Cord-cutting: Best Network Alternatives to Cable TV for You in 2024 [Free& Paid]

As the traditional cable TV dominated the 20th century, things seem to change in the 21th. Now, many people have become a cord cutter to cut their cable TV subscription and turn to modern cable TV alternatives. What is cable TV cord-cutting? What does cord-cutting mean? Why do you need cable TV alternatives? What are the best alternatives to cable TV? If you are wondering about these, this post should answer you well.

Part 1: What Does Cord-cutting Mean?

Firstly, what is cable TV? Before we dive into the cord-cutting, we might firstly figure out that cable TV is. According to Wikipedia, “Cable television is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fibre-optic cables.”


To make it simple, cable TV refers to the TV system that distributes television signals by means of coaxial or fibre-optic cables to your TV. Cable TV channels have their own control of the TV programmings for the incoming full 24 hours.

Then, what is cord-cutting? Actually, cord-cutting has different meanings in different industries or fields. And in broadcast television, cord-cutting means people trying to stop their continuous subscriptions to the cable TV or satellite TV, reduce pay-TV channels or hours of subscription TV, and make use of cable TV rivals such as online streaming services. Those people who do these are called cord-cutters. These new streaming services generally are much cheaper and provide more titles for people to stream.

Part 2: Why Do You Need Cable Alternatives?

When we talk about the reasons that you become a cord-cutter and need cable TV alternatives, we generally value cable TV and cable TV alternatives by comparing their Pros and Cons. Here we have listed the Pros and Cons of cable TV and cable alternatives. Through these Pros and Cons, you will easily figure out why you need cable TV alternatives.

1. Pros & Cons of cable TV


  • Wide range of channels include national TV channels and local channels from sports, news, entertainment to kids’ shows.
  • Reliable service lets you binge-watch your favorite series without any hiccups.
  • Some cable TV providers provide bundling options to let you select what to subscribe. This will help you save bucks on channels you don’t like.


  • The price is high, and you need to pay extra cash on premium channels and equipments.
  • You are set to watch TV shows at home with your TV. There is no way for you to watch TV on the go.
  • Cable boxes and remotes can be clunky and difficult to use. Plus, features like on-demand and recording options are very limited.

2. Pros & Cons of cable TV alternatives – streaming services


  • Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer a wide range of content at a relatively low price compared to cable TV subscription. You could even get free streaming services.
  • Streaming TV services enable you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows anytime anywhere with your mobile devices.
  • With internet connection and streaming device like a smartphone, you could then freely watch streaming TV shows.
  • Unlike cable TV that has settled TV streaming schedule, you could watch your favorite TV shows from streaming TV services anytime you like. For on-demand TV shows, you could even watch all on-demand TV shows at one time, while cable TV lets you finish the entire TV show watching in dozens of nights.


  • Internet connection is required, and high internet connection speed is recommended for smooth streaming TV watching.
  • Though streaming TV services offer a wide range of on-demand and Live TV titles, still many channels are not available.
  • Since different TV shows are distributed by different studios, you have to subscribe to different streaming services.

Though there are Cons of streaming TV services, it’s still a worth trying of these cable TV alternatives. Streaming TV services provides you great convenience you can’t get from cable TV. What do you need to prepare for cord-cutting and streaming TV service subscription?

3. What do you need to prepare for cord-cutting?

As mentioned above, the internet dependency will be highly increased when you turn to cable TV alternatives – streaming TV services. What else do you need to prepare for cord-cutting? Here we have listed all required things below:

1. Fast broadband: A larger bandwidth will definitely help you gain great TV watching experience.

2. A streaming device: Your smart TV might already get streaming apps, but a professional streaming device would make things more fluently and smoother.

3. Streaming services: This is the key point for cord-cutting because what you need is to cut the cord and adopt another more convenient and cost-effective cable TV alternative but not cutting your need for TV watching. Therefore, before you cut cord of your current cable TV, you need to subscribe to a video streaming service that offers content on demand or live. Of course, you could choose a streaming service upon your own budget, personal reference, device, etc. The lucky thing is that whichever streaming service you choose, you could actually download streaming videos via 3rd-party video downloaders like CleverGet All-in-One to download on-demand TV series for offline watching and avoid long-term repeated subscription.

  • CleverGet All-In-One
  • CleverGet All-In-One

    – Enable users to download online videos/live streams from 1000+ sites easily at high speed.
    – Download 8K video and 320 kbps audio without quality loss.
    – Download TV series episodes of all/certain seasons at once.
    – Save downloaded online videos to MP4/MKV/WEBM format.

