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I remember the late 1990’s well, when I ordered cable TV for the first time. It was one of those deals where they said they would be there “between 8.00am and 1.00pm”. By 6.00pm, they still hadn’t arrived, and when they finally turned up 2 days later, they screwed everything up.

Back then, the cable TV companies had us by the short and curlies because they knew there was nowhere else for people to go for their TV entertainment. They would package up the good channels with 50 other totally crap ones (the “Watching Paint Dry!” channel), and then charge a fortune.

But now in 2015, it is all changing, and not in a good way for the cable TV companies. The Internet is bringing in cheap entertainment by the barrow-load, with Netflix and Amazon leading the charge Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu Plus. iTunes. Netflix. Amazon Instant Video. The lifeblood of online cinema and television. The new wave of home media. The providers of endless entertainment in which pants are not necessarily required. They are the... Read More . Personally I’m laughing my butt off. Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?

British Television

mocktheweek

Requiring a VPN The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More set to a British IP address, BBC iPlayer has some great quality programming on it. Whether it’s dramas, thrillers, documentaries, comedies, current affairs, movies, music, and many others, you are likely to find something worthwhile 10 Tips To Get The Most Out Of BBC iPlayer 10 Tips To Get The Most Out Of BBC iPlayer What is the best in British entertainment? Is it on TV or on the radio? Either way, both media are accessible with the BBC’s iPlayer service. BBC iPlayer is a browser-based service that is also... Read More iPlayer How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only] How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only] The Internet is becoming an increasingly important source for content of all media. There are legal and not-so-legal ways of listening to music, watching television and movies, playing games, and obtaining software. All via a... Read More currently has ten channels.

You can also watch ITV, and Channel Four, although with these two channels, you have to register.

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News

skynews

If you’re a news junkie, then you can take your pick from the Internet.

The best by far, but with a heavy UK bias, is BBC News 24. You need to have a VPN set to a British IP address (Tunnelbear works wonders for me Tunnelbear VPN Adds Privacy Protection & "Always On" Security Tunnelbear VPN Adds Privacy Protection & "Always On" Security Tunnelbear have introduced two things which users will greatly appreciate, given recent events about intelligence agencies spying on our Internet usage - Privacy Protection & "Always On" Security. Read More ), and as the name implies, you get rolling 24 hour uninterrupted coverage. Another UK site is Sky News, and again, a VPN is required. This really isn’t an issue, as you can get an unlimited VPN service for as low as $5 per month.

cnn

US-wise, you have the ever-reliable CNN (which integrates short video clips into their text articles), as well as NBC, CBS, and Fox.

Netflix

netflix

Netflix The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Wanted To Know About Netflix But Were Afraid To Ask The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Wanted To Know About Netflix But Were Afraid To Ask Find out all the best tips and tricks to use Netflix anywhere, any time. This guide is everything you ever needed to know about using Netflix. Read More is probably the most well-known of the movie and TV show streaming sites. From $7.99 a month, you can watch an unlimited number of movies and shows from Netflix’s extensive library. The latest releases can only be obtained on the slightly more expensive DVD delivery service, but there is still plenty to choose from in the streaming section.

TV show-wise, you have all the old favorites such as Star Trek, Law & Order, and NCIS. But Netflix also has many other categories such as cartoons, comedies, documentaries, and music.

At the rate at which new stuff is added, you could spend your entire lifetime watching everything that Netflix has to offer. And what’s even better is that Netflix is available widely outside the US Netflix Set To Take On Six More European Markets Including France & Germany Netflix Set To Take On Six More European Markets Including France & Germany Just when people in Europe were starting to despair that it would ever happen, Netflix has now announced plans to expand into France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Read More , so no VPN is required.

Amazon Instant Video / Amazon Prime Video

amazonvideo

There are two separate offerings when it comes to streaming video – a service for Prime members, and a service for non-Prime members. The Prime service costs $99 a year, and one of the perks of Prime is unlimited free watching of “thousands of movies and TV shows”. This means that not every movie and TV show is free, but you have a very large selection to choose from.

If you look at the screenshot above, you will see that each episode for the ordinary working-class Amazon viewers costs a couple of bucks. But for the Prime One-Percenters? Seasons 1-3 free of charge. Yep. Free.

