15 Best Cable Alternatives You Should Use

Since 2013, cable companies are on a decline and have been losing customers significantly. The answer to the mess can be pointed to exorbitant fees and long-term contracts forced on the user. In such scenario, people started looking for cable TV alternatives and now, we have reached a tipping point. At present, 69% of people are paying online streaming services in comparison to 65% of people who still use cable TV. That’s for the first time, internet users have surpassed the traditional cable TV users and that is a great development. So, if you are also looking to jump the bandwagon, here we have shared the 10 best cable alternatives which will offer you limitless content with all your favorite TV channels. Now without further ado, let’s get started.

The Best Cable Alternatives in 2020

Here, we have mentioned 15 alternatives to cable TV which offer a complete transition to digital space but keeping all the live channels intact. Most of the services offer live TV channels as you would get on cable TVs, but some of them are solely video streaming services with their originals and exclusive content. Depending on what you want, you can choose the service best suited for you. Now having said that, let’s go through the list.

1. Sling TV

Sling TV is among the best alternatives to Cable TV simply because of its low subscription fee and a good selection of popular channels in the base plan. Generally, you would find that service providers will offer you a great range of live TV channels, but it will be short on either sports, news or international channels. Sling TV brings all of that in an incredibly low package of $25 a month. It includes the ESPN network, NFL, The Food Network, CNBC, BBC, and 33 other channels. And that is not all. You don’t need to pay for the installation fee or buy any extra equipment.

sling tv Best Cable Alternatives

If you want more channels, you can go for the Blue plan which costs you $40 and brings 29 more channels which include HBO, Starz, and Showtime. How great is that? And I have not yet mentioned that Sling TV also comes with DVR (Digital Video Recording) support. The only downside is that you can’t stream simultaneously if you are subscribed to the base plan. Simply put, if you have recently cut the cord, Sling TV is the best cable alternative you can opt for.

Platform Availability: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, macOS, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Xbox One.

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Sling TV (7 days free trial, Starts at $25/ month)

2. Hulu with Live TV

Hulu is another great Cable alternative that offers much more than live TVs with its originals and on-demand service. While Hulu has three plans starting with basic at $5.99 per month, I would say just go with the live TV plan as it includes everything from basic to premium. Granted, the cost is around $50, but you get more than 60 channels from sports, news, and entertainment including ESPN, Fox, and Disney. There is also a huge list of movies and shows available in the Hulu library which you can access for no charge.

Apart from that, you get access to current TV shows, kids shows, classics, and of course, Hulu Originals. And unlike Sling TV, you can simultaneously stream on two devices so that is awesome. Not to mention, you also have DVR support with excellent quality. To conclude, if you want a complete experience of cable TV, but through streaming services then Hulu fits the bill quite right. You will not miss a thing for sure.

Platform Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Windows, iOS, LG Smart TVs, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Chromecast

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Hulu (7 days free trial, Starts at $5.99/month for the basic plan, $50.99/ month for the Premium+Live TV plan)

3. YouTube TV

YouTube TV is my next pick for replacing cable TV completely. It comes with more than 70+ live TV channels having content from sports, local news, and entertainment. The best part is that, just like Sling and Hulu, you don’t need to buy any box or sign up for year-long contracts. The subscription starts at $49.99/month and that is about it. You get all the popular channels like CNN, ABC, Fox, Disney, HGTV, NBA and more.

Sure, in terms of the subscription fee, it’s almost similar to cable TV, but you have the flexibility of watching shows and games anywhere you want. You can share your subscription with six other family members (3 simultaneous streams) and that makes it even more affordable. Also, if you want the best cable alternative for DVR then YouTube TV nails it. You can keep your recording for 9 months unlike 28 days that most providers offer. All I can say is, if you want the best service for DVR and overall selection of channels, just pick YouTube TV.

Platform Availability: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, macOS, Windows, Chromecast, LG Smart TVs, Roku, Xbox One, Google Smart Displays

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out YouTube TV (Free trial for one month, Starts at $49.99/month)

4. Plex Live TV

I am sure a lot of you have heard about Plex, the media server software, well, Plex also has a live TV service called Plex Live TV, which can be perfect for you cord cutters out there. Plex Live TV isn’t like the other apps on the list, which are mostly internet streaming services, instead Plex Live TV shows you live TV through over the year content. Plex Live TV requires a DVR, an antenna and obviously, a compatible device but combine that with a Plex Pass lifetime subscription, this could be a great one time purchase Cable TV alternative.

Plex Live TV will bring you almost every single TV channel out there depending on your region and it lets you choose your own satellite, OTA or cable. Yes, the whole process can be taxing for some, but if you want a true blue replacement for Cable TV, Plex TV Air might just be perfect for you.

Platform Availability: Android, iOS, Android Auto, Android TV, Browser, Kodi, Nvidia Shield, PS4, Xbox One, Alexa, Sonos, Caavo, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, TiVo, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Plex Live TV (30-days Free Trial, $4.99/month; $119.99 for lifetime)

5. DirecTV

As it’s already known, DirecTV is a subsidiary of AT&T and offers on-demand live TV channels more than any other company. It offers a number of different plans– categorized as packages with a base plan of $59.99 per month having more than 155 channels. That’s absolutely bonkers, right? From ESPN, CNN to HBO and Showtime, you are covered on each channel and segment. In addition, you also get access to on-demand content from its huge library of movies and shows.

