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The Many Ways to Watch Television

You now have dozens of options, from antennas to new streaming services

By James K. Willcox

Originally posted on Consumer Reports website. See their article here.

It wasn’t too long ago that your options for catching favorite TV shows or movies at home were limited mainly to an antenna or a cable-TV package.

As you can see from the diagram below, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can watch many of the same shows and movies any number of ways, including from cable and satellite providers, various online services, and yes, even with a trusty antenna. Here’s a quick look at all the services clamoring for your attention—and dollars.

ILLUSTRATION: THE TOM AGENCY

Your Expanding Options

 

Online Cable Replacement

Services such as Sling TV and Hulu With Live TV compete directly with cable by offering live channels online for a monthly fee of around $20 to $40. But the choices can be limited. You can get a smattering of broadcast (such as ABC and NBC) and cable-type (Bravo, CNN, HGTV) channels. Premium channels (HBO, Showtime) may be on tap for an added fee. For more details, check out our article on cable-TV replacement services.

Single-Channel Websites, Apps

You can subscribe to some TV channels’ websites and apps to watch just their shows without signing up for a larger TV package. CBS, HBO, Showtime, and Starz all offer this option. Some channels have apps that let you watch their content only if you are already paying through a cable or satellite subscription.

Subscription Streaming

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other smaller players charge a subscription fee, usually around $8 to $10 per month, for unlimited viewing of all their TV content and movies, including original shows such as Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Shows are delivered over the internet, so you can watch on a computer, smart TV, or mobile device.

Pay-per-View Services

Services such as iTunes and Vudu let you rent or buy single titles—a movie, one episode of a show, or a whole season. Amazon Video—the company’s pay-per-view service—offers this option, too. (Note, Amazon Prime members: Not all of Amazon’s content is included with your subscription.)

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Are You Paying Too Much For TV? Sling TV Provides a Great Way to Cut the Cord with More Than 150 Channels

We all love to watch our favorite TV shows, but we can all agree that cable TV is expensive and can be a pain to deal with. If you’re like us, you only watch a handful of channels out of the expensive cable bundle you pay for anyway. With that said, are you paying too much for TV?

Sling TV is an attractive alternative to cable or satellite and is allowing many people to “cut the cord.”  Sling TV offers the same great shows without the costly bill at the end of the month, not to mention the expensive equipment that takes up so much room on your TV stand.

What is Sling TV?

There are several services that offer a choice over cable TV, however Sling is still one of the best ways to watch TV on the go. Said simply, it’s live TV streaming whenever and wherever. No contracts, no equipment, and no costly bills.

Sling TV allows subscribers to watch a collection of live and on-demand TV channels on their TVs, computers or mobile devices. This is live TV, just like a cable or satellite service, except it’s delivered over the internet. One way to think of it is that it’s like Netflix, but with live TV.

Where is Sling TV available?

Sling is available anywhere in the United States where there fast, reliable internet is present. That being said, it’s certainly available where Point Broadband is offered.

How is it different from my cable or satellite provider?

Depending on how much you pay for TV service, it’s probably cheaper. To use it, you’ll need a good internet connection, like Point Broadband, and a compatible device to run the Sling TV app, which takes the place of a cable or satellite box and connects to a TV. You can also watch on your phone, tablet or computer, either at home or away. The best part? Unlike cable or satellite, there are no contracts and you can cancel or resume service anytime, with no penalties.

How can I watch Sling TV?

You’ll need to subscribe here, set up an account, then install the app on a supported device.

Sling TV is currently available on the following devices:

  • Roku
  • Apple TV (2015 only)
  • Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Xbox One
  • Android TV
  • Channel Master
  • Android phones and tablets
  • iOS phones and tablets (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • PC and Mac computers

A complete list of supported products can be found on Sling’s website.

Once you have the device and app installed, you’ll be able to sign in and start watching using your fast reliable internet service powered by Point Broadband!

How much does Sling TV cost?

Sling TV is available in two different flavors: Sling Orange, which costs $20/month; and Sling Blue, which costs $25/month. At present, Orange offers more than 30 channels, and Blue offers more than 40. However, Blue doesn’t include every Orange channel. You can get a combined Blue/Orange pack for $40/month. Sling TV also offers add-on packages that range from $5/month to $15/month.