Hulu

hulu

Hulu No Hulu Ads: Block Hulu Ads With a Black Screen & Return To Your Shows No Hulu Ads: Block Hulu Ads With a Black Screen & Return To Your Shows Read More is one of the most popular options when it comes to streaming movies and TV shows, but non-US residents can’t crack it with a VPN. Hulu automatically detects when you are using a proxy to access the site, and assumes that if you are doing so, then it must be for nefarious purposes.

seinfeld

Hulu has loads of good stuff available, such as Family Guy, South Park, Law & Order, Homeland…hell, they even have Seinfeld for all you oldies out there, nostalgic for the 1990’s!

After a week’s free trial, Hulu will cost you $7.99 a month.

HBO Now

HBONow

I love HBO, as it makes some high quality kick-ass programming. I am a regular viewer of “Real Time with Bill Maher” every Friday night, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” every Sunday night, and in the past I have watched stuff such as True Detective, John Adams, The Sopranos, and yes, Game of Thrones 10 Intriguing Game of Thrones Fan Theories 10 Intriguing Game of Thrones Fan Theories Read More . In fact, most people probably sign up for HBO just for Game of Thrones.

After a 30 day free trial, HBO Now HBO Now Set to Launch in April, Apple Delays iPad Pro Until September [Tech News Digest] HBO Now Set to Launch in April, Apple Delays iPad Pro Until September [Tech News Digest] HBO Now is coming soon, Apple delays the iPad Pro, EA closes Maxis, Chromebook battery killers, The Smithsonian bans selfie sticks, and Chappie explores artificial intelligence. Read More will cost you $14.99 a month. So, one of the priciest options. But it’s the Game of Thrones channel, people! What are you hesitating for? Are you not entertained? Oh wait, that’s a quote from “Gladiator”.

Showtime

showtime

Showtime is another channel which is gaining esteem in my eyes, after it started the excellent and unbeatable “Homeland”, “The Tudors”, and “Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States”. You can see the shows they produce here, and there are a wide selection to choose from. And don’t forget the movies, sports, and much more on offer.

After a 30 day free trial, Showtime will cost you $10.99 a month. However, after a 7 day free trial, you can bundle Showtime with Hulu and get both for a total of $16.98 a month.

CBS All Access

cbs

CBS is an absolute beast. Think of all your favorite TV shows and you can be guaranteed that it is probably on CBS. The Big Bang Theory, CSI, Criminal Minds, The Good Wife….and for all you 1990’ers watching Seinfeld, you can also sign up for CBS and get Cheers, and Frasier!

This is a channel which will become even more popular when the highly anticipated “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” premieres soon. As it is, if you subscribe to CBS, you are going to get access to a lot of very popular mainstream shows (6,500 episodes, according to the site).

And get this, after one week’s free trial, CBS only costs $5.99 a month! A bargain!

Sling TV

sling2

I’ve left one of the best ones for last. For $20 a month (the basic package), it is the most expensive of all the options, but when you see what you get, you will see that it would be the best $20 a month you ever spent, if TV is your thing. Then you can add on extras for more money (or not, if it doesn’t interest you). Did you ever get this freedom of choice from the cable companies? When hell freezes over, most likely.

Here is the basic $20 package :

sling

So, definitely a channel for the news and sports junkies. AMC is the Breaking Bad channel. Adult Swim isn’t what it sounds like – it has Family Guy, and Robot Chicken. Oh and it has the History Channel, or as I like to call it, the Hitler Channel.

Then you can add on extras, such as HBO, more sports channels, or Spanish language channels.

So, Do You Still Want Cable?

So, after seeing all of the above, give me one good reason why you should sign up for traditional old-fashioned cable TV. Come on, just one reason….the comments below await you.

Image Credits: Movie Night At Home by Sean Locke Photography via Shutterstock

  1. Sumgui
    September 9, 2016 at 5:22 am

    CBS AllAccess? Sling TV? Pretty much everything listed here requires a subscription fee. Ridiculous. This list is pretty much worthless.

