Are you ready to drop your home phone bill once and for all? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve already ditched your landline altogether. A recent survey showed that less than 30% of U.S. households still use landlines exclusively.

However, if you’ve been holding onto your landline because you think cell phone service is your only alternative, think again. VoIP technology offers you the convenience of a landline phone without the cable handcuff. Seriously.

Let’s dive in and learn more about home phone alternatives without the landline costs.

Do you still need a landline?

Landlines aren’t as necessary as they once were. So whether or not you need a landline may depend on your circumstances and preferences.

There are several reasons you may feel that keeping your landline is important. Let’s review a few frequently asked questions about switching to a cable-free alternative.

Emergency preparedness: What happens if there’s a power outage or natural disaster? I thought landlines still work when other communication methods fail.
Fact check: Landlines may still work if the phone line is intact and the telephone company has backup power. However, landlines aren’t foolproof – if there is damage to the phone line or central office, landline service may also be disrupted.

Sound quality: Don’t landlines have the best sound quality? 
Fact check: While it’s true that landline connections can offer slightly better sound quality than other communication connections, the difference is often minimal.

Cost savings: Will canceling my landline be more expensive? I’m worried I’ll have to pay more.
Fact check: Making calls via the internet allows you to make mobile calls without relying on your cellular plan. It’s a great way to take advantage of the internet you’re already paying for each month and eliminate your phone bill for good.

Phone number retention: I’ve had my home phone number for over 20 years and don’t want to change it. Won’t I lose my number if I cut my cable service?
Fact check: No! You don’t have to change the home number that all your friends and family know by heart. Instead, you can “port” your existing phone number over to a VoIP provider and no one will ever know the difference.

Wait, what? What is VoIP?

What should you use instead of a landline?

While many people think relying on their cell phones is the only way to escape their phone company, there is another home phone alternative: VoIP.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology that allows you to make phone calls over the internet instead of using traditional phone lines. As a result, VoIP allows for lower costs, greater flexibility, and more features than conventional phone calls. Examples of apps using VoIP technology include Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber.

VoIP is a versatile and convenient communication solution for people and businesses requiring various communication tools to stay connected with their friends, family, clients and colleagues.

Landline vs. VoIP

Overall, VoIP is a powerful technology that has revolutionized communication and offers many benefits over traditional phone services.

Let’s take a look at how VoIP compares to traditional landline phones.

Landlines are tied to a physical location and can’t be easily moved or transported.VoIP is much more mobile than traditional landlines. You can make and receive VoIP calls worldwide if you have an internet connection.
Landline phones are designed solely for voice communication and cannot be integrated with other communication tools.You can integrate VoIP services with other communication tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, voicemail-to-email, and call forwarding.
Landline installation can be time-consuming and costly, requiring running physical phone lines to your home or business.You can set up VoIP quickly and easily with an internet connection and a compatible device.
Landline providers may charge extra fees for long-distance calls.Because VoIP uses the internet, it can be much cheaper than traditional phone services, especially for long-distance or international calls.
Because landlines have a dedicated physical connection, call quality is often better.Many VoIP services use advanced technology to improve sound quality and reduce delay, making the difference between landline and VoIP sound quality less noticeable.


What are the best landline alternatives?

So what VoIP provider should you choose if you live in the Bay Area?  While many services are available, you might need help figuring out where to start. Here are a few worth considering.

Ooma – best in the Bay Area

Ooma is a VoIP phone service that’s accessible with any standard touch-tone phone. You can also use the Ooma mobile app to make and receive calls from your smartphone.

  • Cost-effective: Ooma has no monthly fees; you only pay for the equipment upfront.
    Transfer your existing phone number for a one-time $39.99 fee.
  • Features: Ooma offers a range of features typically offered by landline phone services, such as voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and 911 service. Ooma’s advanced features include call blocking, multi-ring, and Alexa dialing assistance. In addition, Ooma uses advanced voice compression technology to ensure high-quality sound on all calls.

Ooma Office is an excellent choice for business use, with three available service plans to choose from.

Google Voice – the cheapest landline alternative

Google Voice is a popular VoIP option that enables you to make and receive calls from smartphones, desk phones and the web using a dedicated phone number provided by Google.

  • Cost-effective: Google Voice is free to anyone with a Google account, making it the most affordable personal option for phone service. Google Voice charges a one-time $20 fee to transfer your existing phone number to their service.
  • Features: Google Voice offers a range of features, including searchable voicemail transcripts, call screening, call blocking and spam protection.