Start with the service best for you, then personalize with YOUR favorite genres: Sports, Comedy, Kids, News, Movies, Lifestyle, Spanish, & more. There are more than a dozen packages, so your monthly subscription cost could exceed $100 per month if you want absolutely everything.

Change your service online anytime. And, now you can record your favorites shows and watch later using a Cloud DVR!

Sling TV Promotions

Sling TV always has a 7-day free trial – it’s a good way to find out if Sling TV is going to work for you. A week to try it out gives you a good sense of what you like and don’t like.

Free Devices with Pre-Pay

You can get one of three devices if you prepay a few months:

Bottom Line

Sling TV is everything you love about live TV minus everything you hate. Stream top entertainment — anytime, anywhere.

Sling TV offers over 100 live channels to watch instantly, including ESPN, NFL Network, Disney Channel, AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV, TNT, TBS & more. Sling TV offers several deals that allow new users to receive a free or discounted streaming device such as a Roku or Apple TV.

Interested in Latino or International content? Sling TV is the #1 live international TV service in the US, offering 21 languages and 285 channels instantly.

No long-term contracts. No hidden fees. No social security number required. Easy online cancellation. All #PoweredbyPointBroadband.

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Point Broadband CEO Todd Holt Joins Cord-Cutter Movement & Saves $1,200 per year

Todd Holt, Point Broadband’s Chief Executive Officer, isn’t someone we’d refer to as “tech savvy.” You won’t find him on social media or snapchat (thankfully), but he is quite the sports fan and likes to stay up-to-date on his favorite teams. So once our Marketing Department caught wind that he “cut the cord” at his house, we were all intrigued. What was his experience like? And, if he could cut the cable cord…the rest of the world could, too.

We asked Todd a few questions about his experience with ditching satellite TV service  in favor of streaming apps. His responses are summarized below.

What cable/satellite service did Todd use previously?

Todd was a satellite TV subscriber and paid about $140/month for service. He had the typical satellite setup, with a receiver mounted outside the residence and multiple receivers connected to TVs in his house.

What Streaming/Subscription Service is Todd using now?

Todd selected DirecTV Now as his main subscription service. Unlike traditional satellite TV products, the DirecTV Now app delivers content over the internet. (Yippee – no more outages due to rain or weather!)

Some channels include: ESPN, ESPN2, Cartoon Network, USA, HGTV, Nickelodeon, AMC, A&E, Food Network, Bravo, History, E!, Fox News, CNN, FX, Comedy Central, Spike, FS1, TBS, Animal Planet, FXX, TNT, Disney Channel, Discovery, Lifetime, Nat Geo, SyFy, TLC and more. ABC, FOX and NBC are included as well, but only in select markets.

Is Todd using a specific device to stream DirecTV Now?

Yes, in addition to smart TVs, Todd is using the Apple TV system to stream the content directly to his televisions. Since he travels frequently, he can also connect to the DirecTV app from his iPhone, iPad, and PC, and he can also take his Apple TV with him on his trips if he so desired, and enjoy the same TV experience he has at his home – on the road!

Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now Compatible Devices.

Can he watch DirecTV Now outside the home?

YES! As long as he has a strong broadband internet connection (like Point Broadband), he can stream his shows anywhere using the DirecTV app.

Other over-the-top TV Apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTubeTV, and Amazon Instant Video, are available on mobile devices, tablets, computers, etc. You can take your content with you anywhere, as long as that strong broadband connection is available.

You can’t do that with a cable or satellite TV bundle!

How much is Todd saving per year, just by ditching his satellite TV package?

Todd is saving about $102 per month, just by eliminating his pricey, satellite TV bundle. That’s a little over $1,200 per year! Yes, that’s right…over $1000 just by ditching that satellite dish.

Was it easy?

When Todd says it’s easy, it must be easy. These over-the-top apps are very intuitive and easy to set up. Even someone that does not have a technical background can set them up and begin streaming shows.  

#PoweredbyPoint

We hope you enjoy the brand new world of Cord-Cutting, and we are so glad that Point Broadband can help you cut the cord with our fast, reliable internet.

