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Until recently, a cable TV subscription was pretty much the only way you could keep up with your favorite shows. Unfortunately, though, cable TV has always been plagued by excessive commercials. Moreover, a cable TV subscription requires customers to pay for channels that they never really watch.

However, as streaming services and other replacements for cable TV have become more popular, it is easier than ever to cut the cord without missing your favorite shows.

Old Television

HD Antennas

The cheapest and easiest way to watch live TV without a cable subscription is to invest in an HD antenna. Do you remember those old TVs with antennas sticking out of the top? HD antennas are essentially an upgraded version of that.

Hooking up an HD antenna to your TV is an easy way to get access to local broadcast stations for a one-time fee. Of course, your options are limited to whatever is available in your area. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest option available, this is it.

Streaming Devices

Streaming devices are a great way to access many popular streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Essentially, streaming devices turn your TV into a smart TV — giving it access to the internet and a variety of apps. Of course, if you already have a smart TV, then you don’t need anything at all as you likely will already have access to the most popular streaming apps.

However, if you don’t have a smart TV, streaming devices are a cheap way to gain access to the incredible world of streaming. All you have to do is purchase a device, plug it into your TV, and download the apps that you need. Some popular choices include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku Streaming Stick+, or even gaming consoles like a PS4 or Xbox One.

Streaming Services

If you aren’t familiar with services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others, then you’re missing out.

While each service on its own is probably missing a few of your favorite shows, subscribing to all of the most popular services is likely to ensure that you are able to keep up with these shows for a lower cost. For example, Netflix starts at $8.99/month, Hulu starts at $7.99/month, and Amazon Prime Video starts at $8.99/month. For about $26/month total, this is much more cost-effective than a cable subscription.

Additionally, premium channels like HBO and Showtime offer their own streaming services. Typically, you can subscribe to these channels independently or through other services like Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Lastly, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu have both recently started offering live sports, so you don’t need to worry about missing the big game as a result of terminating your cable subscription.

Live TV

If waiting for shows to be put onto streaming services is too big of a downside for you, then you can consider subscribing to one of many live TV streaming services that have become popular in recent years.

Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and other services offer the ability to stream live TV from all of your favorite networks, including everything from ESPN and AMC to HBO and Showtime. These services are more expensive than services like Netflix and Hulu, but include access to more networks and shows.

Cutting the cord is easier than ever. By taking one or more of these steps, you can quit paying for channels that you never watch.