We hope you enjoy the following guest post from Chris Brantner, the cord cutting expert behind CutCableToday.com.
We all know that cable is expensive. Customers pay absurd amounts, well over $100 per month in many cases, to get channels they’re not at all interested in -- and can only watch at home.
As a result, many people have sought alternatives to cable, and the market has answered with several new services in the last year-and-a-half that cost less and offer more flexibility in channel selection and viewing options.
A big trend at the moment is people watching TV on mobile devices. This is not surprising, as Sarah Perez of TechCrunch says, “for the first time ever, the time spent inside mobile applications by the average U.S. consumer has now exceeded that of TV.” The most interesting data point from the article is that TV viewing time hasn’t decreased over the last two years, it has remained constant. Instead, time spent in mobile apps has grown about 50% since 2013.
While traditional cable companies have been slow to innovate, the cable alternative market has happily stepped up to fill in the gaps with more options for watching TV on the go. Here are some of the best options out there and some details you should consider:
One easy way for cord cutters to watch TV is by using a digital antenna combined with a Tablo OTA DVR. Yeah, that’s right…you can watch live and recorded OTA TV on the go. A basic antenna picks up high-definition network signals from channels broadcast on Over-the-Air networks and sends them directly to your TV.
But to watch live or recorded OTA TV on your mobile device, you need Tablo. Tablo connects to your HDTV antenna and your home’s WiFi router and allows you to stream programs to a variety of Tablo apps.
You can use Tablo to watch TV on the go by enabling the Tablo Connect service withing the settings menu.
Syncing your device with Tablo on your home network pairs your device and forms a secure connection with the unit. Then, when you are away from your home, the Tablo app on your smartphone remembers the connection and uses your home internet to stream anything from your Tablo DVR to your phone, tablet, PC or Android-based HDMI streaming device.
Dish Network launched a cable alternative - Sling TV - in 2015. You pay a monthly fee of $20 and gain access to over 20 live streaming cable channels. There are a couple starting packages and you can find channels like FS1, CNN, and many others broken out between the packages.
Sling TV is compatible with phones and tablets, so you can easily watch any of the channels you have in your package on the go. It’s a simple way to watch your favorite shows or sporting events outside of your home and still have a similar experience to cable at home.
T-Mobile Binge On
This service from T-Mobile doesn’t offer access to specific cable channels or content, but it does allow you to stream as much as you want using cellular data across multiple services. Sling TV, Hulu, WatchESPN, HBO Now, Netflix, and YouTube are just some of the services you can watch on your phones. If you have Binge On from T-Mobile you even get Sling TV’s Best of Live TV Package (featuring TBS, TNT, ESPN, ESPN2, and others) for only $14 per month or 30% off. Some plans even get one free movie a month from Vudu that can be streamed using mobile data.
Mobile TV options continue to grow, and cable’s stranglehold continues to weaken. With a good antenna, Tablo, and the right streaming apps, you can watch pretty much what you want, when you want and where you want.
Chris Brantner runs CutCableToday.com, a blog dedicated to helping people find legal cable TV alternatives. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/CutCableToday.
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