  2. Da Kraze
    August 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    From personal experience I can tell you Sling TV SUCKS!!!! On a good day the service (all channels) would freeze, pixilate, buffer and all those wonderful problems. On nights when I wanted to watch "Walking Dead" it would freeze and buffer constantly. I have a 60Mbs Fiber connection that has no freeze, buffer, or any other problems by comparison with other serivces. Sling had no answers other than reinstall the app. Got tired of paying $20 a month for next to no service. Also, only one streaming device at a time. So my wife and I could not watch on separate Roku devices at the same time.

    DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. At least until they get serious and fix the problems. Stability, more than 1 simultaneous streaming, and some sort of DVR capability would the minimum to get me to try again. The few instances it worked was fairly nice.

  3. Charles
    June 20, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    The Golf Channel

  4. Jamie
    May 22, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Live Sport!

  5. mark szymcik
    January 30, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Cannot find out which services carry the shows I want to watch, e.g. Law and Order SUV. I'll have to stick to cable until I can figure it out

    • EASTER 2016
      April 8, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      netflix has them akll

  6. Jim Scott
    November 13, 2015 at 11:22 am

    It becomes impossible to access these live streaming becuase of the fact they are restricted to specific locations. But thanks to PureVPN I am able to unblock them by shifting my IP address of my choice in order to successfully watch what I want to.

  7. B Wood
    August 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I personally use KODI with a PseudoTV app and Netflix for my watching pleasure. I really like what I read about Sling TV and might consider adding that to my list. The problem I really have is with commercials, I pay to not have them show up but more and more streaming sites are making you pay and still showing you ads. Wake up streaming sites, that's the old way of doing things!

  8. Jonathan Barnes
    August 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    there are many options for steaming your entertainment. That is both a good and bad thing. A la carte services can add up to much more than you might be at with cable. We have over the air for local stations but the lack of the convenient DVR is a bit annoying but I have been able to get around that.
    I also recently signed up for Sling TV and for live sports etc it is a great option. I have Netflix and Amazon prime for all that it offers in recorded shows and movies. I have a fire stick and honestly with what you can get through it, I can barely see keeping the latter two. HBO to go for $15? I love game of thrones but man that is pricey and I can get it through my fire tv and stick.

  9. Abdullah Almosalami
    August 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    All the series and TV I can find for free easy. What I need from TV are sports, and specifically, football (soccer).

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 22, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Look at Sling TV (that I mentioned in the article). They might have what you want.

      Where are you located? Check to see if your local TV stations offer streaming services (as the BBC does in Britain).

  10. Francis Imperial
    August 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I could cut the cord but we have this mother-in-law cable syndrome. We need our native land channel as a payment for baby sitting. It's the main reason why we can't cut the cord.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 21, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Can't you introduce her to streaming channels? Maybe once she has a look at Netflix or Amazon, she might get hooked?

      • Francis Imperial
        August 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm

        They do have Netflix in their house, and obviously we do also, including Amazon. But it's just one those people that won't be able to move on and they are stuck to their roots on what they watch.
        My only way for this is when my kids are old enough for school and we have to put them into after-school-programs, then I can finally cut that cord. I really want that Sling TV coupled with CBS All Access.

  11. A41202813GMAIL ..
    August 20, 2015 at 4:23 am

    I Just Want Internet With Fixed Phone, No TV.

    But ISPs Are Starting To Include Mandatory TV In Their Bundles, So, Sooner Or Later, Everybody Will Have To *Buy* Cable, Like It Or Not.

    Sigh...

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Where are you located? A lot of other people have managed to get their Internet, and avoid cable. Maybe you are with the wrong company?

      • A41202813GMAIL ..
        August 21, 2015 at 10:53 pm

        I Live In LISBOA.

        I Do Not Have Cable - Yet.

        1 Of The Main 3 ISPs Only Has Contracts With Cable Included.

        I Still Have An Old ADSL Contract Without TV, But Since VODAFONE Already Has Fiber In This Area ( More Expensive, And You Pay Exactly The Same, With Or Without TV ), I Do Not Expect It To Last Long.

        Thank You For Responding.

      • A41202813GMAIL ..
        August 21, 2015 at 10:53 pm

        I Live In LISBOA.

        I Do Not Have Cable - Yet.

        1 Of The Main 3 ISPs Only Has Contracts With Cable Included.

        I Still Have An Old ADSL Contract Without TV, But Since VODAFONE Already Has Fiber In This Area ( More Expensive, And You Pay Exactly The Same, With Or Without TV ), I Do Not Expect It To Last Long.

