Streaming Services Are Increasingly Expensive
If you despise paying for television, you’ve probably estimated the annual cost of Netflix or Hulu. As it turns out, a Netflix plus Hulu membership will set you back more than $200 per year, with other services merely adding to the expense.
When you consider the present cost of streaming services, Netflix and Amazon Prime’s annual price hikes, and the inclusion of new services like Disney+, the future appears bleak—or at the very least expensive. We often think of these services as alternatives to cable, yet they’re beginning to resemble cable businesses. Is there a way to avoid using streaming services?
You don’t have to pay for Netflix or Hulu to get your fix of online TV, thankfully. There is a slew of free online TV options, some of which will make you question why anyone would spend $12.99 per month for a streaming service subscription.
Use Someone Else’s Login
Streaming providers are pretty liberal when it comes to account sharing. In fact, with separate user-profiles and multi-user subscription plans, most streaming providers encourage account sharing, at least within a family. You get a friend’s login information, create a profile for their account, and go to town.
You can even use a friend’s or family member’s cable login information to watch material directly from television networks’ websites, such as FOX or HBO. Some cable companies, such as DirecTV, offer their streaming sites. It’s incredible how much free content you can get with just an account and password.
Using a friend or family member’s streaming or cable subscription can save you a lot of money, but someone is still paying the bill in the end. If you want to avoid streaming services and the ghost of cable completely, you’ll need to take a different route to the realm of free TV.
Some streaming services may prohibit you from sharing with family members, but others encourage you to do so.
Pluto TV and Crackle are two of the best free streaming sites.
You’ll have to find free TV in the wild if you won’t (or can’t) borrow someone’s login details. Fortunately, there are a plethora of free streaming services available, with the majority of them featuring a selection of high-quality episodes and films.
Pluto TV, which has over a hundred live channels displaying movies and TV shows, and Sony’s Crackle, which has a selection of TV shows and movies available for on-demand streaming, are the most popular free streaming sites. Of course, commercials appear on Pluto and Crackle—but so does cable television, which you pay for! You can view them on your TV with a Roku or similar device or in your computer browser, on a smartphone or tablet app.
If these sites aren’t cutting it for you, try Tubi, Popcornflix, Share TV, and Yidio instead. You may also feed your entertainment addiction using platforms like YouTube, but locating whole TV shows episodes will be difficult.
Free Trials are available.
The shows you want aren’t always available on free streaming platforms. Netflix and Hulu, for example, normally provide a month-long free trial. These trials are valuable when you know exactly what you want to watch, but they should only be used as a last resort. Free trials can only be used once (sort of), and if you neglect to deactivate your account, you may receive a bill at the end of the month.
However, the free trial system can sometimes be rigged to work indefinitely. Your email address and credit card information is used by most streaming services to identify you. Streaming providers can check your IP address or the mailing address on your payment card to verify your identification, and they’ll (justifiably) deny you a free trial if they detect anything suspicious. You can keep a free trial going indefinitely by signing up for it with multiple cards and email addresses. Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t only a morality test; it’s also a little half-baked.