With everything so perfect, what is the issue then? Well, as it’s AT&T, there are hidden fees and a two-year contract which basically defeats the purpose of cord-cutting. But having said that, DirecTV is truly a great service when it comes to premium content. The cost is high, so are the number of channels. To put it straight, if budget is not a bar for you, just go with DirecTV. It’s well worth the price.

Platform Availability: Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, macOS, Windows, Chromecast, LG Smart TVs, Roku

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out DirecTV (30 days free trial, Starts at $59.99/month)

6. FuboTV

I have specially mentioned FuboTV for people who regularly watch sports. It’s ranked among the best cable TV alternatives for sports enthusiasts and rightly so. You get almost 90 sports network channels including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and more. However, there is a glaring omission and that is ESPN. You don’t get ESPN on FuboTV and that is somewhat disappointing. However, the company has made clear that in the coming days, ESPN will be added to its channel catalog along with some Disney channels. Apart from that, you also get small bundles of news and entertainment channels which might come handy if you are not in a mood to watch sports. All in all, FuboTV is an excellent replacement for cable TV given that you can watch your favorite sports anywhere you want.

Platform Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, iOS, Android, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out FuboTV (7 days free trial, Starts at $54.99/month)

7. PlutoTV

If you are looking for the cheapest alternative to cable TV, let me point you to PlutoTV. First of all, PlutoTV is completely free and does not charge anything. No hidden fees or credit card requirements. So, how does it work? Well, PlutoTV is supported by commercials that are played for 15 to 30 seconds while you are watching a show or movie. I know it’s annoying, but if you are getting something for free then you can very well put up with a few seconds of ads.

Now talking about channels, PlutoTV offers more than 100 live TV channels including CNBC, Fox, MTV, History TV and more. You would only find the sports section lackluster, but except that, almost all the sections have a great number of channels. Also, there is an exclusive library of movies and shows which you can watch on PlutoTV free of charge. Simply put, you could not have asked for a better cable TV alternative than PlutoTV for free.

Platform Availability: Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out PlutoTV (Free)

8. Acorn TV

Another great alternative to cable TV is Acorn TV. Acorn TV is a platform that mostly offers British shows but you can also find shows from Ireland, Australia and other countries. The streaming service brings you some classic shows as well as modern shows including shows in different genres including mysteries, dramas, comedies, and documentaries. Some of the popular shows available on Acorn TV include Doc Martin, Murdoch Mysteries, The Brokenwood Mysteries etc. That’s not all, the service also has some interesting original shows in tow.

Overall, if you ask me, Acorn TV is a great Cable TV alternative only for people who are fans of British television, which I know a lot of people are, so you should check out Acorn TV. However, do note that the service has its limitations like the fact that you can only stream in 720p in this service and it’s not available for Android TV. Anyway, it’s available in a free trial with a monthly subscription starting at $5.99/month.

Platform Availability: Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, Browser, Xfinity TV, Prime Video

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Acorn TV (Free trial, Starts at $5.99/month)

9. Philo

Phlio is another option you can check out and this is a great alternative to Cable because it’s a live TV and on-demand platform that’s pretty affordable. Philo offers a selection of more than 50 channels including the likes of Comedy Central, AMC, VH1, Animal Planel, Vice, Food Network, BBC, and more. As you can notice from this line-up, Philo is mostly aimed at lifestyle, educational and entertainment channels, and if you are interested in these channels, it might be a great choice for you. Plus, Phlio offers on-demand content as well, all for a pretty straightforward price of $20 per month.

Apart from that, Philo brings some interesting features like the ability to stream live or watch on demand TV on up to 3 devices at the same time, save shows for 30 days, and 10 profiles for every account.

Platform Availability: Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, Browser

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Philo (7-day Free Trial, $20/month)

10. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is more of a video streaming service than a live TV platform. Nevertheless, Amazon is trying hard to bring live TV services on its platform especially sports channels. A few months ago, Prime Video started showing NFL games every Thursday night and following that, it has added a host of sports channels.  Some new channels include CBS and all its network access, PGA and NBA League Pass.

On top of it, you also get an on-demand library of thousands of movies and shows without any additional charge. Not to mention, the additional perks you would get while shopping on Amazon. The only downside is that you will have to pay an extra fee if you want to access premium channels like HBO and ShowTime. Nevertheless, the added benefits that Amazon Prime Video brings with a singular subscription is massive. If you want to watch original content created by Amazon with a healthy dose of sports channels and licensed content then Prime Video is simply a no brainer.