Then, what are the best alternatives to cable TV? Are there free streaming services as cable TV alternatives? What if you prefer specific TV channel like Cricket matches? Well, don’t worry. We have collected several wonderful cable alternatives below.

Part 3: Best Alternatives to Cable TV for Free

If you are looking for free cable TV alternatives, here we have some for you. These alternatives to cable TV are totally free, but with ads. Check them below.

1. Freevee

Previously known as IMDb TV, Amazon Freevee is an ad-supported service that offers a mix of live channels, on-demand classic TV shows and movies, and some original content. You could get more than 400 live channels from Amazon Freevee.

cable tv alternatives


  • Free.
  • Many award-winning movies are included.
  • More originals are being produced.


  • Currently there are not many new titles.
  • Small original content menu.

2. Tubi TV

Tubi TV is another free streaming service as the cable TV alternative. This free streaming service has more than 60,000 titles with ads attached. It offers titles from various studios and libraries, such as Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros., plus networks, including A&E, Lifetime, and Starz.

cable tv alternatives


  • Free.
  • There are multiple contents from major studios.
  • The app is intuitive.
  • Web streaming is available.


  • Contents are a little bit out of date.
  • You have to watch the annoying ads.
  • 3. The Roku Channel

    The Roku Channel is another wonderful free cable TV alternative that offers you on-demand movies and TV shows for you to stream for free. It is available in both web browser and app versions. The Roku Channel app comes automatically with any Roku TV or device, and can be downloaded on mobile phones and tablets. The Roku Channel dropped a Roku Live TV Guide for your convenient channel surf.

    cable tv alternatives


    • Free. No contracts or monthly fees.
    • Offer a big selection of wonderful movies and TV titles.
    • Live streaming TV is accessible.


    • Not available on non-Roku streaming devices.
    • There are not many new releases.

    Besides these free alternatives to cable TV, you could still get others such as Pluto TV, Crackle, Sling Freestream, Vudu, Xumo, Peackcock TV, Plex, etc.

    Part 4: Best Alternatives to Cable TV on Paid

    While free cable TV alternatives are totally free to stream, they usually offer limited and dated contents. And some of these free streaming services even provide low video quality in their free plans, and require you to upgrade to their premium ones for better quality. Therefore, we also collected several paid alternatives to cable TV.

    1. Sling TV

    While its Sling Freestream is totally free, the Sling TV is a paid streaming TV service that offers quite a lot of new releases on various fields like sports, entertainment, etc. Sling TV is the best cable TV alternative for its lower price and customizable nature feel truly in line with the idea of cutting the cord.

    cable tv alternatives


    • Wide selection of channel packages.
    • Compatible with most of the mainstream streaming devices.
    • Low cost compared to other streaming services.


    • Quite few local channels are available.
    • Channel package might confuse subscribers.

    2. YouTube TV

    YouTube TV is another top choice of paid cable TV alternative that comes with simple, easy to use interface and a very strong selection of channels that provide up to date programmings. You could get local news, sports, as well as network sitcoms and dramas from YouTube TV. You could get unlimited storage DVR from YouTube TV.

    cable tv alternatives


    • Great sports and news channels.
    • Unlimited cloud DVR storage.
    • Allow up to 6 user accounts and 3 simultaneous streams.


    • The monthly subscription fee is higher than others.
    • Regional sports networks are not included.

    3. Hulu + Live TV

    Originally developed as an on-demand digital content provider, Hulu has gradually started to provide live TV streamings as well. That’s the Hulu + Live TV plan. On Hulu + Live TV, you could stream the most local broadcast channels and access to the biggest on-demand library. It also creates its own programming, with many Hulu Originals receiving popular and critical acclaim.

    cable tv alternatives


    • A large library of on-demand local channels and on-demand movies and shows.
    • Disney+ and ESPN+ are also included.


    • You might need to spend extra cash on add-ons.
    • No regional sports are available.
    • There is no free trial version.

    If you want more paid cable TV alternatives, you may try Fubo TV, DirecTV Stream, Paramount+, Netflix, Disney+, etc.

    Part 5: FAQ

    1. Can I watch sports as a cord cutter?

    Yes, of course you can. It used to be a problem of watching sports from streaming services. But now you could watch on-demand sports games, and even live sports games from various streaming services such as Sling TV.

    2. Can I cut the cord if I’m under contract with my cable TV?

    Actually you can, but we would like to recommend you keep the cable TV while exploring a cable TV alternative. You may have no official way to stop your contract, but you could choose a streaming service before the cable TV contract is expired.

    3. Can’t I subscribe to a streaming service for live TV only?

    Of course yes. There are quite a few streaming services that offer live TV streaming plans. The problem is that you need to know that streaming Live TV requires more bandwidth, which might cost you more.


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