Google Voice business plans start at $10 per person, per month.


Vonage offers a range of residential phone services, including home phone service plans that allow unlimited calls to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico and international calling plans that allow calls to other countries at competitive rates.

  • Cost: Vonage has a $9.99 per user monthly fee with no annual contract, which includes their Vonage Box™ to connect you to the internet.
  • Features: Vonage offers a range of advanced features, including voicemail, call filtering, and call forwarding. In addition, Vonage boomerang™ connects select callers automatically to your Vonage number at no charge. Vonage SimulRing® rings up to five other phones simultaneously, so you’ll never miss a call.


Voiply allows you to transfer your existing number and get a Voiply adapter free. Voiply also features a mobile calling app that enables you to answer calls from your cell or home number.

  • Cost: Voiply has an $8.95 per user monthly fee but gives you two months free when you pay annually, with no contracts.
  • Features: Voiply offers a range of advanced features, including call waiting, voicemail to email, caller ID, 24/7 support and enhanced 911 service.

RingCentral – the most comprehensive VoIP for business

RingCentral offers a VoIP phone system with a wide range of features, making it an ideal solution for companies of all sizes. They also offer integrations with popular business tools like Salesforce, G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365, allowing businesses to streamline their communications and workflow.

  • Cost: RingCentral has four business plans starting from $19.99 per user, per month.
  • Features: RingCentral includes features like voicemail, call forwarding, and call recording, and advanced features like video conferencing, team messaging, and screen sharing.

Nextiva – the most value for business

Nextiva offers a software solution that combines a VoIP phone system with customer experience and productivity tools.

  • Cost: Nextiva has three business plans starting from $21.95 per user, per month.
  • Features: Nextiva features include unlimited calling within the US, team collaboration tools, video and audio meetings, and a top-rated mobile app.

Getting rid of your landline is easy with Sail

Selecting the right internet service provider (ISP) is the first step in achieving reliable, high-quality VoIP performance. The ISP you choose will directly impact the speed and stability of your home internet connection, which are vital factors for clear voice calls and smooth communication.

Sail ends your internet headaches once and for all by providing lightning-fast connections. So whether you’re a gamer, a streamer, or just need reliable high-speed internet for work or leisure, Sail Internet’s got you covered. With 99.99% reliability, Sail also meets your VoIP needs, minimizing disruptions and call drops to deliver seamless conversations.

Our commitment to customer service and satisfaction, combined with our affordable pricing without any binding contracts for homes or businesses, makes Sail Internet an excellent option for anyone looking to upgrade their internet service in the Bay Area.

If you’re considering cutting the cable cord, one thing may be standing in your way: sports. In years past, maintaining the same sports viewing experience was nearly impossible with standard streaming TV services … but no longer!

Now we have more options – all without requiring loyalty to the standard cable experience. Are there specific teams or leagues you want to follow? Or do you want a wide variety of choices when you’re ready to relax and unwind? These are some questions worth asking as you begin your cable-free journey.

Today we’ll look at ways to watch sports without cable so you can kiss your sky-high cable bill goodbye.

Can you watch sports without a TV provider?

Yes! There are vastly more options today for fans to watch sports without a traditional TV provider than ever before, including:

Let’s go over these in more detail.

Sports streaming services

Streaming services are popular for sports fans who want to break free of their cable handcuffs. These services offer a variety of sports channels and packages, so it’s essential to do your research and choose the service that best fits your needs. Some services may be more expensive than others, but they may offer more sports content or better streaming quality.

Streaming services often require a subscription but can be less expensive than a traditional cable or satellite TV package. There are many services available that offer sports content, including the following:

Streaming Service Access to: Plans starting at:


A wide variety of live sports events, including exclusive coverage of UFC, MLB, NHL, MLS, and more.

$9.99 per month

Save over 15% with an ESPN+ Annual Plan for $99.99 per year


Live sports events, including English Premier League matches and other sports programming.

$4.99 per month

Save 17% with Premium plans from $49.99 per year


Live sports events from a variety of leagues, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and more.

$74.99 per month

Sling TV

Live sports events including NFL, college football, NBA, MLB, soccer and more.

$40 per month

Hulu + Live TV

Live and On-Demand TV from over 85 channels, including ESPN, FOX, NBC, Hulu Originals and more.

