Ditching Cable | Streaming Entertainment Options for the Whole Family

Ditching Cable | Streaming Entertainment Options for the Whole Family

With rising costs for cable and satellite television, and concerns over the pending Comcast/Time Warner merger, people are looking at ways to get their entertainment fix without having to depend on the big television providers.

Fortunately, thanks to the availability of high-speed internet, and the popularity of online streaming, those looking to cut the cord from their cable and satellite providers have a lot of options to choose from. Below is a list of streaming options for the whole family, from old standbys to new players.

remoteNetflix

Cost: $8.99 per month for unlimited streaming.
Free Trial: 1- Month
Additional Services: DVD plans starting at $7.99/month
Availability: Netflix is available on pretty much any platform you can thing of from Desktop computers to video game consoles.

When it comes to streaming video options, Netflix is the original and, in many ways, still the best. Over the years they have expanded from mail-order DVD rental to creating their own content including Orange is the New Black.

Pros:

· No contract, you pay month-to-month and can cancel at any time.

· Offers lots of old shows that may no longer be broadcast, as well as full seasons of newer shows.

· Sometimes has newer movies available to stream at the same time they appear on pay-per-view on cable or satellite.

· Let’s you set up individual profiles so that multiple users can have their own wish lists. This function also lets you set up a separate kids’ account so the kids can’t accidentally access adult content.

Cons

· Some offerings are only available as DVD rentals, which costs extra. · They periodically purge movies and TV shows from their streaming lineup, including favorites like Battlestar Galactica, however they may still be available as DVD rentals.

Feeln

Cost: $4.99 per month or $47.99 per year (a savings of $1 per month)
Free Trial: 1 Week
Additional Services: None
Availability: Many web-enabled devices including computers, smart phones, tablets, and select gaming consoles.

Feeln is fairly new to the streaming video game, but they look promising. They are primarily family-friendly and offer television shows and movies similar to what you would find on the Hallmark channel or ABC Family. In addition to Hallmark movies on Feeln.com, you can also watch Feeln originals and documentaries, and there is also a dedicated Kids Corner.

Pros

· At $4.99 per month, it is one of the most affordable streaming options around.

· You can pay month-to-month, or pay up front for a discounted rate.

· Has lots of educational and family-friendly programming.

Cons

· Does not have as much programming as Netflix, however at $4.99 per month it’s a good supplement to your Netflix subscription.

Hulu and Hulu Plus

Cost: Hulu is free, Hulu Plus is $7.99/month
Free Trial: 1 Week
Additional Services: None
Access: Hulu can only be access from a web-enabled computer or laptop / Hulu Plus can be accessed from multiple web-enabled devices.

Hulu streams content from the network television providers. It also has a large collection of foreign shows, older shows, as well as movies and documentaries.

Pros

· Hulu shows the latest episodes of most network shows the day after they air. · You can access the movies, original content, and Criterion collection through regular Hulu simply by logging in to your account on your computer.

Cons

· Hulu plus charges $7.99 per month to view some content on your television, phone, or tablet in addition to your computer.

· Not all content works on Hulu Plus; some shows are only licensed for watching on the computer.

· Some network content is not available the day after broadcast. Instead, the content is locked and you need to have an account with a cable or satellite provider to unlock it, or wait up to 30 days for it to become available.

Hoopla Digital

Cost: Free
Free Trial: Not Applicable
Additional Services: Music, EBooks, Audio Books Availability: Computers, some smartphones, and some tablets. Hoopla offered through public libraries. Not only can you access television shows and movies through these services, but they often have a selection on par with what Netflix has to offer.

Pros

· Hoopla is completely free, and it supports your local public library system.

· Multiple types of media are available to stream, and you can also download some titles to your device and view them offline.

· Items are immediately removed from your account once they expire, so there are no late fees.

Cons

· You need a library card with a public library system that uses hoopla, to sign up.

· There is a time limit on how long you can rent a title.

· There is a limit on the number of titles you can rent in a given month.

· The Hoopla app might not be available for all devices.

What are you doing to keep your home entertainment costs down? 

 

Comments

  1. Karen Glatt says:

    These sound like great deals on watching TV shows, but at this time I have to keep my cable because my elderly Father can not use other TV programs. He wants his cable and the ease of picking out his shows. Someday I want to get Netflix. They have great shows to watch for hardly any money!

  2. shelly peterson says:

    I haven’t had cable in quite a while due to the cost. I sure would love to get Netflix though.

  3. I would love to ditch cable and purchase a few streaming services for our family, especially given our Netflix obsession, but our issue is sports. We could not purchase our sports packages without cable.

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