Cable TV alternatives: The best free and paid options

We have listed the best cable TV alternatives the internet has to offer to you. So read.

More and more people are starting to leave behind satellite TV and cable TV to try out various online streaming services.

This phenomenon is what some have called cord cutting.

Just a few quarters ago, Cable TV effectively lost a total of 1.1 million customers/subscribers.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that these subscribers went from traditional cable TV packages to the modern world of online services/sources.

Some have estimated that at the current moment in time, cable TV services are losing around 10k to 15k subscribers every single day.

On the other hand, online streaming services are offering users better and better packages by the day.

So in essence, no one needs to demystify the fact that traditional cable TV services are rapidly losing Cable TV subscribers.

Currently, the most well-known, well-reputed and popular online streaming service is, without a doubt, Netflix.

Hang on a second.

Not everything on Netflix is junk.

There are some really good documentaries and historical TV series that not only give you entertainment but also give you something to learn and apply in real life.

We would like to think that we would stick to documentaries if we had a whole week devoid of any work.

In any case, after Netflix, there is Amazon Prime.

And Hulu.

Of course, there are lots and lots of other streaming services that are content specific.

Moreover, there are lots of streaming services coming up the ranks that cater to specific populations and what not.

To take an example, there is Fox News.

And also MSNBC.

Both have recently officially announced that they would launch some online streaming services of their own very soon in the future.

On the other hand, there is Disney that has already stolen the march on them and has announced that it would pull all of their original and premium content off from Netflix.

Disney has also communicated that they would soon officially launch an online streaming by the name of Disney+ which will debut some time in 2019.

And for the end users, like our readers, this is absolutely the best time to ditch all of their satellite and cable TV packages to jump the ship and sign up with a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Best cable TV alternatives: Who are they?

As mentioned before as well, there are a ton of online services which are available for users to consume content from.

And since the competition is so fierce, there is no single and one (in number) best Cable TV alternative source.

Most of the times, users will have to try out a couple before settling for one.

There is no doubt that Netflix is the first place that most online consumers should go to when they are just starting out their journey in their pursuit to watch content via online streaming.

However, there are a lot of other options.

Some of them are even free.

Now, the best thing about any and all online streaming services is that they do not force users like you to sign a contract with them.

This opens the way for users to binge on a given streaming service for about two weeks to one month and then simply leave only to begin and finish the cycle again on another streaming service.

No harm done.

Needless to say, online services are great.

But they evolve to something even better when some of them offer users completely free content and TV stations.

Another service that is free in the truest sense is a technology that a lot of people still make use of.

That technology is the TV antenna.


People still use it.

Apart from a TV antenna, there are many other free sources of online streaming content.

The majority of the online consumers today have one or more Pay-for-TV subscription model for which they pay via their satellite provider or the cable company.

A lot of readers do not seem to realize the fact that they can stream content from any given online source or take advantage of free content via over-the-air-tv methods without having to pay a large sum of money to a big cable TV service.

Our research shows that free content via over-the-air TV service is the one and only true form of free content via streaming methods.

Why do we say that?

We say that because, for all other methods, users will have to pay some small fee to their internet service provider to provide them with the internet connection that is required to stream content from any and all online sources.

Satellite TV alternatives. Cable TV alternatives


First, let’s take a look at the option of over-the-air TV which is completely free here.

Over-the-air TV station broadcasts that come from absolutely free have actually been around the block since the very beginning of what we know as TV today.

The good news is that they are still alive.

The better news is that they too have improved and are, more or less, better than ever before.

When we say free over-the-air TV content sources, we usually mean things such as,

  • Weather
  • PBS
  • NBC
  • CBS
  • Fox
  • Lots of other stuff

Pretty much similar to those golden old days where antennas came with rabbit ears which helped users to pick up stations without paying anything, users can still access channels.

Not only that, the modern over-the-air content delivery networks have all gone digital.

And that has made these signals purely High Definition.

Users are still free to pick these up without paying anything.

The majority of the content that is available via over-the-air signals is related to old movies and TV shows.

However, the main attraction here is that it is totally free.

You do not have to pay anything to watch over-the-air TV broadcasts.

Of course, sometimes you will have the opportunity to watch new shows which get broadcasted on TV networks along with the weather, local news and then some more.

However, if you live somewhere that is far away from a given broadcast tower than you will definitely require a new antenna to pick up those broadcast stations.

In order to test which of the broadcast TV stations you are eligible to watch, first, you will have to go into the TV menu of your TV internal antenna.

From there, you will have to choose the option that says over-the-air TV.

Then you will have to scan for all currently available channels.

Our research shows that each given TV set offers users a slightly different version of the same menu.

However, you should not get discouraged because every TV set has options for over-the-air channels.

In a worst case scenario, you only have to spend a bit more time to find it.

Price and other requirements to stream content from online services

The thing we want you to understand is that canceling your cable TV package and paying for a good internet connection, in the long run, is a lot cheaper than any given package or combination of packages.

Of course, the actual prices would depend on the place in which you live.

And since there are so many different areas across the country, an internet-only solution for TV can cost you from $50 to anywhere lower than $80 per month.

That is not bad.

In order to stream TV shows and/or movies, you must subscribe to an internet connection that offers at least 10 Mbps of internet speed.

That is what you need.

Of course, depending on your requirements, you may require a faster connection.

And when it comes to streaming, faster is always better.

Once you have managed to connect to the internet via your internet service provider, there are just too many online sources to select and stream content from.

As mentioned before, some of those sources are free while some are paid.

We always suggest to users who are on a budget to make use of Kodi.

Kodi is an open source media player which is absolutely free.

Most cord-cutters dream of using Kodi to its full potential.

Now, we are not saying that setting up Kodi the right way is easy.