$6.99 per month; $69.99 per month for Hulu + Live TV bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+.


Live and on-demand sports content, including boxing, MMA, soccer, women’s football, darts, pool and more.

$19.99 per month

DirecTV Stream

A variety of live sports programming, including NHL, NASCAR, golf, tennis, boxing, MMA, UFC, college sports and more. Specializes in local MLB games and international sports.

$74.99 per month


Social media platforms

Not all sports events may be available on social media platforms, and some may require a subscription or additional fees. However, several enable you to stream live sports events, though availability may vary depending on your location and the specific event. Examples include:

  • Twitter: Twitter’s Live Sports on TV has partnered with several major sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, to stream live games and events. These streams are often free and can be accessed through the platform’s Moments feature or individual accounts.
  • Facebook: Facebook SportsLive has partnered with sports leagues to stream live games and events, including MLB and La Liga soccer. These streams are usually available on the league’s official Facebook page.
  • YouTube: Some sports events may be streamed live on YouTube, though this is less common than on other platforms. However, YouTube TV, the platform’s live TV streaming service, does offer access to many sports channels and events.
  • Twitch: While primarily known as a platform for gaming content, Twitch has also begun streaming live sports events, including NFL and NBA games.

Best ways to watch sports without cable

Besides streaming services, let’s look at other ways to watch your favorite sports without the cable commitment.

Budget-friendly options

What’s the cheapest way to watch live sports without cable? Two of the least expensive ways to watch sports without cable include free streaming services and over-the-air antennas (OTAs). Let’s look at what each has to offer.

Free streaming services

Free streaming services like Pluto TV and Xumo offer sports channels and live events. However, the selection may be limited and the quality of the streams may not be as good as paid options.

  • Pluto TV: Pluto TV is a leading free streaming television service, delivering hundreds of live TV channels and thousands of titles on demand. By partnering with hundreds of international media companies, PlutoTV offers a diverse selection of genres, languages, and categories.
  • Xumo: Xumo offers free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) on demand, offering more than 180 channels of live streaming programming licensed directly from local channels and various content distributors.

Over-the-air antennas (OTAs)

Many local broadcast channels, such as NBC, CBS, and FOX, offer sports programming you can access with a simple over-the-air antenna, or OTA. In addition, OTAs are a good option for watching local games and events.

OTA antennas allow you to access free, over-the-air broadcast channels, including NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX. While not all sports are available on OTA channels, you can watch many local games and major sporting events with an OTA antenna. However, it’s important to note that the quality of your OTA signal may depend on your location and proximity to broadcast towers.

Sports-only options

Want to cut to the chase and watch only sports all the time? Services like Roku and Sling have sports-only areas and packages that let you choose what you want to enjoy. For a full sports viewing experience, check out ESPN+ as a standalone option or access it through streaming services such as Disney+ (which owns ESPN).

Sports league subscriptions

Digital options are also available for sports fans. Many sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, and MLB, offer digital options that allow you to watch their games online for a monthly or annual fee. Sports league subscriptions can be a good choice for fans who only want to watch games from a specific league or team.

Sports league subscriptions can give you more flexibility in choosing which sports you want to watch rather than paying for a bundle you may only be partially interested in. However, it can also make accessing certain sports or events not included in the subscription services more difficult to watch.

Evaluate your interests and options before committing to a subscription service for maximum satisfaction.

Get crisp internet from Sail and watch your favorite sports without cable

Now that you know you have many options for satisfying your March Madness cravings beyond cable, one thing remains constant: Internet speed matters.

Streaming TV services rely on strong internet connections and speeds so you can watch a game without constant buffering or suspenseful frozen-screen scenarios. Therefore, choosing the right internet service provider (ISP) is the best place to start when you’re considering busting out of cable jail.

Sail Internet is the Bay Area’s best ISP, offering flat rates, fiber-fast speeds and 99.99% reliability. And with home plans starting from just $55 a month, you can’t afford not to. Questions? Call or email us anytime – we’d love to hear from you.

What Hardware Do I Need To Cut The Cable Cord?


If you are new to the idea of ditching cable and ready to take the plunge into this cord free path to your favorite television viewing, there are a few things you need to know. The first topic to cover is about the hardware you need to make it possible to cut the cable cord.  

It really is pretty simple. You need a screen, an antenna, a streaming device and good internet. Each one of those warrant a larger discussion, though, and it can be overwhelming to choose from the many streaming TV services, for example. Let’s break it down and dive into the details in a way that makes it really simple.

