Best Streaming Services for Movies and Live TV

cord cutting 2017

With more and more people around the U.S. dropping their expensive cable TV service, we’re finding that there are also more and more new streaming services hitting the market aimed at the cord-cutting crowd. In 2020, there’s certainly no shortage of great cable alternatives for those who don’t want to shell out for cable or satellite TV.

Whether you’re looking to stream live TV, binge watch an entire TV series in a weekend, curl up on the couch for some Netflix (maybe N’ chill) or watch live sports, there are so many options available.

Of course, with the seemingly endless number of streaming apps and subscriptions available, it can be tough to find which one(s) are right for you. That’s where we come in because we hate the thought of you wasting your hard-earned cash as much as you do.

Here are the best streaming services for movies, your favorite TV series, and LIVE TV in 2020:

Index

  1. Streaming Services Available Now
  2. Live TV Streaming
  3. Niche Streaming Services
  4. Where to Buy & Rent Movies Digitally Online
  5. Best Media Streaming Boxes for What You Want to Watch
  6. Digital TV Antennas
  7. How to Watch Live Sports Without Cable
  8. Useful Apps for Cutting the Cord
  9. How to Watch Specific Shows Live
    Why Cord Cutting is So Popular

Best Streaming Services Available in 2020

Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are the four biggest media streaming services in 2020 with paid subscriptions for those who drop their cable bill (and, yes — in that exact order of popularity). Each service offers something a bit different, and each one has their own pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of each of the Big 4 and what they can do for you as a cable TV alternative.

Disney+

disney plus gift subscriptions

Start Your Free Trial

The newest streaming service to hit the market is Disney+, and if you were a 90s kid, chances are you grew up watching an absolute ton of Disney stuff – whether it be TV shows, classic animated movies, or live-action Disney films.

In November 2019, Disney introduced its own streaming service called Disney+, and it’s everything we’ve ever wanted and more.

Not only does it include a plethora of classic Disney shows and movies, and new Disney originals, but it also includes all of the Star Wars movies and shows, a heavy helping of Marvel movies and TV shows, and some great National Geographic programming. Plus, there are tons of great sports movies on Disney Plus right now.

Once purchased, accounts are able to have up to seven different profiles. You’ll be able to stream on up to four devices at once and you’ll have unlimited downloads for viewing.

Prices/Plans

$6.99/month or $69.99/year.

Available on:

Start Your Free Trial


Netflix

cord cutting

Netflix is the most widely known streaming platform for cordcutters, and its popularity only grows with every new original television series that debuts on the platform. Why is it so popular?

Well, for one, it was pretty much the first major digital streaming service to make any sort of headway in the digital streaming market, but that wasn’t until they were already popular as a DVD sales and rental online destination that allowed users to buy/rent DVDs using just their computer and a mailbox. Of course, with DVDs all but officially dead, they long ago made the switch to focus on streaming high-quality media.

Now, you can find a plethora of binge-worthy options on Netflix, including movies, TV series, stand-up specials, and more — all of which are easy to browse and find thanks to Netflix’s intuitive menus and layout.

What sort of content will you find on Netflix right now? There are top-notch options including SherlockPokemonBlack Mirror, Dark Matter, The 100, New Girl, and so many more great TV series. On top of those, you’ll find Netflix’s top-rated originals like Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, and Ozark.

The type of content you’ll find on Netflix caters to the widest possible audience, ranging from documentary-loving people to kids to sci-fi enthusiasts to action movie junkies. It’s for this reason that Netflix currently has nearly 104 million subscribers worldwide.

In my expert opinion, Netflix is now the second-tier option when it comes to the best streaming services, only behind Disney+.

So, how much is a Netflix subscription?

Price/Plans:

  • $7.99/month for 1 screen and standard definition, and you can only download videos on a single phone or tablet.
  • $9.99/month for 2 screens, high definition, and you can download videos on up to two phones or tablets.
  • $11.99/month, watch on four screens and HD/Ultra HD is available. Download videos on 4 phones or tablets.