It does require some effort and a little bit of technical knowledge.

This is the reason why Kodi is not really suitable for anyone and everyone.

Best online cable TV alternatives list

Pluto TV (cost: Free)

If there is a great resource of online content then it is Pluto TV.

But that’s not all.

It is free.

And it is legal.

How cool is that?

But there is a downside as well.

As expected, Pluto TV does not really offer the latest TV shows and movies.

As mentioned just now, it does offer users a lot of content.

So we are confident that you will find something that suits your needs.

You can watch Pluto TV from your computer machine.

But it also offers apps to use with devices such as Amazon Fire Stick and smartphone devices.

Click here if you want to go to the official website of Pluto TV right here and right now.


Tubi TV (cost: Free)

Another free online content resource that you may want to try out is Tubi TV.

Tubi TV is very similar to online streaming sources such as Pluto TV.

However, the type of content it offers is different.

Similar to Pluto TV, Tubi TV doesn’t offer users the latest TV shows and/or movies.

However, since it comes loaded with content, you are more likely to find something to watch.

The content here too is legal.

And free.

This is the thing about sources that offer legal and free content:

They don’t have the latest and the greatest content.

Sometimes, Tubi TV will offer you something that will surprise you.

For some, that is enough motivation to give this service a try.

One other great thing about Tubi TV is that users have the option of setting it up on any given internet-enabled device.

It even offers a Kodi add-on that users can install on their Kodi device to play some more content.

You should click here if you want to go to the official website of Tubi TV.


There is not a best streaming sources list on the internet (in other words, planet) that is complete except that Netflix is in it.

As mentioned before, Netflix is more or less the go-to online streaming service for the vast majority of the online consumers.

Netflix is the king because it has a ton of content and a ton of quality.

It also has a good variety of content.

However, for some, shows apart from the ones that Netflix itself has produced called Netflix Originals (tv shows and movies), can become rather stale pretty quickly.

And Netflix ceases to be interesting.

Again, Netflix is great.

But it is not infallible.

People should not get the wrong idea that Netflix is not worth the money.

It is.

The service has a ton of things to offer to its users.

But it is not for everyone.

A lot of online consumers would not find what they are looking for in terms of movies and TV shows for which they would want to pay Netflix.

Some have complained that the very first month of Netflix goes great.

This is the time when the new subscriber binge-watches all the old movies and TV shows he/she missed out.

The new subscriber also tries to get a taste of what Netflix has to offer in its new content category.

However, after that initial phase, Netflix doesn’t have a lot of things that subscribers can really get into.

It doesn’t mean that they cancel their subscription.

Some keep them.

But they usually cut the subscription cost to the lowest possible level.

The cheapest Netflix comes for around $7.99 per month.

And that is probably fair because Netflix, even without its most expensive packages, is good enough to keep those kids occupied with kid-friendly content such as cartoons and what not.


The service, Hulu, is just like Netflix.

It is like Netflix in the sense that it is another top and in-demand online streaming service that offers a good number of movies and TV shows.

Not only that, but Hulu also offers content that some would consider as old (movies and TV series).

At the time of writing this report, the service costs users around $5.99 per month.

It also allows subscribers to cancel their service at any given time.

Click here to go to the official website of Hulu right now.


Amazon Prime Video

Another top-of-the-line streaming service available to users is Amazon Prime Video.

It too has a decent amount of good content.

Amazon sets itself apart from other streaming services in the sense that the company has managed to create its very own exclusive ecosphere.

Powering that ecosphere are its Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Boxes that have the ability to stream all Amazon Prime video content.

Amazon Prime Video enables users to stream its content on any given internet-enabled device.

Hence, users do not really have to buy a separate Amazon Fire TV to view Amazon Prime video.

However, since millions of online consumers have bought Amazon Fire TV devices, we have no choice but to think that Amazon Prime Video now has a pretty big streaming community.

Moreover, users who have already signed up for an official Amazon Prime account that also offers free shipping, they get access to Amazon Prime Video along with their Amazon account.

Users who have not signed up for an Amazon Prime account, the company offers them a 30-day free trial so that they can test the service to the fullest.

Click here if you want to go the official website of Amazon Prime Video for a free trial.


By now, you would already have understood that the only true source of free online content is over-the-air TV signals.

Get an antenna to receive them if your TV can’t catch them already.

Of course, only consuming content via online streaming services is still a lot cheaper when compared to any given TV bundle.

However, even with the online streaming services, the user still has to sign up for the internet connection package.

Our research shows that some online consumers have found great success in catching over-the-air signals with the help of long-range TV antenna while also having an internet connection to stream content.

If you try this combination out, we are confident that your monthly budget for content consuming would not go beyond $80 per month.

You can save even more money if you replace your cable modem (which you probably rented) from your internet service provider with another modem that you buy from an electronics shop.

However,if you are one of those users who simply do not have an option of signing up for a service because they want to save money or have no money, then over-the-air TV broadcasting is the best.

The content available via over-the-air TV broadcasting is definitely not the greatest that the world has to offer but keep in mind that you can consume it at no cost.

And if you are lucky enough, then you might even catch signals of some very popular shows on right now (Jeopardy including) and local news.

All of this for free.

The modern world is built on the internet.

And with just a slight bit of knowledge and technical ability, one no longer has to pay for a cable service.

Cable TV has become redundant now.

Some even find it boring when they go back to it after tasting what the internet has to offer.

Most online streaming sources offer all the greatest shows on-demand for users who are willing to pay.

In this way, consumers no longer have to wait days or even weeks to watch their favorite show. Online streaming services also don’t bombard users with commercials and waste their time.

So what about you?

Have you planned on ditching your satellite and/or cable TV?

Use the comments section below to let us know your experiences, suggestions, and thoughts.


Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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