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Paying Hundreds for Cable TV?! Start Saving NOW with One of These FIVE Streaming Devices

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Roku, Fire, Chromecast… HUH?! 🤪

Are you wanting to turn your TV into a Smart TV so you can watch all the latest and greatest TV shows? With many streaming platforms available on the internet these days (like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video), you may be wondering which streaming device is the best option for YOU.

What exactly is a streaming device and why do you need one?

The purpose of a streaming media player is to get the signal for your movies and TV shows from the internet instead of from a cable or satellite provider, which could end up saving you quite a bit of money each month if you’re able to cut out your cable bill entirely. We all like saving money, right!?

As long as your TV has an HDMI connection, you can use any of the most popular streaming media players to watch the latest shows directly on your TV – no cable subscription required!

A few questions to ask yourself before buying…
  1. Do you need a streaming box that has its own operating system and allows you to download/install apps (such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, etc)? Or are you just wanting to stream content from your phone or computer?

  2. What type of TV do you own? For instance, if you have a 4K TV and plan to watch shows, you may want to invest in a device that can stream 4K videos. Also, double-check to make sure any of your current entertainment devices such as your TV, game console, or Blu-ray player don’t already offer many of the same features that a streaming media player does.

  3. Are you an Android or iPhone/Mac user? If you’re an Android user, you might prefer an Android TV device, but if you use an iPhone/Mac more often, you might prefer the Apple TV.

Here are 5 of the Most Popular Streaming Devices:

1.) Roku Ultra – The Ultimate Streaming Player

Whether your TV is HD, 4K or HDR, the Roku Ultra will optimize your content for the best picture resolution possible. The new voice remote (with buttons for TV power and volume control) makes it easy to control both your TV and Roku player. You can enjoy 500,000+ movies and TV episodes across thousands of FREE or paid channels. Plus, use your voice to search across top channels by actor, show and more. Includes headphones for private listening and a lost-remote finder.

NOTE: Roku has 5 streaming devices, including the Express and Express+, the Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+, and the Roku Ultra. The prices below are for the Roku Ultra device.

Where to purchase:

2.) Roku Streaming Stick – Affordable, Powerful and Portable

The Roku Streaming Stick is portable so you can easily hide it behind your TV, move it around the house, or take it to a friend’s. Plus, the new voice remote lets you easily control your TV with buttons for TV power and volume or use your voice to search across top channels by actor, show and more. Enjoy 500,000+ blockbusters, award-winning original series, kids’ shows, and more—across thousands of free or paid channels like Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, and PBS KIDS.

NOTE: Roku has 5 streaming devices, including the Express and Express+, the Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+, and the Roku Ultra. The prices below are for the Roku Streaming Stick.

Where to purchase:

3.) Google Chromecast Ultra – Easy to Use

You can stream up to 4K Ultra HD & HDR picture quality over your WiFi network with the Chromecast Ultra, a streaming device that plugs straight into your TV’s HDMI port. Chromecast Ultra provides fast, reliable performance with minimal buffering and smoother streaming. Use your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or laptop to stream thousands of Cast-enabled apps.

Where to purchase:

4.) Amazon Fire TV w/ 4K Ultra HD – Affordable 4K Streaming Option

The Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD connects you to a world of entertainment. With a compatible 4K Ultra HD and HDR TV, you can watch thousands of movies and shows come to life in vibrant colors and detailed contrast. Find your favorites with universal voice search across more than 140 channels and apps or discover new content with personalized recommendations on the home screen.

Where to purchase:

*If you don’t own a 4K TV, the Fire TV Stick is a great option and is priced at under $35. It supports resolution up to 1080p HD at 60 fps, has 1GB of memory and a 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor.

5.) Apple TV 4K – Integrates with Other Apple Products

The Apple TV 4K makes your favorite TV shows and movies even more amazing. Videos play in stunning detail with picture quality that’s more true to life. Enjoy content from iTunes and apps like Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN — or use the Siri Remote to find just what you want. The Apple TV 4K features faster performance than ever with the A10X Fusion chip for all your games and apps.