Hardware Basics Beyond Streaming TV Services. What hardware do I need?

The first question with how to cut the cable cord often is: What hardware do I need?  The actual hardware is quite simple. The reason for the overwhelm is that there is more to it than just some basic hardware.

First, you will need a screen for viewing such a TV or a computer. You can use your existing TV or you can choose a Smart TV that incorporates a streaming device into your screen. Some streaming devices are easy to connect and disconnect allowing you to bounce back and forth between your TV and computer.

Do I need an antenna?

To watch free local channels over the air, you will want an antenna and digital tuner. Disable My Cable provides a good overview of the best antennas and how to choose. Along with an antenna, an amplifier may be needed for long distances or multiple TVs in a single house.

Some cord cutters will also want a good DVR to record live TV, although this is not required.  One recommendation is to take it one step at a time and add features or devices as you go. In which case, a DVR is an easy add-on later.

There are other options besides cable, but to stream content, you’ll need a streaming device to use with one of the many streaming TV services.  Devices can include one of the following:

  1. Smart TV
  2. Chromecast with Google TV
  3. Amazon Fire TV
  4. Apple TV
  5. Roku TV

Don’t sleep on the smart TV. Back in the wild west of cable cutting, we were limited by what HDMI stick (like Chromecast) would get us all the services we wanted. But nowadays, smart TVs will do almost everything you need all by themselves.

The final piece of hardware needed has to do with your home internet.  You will want to be sure you  have a good router and speedy internet to handle your streaming tv services.  

Also Required: Streaming TV Services

When it comes to streaming TV services, there are several to choose from and it can be a daunting decision.  To simplify the overwhelm, think about what you watch the most.  Are you a movie buff or do you need access to the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy?  Maybe you are a huge NFL fan and you can’t do without watching Monday Night Football. Or perhaps local, live news is your priority so you’re always up-to-date on current events.

Here’s a helpful breakout table of streaming TV services to help you choose which is right for you as you learn how to cut the cord:

Service or App Monthly Price Movies and Series Original Content Current TV Series Rent Movies Live Sports Live News
Amazon Prime $12.99 x x   x x  
AppleTV $4.99 x x x x    
Disney+ $7.99 x x x      
HBOMax $9.99 – $14.99 x x x      
Hulu $5.99 – $69.99 x x x      
Netflix $8.99 – $17.99 x x        
Paramount + $4.99 – $9.99 x x x   x x
Peacock Free – $9.99 x x     x x
YouTube TV $64.99 x   x x x x

Key Factors to Consider for Cord Cutting

A few key factors to keep in mind. The purpose of moving to streaming TV services is to save money each month by cutting your cable bill.  Most of these services combined can really add up. Be sure you’re considering the monthly fee as well as the one time price to buy any hardware that’s needed. 

While you need a screen, an antenna, a streaming device and good internet, you might also consider some of the below that will combine services and/or devices to do more than one thing at once.

YouTubeTV provides access to cable channels, DVR, and local channels, which means no antenna is needed. RokuTV is both a streaming service and streaming device, so you can use your existing TV with older technology or even your computer. Smart TVs will allso you to connect to a streaming service and add apps as new ones become available.  You might remember when HBO acquired Cinemax and became HBOMax, which meant a new app was needed.

Hardware to Cut the Cable Cord is Only Part of the Equation.

While there is much to consider on this topic, just remember there are other options besides cable and Sail Internet is here to help you cut costs without sacrificing speed.

How to cut the cable cord and keep your local television stations


You may have heard of this fast-growing trend to “cut the cord” on high-cost cable TV and satellite TV options.  Are you ready to join us in the cable-free future of streaming news, sports, and all your favorite shows?  Don’t worry.  We aren’t talking about giving up live television altogether. 

Let’s walk through what you need to know to cut the cable cord and still maintain access to your local TV.  Watching live TV doesn’t have to be a thing of the past and you have options beyond streaming only past seasons.  All you need is an internet connection, some basic hardware, and streaming TV services. 

How do I keep live television service?

Replacing Live TV when you cut the cable cord can be the first difficult challenge to address. You don’t have to rely solely on pre-recorded or previous seasons to access your favorite weeknight sitcom or local news.

Watching your favorite shows as they air means you won’t be risking spoilers every time you venture onto social media. Catching up on live news keeps you up-to-date on current events and weather in your area. You don’t have to miss your favorite holiday parade when you maintain access to local television stations.  