Available on:

Android, iOS, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Chromecast, Apple TV, Nook tablets, Kindles, Roku, Smart TVs, Nintendo Wii U, and various other streaming media devices.

Buy a Netflix subscription here.


Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is included with an Amazon Prime subscription, or if you don’t have Amazon Prime already, you can purchase just a monthly subscription for the giant’s video streaming service. Included in Amazon Prime Video is also an impressive library or both movies and TV series.

On Amazon Prime right now, you’ll find popular movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: out of the Shadows, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Star Trek Beyond, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and Daddy’s Home. You’ll also find a great number of popular TV shows, including VIkings, True Blood, Downton Abbey, and The Expanse.

There are also a few good originals worth watching, including Man in the High Castle, Transparent, +and Catastrophe.

For the kids, there is quite an impressive offering as well, including SpongeBob, Dora, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Marvel Super Heroes.

Amazon’s interface isn’t quite as good as what Netflix offers, and that’s probably one of the main reasons it’s in second place. Content-wise, it’s also slightly below what Netflix offers.

Amazon Prime Video has a 30-day free trial, credit card required.

Available on:

Android, iOS, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Chromecast, Apple TV, Nook tablets, Kindles, Roku, Smart TVs, Nintendo Wii U, and various other streaming media devices.

Price/Plans:

  • $10.99/month when you pay monthly
  • $8.25/month when you buy a year of Amazon Prime

Sign-up for Amazon Prime Video here.


Hulu

hulu cord cutting

Just because Hulu is in third place with popularity, doesn’t mean it should be ignored, and this wouldn’t be a proper cord cutter’s guide to 2017 if we decided to skip it.

Hulu has a number of great TV shows available to watch, including Power, Blackish, The Strain Nashville, and more. On top of that, you’ll find great animated hits like Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burgers, Adventure Time, South Park, and Regular Show.

Available movies include Daddy’s Home, Nerve, Star Trek Beyond, Saving Private Ryan, and 13 Hours.

Hulu also has a few great originals, including The Handmaid’s TaleThe Path, and Harlots.

Hulu has three plans available, one with limited commercials and one with no commercials for $4 more, with the third plan being a new Live TV option. While the plan with limited commercials is a good budget option, I’d opt for the $11.99 because I found the commercials too frequent for my liking (although my lovely wife disagreed with me on that subject). Hulu also has a free month trial available for you to test the waters.

As far as the new Hulu Live TV service is concerned, it’s still in beta. However, you can test it out. Channels include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FX, Disney, SyFy, ESPN, and more.

Price/Plans:

  • $7.99/month: Limited Commercials.
  • $11.99/month: No Commercials.
  • $39.99/month: + Live TV

Check out Hulu here.

See Also: Our Rick & Morty Merchandise Guide


Best LIVE TV Streaming Services

If you think you’ll miss the ability to tune-in to your favorite shows while they’re airing live if you use one of the streaming services above, there are plenty of live TV streaming options available in 2020. That’s right — you can stream the majority of your favorite channels live if you have a subscription to one of the below services.

fuboTV

FuboTV

FuboTV

Start Your Free Trial Now

fuboTV is one of the better live TV streaming services available in 2020, as it offers a little bit of something for everyone (especially live sports enthusiasts). With fuboTV, you not only get a buttload of great sports channels like SNY, MSG, FS1, NFL Network, NBATV, and more, but you also get a ton of other great live TV streaming options like CNN, Nicktoons, Teennick, Animal Planet, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, Hallmark, TBS, USA, Food Network, and others.

The biggest issue with fuboTV is its high price point, coming in at $54.99/month for the standard plan, which gets you 106 channels. Luckily, there’s a free trial available so you’ll be able to easily determine whether or not it’s a good service for you before you actually have to shell out that monthly fee of $54.99.

Sling TV

Sling TV

Sling TV offers live TV streaming starting at just $20, and as time passes, it feels more and more like an a la carte solution to live TV viewing.