5 Streaming Services Every Beginner Cord Cutter Should Be Using

By: Laura Smoots

Not sure where to begin now that you’re considering cutting the cable/satellite cord? Point Broadband has you covered. These are a few streaming services that will get you started in your new streaming life. And, don’t forget one of the most attractive features of streaming services….you can watch shows anytime, anywhere, wherever you have a good, reliable internet connection.

Netflix

Netflix has been around the longest with a vast library of TV shows, movies, documentaries, children’s movies and programs, and original series. Starting as low as $7.99 a month with one standard definition stream and $9.99 for two concurrent HD streams, this service is a favorite among cord cutters. You can even stream Ultra 4k content for as low as $11.99/month. There’s something for everyone here!

Want to get started? Click here to make sure your device is Netflix compatible: Netflix Compatible Devices.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Most folks already enjoy Amazon Prime 2-day shipping option, which also includes access to their Amazon Prime Instant Video library and service. Amazon Instant Video provides it’s members access to original hit series, some HBO content, plus many TV and movie options. If options are not available as part of the Instant Video membership, members can easily rent or buy the option to add them to their library and watch instantly. 

You can purchase Amazon Prime Instant Video for $99/year as part of their annual fee (which also includes the two-day shipping!), or $10.99 monthly Amazon Prime account (also includes two-day shipping!), or $8.99/month for just streaming video service.

Ready to get started (and do a little shopping)? Click here to check out these Amazon Prime packages. And to make sure your device is Amazon Instant Video compatible, click here: Amazon Instant Video Compatible Devices.

Hulu

Starting at just $7.99 per month, Hulu has grown to a very receptive audience of cord cutters that enjoy network TV on-demand, without the hefty DVR and cable package fees. You can even bump up your subscription to the $11.99 package to cut commercials. Interested in Hulu, commercial free, with Showtime? That’s just over $20/month. Many of the shows are available the day after they air on these popular networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW.

Hulu is even starting to get into original content with several cool shows that debuted in 2016 and even more slated for later this year in 2017. While it’s not nearly where HBO and Netflix are with the popularity of their original series, they are definitely in the ballpark and slowly offering more critically-acclaimed content for their subscribers.

Ready to start a Hulu subscription? There’s even a 30-day free trial for new subscribers. Click here to make sure your device is Hulu compatible: Hulu Compatible Devices.

DirecTV Now

It’s not what you think. DirecTV Now is different from its predecessor, the satellite service, DirecTV. Do you want satellite or dish content without the hassle of  dish installation or an aggravating outage due to weather? Well, thankfully DirecTV Now is available to meet that need. Starting at just $35/month you will receive channels such as: ESPN, Cartoon Network, USA, HGTV, Nickelodeon, AMC, A&E, Food Network, Bravo, History, E!, CNN, FX, Comedy Central, Spike, FS1, TBS, Animal Planet, FXX, TNT, Disney Channel, Discovery, Lifetime, Nat Geo, SyFy, TLC and more. ABC, FOX and NBC are included as well, but only in select markets.

Other DirecTV Now plans range from $40-$70 per month with a no-contracts policy. It’s easier than ever to test out this service with a 7-day free trial. One thing to keep in mind is that DirecTV Now live-streams TV show broadcasts, so there is no playback option. If you’re tied to a DVR or TiVo service, this may be a slight adjustment.

DirecTV Now is available via a streaming app and subscription to service. Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now Compatible Devices.

Sling TV

Sling TV is also new to the scene offering smaller bundles of affordable and popular cable channels at a much reduced price. And, for those cord cutters that want to catch the big game, this service will fit the bill most of the time. These bundles cost anywhere from $20 to $40 and offer channels such as ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Disney, and many more. SlingTV, like DirecTV Now, is a live TV stream. For the DVR fans out there, there are rumors that a “Cloud DVR” option will soon be available to all Sling subscribers. Right now, Sling TV’s Cloud DVR option is only available on Apple TV.

You can try Sling TV free for 7 days! Sling TV is available via a streaming app and subscription to service. Here’s a list of devices that are currently supported by Sling TV. Sling TV Compatible Devices.

#PoweredbyPoint

We hope you enjoy the brand new world of Cord-Cutting, and we are so glad that Point Broadband can help you cut the cord with our fast, reliable internet.

Stay Tuned

Have you heard of YouTubeTV? This service is very popular with cord-cutters. We’ll publish a full blog post about this exciting streaming service in the next few weeks.

 

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