The Best Streaming Services To Replace Your Cable TV
If you’re looking to cut your cable subscription and switch to a streaming service, there are a lot of options out there. But which streaming service is right for you? Here is our list of the best streaming services available today, including the best options for live TV and sports fans, TV binge-watchers, movie-lovers, families, free options, and more.
Before you make the switch from cable, you will need to make sure that your internet is fast enough to handle a streaming service. Check out our guide on how to test your WiFi speed to find out more. You will also need a smart TV or a streaming device in order to use a streaming service.
Peacock TV: Best Free Streaming Service
Monthly Subscription Fee: Starts at $0
You don’t have to pay a penny to watch over 13,000 hours of movies, TV shows, live sports, and news on Peacock TV. In fact, you don’t even need to enter your credit card information with Peacock TV’s free tier. You will have to sit through unskippable ads, but they should not be more than five minutes every hour.
Peacock TV includes an extensive library of shows from NBC, including The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, SNL, and more. This free streaming service also has hundreds of movies, late-night talk shows, kid’s programming, live channels, and more.
If you want to unlock the full library of content on Peacock TV, you can upgrade to the Premium plan for $4.99 a month. You will still have to watch ads, but you will get more than 20,000 hours of content. If you really don’t like ads, you can get a Premium Plus plan for $9.99 a month, which also lets you watch certain content offline and on your mobile devices.
Peacock TV is compatible with Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV streaming devices. You can also stream Peacock TV on smart TVs, web browsers, gaming consoles, and iOS and Android devices. For a full list of supported devices, check out Peacock TV’s website here (What devices and platforms are supported by Peacock?).
If you want to know more about what Peacock TV is and the best content you can watch with this free streaming service, check out our previous article here.
Disney+: Best Streaming Service for Families
Monthly Subscription Fee: $6.99
Disney+ is the best streaming service for families because it offers over 500 movies and 7,500 episodes of TV shows from everything Disney owns. That includes Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and even all 30 seasons of The Simpsons.
You can stream ad-free content in Ultra-HD 4K resolution on four devices at once and download content on up to seven other devices at any time. Also, parents have the ability to create profiles for their kids and set age-restrictions for inappropriate content.
A Disney+ subscription starts at $6.99 a month, making it one of the cheapest streaming services on the market today. You can also bundle your Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month. With ESPN+, you will also get access to thousands of live sporting events from MLB, NHL, MLS, and more. Plus, you will get tons of live channels from Hulu, but that plan will come with ads.
Disney+ is compatible with Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV streaming devices. You can also stream Disney+ on smart TVs, web browsers, game consoles, and iOS and Android devices. For a full list of supported devices, check out Disney’s website here (Disney+).
Hulu: Best Budget Streaming Service for TV Shows
Monthly Subscription Fee: Starts at $5.99
If you’re looking for a streaming service to replace your cable subscription, Hulu is one of the best options. This streaming service gives you access to thousands of movies and over 85,000 TV episodes from major broadcast and cable networks, such as ABC, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, CBS, HGTV, NBC, Showtime, and many more.
Hulu has three subscription tiers, starting with a basic plan that only costs $5.99 a month. The cheapest plan lets you watch Hulu’s entire library of movies and TV shows, but you will still have to watch unskippable ads. If you don’t want to see any ads, you can sign up for the $11.99 a month plan. This plan lets you download movies and TV shows to your other devices, so you can watch them offline.
Hulu offers a much more expensive plan that costs $64.99 a month, but it comes with a lot of extras. With Hulu + Live TV, you can stream over 65 live and on-demand channels. This plan also comes with over 50 hours of DVR storage, so you can record any shows and watch them later.
Hulu is compatible with Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV streaming devices. You can also stream Hulu on smart TVs, web browsers, game consoles, and iOS and Android devices. For a full list of supported devices, check out Hulu’s website here (Supported Devices to Watch Hulu).
YouTube TV: Best Streaming Service for Live TV and Sports
Monthly Subscription Fee: Starts at $64.99
YouTube TV is one of the most expensive streaming services on the market, but it also offers the best selection of live TV channels. So, this streaming service has everything you need to cut your cable subscription, and you’ll still save hundreds of dollars a year.
You can watch more than 85 live channels with YouTube TV, including all the major networks, popular entertainment channels, and children’s programming. For sports fans, YouTube TV offers live coverage from ESPN, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, and regional sports channels.
But what really sets YouTube TV apart is its cloud DVR feature. This allows you to record live programs, so you can watch them later. This cloud DVR feature has unlimited storage, and it saves your programs for up to nine months. This means you can record any sporting event, TV show, or movie and fast forward past the ads.
YouTube TV is compatible with Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV streaming devices. You can also stream YouTube TV on smart TVs, web browsers, gaming consoles, and iOS and Android devices. For a full list of supported devices, check out YouTube TV’s website here (Supported Devices – Youtube TV).
HBO Max: Best Streaming Service for Movies
Monthly Subscription Fee: $14.99
HBO Max is one of the newest streaming services, but it has one of the best selections of movies. While it is a little bit pricey, HBO Max has over 10,000 hours of content from HBO, New Line Cinema, TNT, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Crunchyroll, Adult Swim, and lots of other licensed media that WarnerMedia has acquired.
It goes without saying that this streaming plan also comes with highly-rated movies and TV series that are only available on HBO. Some great examples are Game of Thrones (and the upcoming spin-off), Westworld, Veep, The Sopranos, and more.
One thing that sets HBO Max apart is that it gives you recommendations from real people instead of algorithm-based recommendations that you get with other streaming services. You can also download any movies or TV shows and watch them offline at any time.
HBO Max is compatible with Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV streaming devices. You can also stream HBO Max on smart TVs, web browsers, gaming consoles, and iOS and Android devices. For a full list of supported devices, check out HBO Max’s website here (HBO Max).
Netflix: Best Streaming Service for Original Content
Monthly Subscription Fee: Starts at $8.99
As one of the first streaming services on the market, Netflix has thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from. But what really sets Netflix apart is its library of original content. With popular shows like Stranger Things, Ozark, and Tiger King, Netflix will always have something new to watch.
A Basic Netflix subscription plan costs $8.99 a month, but you will only be able to stream content on one device at a time. Plus, it will only let you stream content in standard definition (or 480p), which is a much lower resolution than most TVs. A Standard Netflix plan costs $13.99 a month, and it allows you to stream content on two devices at once in high-definition (1080p).
If you want to watch content in 4K, you’ll have to go with the Premium Netflix plan, which costs $17.99 a month. This plan lets you stream content on up to four devices at once in 4K Ultra-HD.