With their initial $20 package, you get some top-notch live channels, including ESPN, FX, AMC, Comedy Central, CNN, and Disney Channel. You also get NFL Network, NFL Redzone, TBS, Adult Swim, the Food Network, and more.

You WILL get access to Watch ESPN with a Sling Orange subscription as well.

Unfortunately, what isn’t included and available is the big broadcast networks like CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC, as well as PBS (note: you CAN add ABC for $5 in select markets only). Some other networks like Nickelodeon, Showtime, Fox News, and Discovery are also not available at all on Sling TV.

Sling TV also doesn’t have a DVR function, so you’re unable to record shows and watch them on your time. However, nearly every channel has shows available to watch on-demand whenever you want. Basically, most channels feature what’s called 3-Day Replay, which means you can watch any show that has aired within the past three days.

The Sling apps on all platforms are quite user-friendly, with channels separated by category (sports, news, etc). There’s also parental controls available so that you can control what’s able to be viewed.

Picture quality with Sling TV is super close to what you’d get with cable HD, but it isn’t quite there. Sound quality is limited with live TV to stereo sound, although on-demand options have 5.1 surround sound.

Sling’s biggest flaw is the fact that you’ll come across buffering issues more frequently than you should. Even on our 100 MB/s connection, and no other devices running, we’d see load times unbearable, at times. They’re not too frequent as to not make Sling worth it, but you will certainly notice some lag here and there.

Price/Plans:

  • $20/month for Sling TV Orange: 30 live TV channels
  • $25/month for Sling TV Blue: Slightly different channel lineup (You get FOX-based channels like Fox Sports, Fox where available, FX, FXX, etc).
  • $40/month for both

There is a 7 day trial available, and afterward, you’ll be charged $20/month.

Check it out here.


DirecTV Now

cord cutting

DirecTV Now offers possibly the best bang for your buck as far as channels are concerned. With the $35 plan, you get AMC, A&E, ABC, BBC, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, CNN, Disney, SyFY, and more. FX, FXX, Fox, and Fox Sports 1 are all included for the $35 price tag.

With the $50 sub, you’ll add some good channels like IFC, MLB Network, Cooking Channel, ESPNU, FUSE, Fusion, Nicktoons, SundanceTV, Travel Channel, and the Weather Channel.

The $60 sub adds Oxygen, NBA TV, NHL Network, LMN, Logo, Golf Channel, FX Movie Channel, Fox Sports 2, DIY Network, and a couple of stragglers that aren’t worth mentioning.

$70 adds Boomerang, Chiller, El Rey, and Starz movie pack (8 movie channels), and Univision Deportes.

In my expert opinion, the base package ($35/month) is the best option that’s more of a cord cutting solution than the rest of the DirecTV Now plans (which adds frivolous channels you likely wouldn’t watch).

DirecTV now works with all of your devices as well, including Apple TV, Chromecast, PC, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Stick, and more.

What’s great about DirecTV is that the channels load relatively fast — quicker than Sling. The guide is much easier to digest than Sling and Vue’s. What’s more, you can also create your own guide based on only your favorite channels to eliminate the fluff, bringing you the content you want without having to cipher through the rest.

It also gets a minor +1 because it starts up on the channel you were watching last, as opposed to Sling bringing you back to the menus at startup.

With DirecTV, you can also stream to two devices at once. This puts it ahead of Sling but behind PlayStation Vue.

Unfortunately, where DirecTV falls behind is with its lack of DVR options, and you’re also limited on pause, rewind, and fast-forward. On top of that, DirecTV’s biggest appeal to most, NFL Sunday Ticket and Red Zone, aren’t available on their streaming service. There’s also no parental controls available, so if you have kids in the household, you might want to think twice about giving them access. At its higher price tag, you’re likely better off with Vue or Sling, depending on the channels you typically watch.

Price/Plans:

  • $35/month: 60+ Live Channels
  • $50/month: 80+ Live Channels
  • $60/month: 100+ Live Channels
  • $70/month:120+ Live Channels

Sign-up for DirecTV Now here.