These are all valid reasons to hang onto that live service, and fortunately, you have options. You can tap into your old existing cable lines to connect to over the air local channels or utilize cord cutting streaming services to access local channels without cable or satellite television.

How do I stream my favorite television seasons – past and present?

Cord cutter streaming services have come a long way. Not only do we have solutions for live TV shows now, but you can stream on-demand both current and previous seasons through various streaming TV services.  The following on-demand platforms have you covered to stream all of your favorite TV seasons.

Hulu was one of the first to provide current streaming TV services.  They continue to carry past and present seasons from various networks including exclusive Hulu series.

YouTube TV is the closest replacement to cable TV.  They provide programming from 85+ channels. 

When you’re looking for other options besides cable, almost every major network provides an app to stream their programming.  

Peacock is NBC’s streaming service that has a number of options for movies and television series as well as some news and sports channels, too. Peacock has free and paid subscriptions services.

Paramount + does the same for CBS programming, which includes BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.  Paramount Plus also provides access to NFL sports.  

ABC provides access to streaming live and on demand programming for every mobile OS and streaming box through their apps.

​​FOX NOW and FOX Sports are apps that provide access to Fox programming for TV, movies, and sports – both live and on demand.

What hardware do I need?

There are various solutions for live streaming TV, but also very basic options that are quite affordable. Free, over-the-air television channels can be accessed with an inexpensive indoor antenna that will attach to most TVs. With this simple hardware, you still have the tv options besides cable to watch your favorite live TV in the moment.

Most local stations don’t have their own app capable of live streaming their broadcast, but YouTube TV has a huge selection of local providers. On that link, you’ll see a space to add a zip code so that YouTube can show you all the local channels available to you through their service. 

Plenty of options to cut the cable cord and still keep your local TV

As you can see, streaming TV services options are vast and wide. We now have a slew of options to stream everything you could possibly want as well as the guidance on how to cut the cable cord. If you need more information, check out CNET, Decider, Tom’s Guide, and Digital Trends for their advice on how to reach your own cable free nirvana. Lastly, while you only need minimal hardware and an internet connection for all your streaming needs, internet speed for cord cutting matters. 


How much bandwidth do I need?

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need gigabit speeds to stream all the media you want. Usually, 10 devices could stream comfortably on 100 Mbps.

How to Cut the Cable Cord – Streaming TV Services


After looking at our $111 Pay TV bill for the past few months, I finally became disgusted enough to unleash myself from our mid-tier TV bundle (two TV’s, a DVR and no premium channels). The most irritating part for me is that we only watched a handful of the 200+ channels in the package, but my service provider only offered the channels that I wanted as part of a bundled package.

Possibly I could have called and complained to get a promotional discount for some period of time, but I didn’t want to play that game anymore. We’ve been a continuous customer of our current service provider at the same address for 20 years. But in the current world of Pay TV, the longest-term and most loyal customers get the worst deal!

Even before cancelling the Pay TV package, the rest of my family had shifted towards the convenience of streaming. Aside for a few sports broadcasts (mostly from the main networks), I was the only family member to even wade through the complicated program guide and DVR programming menus, and the dizzying array of unwanted cable channels.

Streaming Video

By the time I finally cancelled our Pay TV bundle, we were already watching Netflix on our Samsung Smart TV, and watching “free” Amazon Prime Video (free to existing Amazon Prime customers) using the Amazon Fire TV Stick. We were also paying for a significant amount of on-demand video content from my TV provider’s set top box. Now without my Pay TV package and set top box, I needed to add extra streaming services and find a fully featured streaming video device. 

The Samsung Smart TV’s streaming feature was a good place to start for my family, but the user interface is a bit clunky and the streaming options are fairly limited. When we purchased the Fire TV Stick, we were looking for the cheapest way to watch the free Amazon Prime Video content. It’s a feature upgrade compared to the built-in streaming functions on the Samsung TV, and a bargain for what we are getting. But in retrospect, maybe we should have purchased the fully featured Amazon Fire TV. The Fire TV Stick does not have built-in voice search and doesn’t support wired Ethernet connections (only Wi-Fi). 

