CONSUMER FILE

5 Alternatives To Cable For Cord-Cutters

Sep 27, 2018, 7:52 PM | Updated: 9:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As cable and satellite subscription rates rise, more and more people are cutting the cord. Finding something to watch has become increasingly easy for cord cutters as more and more options become available.

“Oh yeah, absolutely,” said Courtenay Stevens of HowToWatch.com. “If you subscribe to a live TV streaming service, it is super easy.”

HowToWatch.com is a Utah-based website that makes recommendations to consumers trying to find the content they want to watch whether through cable, satellite or streaming.

Stevens is also a cord cutter.

“For me, Netflix is essential. My children love TV shows that are not on the air. I love ‘Stranger Things’ so I have to have Netflix,” Stevens related.

Both Netflix and Amazon Prime are already well-known for their movie and TV libraries and original content. But, if you’re looking for sports or live content, Stevens recommends a live TV streaming service.

“Those services, they pare down their prices by paring the content they offer,” Stevens elaborated. “Basically, that means you get fewer channels (compared to cable or satellite) but they really whittle it down to the gems, the things you really want to watch.”

SLINGTV

At $25 dollars a month, SlingTV is one of the cheapest live TV streaming services available. Its barebones package offers 30 high-end channels like ESPN, AMC and HGTV. SlingTV also offers a sports add-on for $5 more dollars a month that will give viewers additional sports channels. There are other add-ons for kids programming, news and lifestyle content among others. But, in this television market, SlingTV doesn’t not offer any local channels.

“So, if you’re going to get SlingTV you have to pair it with a digital antenna. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC,” said Stevens.

YouTube TV

For $40 a month, YouTube TV offers over 60 channels for a wide range of sports, news and entertainment plus the four major Salt Lake channels. And while SlingTV users will need to pay extra for DVR service, it is included with YouTube TV.

“Unlimited recording space and you can keep all your recordings for up to nine months,” Stevens explained.

HULU LIVE TV

Hulu’s live TV streaming service costs $39.99 a month, but you can get more content. Its lineup is similar to YouTube TV’s, but you won’t get the local CBS channel in Utah. It does include DVR service, up to 50 hours of recordings.

“Hulu is one package, all included, much like YouTube TV and you do get all that on-demand stuff that Hulu is famous for,” Stevens said.

NOT FOR EVERYONE

But Stevens cautions that cutting the cord may not be for everyone.

“If there’s something really niche you want, it might not be available for cord cutters,” she explained.

You don’t need the fastest speed internet connection to stream live TV. But, there’s a chance if you’re watching during peak times or huge events like the Super Bowl that your internet connection will bog down and cause your picture quality to suffer. Especially, for cable and DSL internet users since they are sharing bandwidth with their neighbors.

And the news is not good for Utah Jazz fans who want to cut the cord.

“You cannot literally watch Jazz games if you live in Utah, without a cable or satellite package,” Stevens said.

OVER-THE-AIR CHANNELS

But here is an option for cord cutters, a digital antenna. They can be purchased for as little as $20. A KSL producer bought one for less than 30 bucks and he gets over 50 channels over-the-air, including the local ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS stations for free.

And many smart TVs, like the Vizio, LG and Samsung brands, include a free streaming service that can add dozens of channels.

“You have to wonder how they make their money and a lot of times it’s through commercials,” said Stevens. “I had to sit through five solid minutes of ads; ad wall after ad wall after ad wall.”

Stevens says these services are not a solid replacement for your cable or satellite box because they do not offer the high-end channels.

“If there is something on there that you like, that’s great!” he said.

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5 Alternatives To Cable For Cord-Cutters