Streaming wars: best streaming services to replace cable
Today we have 75’’ smart-4K UHD TVs strategically mounted every five feet throughout our homes. We can be entertained 24-hours a day by tens of thousands of shows on just as many channels that we can watch from anywhere—inside, outside, poolside, in the passenger side, or projected on the side of our homes. But, with the rising cost of cable packages, many consumers are axing cable and sticking exclusively to streaming. The rush of new streaming services has many of us wandering around in a state of confusion. They’re trying to win viewership, and we’re stuck in the middle. Don’t worry–we’ve got your back. Here’s a breakdown of the best streaming services to replace cable:
Classic streaming services
Netflix offers a wide variety of commercial-free, award-winning TV shows, movies, and documentaries you can watch whenever, wherever you want. They offer three plans based on the number of devices that can stream the service simultaneously. It’s available on smart TVs, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray players, and more. You can even download your favorite shows and watch them on the go. The monthly cost is $12.99, but take advantage of the 30-day free trial first.
With Hulu, you can view thousands of shows, movies, and Hulu originals with plans that start at $5.99 per month after a free 7-day trial. If you’re looking for more, you can bundle Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Hulu’s newest feature is live television sports, news, and entertainment. With access to their entire streaming library, the package is $44.99 per month—nearly $175 cheaper than the average cable package. You can stream Hulu online and on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV & Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Samsung, LG, and Nintendo Switch.
Amazon Prime Video is included in the Amazon Prime membership, which is $119 per year or $59 per year for students. It allows viewers to stream thousands of movies and TV shows, including exclusive Amazon Originals. Without a Prime membership, Prime Video can be accessed with a standalone membership at a monthly rate of $8.99. Viewers also have the option to rent or buy select movies and TV episodes. They can even bundle more than 100 premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, MLB.TV and STARZ for an additional cost of $4.99-$14.99 per month. Some Prime Video subscriptions include the Watch Live feature, which allows viewers to live-stream programming. You can stream on the Prime Video app, a compatible Fire TV, smart TV, streaming media player, game console, mobile phone, or tablet.
Newer streaming services
Paramount+, formerly CBS All Access, offers streaming of more than 10,000 episodes of your favorite CBS shows, classic hits, and exclusive original series. Viewers can also watch live sports, shows, and news at home or on the go via their local CBS station, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live. Streaming devices include Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Samsung Smart TV. Paramount+ offers a Limited Commercials Plan for $5.99 per month and a Commercial-free plan for $9.99 per month. Opt for the annual plan, and you can save more than 15%, but take advantage of the free 7-day trial first.
Apple TV+ features Apple’s original ad-free and on-demand series and movies. Viewers will also find hit movies and shows available for rent or purchase and access to other video subscriptions like Showtime, Starz, and HBO. Watch it on your favorite Apple devices, smart TVs, and AirPlay‑enabled TVs. You can also access it on the web at tv.apple.com. Most Apple TV+ series release three episodes and then one new episode per week, so binge-watchers take note. Apple TV+ doesn’t have a library of licensed shows or movies and won’t release entire seasons of your favorite shows at once. After a 7-day free trial, the service costs $4.99 per month, and subscribers can divvy up viewing privileges among six family members. Apple also bundles Apple TV+ with its Apple Music student-discount plan at no extra cost. Viewers who purchase a new Apple device qualify for a free 1-year subscription.
Disney+ launched its highly anticipated streaming service in November 2019. Viewers can get the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic all in one place—and it’s always ad-free. The entire family can watch new releases, classics, and exclusive originals on the go or at home on up to four different devices at one time. After a 7-day free trial, you can stream for $6.99 per month. Want more? You can bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 per month.
HBO Max is a newer streaming platform that bundles HBO with classic shows, documentaries, specials, and blockbuster movies, acquired series and movies, like Friends, plus an exclusive collection of new programming under Max Originals. HBO Max is $14.99 per month. Viewers who currently subscribe to HBO NOW through HBONOW.com and are billed through HBO or subscribe to AT&T TV or U-Verse TV have access to HBO Max at no additional cost.
With so many new streaming services, multiple viewing options, different pricing plans, bundles, and promotions, finding the perfect streaming service can be difficult. Your best bet is to compare prices, offerings, and determine which works for you.
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*Promotion period begins April 1, 2021. Must have recurring payment in one or more of these streaming services for at least 11 consecutive months to qualify: Apple Music, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora Premium, Sirius XM Select, Showtime streaming, Spotify Premium, HBO Max, Starz, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock Premium, Peacock Premium+, or Discovery+. 3,250 points, worth $25 in cash back, will be applied per 12-month period to your Georgia’s Own Visa Signature or Platinum card account within 2 statement billing cycles following 11 consecutive calendar months of eligible streaming service purchases if the account is in good standing. The maximum points a member can receive is 3,250 annually regardless of the number of streaming services. We reserve the right to adjust or reverse any portion or all of any streaming services credit for unauthorized purchases or transaction credits. Offer may be withdrawn without notice.