So earlier this year I decided to figure out how to cut cable and move to streaming TV because our cable bill had gotten to $200. I have learned a lot along the way, so I wanted to share what we did, how we got our bill to $127 and show you ways to save even more.
First, I want to setup our must-haves:
- I had to have Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, TLC and A&E. Those were non-negotiables.
- My husband had to have ESPN, soccer and sports.
- I also wanted live TV (Today Show) and access to NBC/ABC/CBS.
- A DVR was a must. (Lots to learn here, too).
Just a note, we already subscribed to Netflix. Truthfully, I could live without it, but my husband loves it. So take that for what it’s worth. Ha.
As I mentioned, our cable bill had gotten to $200. When I looked on the statement it showed that we were paying $30 a month for the internet, but of course, when I went to cancel they raised that amount to $80 a month since I was no longer bundling. (Insert eye roll emoji.)
I did later call back and get it to $67 a month by asking if they had something I could bundle it with and she was able to bundle it with some app they have.
We also didn’t have smart TVs, so we purchased two Amazon Fire Sticks (one for each tv) so we could stream. (If you plan to go with the options below a Fire Stick will work fine, however, if you decide to go with YouTube TV a Roku might be a better option since Google and Amazon don’t love each other.) We chose the Fire Stick because I didn’t know all of this before I started researching for one, but I also liked the idea of being able to speak into the remote like we did with our previously cable remote…also, makes things easier for my kids to find shows. One con, though, is that the remote doesn’t light up, so it is hard to see at night.
Hulu Live Pros and Cons
Hulu Live Pros
- The interface isn’t as intuitive as Netflix, but I like how you can set up profiles for each person in your family, so that recommendations for kid shows don’t get intermingled with yours.
- We also love how the Fire Stick works with Hulu so you can talk into the remote to get to your shows rather than typing the program in. (Also, since my kids can’t type, this makes it way easier on me.)
- If you are a Thunder fan, you’re able to watch the Thunder games on Hulu Live. (Notsomuch with DirectvNow.)
Hulu Live Cons
- However, there is a downside to this package. It boasts 50 hours of DVR, which sounds perfect. However, not all shows that you DVR allow you to fast forward. What???? Yep. You read that right. You can’t fast forward through all of the shows that you recorded on your DVR without upgrading to an Enhanced DVR plan for $15 additional a month. I mean, I totally get that with On Demand content, but seriously? Ugh.
As a note, you could fast forward through some content, but not all. Basically, I got the impression if the show was available ON Demand (most HGTV, TLC, Food Network shows) you couldn’t fast forward, which was super annoying when I am trying to watch the Kid’s Baking Championship with my kids and the commercials aren’t appropriate for a six year old. Not to mention they were SUPER painful to watch knowing I recorded it.
So we decided to try Directv Now.
Directv Now Pros and Cons
DIRECTV Now has all of the channel options that Hulu does…and more. It also comes with 20 hours of DVR service that let you fast forward and rewind. (Which seems so obvious.)
Directv Now Pros
This service also was also only $40 a month vs. $45. It also gives you the option to add on channels like HBO for $5 a month vs $15 a month on Hulu Live.
If you are someone who travels a lot, I am pretty sure you can stream Directv Now from your AT&T phone by not using up any data.
The guide was also far superior to Hulu’s. So much easier to find live and upcoming shows. It was really similar to our cable guide.
The cons of Directv Now are that it was so buggy. So many times we would get an error that the show couldn’t come on. We would have to exit the app, wait for awhile and then get back in. It was SO annoying.
You can’t set up individual profiles, but that wasn’t too big of a deal. You can bookmark shows as your favorites, so it was easy for our kids to access.
If you are a Thunder fan, the games don’t show on it. So that might be a deal breaker for some of you.
Lastly, you can’t talk into the Fire Stick and have it find programs in the DirectTv App. Mildly annoying, but you can easily bookmark shows that you like and access them On Demand.
We also investigated Sling TV (this didn’t have a live option, so it was a no-go).
Another idea was to do YouTube TV with the Philo Tv app. YouTube TV would give you access to all of the live sports channels, network tv and unlimited DVR, but it doesn’t have access to any shows distributed by the Discovery Network. The Philo app would make up fort that and give you access to HGTV, Food Network, TLC, etc. and the ability to DVR with fast forward. Both of these together would run you about $56 a month.
The cable vs. streaming decision
We ended up ultimately going with Hulu Live, but to fully meet our needs, we had to upgrade to the Enhanced Cloud DVR option, as their 50 hours with no fast forward was a deal breaker for me. (My husband didn’t seem to care, but I was doing all the work, so I won here. Ha.) So we are now paying a total of $127 a month for everything (including the internet) which we were paying $200 for.
That said, it might be worth a call to your cable provider to see if they can get close to this amount. We do have a cap on the amount of data we can use per month (1 terabyte), so we could potentially pay more per month if we go over this streaming.
If you would like a free trial of Hulu Live, click here! I would love to know what you think!
Want to see more favorite things? Check them all out here.
The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
Like this post? Hover on the image below and click “save” to pin it to Pinterest! You can also click here to follow all of my boards! I pin all of my posts and some of my favorite inspirations throughout the week.