for this category: Family Favorites

How to Stream TV at Home

Now that you’ve selected your streaming service, you’ve got to decide how you’re going to enjoy your shiny new shows and movies. You’ve got plenty of device options:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Smart TV
  • Roku
  • And more!

All of the services mentioned in this article offer apps through which you can view content on a phone, tablet, or other mobile device. You can also, of course, use a computer to log in to your account from the provider’s website.

If you have a smart TV, you can also use apps on your device to get to your media from there. If you have a standard TV, you could consider adding a Roku to your TV setup. By installing a Roku to your TV, you can upgrade it with smart features without the price tag of purchasing an entirely new TV!

Frequently asked questions

Which devices work best for which streaming services?

Great question. We’ve boiled it down for you. Pretty much every streaming service we’ve mentioned works best on these devices outside of Smart TV apps: • Roku • Amazon Fire Stick • Android and Apple TV • Playstation 4 • Samsung TV • Xbox One • Google Chromecast

What is Live TV vs. On-Demand?

With Live TV, keyword being “live” means the show you’re watching is being broadcasted right now on cable TV networks. It’s like having cable, only it’s on the internet. So, shows usually enter the streaming app space after its aired on cable TV. On-demand means entire series are at your demand, with one simple click.

Which type of internet works best for streaming services?

This depends on how many people are streaming at once. With only one person streaming, all you need is 7 Mbps of internet speed, although that’s not a lot. If you have multiple people streaming at once (let’s say, the max amount for Netflix which is 4) you will need at least 25 Mbps of speed to get the quality, uninterrupted streaming you’re looking for.

Which streaming service has Fox Sports Midwest?

AT&T TV.

Can I use a Roku to watch streaming services on my TV?

Yes! As long as your TV is Roku-compatible, you can download apps for your streaming services onto the device and enjoy your streaming services gathered all in one place.

Written by: Hayley Abshear

Edited by: Jessica Moore

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