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Cancel Cable and Keep Your Favorite Channels: Top Alternative Choices

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Cable TV is expensive, at least when you compare it to alternative options on rokuthe market. It’s also limited to your home. So, if you want to watch TV or on-demand content on the go over the internet, this guide explains how you can cancel your overpriced cable contract and find a suitable online streaming service.

We also cover some devices you may need to get access to the channels and content you want.

In a hurry? Check out these guides on streaming services and streaming devices instead. They will point you to where the best deals are online. The reviews are straightforward and center around one thing: value for money.

The simple formula for canceling cable while keeping the shows you love: Streaming Services + Antenna + Video Streamer = Big $avings

Cancel Cable and still watch all your Favorite TV Shows, at a fraction of the cost, and on your TV in HD. 

Still, with all the Online TV Scams and different products to choose from, what’s the simplest and most cost-effective way to make the transition to Online TV?

STEP 1: Test Your Internet speed

You can’t stream live TV or on-demand content with a slow internet connection. Your connection must provide a download speed of at least 2Mbps (the faster, the better).

Most streaming providers like Hulu, FuboTV, or Sling TV will disclose the minimum recommended internet speed to stream their content in your preferred definition. You can test your internet speed here.

If you find your Internet Speed is not fast enough or that many of your videos are buffering for longer than 1 min, then try these helpful tips:

Use a wired connection for more consistent speed. Wireless speeds could vary based on device, transfer speed and interference.

Switch off other bandwidth intensive applications are running elsewhere on the network (i.e. video games, file sharing, Skype).

Lower the quality of your stream or try lowering the resolution on your display.

If nothing seems to work contact your Internet Service Provider to find out what it would cost to increase your internet speed.

STEP 2: Get a Compatible Online Streaming Device

You can now watch TV stations & movies through the internet on many different devices. The trick is figuring out which video streaming device makes the most sense for you.

Your options include a computer (Media Center PC), Gaming Consoles, over-the-air DVRs, Smart TVs, and basic Video Streamers.  Before you choose a device, figure out what you want.

For example: if you are looking to subscribe to Hulu and Netflix, and you also have a PlayStation 4, 5, or an Xbox One, then it makes sense to find a provider that supports your gaming console. This way you don’t need to buy a new gadget for online streaming.

If you are only interested in Movies and television shows, and really do not need anything more, then the Roku is a great option.

If you already have a laptop that you don’t use much, consider turning it into a Media Center PC. It really depends on what is important to you.

Find out more in our Streaming Device Product Reviews to determine what best fits your needs.

STEP 3: Sign Up to an Online Streaming Service

With the launch of several new services that offer lost-cost HD streaming (Sling TVHulu, FuboTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and more), you no longer need a cable or satellite TV subscription to enjoy your favorite TV shows.

Netflix and Hulu are currently the most popular, but providers like Sling TV are catching eyes with low-cost deals and customizable live TV plans.

We have reviewed the top online streaming services in detail, comparing the channel line-up, plan value, platform features, supported devices, as well as the customizability of the platforms.

Here’s a lightning review of some popular ones side-by-side:

ServiceBase Channels*Price/mo
hulu logo100+from $76.99/mo
Read Review
fubotv logo150+from $79.99/mo
Read Review
Sling TV Logo (2021 100x50)40+from $40.00/mo
Read Review
DIRECTV STREAM90+from $79.99/mo
Read Review
philo logo70+from $28/mo
Read Review
*More channels available with higher-tier plans and add-ons

Hulu + Live TV and FuboTV are good reviews to get started with. They’re similar in price to start with, though FuboTV offers more expensive options too. Then, you can compare them both to Sling TV, one of the most channel-packed budget plans on the market in the Sling vs Fubo and Sling vs Hulu comparisons.

In addition to these services, there are tons of Free Internet TV Stations that provide a wealth of content. This online TV channels guide tells you all about it.

Other Things To Consider

Depending on the streaming service you choose and the way you want to stream content online after you’ve cut the cable, you may need a few other things.

