It seems the more technologically-driven our world becomes, we see cable companies and television networks raise their rates. We also find ourselves buying cable packages we know we won’t be able to take full advantage of, but we still agree to pay for them because we need that one channel.
What if those days are over? What if you could save some money on your cable bill and use it to get that extra guac on your burrito bowl? With the rise of streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu, it looks like that dream may become a reality.
While cable companies continue to raise their prices, these new companies are becoming leaders of innovation in the television industry.
Here are 5 Tips and Tricks on saving money by taking advantage of streaming services and even free apps. Yes, free.
Netflix, the company that was once a pioneer in mail-order movies, is now a leader in the world of streaming content. You can watch Netflix anywhere – on your computer, through Netflix’s smartphone app, or by using devices like Apple TV or Google Chrome to stream it from the app to your TV.
Netflix not only gives you great content with its original series and other shows and movies available to watch, but it gives you the freedom to watch it at home, at work, on the bus, or wherever your heart desires. Netflix now also gives you the option to download select movies and shows to watch whenever you don’t have signal (i.e. on a plane, subway, etc).
The service is available on a monthly subscription starting at $7.99, and as further incentive, your first month is free!
Hulu, which has been compared to Netflix many times over the years, has its own perks. Hulu may not have a wide selection of movies, but has jumped on the bandwagon with original series.
The service also offers television shows one day after they air on their respective networks, which Netflix has not yet begun doing. Hulu is also known for reviving shows that are being taken off network television, such as Fox’s The Mindy Project.
The service, which is also available anywhere/anytime through its own app, is available starting at $7.99/month, or you can purchase the no-commercial package for $11.99/month.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon, the service that brings you online goods straight to your door, is also in on the streaming service game. The service also has the most award nominations than its competitors, Hulu and Netflix, and there’s a reason.
Amazon ties its streaming service – which includes movies and television shows, music, and books – in with its Amazon Prime subscription, meaning you can watch the company’s extensive content and order that baby shower gift from the same account.
So, technically Amazon is offering you two services for the price of one – but not monthly. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year (roughly $10.99/month). The company also offers you a free 30-day trial before you commit.
Sling TV aims at replacing your cable provider altogether. It’s not interested in being a streaming service to add to your collection – it wants to be THE service you use.
Sling hopes to achieve this goal by offering streaming content, as well as the option to watch live TV. While the service doesn’t offer every network, it does have a wide selection. You can choose from the 30-channel package, 40-channel package, or get both. The subscription starts at $20/month, which is still less expensive than many cable packages. Sling also offers a free 7-day trial.
Any parent knows that it doesn’t matter how many channels you have, a kids channel is a must. PBS, a channel that has been a staple in every home since 1970, now has an app for kids.
PBS Kids has its own app for you to download on any smartphone or tablet, and the content is kid-specific. With shows for your child’s development and entertainment, PBS Kids offers a lot – for free.
The PBS Kids Video app is completely free and it also accesses your local PBS channel’s schedule for a live TV option.
As streaming services and apps become available to consumers, we are given more options to enhance our TV watching experience, and maybe even replace cable service as we know it while also saving money.