Got to say first I can find almost anything on the web (free and streaming) that any of those service have. But I called the cable company and asked what we can do with the bill.
This last month, with a triple play, Showtime and HBO and of course all the rentables the bill jumped to $208 - mind you (as if it explains it - my Internet speed is over 40mps) but I tried all combos, and 2 stuck out.
Keeping the Triple Play (TV, Internet and Phone) is always the cheapest bet, but there is a wide variety of packages of cable TV bundles that can dramatically effect your monthly fee.
With little effort, I took off the 2 discounted premium channels which I was getting for $10 a month each. Then with no other change, I got offered a 12 month plan that dropped down to $149.95 plus taxes = about a $45 saving, but I kept probing.
I asked about reducing the TV bundle to the barebones package - about a dozen local tv shows to keep up with news, etc. Nothing else TV wise, but we could easily live with in this bundle - our actual "live TV" show watching is almost nil. I don't care if I'm watching, let's say the great new series BLACKLIST tonight live with commercials or when I want with very limited commercials, and as soon as tomorrow. This package btw brings me down to $115.95 another $35 savings, still in a triple play package and getting the rock bottom deal for someone who has had promotional rates every 6 months or a year for way over a decade.
NOW THE BIG QUESTION:
I had Amazon Prime, thought I'd pay for it on shipping fees of stuff I bought through Amazon, and I think I did okay. I really didn't watch TV on it, just some movies and honestly didn't use it much.
NEVER used Netflix - just didn't come up in my trial of services quest for what is best for us.
We do watch HULU, a lot - and just started a week of free HULU to check it out. I'm still bothered by the commercials on TV shows, but they are shorter than regular HULU. I scrolled through the channels and some were as I had hoped, looks like they have a few hundred channels, many my cable company does not have, but almost all that they do have. But some of the channels had little to no content on them, seemed like "eye candy" on the channel listing page more than anything.
To help you, we watch TV series, mostly dramas, and often dramas we've never seen or heard of - found MISFITS from the UK to be a great Sci-Fi comedy, I'd put on the same scale as Warehouse 13, except MISFITS is very adult language and situations, but a good series that ran 5 seasons.
There are many such series specifically made for (or at least contracted to HULU) and we find more every day - right now we are watching John Doe about a over the top brilliant man who knows everything except who he is and where he comes from - great show.
The other thought being, I have a website that I have shared that has ALL THIS CONTENT ON IT and nearly any movie you have ever heard of, all streaming. TV shows are always available the next day and there are no commercials fairly easy to navigate. Sometimes you don't get HD content due to auto-bandwidth settings and rarely but it happens (at HULU too) there is some buffering, even at my very fast Internet speed.
SO WHAT'S IN THE PLANS?
Well, if I take the cable to $115, say $124 with taxes, then get HULU or other monthly service - I know we would be more than overwhelmed at the content we watch, as it is now. Truly, nothing much would change minus the rare "Channel Surfing with the TV remote" in TRUTH we watch TV through my computer 90% of the time. That included all the HBO and SHOWTIME stuff that streams for free now. I don't think we'd miss the cable box stuff, I'm very good at bookmarking our shows across the many websites - so we never miss the series we like and although none of the MOVIES content at any of the online service blow me away, it's easy enough to get the latest stuff in the theater downloaded in minutes - of course I don't endorse pirating, I just recognize it is readily available with newer technology like MAGNET downloads being much more secure and track-proof than torrent files.
SO WHAT DO YOU USE AND WHY?
Of the three and let me know of any others, which streaming service do you use and let me know which ones you have tried and what negatives you came across as well.
Thank you, saving $60 a month on cable is a lot of money, especially since we rarely have the TV in the TV mode - again, 90% of the time everything we watch is through my powerful workstation PC. $720 a year is a few thousand rounds of ammo, 10 to 15 dinner night outs, even a room in Atlantic City 5 time a year. And NEVER forget new toys, ummmmmm toys!