Using Video Streaming Services Instead of Cable TV

This is a page about using video streaming services instead of cable tv. Cable is expensive, but there are some ways you can save money. One option is to switch to a streaming service to watch your favorite shows. Netflix and Hulu are just some of the services out there. Here is some advice if you are thinking about cancelling cable.

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There was a day that I woke to realize less was best for me. That was about 5 years ago. I have since come to learn about free channels on the Roku streaming device. There can't be anything better than that for me right now.

I have been enjoying a few things and one would be the awesome movies from the days past. I am sure if your thinking of cutting the cord this would work for you. Buy the Roku used it's just as good.

Register it and look for free channel apps. Begin by sitting there and understanding you only want free. If there is a fee, delete them. In a few months, you will thank yourself. I share Netflix and Hallmark service. But that was before I knew of the free service.

YouTube has just about everything. Check it out.

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I cancelled my cable television subscription some years ago in favor of using streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. However, it is easy to spend just as much on streaming services as you pay on cable television!

One way to save money is to activate only one streaming service at a time. Most of the services offer monthly payments and there are no penalties to unsubscribing. If they get another show you like or a new season of a show you watch then you can just resubscribe.

I subscribed to Netflix a few months back to watch Stranger Things. Then I subscribed to Filmstruck to watch their Criterion Collection movies. Now, I'm thinking about subscribing to BritBox to watch the old Doctor Who serials. I may subscribe to Showtime for a month to catch up on the new Twin Peaks. Or, to HBO for a month to watch Game of Thrones.

By rotating through the different services rather than subscribing to several at once I only pay about $10/month and over the course of a year I can get access to many different shows. My cable company's cheapest package is $25/month for very limited channels.

When you cancel a service, they generally let you watch through the end of the current month so if you plan on keeping a service for only one month you might want to cancel it early in the month and then make sure you watch the shows you want to see before the service cuts out. Make sure you do cancel the service because once they bill again you will generally have to pay for the full next month.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Every other month I call my cable company because the bill goes up. They will give me a break for a month or so then slowly creep in other charges. I'm not tech savy and am reading about Hulu. I watch CNN, MSNBC, some of the old movies, the sports channels, cooking, and sometimes the history channel. These are a few of what I watch. Is cable a must for me to continue watching these networks?

I'm not wanting to watch TV on my computer. What equipment do I need in order to watch the networks on my Sonny HD TV. Hopefully I'm making sense; as I said not "tech savy", but would like to cut the cord with cable. I have my phone line and internet connection with cable company also, if that makes a difference. Thanks.

By weinerdog41 from Lubbock, TX


January 8, 20130 found this helpful

First about watching pc on tv. I am not so tech savvy myself, so I go to Youtube. There you will find 8 million videos showing you exactly what to buy and how to do it. Just search for "watching pc on tv".

As for the Hulu dilemma, it can be good and bad. A lot of the tv shows are available free for limited periods (A certain number days after air for a certain number days). I'm not sure how news shows would work. News 5 days late is not really news any more. Go plunder around and see. You don't have to register, and if availability is different with paid service they will tell you.

Another option is to go to the individual network website. That is sometimes the faster option for shows.

I say all this as I watch my cable tv. I am too stuck in my ways to make the change. I do, however, plan to change to basic cable and watch as many shows as possible through pc.

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January 8, 20130 found this helpful

I am just in the process of doing this myself. I am SO not tech-savvy. If it weren't for my computer geek brother, I'd still be using my VCR (which he bought me in the 80's)!

We downgraded to just basic cable before our wedding 2 years ago, and it's been a great disappointment for $47 a month.
We were able to only get Netflix and Pandora through our Blue-ray player (gift from my brother, LOL), so we JUST bought a Roku box (a box that streams internet tv) and installed it two days ago - it was only $50. We now pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus at $16 a month total and get other stations free through the Roku.

So far, I'm really happy. I am able to get shows on Hulu Plus that I could no longer get on cable and that Netflix didn't have. There are a couple of shows that Hulu Plus doesn't have, but I can watch them online if I'm really desperate.
I've just been playing around with the Roku, but it has so many other channels.

I have found news channels that are free. NBC seems to post the nightly news and meet the press immediately, and there are several other news channels that I haven't even tried yet - a lot of them free.
So anyway, it's worth it to me. I would try it out while you still have cable for a few days before deciding, but I am excited about saving money and having more watching options.

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January 8, 20130 found this helpful

Ooh, I just looked at your post again. I have heard that if you have internet and phone through your cable company, that if you cancel your cable, they will not actually stop your cable service. In other words, they automatically do internet and cable together, even if you cancel the cable. It would be up to you to decide if you would feel too guilty to use the cable! In my opinion, if they're sending it to your house even if you've canceled it, you should have the right to use it. Others might disagree.

Also, all you need for internet TV streaming services is wifi and a streaming device, like a Roku, Apple tv box, WII, or other internet-enabled device. I am liking the Roku so far.
Good luck!

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July 27, 20130 found this helpful

Hulu is awesome. We have been using the ROKU for about a year and a Half the time it cost about $65.00. there are so many great channel options with the Roku. Hulu Plus is what you Pay for to stream to your TV. It is $8 a month. Worth it. Additionally with the Roku you get channels such as Amazon movies. You can rent a movie on So that is like pay per view. Hulu not only gives you access to common TV stations but there is a collection of HULU Exclusive programs, usually British productions that are very entertaining. I have loved not paying for cable.