Where to purchase:
What streaming media player do YOU use?
Join The Discussion

Comments 72

  1. Victoria

    I have all of these and the one I use the least is my Apple TV. It doesn’t have some vital apps needed for basic channels like PlayStation Vue or Sling.

    • Charlene

      That’s odd that you don’t get Sling TV through your Apple TV. I have it in mine.

  2. Daniela

    I signed up for prepaid 2 month trial periods of Sling Tv and DIRECTV Now and got free amazon fire stick from Sling and free Roku from DIRECTV. The cost of the prepaid services (I went through coupon cabin, Ebates for cash back) was equal to the device price. I just cancelled both plans and kept my streaking sticks! Pretty happy I didn’t have to spend extra money and I had some new tv options for a bit.

  3. Hunterwoody

    Is there any stick or device with which I can get sports (college and pro football)? SEC and NFL games.

    • Jess

      We have a Roku Stick and subscribe to Sling TV (pay the extra $5 for sports package, $25 total) during football season. Then we get to watch SEC network (Gig ‘em Ags) and NFL games. We cancel every year after the Super Bowl and start it back in the fall.

      • Rhonda

        My concern is – how do you find good and reliable internet without paying a fortune? My local cable (Xfinity) company will charge us $90/month for the internet we currently have if we aren’t in a “bundle”.

        • Jen

          If you have fios in your area, my internet is $37/month.

          • sophie

            Not available in my area, Thanks for mentioning though.

          • Rhonda

            Thanks Jen! I may look into that again. It was recently available and we tried it, but the signal wasn’t great at our house and it was frustrating. (Especially trying to stream shows & videos) Maybe it has improved…that is a great price!

        • sophie

          I’m in the same boat as you Rhonda. I tried comcast and it was terrible, so i had to go back to uverse data plan and it’s going up to $90. Drop your cable and we’ll jack up the internet price. After sinking all this money into these devices, I’m probably going to have to go back to the old fashioned way.

          • Rhonda

            Sophie – It is frustrating. I could actually live without any cable, streaming, etc. but need reliable internet for my job. I just have given up for a while because at $90 for internet and then streaming services – my bill will probably be at the same amount with cable. (I pay around $150 for the “bundle”.)

            Thanks for the responses!

        • Hilary

          Same issue here! We only have one local cable/Internet company in our area and none of the big names. It’s better to pay the $147 a month for cable, a DVR, and Internet than to pay almost $100 just for Internet without the cable.

        • Jill

          Mine is the same way. I have xfinity so I always have to get the basic cable package with internet which is 60.00 a month. Plus I have a smart tv and use Netflix and amazon prime to.

      • ds

        Hi jess was wondering if you can watch the cavs basketball live on sling? My husband is a sports fanatic and he is giving me a hard time about dropping cable. Im so tired of 160 dollar cable bills. I wish there was just a sports package

  4. Cindy

    I’m looking for something with a dvr. Any suggestions?

    • Mari

      I was in the same boat as you, but decided I didn’t actually need a dvr since most services have on demand features so no need to record.

    • Debi

      Ask what you are DVR-ing. For streaming services, TV is mostly “on demand” Hulu, Netflix… So you can watch whatever show you want to watch whenever (Hulu is sometimes the next day.) or if you have PlayStation Vue or Sling, again, mostly you can watch shows “on demand” so ask what it is that you are wanting to record and do research on the best service to watch that particular show. DVR-ing is rather outdated in the streaming world.

      • Dikki

        Youtube TV has cloud DVR feature

  5. Noelle

    Is it bad that we have all but one of these? lol. Love our streaming devices!

    • Claudia

      It’s terrible! I got double of each 😞🤷🏽‍♀️

  6. Kandyce

    Perfect timing👍. Trying to convince my non tech savvy mom to cut the cord. Wish me luck and happy holidays 😃🎄🤞

    • Ellen

      I actually used my Wii or PlayStation when I initially cut the cord. I used a free trial to a streaming service and challenged myself to use it for the entire trial period before I committed to cutting the cord. I did that in 2010 and haven’t looked back. There are so many options with NBC, ABC doing some free streams after their prime time shows air. Also, CBS offers a $5 a month plan. SLING is what we are currently using and I’m about to suspend the Netflix account for a few months since we aren’t using it much.

