Need a 2019 New Year’s Resolution? How to Cut Cable & Replace It With a Live Streaming Service
Happy 2019! Little did you know, today is your first step replacing your cable with a Live TV Streaming Service and saving $500-$1,000 this year (and forever).
Over the past 24 months, there has been a cord-cutting revolution — in fact 33 million people have already taken the plunge. Some people are comfortable getting rid of cable completely and sticking to an antenna and a streaming subscription like Netflix. But, many still want live teleivison — sports, news, and cable networks — more like cord shaving than cord cutting.
Fortunately, there are 7 major live streaming services — fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV AT&T TV NOW, and YouTube TV that will allow you to stream cable channels from your Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, or Android TV devices.
With so many different services, how do you choose which is right for you? We’ve spent the last year at The Streamable, trying to help figure out that very problem. We’ve built a comprehensive guide, as well as our Channel Finder tool to make it simple.
With The Streamable’s Channel Finder, you can enter your favorite channels, shows, and sports teams and we’ll recommend the right service for you.
The tool even knows which local channels and Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are available in every market. If you add your Zip Code, we’ll show you which local affiliates and RSNs you’ll get with each service.
If you want more detail to compare the services on stability, stream quality, DVR capacity, or simultaneous stream, we suggest reading our full guide.
But, before you get started — we suggest you ask yourself six simple questions.
1. Do You Have a Streaming Device?
While you may be able to stream using your Smart Television, for streaming Live TV we suggest a streaming media player. They are generally more powerful and will see better performance.
At this point, almost every streaming service is available across streaming players (with Android TV as the notable exception). You can get a high-quality device for as little as $40 which can stream in 4K.
2. What is Your Budget for TV?
The average cable customer is paying $150 for Cable and Internet. If you get rid of your cable subscription, you can generally expect to pay $50-60 for a standalone Internet plan. If you replace the TV portion with a $40 Live TV Streaming Service — you can expect to save $700-800 next year.
Most Live TV Streaming Services start at $40 a month, but increase as you add more channels. If you don’t need live locals or sports, you can consider a budget option like Philo, which includes 43 channels like AMC, HGTV, and MTV for only $16 a month.
|AT&T TV NOW||$55||“PLUS”||Sign Up||-|
|fuboTV||$55||“fubo”||7-Day Free Trial||-|
|Hulu Live TV||$55||“Hulu Live TV”||7-Day Free Trial||-|
|Philo||$20||“Philo”||7-Day Free Trial||-|
|Sling TV||$30||“Sling Orange”||Sign Up||$10 OFF & Free Premium Pass|
Get the Deal
|$45||“Sling Orange + Blue”|
|YouTube TV||$65||“YouTube TV”||Sign Up||-|
3. What Channels Do You Watch the Most?
One of the easiest ways is to look at your current DVR. Make a list of channels and shows you can’t live without. Then, make a secondary list of channels you’d like, but you’d be willing to give up to save a little money.
Make sure you poll your whole household. You don’t want an upset wife who wants Bravo for Real Housewives, upset husband who wants ESPN for College Football, or child who wants Disney Channel for Andi Mack.
Most services include live locals and major sports networks including Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). However, even if a service offers locals and regional sports, they may not offer them in your market.
|AT&T NOW||fuboTV||Hulu||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube|
|Sign Up||Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Sign Up||Sign Up|
|Top 35 Cable||23–24|
of Top 35
of Top 35
of Top 35
of Top 35
of Top 35
of Top 35
of Top 35
|Regional Sports (RSNs)||$80||•||•||-||-||•||•|
4. How Much Do You Expect to Record?
At this point, almost every Live TV Streaming Service includes a DVR and multiple streams. However, they all have slight differences from 20 hours to Unlimited like PlayStation Vue, Philo, YouTube TV.
Sling TV is the only service that charges for a DVR (+$5), but it also one of the most robust. It offers the ability to record all or only new series, as well as individual episodes.
5. How Many People Will Watch at the Same Time?
Unlike cable where you pay a fee for every outlet you have service, each of the Live TV Streaming Services comes with multiple streams. While most will allow two or three viewers to watch at the same time, others like PlayStation Vue will allow up to 5 simultaneous streams (depending the device you’re streaming on).
Since it’s simultaneous viewers, you can still watch on as many devices (even while you’re traveling) as watch as long as it’s not at the same time.
More is better.
|AT&T NOW||3 streams|
|Sling “Blue”||3 streams|
|Sling “Orange”||1 stream|
6. What are You Willing to Give Up?
Everyone of these services has some sort of trade off — whether its channels, cost, quality, or feature set. No single service is going to give you everything.
Hulu Live TV includes the most locals and Hulu Originals, but requires an expensive upgrade for fast-forwarding on your DVR.
Our Picks for New Streamers
Best for Cord Cutters
Hulu Live TV
$40 / month
- Locals in almost every market
- 26 Top Cable Channels
- Includes Hulu Originals and On-Demand
Best for Regional Sports
$45 / month
- Includes most Regional Sports Networks
- Includes NFL Network, NBA TV, Big 10 Network, Pac-12 Network, & beIn