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Home / Tips and Tricks / Everything You Need to Ditch Cable on a Budget – Review Geek

Everything You Need to Ditch Cable on a Budget – Review Geek



A cut coax cable and a Fire TV streaming stick.
Steve Heap / Shutterstock

Throwing out cable for streaming is easier than ever, even if you̵

7;re a sports fan or an idiot for live broadcasts. But as streaming prices rise to cable-like levels, the question is no longer “can you replace cable with streaming”, but “how can you get rid of cable on a budget”? Here are the free services, streaming bundles, and OTA equipment you need to cut the cord without breaking the bank.

Start with a good streaming stick

Chromecast with Google TV device and remote control on wooden surface
Justin Duino

Streaming Sticks give you instant access to all your favorite services in a fast, intuitive interface. They also come with exclusive benefits and cool features such as free on-demand video and voice controls. And unlike your smart TV, which will quickly become slow and unreliable, an affordable streaming stick will run at full speed for years to come and cost very little to replace.

Roku Express and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite are two of the best budget streaming sticks, costing just $ 30 each. Both streaming sticks come with tons of free on-demand content and hundreds of free live TV channels through The Roku Channel and the Fire TV app. And of course they support all of your favorite streaming services.

If you have a 4K TV, consider buying the Chromecast with Google TV, Fire TV Stick 4K, or Roku Premiere. They cost a little more than the Roku Express and Fire TV Stick Lite, but that’s the price of 4K HDR streaming! The Chromecast with Google TV is a particularly strong option here, with a personalized interface, Google Assistant support, and an all-in-one “watch list” that curates shows and movies from all of your streaming services.

Roku Express

The affordable Roku Express offers instant access to all of your favorite streaming services, plus tons of free content through The Roku Channel. Grab one now and ditch the cable.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite opens up a world of streaming services and free content through the Fire TV app. If you’re a Prime subscriber or Alexa user, Fire TV may be the low-cost streaming solution for you.

Free streaming services and budget bundles

Pluto TV

Why pay full price for streaming? There are dozens of free streaming apps with on-demand content and live TV channels to satisfy your hunger for new content. And if you need a premium service like Disney +, there’s usually a bundle, extended trial, or discount that you can subscribe to without emptying your wallet.

Free on-demand and live TV services

Why pay for streaming when you can get everything for free? Here are some of the best free on-demand and live TV streaming services. Some of these services work without an account, so you can try them out without jumping through hoops:

  • Crackle Crackle was one of the first streaming services to offer free ad-supported content, and its changing selection of hit shows and blockbuster movies is almost always worth it.
  • Pluto TV Pluto TV is the sleeper streaming service of your dreams. It offers a cable-like live TV experience with contributions from AMC, MTV, and dozens of other networks. Plus, Pluto TV features a few thousand on-demand shows and movies, including Star Trek The babysitter Anthony Bourdain: no reservationsand other titles rarely found outside of Netflix and Hulu.
  • Peacock NBCUniversal’s Peacock is a tiered streaming service with free and paid content. You have to sign up for an account, but you don’t care once you start watching Battlestar Galactica 30 Rock, and Parks and Rec without paying a cent.
  • Tubes Like Crackle, Tubi offers a rotating selection of shows and movies and always has one or two blockbusters.
  • IMDb TV Amazon’s IMDb TV has a great selection of shows and movies, including Malcolm in the middle Crazy men, and DegrassiPrime TV content will sometimes make its way onto IMDb TV, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • Xumo Like Pluto TV, the Xumo streaming service packs dozens of free channels into a cable-like experience. It’s great for news, sports and documentaries.
  • Plex Plex now offers nearly 150 free TV channels, including some great options for anime fans, music geeks, and kids.
  • Prime channels Not many people know about this, but Amazon has tons of free live TV channels for Prime members. A Prime membership isn’t free of course, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re already a Prime subscriber.

While these free services offer an impressive amount of premium content, they are missing some new shows and movies, and of course they are all advertised.supported

Save with bundles and discounts

If you want to watch advanced shows and live sports without ads, you have to pay for a premium streaming service. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay the full price. Here are some ways to save money on all the big boys streaming platforms:

  • Bundle it: You can save a lot of money by signing up for streaming bundles instead of individual services. “The Disney Bundle” includes Hulu, Disney + and ESPN + for $ 14 a month (or $ 19 if you want ad-free Hulu). This will save you $ 5 per month or $ 60 per year.
  • Annual subscriptions: Almost every streaming service offers a 10% -20% discount if you pay for an entire year in advance. Of course you only want to do this with services that you use all the time. Canceling other services when you’re not using them can save you much more than 10% or 20%.
  • Discounts for students: Some streaming services, such as YouTube Premium, offer huge discounts for students. There’s also the “Spotify Premium with Hulu” bundle for students, which combines Spotify, Hulu, and SHOWTIME for just $ 10 a month (that’s $ 16 a month in savings).
  • Partner deals: Some telephone service providers and credit card companies offer their customers free streaming plans. Verizon customers can get Disney +, Hulu, and ESPN + for free, and some AT&T customers can get HBO Max for free.
  • Limited time Discounts: Most streaming services go on sale at least once a year, especially around the holidays. If you don’t want to wait for a discount, try looking for discounted gift cards for streaming services.

None of these savings options are as cheap as, you know, not signing up in the first place. But they are still better than paying full price. If you want to save even more money on your premium streaming services, try to ‘route’ your subscriptions by canceling the subscriptions you don’t want so that you pay for as few services as possible per month.

Free OTA TV

The 1 FOR ONE digital antenna for OTA TV.
1 FOR ONE

Sometimes it’s better to be old fashioned. Free Wireless TV offers a cable-like live TV experience, with local channels, news, sports, and even some heavyweights like ABC and CBS. And funnily enough, free antenna TV has better picture quality than cable!

Setting up OTA TV is incredibly easy. Just buy a digital antenna, screw it into your TV’s coaxial jack, hit it against a window and get going. You can even watch OTA TV through your Xbox or PlayStation using an external tuner. (TVs have built-in digital tuners, but game consoles, projectors, and old tube TVs don’t.)

Of course, you may want to check what channels are available in your area before committing to OTA TV. If you live in a remote area, you should also consider using an outdoor antenna, as an indoor antenna may not pick up a wide selection of channels. If you want to add a DVR and channel guide to your OTA TV experience, grab an OTA box like the TiVo Bolt.

1 WITH ONE digital antenna

Screw this digital antenna into your TV and get instant access to tons of free channels including ABC, CBS, PBS and local sports.

Consider building a Plex server

A photo of the Plex interface
Plex

What if you could create your own streaming service from video files, DVDs and Blu-Rays? That’s the idea behind Plex, a service that you host on a computer in your home. Setting up a Plex server takes a little time and effort, but when it’s done, you can stream your shows, movies, and music on any device, even outdoor devices!

To set up a Plex server, you first need an always-on device that can run the Plex Media Server software and store all of your files. An NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is the easiest and most popular choice, but you can also use cheaper devices like the Raspberry Pi 4 or an old laptop.

You also need a large storage device, such as an external hard drive, and of course a collection of digital movies and shows. If you have a large DVD or Blu-Ray collection, you can use a DVD or Blu-Ray drive to rip the files from your discs.

Those planning to stream to multiple devices at once should also consider signing up for Plex Pass, a $ 5 per month that waives the Plex app download fee and grants access to exclusive features, live TV, and DVR functionality.




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