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    What to Ask about Cable TV Alternatives

    Stop overpaying for cable TV! Did you know cable isn't the only option anymore, and that your options even extend beyond satellite TV? With so many great alternative choices these days, it's a wonder why anyone is still overpaying for cable. Here we'll give you a primer to search for top cable TV alternatives, including questions to ask when trying to find the option that's right for you. In addition to the big satellite TV providers, you might also check out Apple TV, Roku, Hulu, Netflix and other streaming services that let you watch today's hit shows and movies. You can even check out TV services offered by PlayStation, ESPN and TV networks. Sorting through these options might be overwhelming if you've never known anything but cable. Let's go through the top-rated options and answer common questions that can help you make the best choice.

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    What is Sling TV?
    Want to watch channels like ESPN and CNN without cable? Then check out Sling TV. For a low monthly fee, this streaming system gives you 30 live channels. Pair that with an HDTV antenna and you've got a good live TV substitute for traditional cable.
    How else can I watch live TV without subscribing to cable?
    Sling TV was the first provider of live TV streaming, but now you have options. Sony's PlayStation Vue app offers more channels than Sling TV for a slightly higher monthly fee, and DirecTV Now offers live streaming with an even larger channel lineup.
    What is a Roku player and how does it work?
    Roku is a streaming service that requires a small player to be hooked to your TV. All you do is plug it in with an HDMI cord. The Roku player connects wirelessly to your home network, and then you can log into your free account and use a variety of TV apps including Netflix.
    What is the monthly fee for Apple TV, Roku and other player-based services?
    Apple TV, Roku and other similar services don't have monthly fees. You pay for the player, which gives you access to the apps and online services on your TV. However, you do need to pay to use apps such as Netflix and Hulu on these systems.
    What kind of TV do I need to use these alternative services?
    Your best bet is to have a newer TV with HDMI inputs. If your TV is older and doesn't have these inputs, don't fret -- most video players have older output connections.
    How can I watch Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime?
    There are many ways to stream TV and movies to your set with these popular services. The first option is to get a player such as Roku or Apple TV. Another option is to get a video game console such as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, both of which are loaded with apps. Or, if you have a smart TV, you can use these services without needing any kind of player.
    Can video streaming accounts be shared?
    Netflix and Hulu have attempted to limit the sharing of accounts, but as of now these accounts can be shared between family and friends. That allows for obvious cost-saving options you can't get with cable TV.
    How are DISH Network and DirecTV different?
    DISH Network and DirecTV are the nation's two satellite TV providers, and each is slightly different. Dish offers just a handful of extra channels but double the DVR storage and recording hours. Both charge just $15 per month for DVR services, and they feature virtually identical starting prices, with DirecTV offering more expensive high-end services.