      Give yourself a trial to see if you can be satisfied and then make the commitment.

      • Claudia

        This is exactly what I did in 2011/2012. PlayStations and Wii works well with amazon video, Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, PlayStation vue and many more channels. I tried all of th se and the only one I kept was amazon video which is like Netflix and redbox, since I already had the prime membership. No additional money to spend for us!

  7. Sisi Bee

    We love our fire stick.

  8. Crystal

    Keep in mind that the Amazon Firestick will be discontinuing youtube access zone the new year. That may be a deal breaker for some!

    • C.D.

      No it is not….download the Firefox browser(I have Amazon Fire TV) and your good to go with Youtube. I just did it last night.

      • ds

        Thank you cd i thought i was going to loose youtube

        • C.D.

          No problem. I was scared of losing Youtube as well but Amazon came through! Good work around with the browsers.

  9. Jessica

    I need to find something different. TV is my thing. It’s how I relax but I currently pay $200/month for Comcast tv and internet. They suck 🙁

    • sophie

      I tried their internet for 30 days and it sucked, tv froze, cell didn’t work in the back of my house. Went back to ATT. But I might try comcast again since att is jacking up the price of internet.

    • Claudia

      Where are you located? I have basic tv, blast internet and security for $103 per month. Internet is super fast with a hand full of devices connected.

  10. Ellen

    Our house is Team Roku. We have two older models of the Roku box and the new Ultra is in the livingroom. I can choose to activate or deactivate any of our paid streaming services depending on what we are actually watching. Netflix is about to be suspended while we indulge in Sling for a little while. We also stream some ABC and NBC stuff over the weekend after it airs on prime time for free. A cheap monthly subscription to CBS all access was used for college football season for the two times our team played on CBS. I cut cable off in 2010 and haven’t looked back. I pay a little more for internet knowing the amount of streaming we do, but I’m still paying way less than I was for cable. I can’t recommend the streaming sticks by Roku becase I haven’t used them, but my understanding is that they don’t have very strong processors.

  11. JEB

    Thanks for all the input on these devices.

  12. Kylie

    Can I use my phone internet for a ruku tv?How is it done? TY

    • Claudia

      You should be able to hotspot it. I tried once with the chrimcast and that didn’t work at all because the app needs to be on same network as chrimcast. With the rocky however you don’t need the app as long as you have a remote. It should work!

  13. ResseCup

    Roku One(Black Friday Deal), then Google Chromecast and now Amazon Firestick(Jailbroken). I’ll say I like the firestick the most as it offers way more apps to watch your favorite shows, sports, movies, etc. You can buy a firestick and jailbreak it yourself, plenty of YouTube videos for reference.

    • ResseCup

      Just a tidbit: Google and Amazon are feuding so Amazon Prime is not available on Google Chromecast and YouTube will no longer be on Firestick as of 01.01.18

    • Hilary

      Agreed! Our jailbroken Fire Stick is amazing and we can watch almost everything. We have a Chromecast as well, but the Amazon Fire Stick is the one we definitely use more. People- Watch YouTube tutorials to see what you can do with it!

  14. Jay

    Pluto tv is one good app you need to try in roku..

  15. Day-to-day

    We have fire TV, fire sticks, and a couple Android boxes laying around, but the best streaming, fastest 4k processing and most versatile streaming device we use is the Nvidia Shield TV. A bit pricey but is twice as fast as the next highest device. Nothing I’ve used compares to it after 2 years of ownership. Make sure if you have a 4k device on WiFi to run a speed test. You need both a fairly fast speed 30mbps minimum and a device that can process the 4k steam or you’ll be buffering constantly. Happy holidays everyone!

  16. Sabrina

    I decided about a year ago to get rid of cable and it was the best decision! I use a Roku and after trying all the streaming services decided on PlayStation Vue to cover current tv. I also pay for CBS All Access and use the free CW app.