But more importantly, the Fire TV Stick appears to have trouble streaming action sports. TV shows and movies seem fine, but full-field sports viewing during action plays is jittery and painful to watch. I’ve confirmed a “Very Good” Wi-Fi signal, so I doubt this issue is Wi-Fi related. The Amazon Fire TV Stick must not have enough processing power to deal with simultaneous fast motion by many small objects (balls, players, referees, etc.)? I confirmed this with multiple streaming apps on the Fire TV Stick, and compared head-to-head against another streaming device (more on that later). Possibly the fully featured Fire TV performs better? I hope so. The Fire TV Stick is also very Amazon-centric, which is not ideal for my Apple-centric family. But overall, the Fire TV Stick is a great low-cost way to stream the free Amazon Prime Video.

But before picking a fully featured streaming device, I first needed to focus on the streaming services. At the end of the day, the video content is the first priority. Check out our Sail Internet Cord Cutter’s Guide to Streaming Video Services and Devices.

Step 1: Pick Your Streaming Video Services

First, I subscribed to Hulu for $7.99 per month and continued our Netflix subscription. Hulu is a good value. I can access much of the content that I previously watched with my Pay TV package for a fraction of the cost, although with some delay – usually one day. I started with a 2-week free trial. And if I pay a little more, I can watch without any commercials. For now, I’m fine with a few ads. I find the Hulu ads to be less irritating that the ads on broadcast TV. 

For some reason, CBS is not part of the Hulu package and CBS instead has its own $6.99 per month streaming service. I can’t justify the additional cost, especially since CBS blocks streaming for most of the live sports and does not allow on-demand streaming of sports or special events like the Grammy’s. So for now, no streaming of CBS at my house. But CBS is still available for free over-the-air! More on that later….

Hulu is fantastic. But it doesn’t provide access to any sports, which is what caused me to investigate the Sling TV streaming service from Dish. Sling TV provides live streaming access to ESPN, along with live streaming of some additional cable channels that I’m unlikely to watch. Sling TV is pricey at $20/month, but it’s the only way that I’ve found for a cord cutter to watch ESPN. I would gladly pay $5 to $10/month for ESPN alone, but that is not currently an option. The bundle lives on, at least for now!

Amazon Fire TV Stick (left) and Apple TV, 4th generation (right)

Step 2: Pick Your Streaming Device 

With a clear understanding of my preferred streaming video services, it was time to choose a fully featured streaming media device. Given the problems I identified with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, it became clear that I wanted a fully featured streaming device with sufficient processing horsepower for live sports, a voice-controlled user interface and other features like a wired Ethernet interface (instead of only Wi-Fi).

There are a number of good streaming devices on the market, for example devices from Roku, Amazon and TiVo. But in my case, the new 4th generation Apple TV made the most sense. It’s a complete redesign of the Apple TV product line and somewhat of a premium product at $149, but like most Apple products it’s easy-to-use and fully featured. The streaming video quality is excellent, and the voice controlled remote control is fantastic. No trouble streaming live sports.

Given my family’s already heavy use of Apple products, the new Apple TV was a natural fit for us. it is well-integrated with other Apple products, such as iPhone, iPad and MacBook using AirPlay, and uses iTunes for on-demand video content and has an App store. The Apple TV is a nice complement to the Apple product line.

The 4th generation Apple TV already supports Hulu, Netflix, ESPN Now and a growing list of streaming apps. Given Apple’s strong position with apps for iPhone and iPad, I suspect Apple TV will eventually offer a very rich set of streaming apps and possibly their own video service. Sling TV does not yet support the new Apple TV device, but Sling customers can use the Apple TV’s ESPN app (authenticated with a Sling TV account). The video quality for live sports is excellent. And in the interim, we can still use the Amazon Fire TV Stick in case we want to stream any of the other channels offered by Sling TV.


Using Sling TV and Hulu is saving $83/month as compared to my previous Pay TV package. We still have Netflix, so this doesn’t change the cost equation. And I know that free over-the-air broadcast HDTV is still an option for some live local sports. This leaves some spare $$ for occasional on-demand purchases (which we were already doing!) and lots of overall savings.

I am using two streaming media devices: the low-end Amazon Fire TV Stick to stream the free Amazon Prime content, and the 4th generation Apple TV for everything else. In total, I’ve spent less than $200 on streaming media devices. So the payback period is relatively short compared to my $83/month savings.

Frankly, I prefer the freedom of streaming. Even if there were no cost savings, I am happy to divorce myself from my complicated Pay TV package with a DVR and hundreds of channels that I will never watch.