With the streaming options available today, and the new services that are constantly being released, its getting more and more easy to cut the cord. If youre an Apple product fan like me, heres how you can do it.
Step 1: Choose an On Demand Service
When it comes to watching your favorite TV shows, there are four major players to consider for your Apple TV.
Hulu – Because Hulu provides most shows the day after they air on live TV, its a favorite for many cord cutters. With Hulu, youll have access to most big channels, including ABC, NBC, Fox, Bravo, Comedy Central, etc. A benefit of using Hulu is the ability to set up separate profiles, tailoring the watchlist and recommendations to each user. Starting at $7.99/month
Netflix – The service is known for its movie selection, which gets an update each month. Youll also have access to past seasons of TV shows, along with Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Grace & Frankie, and Jessica Jones. You can also create separate profiles on Netflix, allowing each user to create their own watch list. Starting at $7.99/month
Amazon Prime – Amazon is an incredible service for those who have cut the cord, but it can be tricky to use with Apple TV. (It might get easier soon, as Amazon and Apple have announced that theyve for working together.) In the meantime, use it by logging into the Amazon Prime app on your iPhone or iPad, or going to the website on your computer. Purchase the show or movie you want to watch, then play it through the app. When the video starts, tap on the airplay icon and choose to view the video on your Apple TV. $10.99/month
iTunes – A major benefit to choosing Apple TV is having access to any shows or movies that youve purchased through iTunes. Just go to the app when you turn on your Apple TV, sign into your account, and theyll be there, waiting for you. iTunes makes it easy to rent new releases and stream them straight from your TV. Pay per rental or purchase
Step 2: Choose a Live TV Service
Sometimes, watching a show the day after it airs isnt good enough. Luckily, there are live streaming services that allow you to watch in real time.
Playstation Vue – With the Playstation Vue app, and a subscription, you can watch many of your favorite channels live. The subscription package you choose determines which channels youll get. The service also offers a sports package for an additional fee, which gives you access to additional sports channels. A highlight of Playstation Vue is the record feature, which works just like a DVR. Starting at $39.99/month
Sling TV – Many Apple TV users love Sling TV because of the low base price and the ability to customize a package. Start by choosing your base package, then add more channels based on your interests, from sports to kid friendly programming. Starting at $20/month
DIRECTV NOW – Why pay for cable when you can get the same service for a fraction of the price? Youll have access to basic channels, starting at 60 channels with the base package, along with extras like Comedy Central, HGTV, National Geographic Channel, and Disney. You also have the option of adding on premium channels like HBO for an extra fee. Starting at $35/month
fuboTV – For those who love sports, news, and entertainment, Fubo TV is a service worth checking out. Missing out on live sports is a big concern for a lot of people who are hesitant to cut out cable, but Fubo TV provides access to local sports, including soccer, baseball, football, and hockey. Youll also have the option to record a game and watch later. Starting at $34.99/month
Hulu with Live TV – A favorite streaming service is now testing the waters with a beta version of a live TV service. Hulu says the service allows users to create their own custom lineups including basic channels, along with local sports, kids programming, and news. Its a new service, and there will be some kinks to work out, but its a promising solution for cord cutters who want their local programming. $39.99/month, includes access to Hulus streaming library
Step 3: Choose a Free Service for the Extras
The services above will give you a lot of options for watching your favorite shows and movies, but they also charge for them, either through individual purchases or monthly subscriptions. With your Apple TV, you can also use the following free services.
Crackle – If youre willing to deal with commercial breaks during your movie, Crackle is a great service with a big variety to choose from. The app offers more recent movies, rotating them out periodically to ensure theres always new content.
Pluto TV – This service is designed to look and feel like a cable subscription. You can scroll through the listing to find whats playing, choose your show or movie, and watch in real time.
Tubi TV – While the selection of movies on Tubi TV isnt as extensive or exciting as what youll find on Netflix or Amazon Prime, and youll have to deal with commercial breaks, the trade off is that this is a free service. Youll also find some genres that the other apps are lacking, like a good selection of anime, international films, and documentaries.
SnagFilms – With major movies covered, SnagFilms is your source for independent films. Youll find everything from big names to cult classics to small budget films, all for free.
Step 4: Get Started Slowly
If youre new to the idea of cord cutting, dont be put off by the number of services there are to choose from. The key to cutting the cord successfully is to take your time and find the services that work best for you, depending on what you like to watch, as mentioned in the Cord Cutting 101 guide. Take advantage of free trials to give each service a chance before committing. Pick the apps that are most useful for you, leave the rest, and get ready to enjoy the freedom of not being locked in to a cable contract.
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