        Thank You For Responding.

  12. Bill Sinclair
    August 20, 2015 at 12:21 am

    "[Hulu]…but non-US residents can’t crack it with a VPN. Hulu automatically detects when you are using a proxy to access the site, and assumes that if you are doing so, then it must be for nefarious purposes."
    Err…no…been watching Hulu for three years and more with no problem and I'm in Spain.
    Regards

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 22, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Now THAT is interesting. What VPN are you using? I have been trying for years to watch Hulu but it always detects the damn proxy, and tells me that proxy servers are banned.

      • Bill Sinclair
        August 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

        Hola! Chrome extension.

        • Mark O'Neill
          August 22, 2015 at 11:03 am

          Well now I am officially confused, because I have Hola installed, and it doesn't work for me.

        • Bill Sinclair
          August 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

          Well…honestly, I'm not lying… Hola! always gets me through to Hulu; Netflix USA (where I have an account); Netflix UK; CBS; ITV; Channel4; several US channels I rarely visit, such as sci-fi channels, and BBC iPlayer. The most problematic for me is BBC iPlayer — sometimes have to go all around the houses — but always get there in the end. Cannot get HBO or Fox Entertainment — but, for me no big loss. But, Hulu, never a problem. There must be something you're not doing right. Have you reset your DNS? and configured your ports?

        • Bill Sinclair
          August 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

          If it were possible to post screen shots here I could show you.
          Just visited the site: took all of three seconds
          /billsinclair/Desktop/Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 0.01.47.png

        • Bill Sinclair
          August 22, 2015 at 10:06 pm

          Hi, you also didn' tmention Popcorn Time.

  13. Yodi Collins
    August 19, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I pay for Amazon and Hulu. Via internet I have access to Crackle and Shoutfactory.tv (which aren't mentioned and should be). There are other, fan-created online entertainment resources as well, such as toonamiaftermath.com. I am determined not to pay for cable television ever again if I can help it.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 22, 2015 at 8:11 am

      I did seriously look at Crackle, but in the end, I decided not to include it. I can't remember why. Something must have turned me off about it.

  14. DonGateley
    August 19, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    HBO Now in a PC browser has serious delivery problems. If you love stop-start, herky-jerky it might be ok for you. I won't be taking it past the trial.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 22, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Have you contacted their customer support and complained? There may be an underlying problem that neither you or they are aware of yet.

      And check your internet speed. Perhaps your ISP is throttling your connection.

  15. Greg Fountain
    August 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Cut the cable ~12 months ago and went pure OTA with Netfllix and an Amazon Prime membership. They'll never sucker me into a cable bill ever again.

  16. John Everett
    August 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I have a bundled fiber-optic deal, Frontier is just going to jack up my internet bill if I ditch the TV. I tried to lose the land line part of the deal but the way they recalculated it, the bill would only go down $7.

    During that conversation, I added a channel and they knocked the bill down by $20/month temporarily, which was nice while it lasted.

    I would suggest having the cord-cutting conversation with your cable provider, even if you are bluffing.

  17. Jose Perez
    August 19, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Joseenocperez

    I understood this long time ago when I was paying 200 dollars in NY for my cable service, just to have a crap of channel where they repeat all of the movies and a bunch of channel which are free, so my solution was this I bought google chrome, download chromecast on my tablet, and allcast and now I can see movies, shows, anything I want from my tablet to my tv, whenever I want. I use Netflix, Hulu and others pirate stream option which has a bunch of movies and shows totally free you hear that totally free. Thanks God I don't need cable at home anymore my kids enjoy this change a lot, they love it. I Can even see channel from another country, from my country, for example, even without paying a penny for cable, just internet service that's all I need.

  18. Nikolaj Knudsen
    August 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Yep, I still want cable, because all those services add up to much more money than my cable costs.

    ........, and my cable is far better. Maybe in 10 years or so.......

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 22, 2015 at 8:15 am

      You don't have to get ALL the streaming services. Just pick and choose the ones you want. Netflix is only $7.99 a month and Amazon Prime is $8.25 a month. That is rock bottom prices!

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