  17. Deb

    We used to pay around $175/month for basic cable, digital phone, and internet, plus the taxes and fees. Parked our phone number with Number Barn, cancelled cable, kept internet. Turns out, due to how our cable was installed (no cable boxes), we still get all of the channels we had when we paid for them, since it’s too costly for our cable company (Northeastern Ohio: WOW) to separate out digital from regular channels. Current bill is $46/mo. for (now free) cable and internet, plus $6 Number Barn fee. Also currently subscribing to Hulu, but will switch to Netflix soon, so I can binge-watch Stranger Things. We have a Roku stick. Savings about $1200/year.

  18. Bmcnky

    We have fire sticks and love them. Wondering if I should upgrade to fire tv

  19. Jill

    Do any of these hook to your VUDU account? I have a lot of digital content there that I would like to be able to access with a streaming device. We do have one VUDU stick and I had planned to purchase more, but I’ve had a hard time finding them and would rather have a multi-functioning device to be able to use with Amazon and Netflix too.

    • Jacob

      Apple TV has a vudu app, chromecast also supports it, I believe amazon stick does too! Vudu is awesome! We backed all our dvds up there and it works great! Roku might have it, I can neither confirm or deny that.

  20. Amy

    We just cut the cable a few weeks ago. We have Roku and are pretty happy with it. My kids can still access their favorite cable shows and I get my news and hubby gets the sports he wants. We were paying way too much ($120/months) for channels we never watched and our bill was going to go up in January ($175/month). We pay $50/month for internet. We have Amazon prime and Netflix and Hulu. Hulu sometimes “skips/stutters” while we are watching. We are going to try Sling TV next. I love that there is no contract so we can cancel anytime we want.

  21. Elle

    Any recommendations for services that provide HBO? Been wanting to watch some HBO shows, and not sure which subscription service might be best.

    • Hilary

      Jailbroken Amazon Fire Stick and you can watch everything on HBO.

    • Day-to-day

      You can use Mobdro for free (not best quality but ok) just Google a YouTube video how to do it. You can also subscribe to an IPTV service about $10-20 month, you’ll get up to 10000 channels but has about all premium channels HBO, Starz, ESPN, etc. Just search to see which one will suit you best. You can probably use sling or a la carte HBO on its own also. Lots of ways to get it free too if your tech is strong. Lol

    • Maggie

      HBO Go and Showtime Now can be Chrome-cast from your phone or tablet to your TV, or watched via Roku. I would assume HBO Now works the same way. We use it when we travel.

      • Maggie

        Of course, you have to be an HBO subscriber, but HBO Now is for streaming without a cable subscription.

  22. Happymama

    Never in my life payed for cable. Internet is $35/mo through Frontier. We can get several free TV channels (CBs, NBC, FOX, etc…) and we pay $10/mo for Netflix. Use Google Chromecast (only costs $35 instead of $55 like the Google Chromecast Ultra) to send Netflix to the TV. Super easy and cheap.

  23. Winnie

    We have 2 fire sticks and 3 antennas for occasional tv watching. Paying $45 for 100mbp internet from spectrum(only high speed internet available) in our area. We were playing$64 for directv and they jacked it up to $94. It isn’t worth it since we don’t watch tv much. Like the fire sticks so far

    • harlooey

      Thank you Winnie: )

  24. Just passing through

    PlayStation vue just went up in price. Any suggestions for other streaming services? Sling? Thanks!

  25. Mercedes

    We don’t have cable but just pay for WiFi and use Show Box to stream movies from our Android then we use Google Chromecast to stream it to the TV.

  26. Pat Goff

    I keep thinking about turning off cable. Our bill is $115 and that is supposed to be a decrease (it was $90 5 months ago). I am afraid that I would miss Law and Order, all CSI’s, Bones, Travel Channel shows, HGTV (mostly Nick and disney for the kids and TNT, USA, and TLC)
    I got a ROKU for my brother so I guess I will see what it does.

    • riss

      Me,too! And we watch the same shows (except for kids’ show coz both kids are in college, but still watch cartoons when they come home 🙂 I was paying $118, just went up to $149 this month, just for cable and internet. I was gonna return the cable box in early December but never got around it. January for sure. I’m getting the roku ultra, then maybe sling tv, or Hulu. With 2 kids in college, every penny counts.

