As more and more people cut the cord, the options and competition for your hard-earned dollar have increased. The future of media and entertainment is streaming, so you may as well cut out cable now if you have not already. Whether you’re thinking about cutting the cord or have been streaming for years, you should never stay complacent. Below, we will go over the budget-friendly TV streaming options you should seriously consider.
Finding the right streaming service can be a confusing undertaking. Each service offers a different channel lineup and unique customization options. The breadth of the services available makes it a little more challenging to make apples to apples comparisons between various services.
There is also the issue of overlapping your content. It may sometimes appear that you need to sign up for two different services to receive the channel lineups you desire. But with options always being added and updated, you could end up paying for two services when you only needed to pay for one.
So to clear it all out and distill your streaming options into one friendly guide, we’ve come up with the best options available to those looking to save as much as possible on their TV bill.
Best Budget-Friendly TV Streaming Options
The first step you should take in picking the best streaming option is to prioritize what you would like to watch and be realistic about how much you will watch any particular channel. If you don’t prioritize your options, you may end up paying for all sorts of streaming services that end up costing you more than your average cable bill.
Make a list of your absolute must-have channels or offerings. Then make a list of “wants.” These are channels that you could do without but would prefer to have as part of the package. Next, make a list of channels you currently watch but could likely cut out completely.
Amazon Prime Video
If you are a current Amazon Prime subscriber, you get Amazon Prime Video for free. Existing Amazon Prime members that want to cut the cord or change providers should check out the content available on Prime Video before deciding which additional services to add to your streaming arsenal.
Prime Video provides mostly movies and original content, like the Emmy winning Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag. In 2019, Prime Video started showing live Thursday Night Football games, but most TV content is included on Amazon “channels.” Channels you can add to your Prime include HBO, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access. These channels range in price from $4.99 to $14.99 each month.
Amazon Prime video allows for three users to stream simultaneously.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access does precisely what its title says, gives you access to live CBS programming and a massive library of CBS shows. CBS is also the only streaming service that has an exclusive with the NFL. So sports fans may find CBS All Access a valuable addition to their homes. With ads, the cost is $5.99 each month or $59.99 for the full year. Without ads, the cost is $9.99 each month or $99.99 for the year.
CBS All Access allows for two users to stream simultaneously.
Being able to access the Disney Vault at any time has made Disney+ a near necessity for most streaming consumers. If you have a family or are simply a Star Wars fanatic, you very likely have or would enjoy having a Disney+ subscription. The Disney Vault provides access to all Star Wars and Marvel content, as well as additional National Geographic programming.
Disney+ also has its own original programming, which proved to be wildly successful with their first of many Star Wars spinoffs, The Mandalorian.
The cost is $6.99 each month or $12.99 if you want to bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+. For the year, a Disney+ subscription costs $69.99.
Disney caters to the entire family by allowing up to seven different users to stream its service at once.
Netflix may go without saying, as the OG streaming service has increased its dominance over the market with each passing year. And it is not hard to see why, with an incredible amount of original content keeping throngs of fans happy with a never-ending list of binge-worthy shows and documentaries.
If you do not need sports or premium channels in your life, you could likely just get a Netflix subscription and never be wanting for content.
A basic Netflix subscription will cost you $8.99 each month. Standard subscriptions go up to $12.99, while premium subscriptions cost $15.99 per month.
A basic plan is the only one that does not have access to HD, while the premium plan is the only plan with access to Ultra HD.
The number of screens you can stream on also varies with each subscription. Basic plans allow for just one screen, standard allows for two, and premium allows four users to stream at once.
Sling TV might be the best overall budget-friendly streaming service due to its customizability. Sling offers three different options: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Orange + Blue. As separate channels, they cost $30 per month, while a combination of the two costs $45 per month.
Sling Blue has access to channels such as Bravo, NBC, SyFy, and USA, but does not have ESPN or Disney. Sling Orange has access to channels such as TNT, TBS, ESPN, Lifetime, BBC America, and CNN.
What sets Sling apart, other than the low cost of $45, is that you can add individual channels to your package for $5 each.
Sling Blue allows up to three devices to stream at a time, while Sling Orange only allows one device. With the combo package, you can stream on up to four different devices simultaneously.
Bonus: Best Streaming Service for Sports Fans
FuboTV is not the cheapest streaming service. In fact, it’s one of the more expensive at $59.99 per month. But to get as many live sports as possible, your only other option is a cable plan, which will likely cost more. For the viewer who wants to consume as many live sports as possible, FuboTV is the streaming service you want.