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Thanks to the many "subscription streaming" services, I gave up expensive cable packages long ago, but I now find that I have half a dozen various streaming services Netflix, PBS Passport, CBS, Acorn, etc., and I find myself paying nearly as much as the cable packages used to charge.

In the spirit of ThriftyFun frugality, has anyone figured out the best way to maximize viewing streamed content (e.g. which services offer largest selection, etc.) without going crazy or broke?


August 14, 20180 found this helpful

I have heard good things about the Roku. Some people add Netflix, and some are happy with it alone. I would drop cable altogether, but my husband watches TV all day long and we even pay extra for sports

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August 14, 20180 found this helpful

What I want to do, and I think the only way to go is to dump all services and just watch what you want to watch after the fact through YouTube or the network websites. If it were just me, that is the only way to go. Better yet, it would save money and I would probably read more or talk to friends more because there would be no distractions.

I am, however, outvoted and we have a very basic Dish satellite. I hate it, but sports rule for my hubby and he wants to watch the games live, as well as a few shows he likes to watch when they air.

Going to a bar to watch sports was too costly, and no public place runs TV's with sitcoms, so we pared it down to his sports channels, local news and a few other odd stations.

If you find something better, share please!! It was so much easier when it was just radio, then just 3 networks and an antenna!!!

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August 14, 20180 found this helpful

i am perfectly content with just Youtube and Netflix (whcih I pay $0 because am part of my mum's family plan) and I get Amazon prime for the PRime membership and if by any chance i find a show they're showing on a specific other thing (like Acorn) I will sign up the trial membership and pay a couple months extra, binge watch, then cancel the service

in the end it's about figureing out who's showing what you want to watch

i tend to also just pay $3 every now and again if they're showing something I want on YouTube or Amazon - usually it's older movies that are streaming for a fee

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August 15, 20181 found this helpful

My brother has a system where he only pays for one of the streaming services at a time. If he is interested in a series that is on Hulu, for example, he will turn off Netflix while he has the Hulu subscription and will binge watch everything available. Of course, this is difficult for watching network programming but he can always watch shows on YouTube or on his computer the next day. It seems to work for him.

We currently have cable but I would like to dump it as soon as our contract is up. Sports are always the problem. My husband loves to watch soccer and it can be difficult to stream it unless you have the right package. But more options are available every year so I'm hopeful that we will be able to work something out.

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I cannot watch movies because I don't have a free movie website. Does anyone know of a free movie website that does not take ages to download or play and definitely doesn't lag or glitch.

Thanks if you give me a website to try.


January 8, 20160 found this helpful

You'll need a computer with an internet link and a little bit of storage capacity, but check out peer-to-peer downloads.

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January 9, 20160 found this helpful

I normally download from here - This person creates all of his downloads from blue ray files he owns and shares with others.

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January 5, 2010

Where can I watch Saw 6 for free online?

By Nakina Goff from Indianapolis


January 15, 20100 found this helpful

My son says to Google, "", I believe, or just Watchmovies. Good luck. : )

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January 21, 20100 found this helpful


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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 5, 2010

What is the safest website for free movies?

By Danny Mondragon from Salt Lake City, UT


Free Safe Movie Viewing Site

There are three I know of, but the first two are the two I use the most:

I rarely use it but there's:

No file sharing, no downloading, but you need a broadband connection. Just your browser and it's safe. You will need to use an email address (I use a yahoo account) to sign up to view.

Also, they have TV shows and such. Or if you are a Netflix member or thinking of it, you can watch movies from their site as well. (10/24/2009)

By LizO

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October 23, 2009

Does anyone know of a free, safe site where I can watch full length movies online? I don't want to do anything else, but watch. I want adventure, comedy, action stuff. Innocent, clean stuff. I would be most grateful for any suggestions.

Cettina from Malta, Europe


Free Safe Movie Viewing Site It is a good site for watching movies and TV shows. Good quality and fast loading. Need to sign up to watch, but that is pretty painless. And they don't swamp you with spam like some other sites.


By Mouya

Free Safe Movie Viewing Site

Hi Cettina! I live in the Netherlands and I watch "old" movies on MovieFlix. As the previous poster stated, you will have to sign up, but it is free. My favorite is "Little Lord Fauntleroy" under "drama". I hope you enjoy this site. (04/21/2008)

By SL Edens

Free Safe Movie Viewing Site

Oops. I should have also included that you can't watch all the movies on the MovieFlix site for free, some do have to be paid for. I've never paid for any as I just watch the free ones. (04/21/2008)

By SL Edens

Free Safe Movie Viewing Site

Try The online viewing guide. (04/21/2008)

By christi

Free Safe Movie Viewing Site

Thanks for your suggestions. as usual, ThriftyFun users sorted it out. movieflix is just the sort of thing I wanted. hulu won't let me go in coz you have to live in the U.S. to be able to use it. There's a good choice on movieflix to keep me and my kids busy for a while. So thanks again to all at Thrifty. (04/22/2008)

By cettina

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