Are you looking for cheap cable TV, but you don’t have it in the budget to sign up with one of those premium packages? You’re in good company. We’ll explore some of the best options to cheaply get access to cable tv.
Over The Air (OTA) Cable
One of the cheapest ways to watch TV is through the use of an antenna to capture over-the-air channels. All that is required for this option is an antenna; no sign up, no contracts, and no monthly fees. The big downside is that you are limited to what channels you can receive, and if you live far away from the transmitter tower, you might not receive anything at all.
Streaming Cable Options
Steaming is a great way to supplement the channels you receive through your antenna. They come with a monthly subscription fee, but can dramatically expand how many shows you can watch.
Cost: $5.99 - $11.99
What do you get: With the basic package, you will get access to their entire library of content. This library has some classics and some Hulu originals, as well as full length movies. That said, you don’t get live TV. You might get access to some of your favorite shows and their current season, but you will usually get it the day after it airs, so brace yourself for spoilers.
Cost: $30.00 - $45.00
What do you get: When you sign up with Sling, you can choose either the Blue or Orange package (or both). Each comes with a different selection channels. You will roughly 45 channels (depending on the package), including the local NBC and Fox affiliate. Another nice perk of Sling is the inclusion of 10 hours of recording using the cloud DVR.
What do you get: Philo offers one of the largest collection of channels, around 60, at a great price. You have access to some of the popular channels like A&E, Discovery, and Nickelodeon. That said, you won’t get local channels or sports channels.
AT&T Watch TV
What do you get: Think of this as the lite version of AT&T’s Direct TV service. You get much fewer channels, around 37, and you don’t get any of the local channels. The nice thing about this package is you can still get some premium channels that other streaming services don’t offer, like Boomerang and TruTV.
One important thing to note is that while the monthly fees are low, to stream content you need a fast internet connection. For a good internet connection you could easily pay $60 a month. Add a streaming service of two on top of that and you are paying well over $100 a month.
Bundle Cable and Internet Options
If you liked the offerings of the streaming services, consider looking at internet and basic cable bundles. These packages can be a more cost effective way of getting access to your favorite channels and internet access.In fact, in many cases, it is cheaper to get TV and internet together, than it would be to get just television on its own.
In one analysis of over 300 packages, the researchers found that the average price of a TV and Internet bundle was $107.00 and gave access to around 237 channels.
Before you pick a plan for watching content, make sure you shop around. Comparing cable providers will not only help you find the best deal, but it will also help you make sure you’re getting the channels you really want. Shopping around will also help you catch any promotional packages that are being offered.