For example, Sling TV doesn’t offer NBC and CBS as local channels in their base plans but states that you can access it with an indoor antenna.

With an indoor or outdoor antenna, you can watch top Network channels like FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, and more in full HD for Free. This is called Over-the-Air (OTA) broadcasting. t’s a popular cable alternative that works and is easy to install.

You may also prefer to watch TV or on-demand content online on your HD TV with some streaming gadgets. This streaming device guide covers most types of streaming devices you can get, both portable and home-bound.

More, if you want to record content, you’ll need a DVR — unless your streaming service offers free cloud DVR as Hulu, Sling, Fubo, and DirecTV do.

What questions do you have? Make sure to sound off in the comments section!

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23 replies on “Cancel Cable and Keep Your Favorite Channels: Top Alternative Choices

Yes I did a while back and it seemed clunky. I still haven't been able to find the website I was looking for, but it was nice in that you could list all the shows and it returned if and where to find it

Hi, the first step is to test internet speed, right? Which left me wondering, my internet is through my cable provider, do you have a page showing the best internet for the price providers?

Hi Sydnee! Yes first step is to test your speed. And yes you have uncovered the big issue here. How can i cancel cable, if my cable provider also provides my internet? Unfortunately, in a lot of circumstances, you cant. We all need internet. But you can immensely lower your cable bill but cutting out your cable tv service.

I dont have a page on the best internet providers, but that is a great idea. I am going to add that one to my list. Thanks Sydnee and please stay in touch. I want to know what additional questions you have.

Hi Dave, I have an AV receiver with 5-1 setup. My current cable box passes through the receiver via HDMI, then to the TV via HDMI which allows the sound to be played through my system. Is there a set top box that takes an OTA input and outputs it via HDMI? It looks like Hohu Channels will be the closest thing to what I'm looking for. Ideal would be a Roku or Apple TV with a coax input. I have to believe there are others with this issue.

Hey Don, MSNBC ESPN & Fox Sports can be watched online. Check out our Online TV Channels page for a direct links: https://hotdog.com/tv-channels/

As for the Ed Show and Rachel Maddow, I would start by using a tool like CanIStreamIt to see what my options are. And you should also find out if these shows are broadcasted via major networks like NBC, ABC, CBS, or FOX. If they are, then you can use an antenna to get these shows in HD for Free.

Finally we got sports. Here is an article I recently posted that walks you step by step on how to watch College football without Cable: https://hotdog.com/how-to-watch-college-football-online-and-ota/

Hope that helps!

I mainly watch MSNBC and then sports channels, like ESPN & Fox Sports Detroit. How can I "cut the cord" and still be able to see The Ed Show, The Rachel Maddow Show and all of the Tiger games?

Hi, I am new. Does anyone have a list of cable channels in my zip(13029) n.y., that I can access live? I know what I can get with ota, but looking to let my iPad (linked to tv) , play some cable channels. Thanx, Mickey

HI Mickey – please explain. How do you plan to link your Ipad to your TV? And if you are not asking about OTA channels, what channel listing are you referring too?

I found a website where you can list all of your favorite shows and it shows which services carries it (all in one shot). I can't seem to find this again. Is anyone familiar with this site?

What is the best method for getting OTA over multiple TVs? I have three
in my house and would like to completely cut the cable. However, I
really don’t want to have to buy three separate antennas unless I need
to do so. What would you recommend? If you could please help me out I
would appreciate it as I am now having to pay $25 for ‘Limited Basic’
and I just think that is too high even for that.

What is the best method for getting OTA over multiple TVs? I have three in my house and would like to completely cut the cable. However, I really don't want to have to buy three separate antennas unless I need to do so? What would you recommend. If you could please help me out I would appreciate it as I am now having to pay $25 for 'Limited Basic' and I just think that is too high even for that.

Living on the mexican border there are no over the air tv stations except one Mexican one. Will that Mohu Leaf still work for me?

Has anyone figured how to watch FaxNewsChannel LIVE without cable or satelite? I can only fine streems available after the segament has aired.

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