Cable alternatives, entertainment packages

The era of cable television began in 1948 when a rudimentary system was deployed simultaneously across several states where mountainous or difficult terrain had a tendency to negatively impact transmission signal. Fast forward about 50 years, and you will find the first non-cable television alternatives for entertainment, in the form of YouTube and social media. As the internet began a frontier of becoming a place where video entertainment was available without tying up the phone lines, it was perhaps the beginning of a slow end for television cable.

In the Golden Age of cable, customers were required to pay a flat rate to receive the channels they got, without the ability to select packages of their favorite channels. Commercials were simply part of the process. However, beginning in the 2010s, customized streaming options began invading cable’s market share, and now it seems like digital streaming services are winning the battle. The average household spends $1,237.20 on cable per year according to recent studies. If you are thinking about finally cutting the cable cord, here are some things to consider:

Why Millennials are Opting for Subscription Services Over Expensive Cable 

It just makes perfect and economical sense. Why pay for cable TV when you are forced to pay for channels you won’t watch, and commercials that are not relevant? You can piece together several subscription services to fit your needs, and pay all of your bills on automatic monthly subscription payments. In the process, you will save anywhere from $30-$50 per month! 

In today’s economy, millennials are ever-conscious of trimming and cutting unnecessary expenses. From analyzing mobile data plans to limiting the number of times they eat out, to having minimal furniture and amenities at home, millennials are doing the best they can in an economy that is slowly squeezing out the lower financial class.

Couple that mindset with the ability to fully customize your entertainment experience based on need, and it is easy to see why cutting the cable cord is quickly becoming the popular option for home viewing.

What are the Cheaper Alternatives to Cable and Satellite?

The best alternatives to cable depend on your viewing habits, personal preferences, and your at-home situation:

Disney+

Monthly Cost: $6.99-$12.99

Do you have kids? DaveRamsey.com recommends the Disney+ Network, which will only cost you $7-$13 per month and offers all of Disney’s premier programming for your kid’s enjoyment. As Dave Ramsey points out, Disney really does own almost everything these days, so other programming like Hulu and ESPN+ can be included with your triple package bundle. More from DaveRamsey.com: “Now you can watch original shows and films along with classic favorites from Disney’s catalog, like Frozen, Mary Poppins and everything else in between. Oh, and we do mean everything else. Let’s not forget all the Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic you can handle (because remember, Disney rules the world and owns all of those things).”

NetFlix

Monthly Cost: $7.99-$13.99

The most popular and widely used alternative to cable, Netflix offers original programming and classic movies in 4k resolution, and subscription to the service will only cost between $7.99 per month for the basic package and $13.99 per month for the premium package. NetFlix will be included on almost all SmartTVs as a stock option these days, and for good reason! 

EveryDollar.com adds insights on NetFlix features: “Full seasons of completed series from many networks, tons of films and documentaries, and award-winning original shows like Stranger Things, Master of None, and The Crown. Netflix allows you to download select shows and movies for offline viewing—a treat for long road trips or plane rides.

Hulu

Monthly Cost: $5.99 (promo offer) – $7.99

Hulu is best known for hosting full runs of popular and current television series while also offering feature films and original programming. You will find commercials on Hulu, but you can pay an additional $4 monthly to remove them from your subscription. 

Amazon Prime Video

Monthly Cost: $33 for 3 months, or $99 for a year (Included with Prime Shopping Account)

Amazon’s first entertainment offering has become widely known for its premium programming, with critical acclaim for several of their original shows, like Sneaky Pete, the revamped Top Gear, The Grand Tour, Man in the High Castle, and The Boys. 

Sling, PlayStation VUE, Hulu
Affordable cable alternatives

How to Get Started

We highly recommend getting a SmartTV for beginners. SmartTVs come with most of these apps built in, so you can simply sign up through the apps to get started. If you are truly on a budget and can’t afford a new TV, consider a Chromecast or Amazon Firestick. Prices on these HDMI plug-ins range from $30-$50 for a one-time purchase but will save you hundreds monthly once you make the switch.

Have a gaming console? Both PlayStation and Xbox come with these services built in, so you simply have to repeat the process of signing up mentioned above. Reader’s Digest offers other ideas here, and their blog is worth the read. In addition to the details we’ve listed, they also offer outside-the-box ideas like putting down the remote altogether to hit the library.

Cutting cable starts with contacting your cable service provider to inquire about cancellation fees. Every cable service provider charges a cancellation fee because you are required to sign a minimum 1-year agreement with them to start services. However, these cable providers are often bundling services with home telephone and internet services. This is important because several companies will offer to waive your cancellation fee if you upgrade your internet speed services with them. This is actually very useful because all of the before-mentioned services will require a strong internet connection to operate at an optimal level. 

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If you found our blog looking for financial advice or assistance with credit card debt relief or debt consolidation, call Golden Financial Services today at (866)-376-9846 or info@goldenfs.org. You can check out the rest of our blog here, and do your research on our services here. Let’s talk soon!

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