What streaming services do we use?..Can you end your cable contract for TV?…

It was often foggy in the hills in Madera.

Yesterday, we wrote about listening to podcasts, and today, we’re covering streaming services for those unfamiliar with using any services other than Netflix.

We use many streaming services, frequently switching back and forth based on certain movies and TV series we’d like to see.

Currently, we use the following services:

  1. Netflix (permanently): See this link for various plans
  2. Hulu (permanently): See this link for multiple plans. (Available with LIVE TV for a premium price of $76.99…we don’t use this premium feature).
  3. Paramount Plus (temporarily, depending on what we’d like to watch): See this link for various plans.
  4. Apple TV (temporarily, depending on what we’d like to watch): $9.95 monthly
  5. Amazon Prime (Prime Video is included with a Prime membership and other benefits such as pricing and free shipping on Amazon… A Prime membership is $14.99 per month or $139 per year if you pay annually.

Based on varying prices and plans (and the country in which you reside), we are paying less than $50 per month for the above. Some plans include ads, and some do not. We prefer plans without ads when the cost is not prohibitive.

In our old lives, 12 years ago, we paid over $200 monthly for cable TV.

Our occasional add-ons:

1, Max (includes HBO)

  • With Ads: $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year
  • Ad-Free: $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year
  • Ultimate Ad-Free: $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year
  • 4K: $21 per month

2. Paramount Plus with Showtime

  • The Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan costs $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year, plus taxes. This plan includes content from Paramount+ and SHOWTIME and is commercial-free except for live TV and a few shows. It also includes everything in the Paramount+ Essential tier, plus additional benefits like a live feed of your local CBS affiliate.

3. Britbox

  • Free 7-day trial, then just $8.99/month or $89.99/year

Many streaming services offer a one-time 7-day free trial. You can cancel at the end of the seven days, but most likely, you’ll be asked to include a credit card if you don’t cancel on time. I always make a note on my digital calendar to cancel a service if we’ve been able to finish watching a show we were interested in in the seven days.

Some services make it tricky to cancel the service and may offer you special pricing if you stay with them. We handle these on a case-by-case basis.

There are many more streaming services, but we’ve found the above most useful for our interests. For more information on additional streaming services, see this excellent article here.

For those unfamiliar with streaming services, here is a link with an excellent explanation of other streaming services I haven’t mentioned above.

What happens to the regular network TV shows when you end cable TV? 

You won’t have ABC, NBC, or CBS (unless you sign for Paramount Plus, which includes CBS) and many other networks. You can find many of your favorite networks on various streaming services. You will no longer watch shows when they are on TV. You will stream them at your convenience.

How will I find the streaming services on my device?

You will add the app from the usual location where you download apps, entering the username and password you created when you signed up, where your credit card information will be stored for future automatic payments. You do not send in a check for payment as you may have done with your cable service.

Once the app, its service, and your account are entered, it’s a one-click process to open the app and use the streaming service. You will not have to log in each time since your device will remember your information. We keep all the services on my phone, taskbar, and desktop on Windows. You will add the icon for Apple users as you usually add apps to your device.

How do I get the streaming service from my device to the TV monitor?

Most US TV monitors are “smart TVs” where you can “cast” a show from your device to the TV. This is the easiest method; your TV may already have all the streaming services available through a one-click on the TV monitor. If this isn’t available on your TV, or you have an older TV, you can use an HDMI cord from your device.

The Cast button resembles a small TV screen with a WiFi signal. Depending on which app you choose, you’ll find the Cast button either in the top right or left corner of your screen once you open the app. Choose the device you’ll cast to, then tap Cast.

While in hotels, we find it tricky to cast all of our streaming services since they aren’t included as a default. In those cases, we use an HDMI cord. If your device doesn’t have an HDMI outlet, you can usually find an adapter that will work on your device. However, your TV must have an outlet for various HDMI cords by accessing the INPUT on the TV’s remote. Generally, you’ll select HDMI 2 since most TVs work best with that option.

“I see several free streaming services. Why would I pay for a service?”

Many of these free services collect your information and sell it. Also, there usually is a poor signal from the servers, and many ads pop up during the streaming process. However, some networks have free viewing for some of their shows, which may be worth checking out.

I realize this information is cumbersome and complicated for those unfamiliar with streaming. If you have questions, please write them down, and I will post the answers in another post. Often, unfamiliar users end up paying for a service rep to set up streaming services. This is an easy option if you can afford the service fee.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 24, 2014:

As it began to rain, little puffs of clouds dotted the hills in Madeira, Portugal. For more, please click here