CBS All-Access

cbs all access

CBS All-Access allows you to stream your local CBS station and CBS News live 24/7, including when there’s NFL on CBS.

On top of that, you can access a deep library of CBS shows with over 8,500 episodes on demand, including NCIS, 7th Heaven, Big Brother, The Big Bang Theory, and even classic CBS shows like The Brady Bunch, Cheers, Family Ties, Frasier, I Love Lucy, and more.

You’ll also get a couple handfuls of movies to stream as well, including Trading Places, The Odd Couple, Star Trek: Nemesis, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and a few more. The selection isn’t a plentiful bounty, but there might be something you’re interested in. Don’t expect newer releases, though.

Streaming quality is top-notch, and plans are cheap.

It has apps available on Apple TV, Android, Chromecast, ioS, PS4, Roku, Xbox One, and PC, as well as FireTV.

Price/Plans:

  • $5.99/month: Limited Commercials
    $9.99/month: Commercial Free

There’s a one week trial available.

Check out CBS All-Access here.


YouTube TV

youtube tv

The newest entrant into the market is YouTube TV, which is obviously YouTube’s version of the cable TV alternative for cord cutters.

Unfortunately, it’s not available in most markets just yet, so its appeal is severely limited at this point. It’s only available in select major U.S. cities, including: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.

Price: $35/month

Try it free here.


Where to Buy or Rent Individual Movies and TV Shows to Stream

If you’re not into paying monthly for streaming services, another option for cord cutters is to buy individual movies and TV shows to stream as they please. There are many different LEGAL ways to do this, but the most popular are listed below.

Google Play

google play movies

You’ll find all of the latest and greatest movies and TV series available on Google Play for both purchasing and renting. Most movies are full-price, but you will occasionally find a stellar deal on a popular film to buy on any of your devices that have Google Play. It’s super convenient, and downloading movies you’ve purchased is quick and painless. It’s my go-to for legally downloading movies.

See what’s available here.


iTunes

itunes movies

Everything stated above for Google Play also applies to iTunes, and you just simply have to boot up the app, find what you want, purchase it, and you’re ready to go. Again, super quick and painless, and you’ll occasionally find good deals.

Download iTunes here.


PlayStation Network (not Vue)

psn movies

On PlayStation Network, you can buy or rent movies at your leisure. You’ll likely find more deals available than on Google Play and iTunes — at least, in my experience, that rings true. You can also pre-order movies on the platform with ease. On top of that, many movies are available to rent and stream for cheap. In fact, there’s a deal going right now where PSN members can rent some summer blockbusters for just 99 cents.

Check it out here.


Vudu

vudu movies

Vudu is Wal-mart’s movie/TV streaming and rental service that allows you to purchase single episodes, full seasons, and movies. On top of that, you’ll also find some free movies streaming online with ads.

Read more here.


Amazon

rent movies on amazon

Amazon has a plethora of new and old movies and TV series available for digital purchasing, as well as some available to rent. Most rentals are $5.99, and you have a full 30 days to start watching the video. After you’ve begun watching it, you have 48 hours to finish whatever movie or TV show you’ve rented. It’s a great option that’s best treated like a Blockbuster night replacement for families. Of course, like everything on Amazon, you’ll find deals pop in and out, so keep an eye open if you’re looking for cheap movies to stream online.

Check out Amazon’s video selection here.


How to Watch Live Sports Without Cable

stream nfl online

There are a lot of ways to legally stream live sports online without a cable subscription. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size fits all solution yet. Ideally, sports fans want a way to watch all NFL games, MLB games, NBA, NHL, MLS, and those types of organized league sports with one single subscription.

To be clear, that simply isn’t going to happen just yet.

However, there are some great alternatives to that model available, and hopefully, one of these fits your needs and budget.

