Cable and satellite bills are expensive, and cable prices may climb in the wake of the Charter-Time Warner merger, so cutting the cord is perhaps the best thing you can do to stay within your budget. If you do cut cable, you still have the ability to watch your favorite shows and movies at little to no cost via the following five methods.


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Streaming Services

Streaming providers such as Hulu and Netflix let you watch a wide array of TV shows soon after they premiere on network television. Hulu offers both shows and movies at a flat monthly rate of $7.99 or more, with the option of adding Showtime for an additional $8.99/mo. Compare that to a cable company that charges $50 to $80 for a basic package, and it’s not even a contest. You’ll soon forget you cut cable. That’s why Time Warner has attempted to invest in Hulu and stop the streaming platform from debuting current seasons. And Amazon Prime, once only available with a yearly $99 subscription, has joined the competition between Hulu and Netflix by offering an $8.99 per month plan for video streaming.

Smart Boxes

If you want a more extensive viewing experience, check out streaming devices such as Roku, which allows you to watch over 300,000 movies and television episodes, including other streaming channels that offer news and music. The box only costs $30 or more depending on the version you buy and where you buy it from. There are no monthly fees, but some channels require paid subscriptions. Most streaming channels available for download are free.


Pay as You Go

Streaming boxes like Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV are Roku major competitors, and they all allow you to buy entire seasons after they end. A pay-as-you-go route is a great option if you have one or two shows that you love, but it’s not an ideal solution if you can’t wait to see your favorite show, or if you have a slew of shows on your radar.



If you don’t have cable but know someone who does, you can use Slingbox to transmit the content from your friend’s television to yours. This is legal because you’re simply beaming cable to another device, such as a laptop or television. The only drawback is that you have to watch the same programming as your friend, but you can get around that with a dedicated box.


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A Digital Antenna

This is not your grandfather’s rusty, old roof antenna. These digital mediums provide you with local stations at no cost to you, and broadcasting signals surpass cable and satellite quality. Since stations switched from analog to digital in 2009, you can access these stations digitally at no cost to you, and it’s legal. The content you’ll get if you cut cable includes news shows, sports networks, and certain movie and kids programming. Advertisers pay for the channels, so subscribers are off the hook in terms of any potential cost.