    • Rocky

      My family and I got TIVO as a dvr . You can record law and order and CSI. We only paid like $120 for the year which is significantly cheaper than cable. All you need is internet access

  27. dd-amber

    We have 4 firetvs with kodi installed so we can access anything at anytime. Great addition especially with kids. Ability to pull up anything at any time

    • ds

      What is kodi

      • Daniela

        If you use it to stream copy written movies and tv shows, you are doing illegal things. If you use it to store your own videos and purchased stuff, you are good. My boyfriend watched a soccer game from out of the country via BEin Sports, and his nephew watched a Disney movie, and he received a cease and desist email from Optimum with time and date of when he watched, and they even blocked his home WiFi for 7 days as penalty. We learned our lesson!

  28. Karen

    I have a fire stick. I pay $45 a month for internet and subscribe to Playstation Vue (you don’t need a playstation) for $40 for live TV. It works nicely for my house.

  29. Sarah

    We live in a mega tornado area so I worry about not having live news. Any ideas for that?

    • Elizabeth

      We have an antenna for our local channels so you could see the weather then.

    • Jill

      Roku (we have stick). has newson app and we are able to watch news live just abc and nbc affiliates. You can even watch other cities as well. If the news is live it will show live and even if it’s on 24 hours for special news. We are in Houston and we were able to watch anytime during Harvey since news was broadcasting constantly. Our local nbc affiliate even has previous newscast so you can watch any news from last day from the app.
      Btw roku stick can get overheated sometimes so we just unplug it for awhile.

  30. Nina

    We’ve always had TV and cable so this all sounds like a different language to me. I’m
    Not savvy on this topic n unfortunately neither is the hubby, wish he was though!! Sounds like the way to go.. but I like to scroll the channels, I guess the old fashioned way n pick something. Don’t like paying so much for cable however, ugh. We have Apple TV but according to this post, it’s not the best option, so no idea.

    • ecroston

      Look into Sling TV; it’s basically exactly like cable and you can still “scroll” the channels/guide. It starts at $19.99/month and has pretty much all the cable channels – I was able to ditch Comcast but still watch AMC, HGTV, Hallmark, TNT, etc. live just like if I was watching it on regular cable. I watch Sling through a Roku and it’s fantastic.

      Think of a Roku (or any other streaming box) like a smartphone – you buy it, “connect” it to your home internet, boot it up, add “apps” to your home screen – Sling, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc. – and eureka, you have thousands of movies and shows. Each app has different content and some are free, some make you pay.

      If you want local channels, just buy and antenna and plug it into your TV. If you Google “what channels will I get with an antenna in my area”, you will find countless websites to help.

      The key to cutting cable is to not get bogged down with “but I want to watch such-and-such live”; you need to be a bit flexible, i.e. watch something maybe a day later or pay for one episode, etc. Also, if you’re a sports-watching household, it gets a little complicated to find specific games/teams.

      We aren’t an Apple household so I can’t speak to Apple TV but I do know that my Roku is great. My sister got a Roku Smart TV and it’s almost exactly the same home screen as my Roku plugged into my regular TV. You just turn it on and pick an “app”/icon to open something – easy peasy. I promise that it’s easier than it sounds!

  31. ecroston

    I have Comcast internet (74.95/month) with a older Roku, Sling TV w/ 2 add-on packages (movies & lifestyle), Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and an antenna for my local channels. I wouldn’t go back to cable; as it is, I have more than enough options for watching shows & movies!

  32. Kelly

    We cut the cable and got amazon fire..we love it. We like to have a land line but I was wondering if anyone knows about a cheaper option for a landline. Thanks

    We currently have a bumdle.of internet and the phone.

  33. Joe

    We have the $35.00 directvnow streaming package, with over 60 channels, including locals the service is not perfect but has really inproved. For me a little inconvenience is worth the savings.
    KELLY, we use Ooma for the landline phone, we pay $5.00 a month for 4000 minutes, they say it’s unlimited, but it’s really 4000 minutes, works fine, and unfortunately we have Comcast for Internet, which just went up $6.00. BUT 5G WIRELESS HOME INTERNET IS COMING FROM AT&T,VERISON AND TMOBILE WITHIN 2 YEARS.

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