Platform Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, PlayStation, Xbox One

DVR Support: No

Check Out Amazon Prime Video (Free trial for 30 days, Starts at $12.99/month)

11. Netflix

Netflix needs no introduction as it has been one of the crusaders against cable companies and a vital platform to encourage cord-cutting. So, if you are going digital, you can’t give a miss to Netflix. It has a long list of highly-acclaimed movies, shows, and documentaries to its name. At present, Netflix has become more of a studio– similar to HBO– than a video streaming platform. So, you get excellent content with remarkable stories that are a far cry from mainstream Hollywood. Of course, you won’t get live TV channels on Netflix, but that’s not what it is. Apart from that, Netflix has licensed content from major studios including HBO, Fox, Warner Bros and more. To put it straight, if you care for high-quality content, you can get Netflix and I am sure it won’t disappoint you.

Platform Availability: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Windows, macOS, PlayStation, Xbox One, Nintendo, Smart TVs from LG, Samsung and more

DVR Support: No

Check Out Netflix (Free trial for 30 days, Starts at $8.99/month)

12. Disney+

Disney+ is the new entrant in video streaming space and it has already made quite a noise rivaling Netflix and other competitors. For years, Disney was distributing its content, but now they have brought their own platform. You can watch all the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content from one platform. How amazing is that? And not just that, you also get access to the library of classics that Disney has painstakingly created over the decades. Shows like Snow White, Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio are available in the classics section.

Disney is not just trying to monetize nostalgia, but also creating new shows like The Mandalorian which is a web series based on Star Wars Universe. Looking at the size and quality of content, I am sure Disney+ is one of the best alternatives to cable. You can watch all your favorite shows and movies, relish childhood memories whenever you want. That’s a huge win against the traditional cable companies. Also, you can access Hulu and ESPN+ network with an add-on plan. So, if you are cutting the cord, make sure to include Disney+ in your subscription bundle.

Platform Availability: iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV,  LG, and Samsung Smart TVs

DVR Support: No

Check Out Disney+ (Free trial for 7 days, Starts at $6.99/month)

13. HBO Now

There are currently two ways to access HBO content– HBO Go and HBO Now. The main difference between the plans is device compatibility. Since HBO Now has support for a wider range of device support, I would recommend you to go with this plan. Also, HBO is all set to launch its new HBO Max streaming service which will rival Netflix and Disney+. Nevertheless, at its current form, HBO has lots of content to offer: from Game of Thrones to Chernobyl, you always get top-notch quality. So if you are looking to move from Cable, getting an HBO subscription is a must. It will cover almost everything that you watch on your TV. And the upcoming HBO Max will make it even better with a large catalog of HBO original series, films, documentaries, and classics. So to sum up, if you are an avid fan of HBO shows, get a subscription and be done with it.

Platform Availability: iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Windows, macOS

DVR Support: No

Check Out HBO Now (Free trial for 7 days, Starts at $14.99/month)

14. Apple TV+

Apple TV+ recently arrived to take on other streaming services and while it hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm nor does it have the kind of line-up to take on cable TV but it’s still an interesting option. Apple TV+ includes some interesting shows like the  Golden Globe-nominated The Morning Show, For All Mankind, See, and more. Plus, what you will definitely like about Apple TV+ is the fact that most shows are available in 4K and the user interface, be it on iPhones/iPads or on Apple TV, is very intuitive albeit with a few users. To be honest, Apple TV+ is a platform that’s still in the budding stage and the fact that it’s only available on Apple platforms (you can use it on a browser on other devices) makes it tough to recommend. Having said that, if you are an Apple user, you can go ahead and give it a try, as most Apple devices come with a free year of Apple TV+.

Platform Availability: iOS, Apple TV, macOS, Browser

DVR Support: No

Check Out Apple TV+ (7-days Free Trial, $4.99/month)

15. Kodi

Kodi is a free and open source media player, which lets you bring all of your different media together, be it audio, video or anything else, but what people don’t know is it’s also a great platform for live TV streaming, making it a great Cable alternative. See, Kodi actually supports various add-ons and there are a ton of great live TV add-ons that actually let you watch live TV with ease. Yes, the software is a bit complex and finding the right add-ons is a task, but if you are okay with that, you can use Kodi to watch Live TV or basically any other movie or show you want with ease. Plus, you can check out our list of the best add-ons here and our guide on how to use Kodi here. Another thing to note here is that while Kodi isn’t officially available on platforms like Amazon Fire TV, you can find a ton of guides on how to install Kodi on different devices thanks to Kodi’s customizable nature and different builds.

Platform Availability: iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi

DVR Support: Yes

Check Out Kodi (Free)

Pick the Best Cable Alternative From the List

So those were our picks for the best cable alternatives you can try out. Generally, the average cable bill hovers around $100 so I have tried to include plans which cost lesser than $100 and also offer on-demand service. Apart from that, you may have to pick multiple services depending on your content preference so go through the article thoroughly to find the best replacement to cable TV. Anyway, that is all from us. If you found the article informative, do comment down below and let us know.

Comments 1
  • Tiffany says:

    The best option is “BCE Premium TV”. We are using it for a long time. You can watch all the Premium Sports HD channels like beIN Sports, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Fox Sports, NBCSN, TSN, ESPN, … only $20/month or $85/year.

    just search “BCE Premium TV” on Google and you will find it easily.

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