Save BIG with These Cable TV Alternatives!
Save BIG with These Cable TV Alternatives!
We got a great response from last week's article, Stop Paying for Cable TV! Watch Your Favorite TV Shows for Less Money, so I wanted to follow it up and give you even more options for eliminating your cable bill while still enjoying the TV experience that you've come to know and love.
Last week, we focused on antennas and set top boxes as
alternatives to cable. This week, we're going to look at media-streaming devices. They offer much of the same functionality as the set top boxes, but they're smaller and much less expensive!
Instead of sitting on top of your TV stand like an Apple TV would, these devices plug into the HDMI port on your TV. They are connected to your home Internet, so they can communicate with your mobile phone, iPad, or laptop/desktop computer.
Here’s how it works: you find the content on your device (phone, computer, etc.), and these media-streaming devices put that content on your big-screen TV in the full High Definition quality (1080p) that you're used to.
How do you find the content? You download apps on your phone, like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, or HBO GO, and then once you find a show that you want to watch, you press a button on your phone, and voila, the show streams to your TV.
Here are the top 3 media-streaming devices:
Google Chromecast ($36.95)
Chromecast is roughly the size of you thumb, and as I
mentioned before, it plugs into the HDMI port on the side of your TV. It allows
you to “cast” your favorite entertainment from your phone or computer right to the big screen. It's compatible with both Android and Apple devices, but since it's a Google product, it works better with Android.
with a growing number of apps, including Netflix, HBO GO, YouTube, WatchESPN,
and many more. (Click here for
the full list.)
If you have an Android device, you can cast your phone's screen straight to your TV. So if you want to show off a picture slideshow to friends on your TV, it's super easy to do with an Android phone and Chromecast.
Google Chromecast doesn't come with a remote, but there is an app you can download that will turn your phone into the remote. It works, but not as well as an actual remote.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (39.00)
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is great if you love shopping on Amazon. Whether you’re an Amazon Prime member or not, you get access to a huge
selection of movies and TV episodes from Amazon, in addition to all of the apps
that you would expect (Netflix, etc.).
Another cool feature of the Amazon Fire TV Stick is the voice
search, which works really well, and will save you a surprising amount of time
when you’re browsing for that next movie to watch. Amazon offers thousands of
movies that you can rent for just 99 cents!
The Amazon Fire TV Stick also offers integration with games, so you can play games like Flappy Birds on your TV! If that sounds like something you might enjoy, you should consider this option.
Roku Streaming Stick (46.99)
The Roku Streaming Stick offers much of the same functionality as its competitors, but it definitely has the slickest user interface. Roku is renowned for their ease of use, which is lead by their outstanding search functionality. Anyone can use and enjoy it.
The remote control of the Roku Streaming Stick outperforms the Amazon Fire Stick, so if the remote is important to you, take a look at this device first.
Another key benefit of the Roku Streaming Stick is that it doesn't play favorites. Chromecast favors Android, and the Fire TV Stick will show you whatever content Amazon is pushing. Roku stands on its own, which allows them to give you an unbiased look at the best movies and TV shoes they have.
As I'm sure you can tell, these devices are all pretty much the same. If you have an Android phone and you like using it, I'd go with Chromecast. If you love Amazon and like buying from them because they offer you personalized service, go with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you're indifferent and just want the best media-streaming device you can get, I'd go with the Roku Streaming Stick.
These streaming sticks offer an incredible opportunity to save on your cable bill. Try it out, you'll be surprised how easy it is to find all of the shows you love!