Alternatives To Cable TV Services & Netflix

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With the rise in price for both online video streaming and by-mail DVD rentals through Netflix, as well as the constant rise in cable TV pricing, watching your favorite movies and television shows has become even more of an expense. Rather than shelling out more cash for the same product, consider revising home movie night with these suggestions.

Hulu Plus

Many television networks offer streaming video on their websites. While most do not offer all episodes of a particular show for free, the most recent episodes are typically available.

  • Websites like Hulu gather all freely available streaming television episodes into one searchable website, and also stream thousands of movies as well.
  • In the free service, Hulu simply collects all freely available video content from television shows and movies.
  • Hulu also offers a paid subscription service, Hulu Plus, granting access to many more streaming episodes and movies for a fee of $7.99 per month.


Tivo service offers a digital video recorder, a device connected to your television, which records specific shows you have preprogrammed.

  • The system allows you to watch the recorded shows for as long as you leave them saved on your device.
  • While their monthly service expense comes in at $19.99 per month, $4 more than Netflix, they do offer a onetime service price for the life of the product.
  • For a flat fee of $499, you will continually receive service. Though the price seems steep, this equals out to about two and a half years of Netflix DVD and streaming video subscription.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Amazon Prime

The website also offers an online streaming video service as a part of their paid service, Amazon Prime.

  • Along with other website benefits like unlimited free two day shipping, a $79 per year (about $6.50 per month) subscription fee gives you access to streaming movies and television shows.
  • This may be a good option for anyone who already frequently shops at the website, and does not want to rent physical DVDs.


If you decide to choose a service like Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, Redbox may be the answer for renting physical DVDs, rather than simply streaming videos online.

  • For $1 to $2 a day, you can select from recently released, popular movies and video game discs.
  • Redbox vending machines are located in many grocery and drug stores around the country, offering the convenience of picking up a movie while you shop.
  • Because DVDs are dispensed out of a machine rather than rented in a store, the selection is limited to only a few of the most popular, recently released movie and game titles. 

Buy Your Favorites

Though renting DVDs and streaming video content online is convenient, one option to save money on your favorite television shows and movies is to simply buy them. If you use services like Netflix to only watch a few favorite shows or movies rather than searching for new ones, buying DVDs means paying one flat price, then never again needing to spend money to enjoy them.

  • Search online shopping sites like for good deals on DVDs, or look at a local retail store.
  • If you enjoy watching on your computer or phone, try buying digital copies of your favorite shows through iTunes, Amazon or any other online media retailer.
  • Also, some DVDs now include a digital copy on the DVD, allowing you to own both a physical and digital version of a movie.
  • While you won't have access to thousands of obscure titles like Netflix can offer, you will have unlimited viewings of shows you know you'll love.

If the recent hike in prices for Netflix streaming and DVD rental service is more than you can stand, consider trying one of these options. Whether you revert to driving down to your local store for a Redbox rental, stream television shows from Hulu, or finally commit to buying your favorite movies on DVD, one of these suggestions may ease your Netflix frustration.

Last Updated: July 23, 2012
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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