With rising prices and lowered quality, many people are taking the leap from cable services to online streaming services.
Studies have shown that around 25% of American households no longer have cable, and instead use online streaming services to watch their favorite shows and movies. So what are the best streaming services that will help you replace your cable?
Start streaming services with Netflix
Netflix is the "holy grail" streaming service that many people already have, whether they're using it in conjunction with their cable or using it with other streaming services. At $7.99 for the cheapest plan (for use on one screen at a time), Netflix is an affordable option for those looking to venture into online streaming services.
Pros with Netflix include the release of new movies fairly quickly, many popular shows and Netflix originals (some being critically acclaimed), and many shows having all of their seasons all in one place.
A few cons to note are that Netflix typically releases seasons all at once.So, You may not be able to watch your favorite show right away. Also, Netflix is known for raises its prices every few years or so. In fact, they just announced they would be raising prices again (with the middle plan starting at $11 instead of $10).
Looking to keep up with the latest shows and episodes? Hulu has you covered. They are also lowering the prices. Right now the cheapest plan is $7.99, but Hulu is dropping that to $5.99. Other notable pros are that Hulu has shows that have been canceled or discontinued, and they even have the option to skip commercials (if you want) for $11.99 a month.
However, there are a few cons with Hulu as well. For one, good movies are almost non-existent with this streaming service. Many users have also complained about user experience. But, if you're willing to overlook the negatives, you can get a steal with this streaming service.
The best thing about Amazon TV ? It automatically comes with Amazon Prime. This online streaming service is one of the best if you have children because it comes with both newer and older kids shows (think Dora, Bubble Guppies, etc.).
If you aren't looking for the benefits of Amazon Prime, you could skip it and just pay the $8.99 a month for Amazon TV. Although, you'll lose money in the long run.
So are there any cons to Amazon TV? Well for one, you can't have more than one user. So for larger families, this may be an issue. Amazon also doesn't customize your experience, so you won't get recommended shows based on your preferences. However, you can't really beat FREE as an Amazon Prime member.
While this is one of those streaming services that's not a one-stop shop, HBO Now is great for those not looking to give HBO up. While it's one of the more expensive options on the list (at $15 a month), you'll get HBO original shows as well as the latest movie releases. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll need this service.
You can also add on HBO Now to Hulu as part of a package, so if you only need it when you're favorite shows are airing, you can add and remove it as you please.
Sling TV is slowly becoming a popular online streaming service. If you just aren't ready to take the leap and get rid of cable, Sling TV may be able to change your mind.
It has everything. Into sports? It has that option. Into HGTV? It has that option. Want to watch cartoons? It has that too.
Sling TV starts at $20/month, and while that may seem steep, it includes over 20 of cables most popular channels, including AMC and Food Network. So, if you can't fathom to give up your cable just yet, Sling TV is the best option for you to ease into for online streaming services.
While YouTube Red isn't my personal favorite, it still deserves to be included on the list. At $9.99 a month, not only does YouTube Red allow you to skip ads and commercials, but it also gives you access to many of YouTube's original TV shows and movies. While this may not appeal to some, for those diehard YouTube fans, this is a great add-on. Plus, you're able to play music and movies in the background and watch online if you wanted.
Biggest cons for YouTube Red? You still have to pay for premium shows and movies that aren't original to Youtube. It also isn't available worldwide, so certain features may become unavailable if you travel out of the country.
While there are other online streaming services, these top six should be a great starting point for anyone looking to ditch their cable.