ESPN+

ESPN plus

Stream ESPN+ Now

With ESPN+, you can stream live sports and all of the originals that ESPN+ has to offer. What we love about ESPN+ is its emphasis on UFC content, allowing you to stream all of the undercards every fight night. It also has live MLB, NHL, MLS, and access to college football, basketball, and lacrosse.

On top of that, you’ll also get access to the ENTIRE 30 for 30 library that’s loaded with the best sports documentaries.

You can also bundle it in with Hulu and Disney+ for an ultra-low $12.99/month here.

fuboTV

fubotv

Stream Fubo TV Now

With FuboTV, you can watch NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games for your home in-market teams. For example, in my New York hometown, I get the YES Network which runs Yankee games, Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1, and the local broadcast for NFL games for the NY Giants.

If you’re local NBC and FOX stations are showing a football game on Sunday, you can watch it live.

What’s more, it doesn’t stop with just team sports. Nascar, F1, Boxing, and more are also available. You get 61+ channels of pure sports, and if you’re lucky enough for your favorite teams to be your local teams, it’s probably your best option for streaming live sports online.

You’ll also get a few quality general entertainment channels like Bravo, FXX, FX, SyFy, and USA.

Price: $34.99/month for the basic package.

Check out FuboTV here.


Sling TV

Sling has local and national FOX channels, including Fox Sports channels, that will air some NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL games if you have a local team. It also is the cheapest way to watch an NFL Network Live Stream.

Niche Streaming Services

cord cutting

If you only stick to one certain genre or channel, there are a number of great niche streaming services that are offered as add-ons and/or standalone services. If you simply only care about streaming HBO on Sunday nights for Game of Thrones, you can do that. If you only love anime, there are a number of different services available. Here are the most popular niche streaming services available now:

Acorn TV

Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming platform for British TV, bringing thousands of hours of Britain’s hottest TV series.

Price: $4.99/month

Check it out here.


Anime Strike

Amazon’s Anime streaming platform that includes titles like Welcome to the Ballroom, No Game No Life, BTooom!, Parasyte, and more high quality anime.

Price: $4.99/month, but you have to have Amazon Prime Video as well.

Sign-up here.


Cinefest

Cinefest is another Prime add-on, this time for the movie buffs. It’s a uniquely curated collection of films that currently includes over 100 movies. These aren’t popular movies, though. Instead, they’re under-the-radar gems and Sundance winners that are mostly rated highly.

Price: $4.99/month, requires Amazon Prime Video

Sign-up here.


Comedy Central Stand-up Plus

Comedy Central’s stand-up gems at your fingertips for $3.99/month.

Price: $3.99/month, Amazon Prime Video required.

Sign-up here.


Fandor

Fandor is a movie streaming service that gives you access to hand-picked films, and the vibe is entirely different than any other movie streaming service. The company gives 50% revenue to its films’ rights holders. Some movies on the platform right now include The Translator, Hopefuls, Secretary, The Graduate, An American Werewolf in London, and more.

Price: $7.50/month if you pay yearly, $10/month if you pay monthly

Check out Fandor here.


HBO via Amazon Channels

Stream HBO live and watch series and movies in your backlog with HBO via Amazon Channels, and it’s also available through Sling ($15), DirecTV Now ($17.99), PlayStation Vue ($15), or Hulu ($14.99). This makes streaming Game of Thrones as easy as it has ever been, and it pretty much puts all of the live TV streaming services on a level playing field since they are all capable of having HBO.

Price: $14.99/month, Amazon Video Required

Check out HBO via Amazon Channels here.


Qello

A streaming service for the music-lover in all of us, Qello includes streaming full length concerts and music documentaries. It’s a top-notch option if you want your music television fix.

Price: $7.99/month or $69.99/year

Check it out here.


Screambox

Horror movie streaming service for those who love the genre. A MASSIVE selection of horror films ranging from obscure to popular.

Price: $4.99/month with Amazon Video Sub

Get your 7-day Free-Trial here.


Showtime

Get the Showtime channel and its backlog of shows and movies at your fingertips with Amazon Channels. If you like shows like Twin Peaks, Homeland, Billions, and Shameless, this is a great value.

