What are alternatives to cable TV?


There are plenty of options for watching live TV that don't come with the cable pricetag. Keep reading to learn all about your options!


It’s hard to imagine a world without the suffocating embrace of an expensive cable bill, isn’t it? If you’ve been paying the piper for a decade or more, it might be time to start considering cable alternatives that can save you a bundle of money and deliver almost the exact same experience.

When you ditch cable, you open yourself up to a world of flexibility that allows you to curate your streaming services to get exactly what you want while saving as much as $1000 dollars every year.

Cable vs. streaming vs. Sling

We all get the gist of cable – bloated packages, long contracts and expensive monthly bills. You pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch just so you can get access to the ones you do. It’s a headache that nobody needs. Streaming services offer alternatives to cable TV that allow you to mix and match services to get the content you love without overpaying.

Then there are live TV streaming services like Sling that offer the best of both worlds! Watch live TV from your favorite channels and still have room left in your budget for the other streaming services you crave like Netflix or HBO.

Sling: The better cable alternative

There are tons of choices out there to help you ditch cable, and when it comes to picking which cable alternative is right for you there are a lot of factors to consider. Which channels are most important to you? Do you want to watch live TV or on-demand content? Do you want to continue being unhappy? (We’re hoping the answer to that one is no.)

*Based on the average cable monthly cost of $144.50 reported by LRG in 'Pay TV in the U.S. 2019' on 11/5/2019

Flexibility in your viewing experience

You can sign up and start watching in five minutes or less. The ease of signing up and watching TV online is a huge selling point that has helped streaming services make their name. As opposed to traditional cable TV that requires equipment installation and contracts before you can start watching, streaming TV online allows people to be flexible with when and how they watch.

Some traditional services are starting to make strides with the number of devices that you can use to watch your shows, but if you don’t like being tied to your living room television then streaming is definitely a better option for you. Services like Sling support viewing on over a dozen different devices, including your smartphone or tablet, so you can watch TV wherever you want.

Streaming TV also offer more flexibility when it comes to choosing your channel lineup. While programming provider restrictions make it so that no service is truly a la carte, streaming services are much closer than traditional cable. At one point, the appeal of cable was its huge selection of channels – now it’s just overwhelming. Streaming on a service like Sling lets you mix and match to include the channels you really want without paying for hundreds that you don’t.

*Based on the average cable monthly cost of $144.50 reported by LRG in 'Pay TV in the U.S. 2019' on 11/5/2019. Hulu + Live TV price will increase from $54.99/mo. to $64.99/mo. effective 12/18/2020.

Internet connection vs. cable hook-up

At this point it’s pretty clear that to watch TV online you need to have an internet connection, which means your internet needs might change, too. If you want to watch on multiple devices or stream in high-definition, your internet speed will need to be much faster and have higher data caps than if you were just going to surf the web or check social media.

Your internet needs will also change depending on how many people there are in your household. Larger households will likely be streaming more, and so will need a faster internet connection to accommodate that. It’s generally recommended to have a connection speed of at least 25 Mbps in order to stream in high quality. More people also increases your risk of hitting your data cap, or the point where your internet provider slows down your internet speed as a result of overuse.

Watching TV from a cable provider eliminates this consideration. For the most part, cable connections provide a seamless viewing experience that won’t change based on use. The nature of a cable connection, though, means that you sacrifice the portability of an internet-based TV experience.


Draw your own conclusions

Your decision to cut the cord or stay with cable will ultimately depend on your own priorities. Do you value familiarity over flexibility? Are you looking to be friendly to your wallet? Keep in mind that streaming services are actually less of a diversion from cable than you might think and offer you more control and flexibility with your monthly budget. 

Want to learn more about SLING?

Do you have more questions about SLING and how it works? Slingucation wants to answer them all! Here are some more topics to check out:

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Offer Details

Updated April 1, 2020

Limited Time Offer

Available to new customers upon account activation. One per customer. Must provide email address and credit card. After 1 mo., you will be billed for Sling monthly at the everyday price unless you go online to cancel. Your account will be authorized to receive programming upon your first login.


After one month, your credit card will be charged monthly for applicable subscription until you cancel your service.


Cancel on Sling.com or visit help.sling.com to contact us. Programming fees are charged monthly in advance and no credits or refunds will be issued for partial or prepaid months after cancellation.

Streaming limitations

The number of devices on which Sling content can be watched at the same time varies based on the Sling service. If you subscribe to our Sling Latino core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time.  If you subscribe to our Sling International core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time. If you subscribe to our Sling Orange service, you can enjoy one stream at a time. Any extras you add to your Sling Orange service will be included in your single stream. If you subscribe to our Sling Blue service, you can enjoy up to three streams of these channels at the same time. Any extras you add to your Sling Blue service will be included in your three streams. If you subscribe to both services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can enjoy up to four streams at the same time. Because you are purchasing two separate services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can get the total number of streams included on each separate service—one stream for any channel on the single-stream Sling Orange service and three streams for channels on the multi-stream Sling Blue service. To get up to four streams, go to the My Account page and make sure that the “show me only Sling Blue versions of channels in both services” box is not checked. 


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