Video

New, Cheaper Ways to Watch TV

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Classic Triple Player

You want it all and don’t mind paying for it.

Cord Shaver
You want most of what you get from cable TV—but without the cable.

Discriminating Viewer

You want local stations, plus Netflix and HBO originals.

Hard-Core Cord Cutter

You depend solely on online video content—and not much of it.

What You Start With Pay TV, internet, and phone, all bundled together ($185)1 Internet and phone ($70)

Internet ($60)2, antenna ($40 purchase)

Internet ($60)
What You Add Amazon Prime ($8.25/month) and Netflix Premium ($12/month) Hulu With Live TV ($40), Netflix Standard ($10), and Amazon Prime ($8.25) Netflix Basic ($8), HBO Now ($15) Pay-per-view services such as iTunes and Amazon Video
What You Can Watch Hundreds of channels and Netflix and Amazon Prime TV shows, movies, and original programs. A DVR that lets you record shows. Premium Netflix lets four people use the service on different devices at the same time and includes 4K programming. (Basic allows for only one screen at a time.) Broadcast TV channels such as ABC and NBC, if you live in a bigger market, plus about 50 cable channels, and Netflix and Amazon Prime TV shows, movies, and original programs. Hulu With Live TV comes with a cloud-based DVR that lets you record shows. Free over-the-air broadcast channels, mainly for local news and sports; Netflix movies and original series; and all of HBO’s lineup of movies and original shows, from “Silicon Valley” to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Free TV from channels that offer it (most broadcast channels and a few cable networks offer some free shows online), plus two movie rentals ($6 each) and two TV rentals ($3 each) each month.
Monthly Cost

$205

$128

$86

$78

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the August 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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