Price: $8.99/month

Start your Free Trial now.


Starz

Power. American Gods. Outland. Black Sails. These are all Starz shows, and the subscription to its monthly streaming service also includes live-streaming and movies.

Price: $8.99/month

Sign-up for a free 7-day trial here.


Tribeca Shortlist

Tribeca Shortlist is a unique streaming service that features a diverse selection of films handpicked by actors, directors, and more. You’ll find a wide variety of different films on there, ranging from dramas to comedies to documentaries.

Price: $4.99/month

Sign-up here.


Shudder

Another great horror movie streaming service that includes films like The Hills Have Eyes, The Collector, 31, I Saw the Devil, and more incredibly horrifying films. It’s an absolute must for the month of October, might I add.

Price: $4.99/month, available on Amazon Channels

Check out a 7-day Free trial here.


Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is considered the top-notch option for anime TV streaming, and it certainly has the best anime selection you’ll find online. You’ll find popular anime and manga like Boruto, Dragon Ball Super, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, and more.

Prices:

  • 1 Month – $7.99/mo
  • 3 Months – $22.99 ($7.66/MO)
  • 12 Months – $79.99 ($6.66/MO)

Free Trial available here.

More Available Streaming Services

FXNow, FUNimation, Telemundo Now, Fox Sports Go, FOX Now, Syfy Now, FandangoNow, EPIX, Encore Play, CinemaNow, Bravo Now, and WWE Network.

Best Media Streaming Boxes for What You Actually Want to Watch

It’s already likely that you have various devices that already have dedicated apps for many of the cord cutting options above, but if you’re in the market for an upgrade or another option, here are some of the best media streaming boxes available:

Game Consoles

Xbox One

Xbox OneXbox has a metric ton of streaming media apps available through their dedicated app store, including Amazon Video, AMC, NBC Sports, NBA, Netflix, CBS All Access, Crunchyroll, Funimation, WWE Network, Vudu, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, FandangoNow, Sling, Plex, and more. For a full list of apps, see here. Notice the only major app missing from Xbox One is PlayStation Vue, for obvious reasons.

PlayStation 4PlayStation is also loaded with media streaming apps including CBS All Access, HBO Now, Screambox, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Crunchyroll, Vudu, WWE Network, PlayStation Vue, Plex, Funimation, Plex, and more. What PS4 doesn’t have is a Sling TV app, likely because it’s a competitor to their own PlayStation Vue.


Tablets

If you’re looking to curl up in bed or on the couch with every single option at your fingertips, you can’t go wrong with an Android or iOS tablet, as they both have the largest selection of cord cutter apps available. See what tablets are available here.


Chromecast

best streaming media device

The Chromecast is pretty much a cord cutter’s dream because of its ease of use. Google’s Chromecast also has thousands of streaming apps available, including Hulu, Sling, Netflix, HBO Now, Vudu, PlayStation Vue, Google Play movies, Crunchyroll, CBS, Epix, FandangoNow, and more. You can buy a Chromecast Ultra for $69.99 at Best Buy or Target.


Roku

family gifts, family gift ideas, christmas gifts, christmas gift ideas, gifts for family, christmas gifts for kids, christmas gifts for mom, chrisoms gifts for dad

(Roku)

Another option similar to Chromecast. Plenty of apps available, including a dedicated Acorn TV app. See what Roku apps are available here.

Purchase a Roku 4 with 4K UHD Streaming here.


Amazon Fire TV

gifts for grandpa, gifts for grandfather

(Amazon)

Both streaming apps and games are available, with selection close to a standard android tablet. So. Many. Apps. See what’s available here.

You can buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick for $39.99 or a Fire TV Streaming Media Player for $89.


Apple TV

new apple tv, apple tv

(Apple)

Apple TV is less attractive because of its starting price point of $149, but if you love iOS and want to avoid all things Android, it’s an option. Buy it here.


PlayStation TV

streaming media devices

PlayStation TV is available for $59.95, and on top of having many of the streaming media options, it also allows you to remote play your PS4 on another TV. Buy it here.


Digital TV Antennas

mohu leaf 30

With digital TV antennas, you can get a selection of broadcast television networks for “free” over the air (OTA), including HD broadcasts. There are so many different types of TV antennas available that it would be impossible to list them all here. You can find both outdoor and indoor antennas, but in our experience, indoor suits just fine.

The broadcasts you’ll pick-up is entirely dependent on your location and how close you are to the stations broadcasting. You’ll be more successful with picking up channels like CBS, NBC, ABC, the CW, and PBS if you’re located in a highly populated, bigger city that has those stations in it. For example, I live in Upstate NY where I’m roughly 25 miles away from Albany, where most of the stations are. I pick up all of those stations above, plus their HD versions, because I use a Moho Leaf 30 TV Antenna. It’s paper-thin, has a 30-mile range, and you can hide it behind a painting if you so desire.

There are other options available that, for all intents and purposes, serve the same function as the Moho Leaf, just with a different look. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern-looking with a quality design, check out the TERK multi-directional HDTV antenna.

I should also note that you can also record this TV with the right equipment. If you already have something like an Elgato HD60 or other device that records HDMI inputs, you can just record as you see fit.

If you only watch these big broadcast networks, getting a simple digital TV antenna is easily going to be your cheapest option, as it’s a one-time buy that doesn’t require a monthly subscription.


Useful Apps for Cord Cutting

Virtually every single one of the streaming media options for cord cutters is available as a dedicated app, both on Android and/or iOS.

But aside from those great apps, there are many super helpful apps for getting the most out of cord cutting.

Here are just a few of the essential apps we recommend:

Plex

plex app

Plex is an app that allows you to take your digital movie/TV collection with you wherever you go. You’ll simply setup a Plex server on your home desktop PC, add your digital collection to it, and then you can access it from virtually any other device (your phone, tablet, laptop, Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Smart TV, etc). You’re able to keep your digital collection organized and easy to digest for ALL users — even kids have no problems navigating and finding what they want.

It’s incredibly easy to setup, and it’s an app I personally use at least weekly.

Check your device’s respective app store for Plex (it’s available on just about all of them).


TV Series App

apps for cord cutters

Who in the world has time to keep up with when all of their TV shows are airing, what TV shows are currently running, and what episode you’re currently on. Do you know off the top of your head which season and episode of Lost that you’re currently on? Probably not.

With the TV Series App (note: NOT TVseries…that’s an entirely different thing), you can find and follow your favorite TV series, find new TV shows to watch, rate and comment on each episode, and more.

It’s super helpful to keep track of what shows you want to watch and when new episodes are available.

Download it on Google Play.


IMDB

cord cutting apps

While not exactly anything new or super secret, IMDB’s app is helpful for those who want to find new shows and movies to watch, find out what the hell that actor’s name is and why he looks so familiar in the show you’re watching, and more.

Available on Google Play and iTunes.


Why Cord Cutting Is So Popular

Cord cutters have been around for years now, and it mostly started because of there being so little competition in the cable TV market. Big companies like Time Warner, Charter, and DirecTV had a corner on the market of all things TV-related, meaning the prices just kept creeping up and up (not to mention some shady business practices that we’ve seen from some cable companies over the years).

If the thought of saving money on your cable bill is something you’re excited about, cord cutting can do just that (if done correctly, that is). Be aware, though, that if you buy all of these various subscriptions to fill the void you could potentially overdo it, meaning you won’t be saving anything at all.

Curious about what sort of savings you could potentially achieve? Check out this incredibly handy tool from Slate, which gives you a calculator of sorts to help you determine your savings. As an example, if you were to only subscribe to cable internet and Netflix (the most common setup for basic cordcutters), you would save roughly $527 a year. The tool has various options available, and we highly suggest you toy around with it if it’s something you’re considering and you’re looking for some perspective.

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