Xbox One: The best apps to help you cut your cable cord

Xbox One: The best apps to help you cut your cable cord

Have you considered cutting your cable subscription? It is possible that you already have abandoned the likes of Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner. In a world where almost everything can be had on-demand, scheduled programming packages are becoming an eyesore for media enthusiasts. Why pay $60 a month when you only watch a dozen of the hundred channels you pay for? With Xbox One and a few apps, you might be finally able to ditch the cable goliaths.

Access to Movies

Before we jump into the wild world of television shows, we should discuss the world of movies. Many of us sit in front of the couch and endlessly surf for a good movie to watch on a lazy day. There are already quite a number of services that allow you to stream a plethora of movies – some even allow free streaming.

Netflix

Who are we trying to joke? You already know what Netflix is, and most likely, you have a love-hate relationship with the service. Providing a vast library of movies, Netflix is your best bet for a flat subscription fee-based service. With over 50 million subscribers globally, the company’s giant library has something for everyone to watch and enjoy. That being said, the latest and greatest movies aren’t always available, but if you open yourself up to more opportunities you are bound to find an adventure. Netflix even serves up some of your favorite television shows.

Countries Available: United States, Canada, Latin America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Nordic countries, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, and New Zealand.

Price: Starting at $7.99 a month

Netflix on Xbox One

Amazon Instant Video

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you also get access to Amazon.com’s vast library of videos – including movies and television. While the library isn’t as extensive as Netflix, the company has a great number of exclusive shows that have received critical acclaim. Since many people are already Prime subscribers for the business’s two-day shipping, getting a video library comparable to Netflix is a great deal. In fact, some of you may already have Amazon Prime and are unaware about Instant Video – let’s hope we just changed that.

Countries Available: United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Austria

Price: Included with Amazon Prime at $99 a year ($49 for students)

Crackle

A service that is typically overlooked by others, Crackle provides a selection of full-length Hollywood movies for viewing right on your Xbox. The best part about Crackle is that it is entirely free of charge. Of course, the saying that “free is never free” is true in this circumstance; users must watch a number of commercials that interrupt their viewing experience. The movie selection is constantly changing, and while the latest hits aren’t available, I’ve found quite a few items of interest to watch.

Countries Available: North America, South America, Central America, and Australia

Price: Free (Ad-Supported)

Crackle

Access to Television

Movies are great, but if you are cutting your cable subscription then you are obviously going to want access to your favorite television programs. Not all networks partner with the same services, so getting your television becomes a game of picking and choosing for the time being. 

Sling TV

The first company to jump onboard the future of IPTV is Dish Network with the launch of Sling TV this past January. The company aims at providing consumers to on-demand video and live television through devices such as your Xbox One. While Sling TV doesn’t offer every channel, it offers an excellent selection and works well when paired with another service such as Hulu Plus.

Networks Available: ABC Family, AMC, Adult Swim, CNN, Cartoon Network, Disney, EPSN, ESPN2, Food Network, Galavision, HGTV, IFC, Maker, TBS, TNT, and Travel.

Countries Available: United States

Price: $20 a month

ESPN on Xbox One

Hulu Plus

Since the beginning, Hulu has served as an excellent solution for those too busy to bother keeping up with scheduled programming. When the service first launched I recall recommending it to many who had never heard of it – now, it is everywhere. Hulu Plus doesn’t have everything, but its on-demand selection of current television shows is welcomed, along with a gigantic library of shows from the past. It should be noted that even if you pay, Hulu Plus still serves up ads to reduce the coast of its service.

Networks Available: ABC, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery, FX, FOX, MTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, The CW, and Univision.

Countries Available: United States and Japan

Price: $7.99 a month

HBO NOW (Coming Soon)

While many people were caught up in Apple’s latest announcement regarding the redesigned MacBook and new Apple Watch, the company made another partnership announcement that skipped over the heads of some. HBO NOW is a new service that will be launching exclusively on Apple TV but will make its way to other devices later this year. If you are a major HBO consumer, you are going to want to keep your eye out for the application that will find its way onto Xbox One.

Networks Available: HBO

Countries Available: United States

Price: $15 a month

HBO

Access to Sports

Lastly, let’s talk about something I know nothing about – sports. However, just because I don’t understand them doesn’t mean I don’t know where to find them! Here are a few ways you can catch the action while still cutting your cable.

Sling TV – Sports Extra

You can already watch as much ESPN as you want with Sling TV on their base plan, but if you are willing to pay out another $5, you can get access to much more content including ESPN U, ESPN New York, ESPNEWS, and more. You need the base Sling TV subscription, but if you are looking to cut the cord anyway – you are going to want it.

Countries Available: United States

Price: $25 a month ($20 Sling TV + $5 Sling TV Sports Extra)

ESPN on Xbox One

MLB.tv

If you love Major League Baseball, then you probably already know about MLB.tv. With a membership, you can watch every “out-of-market” regular season game on your Xbox One. There are two packages of MLB.tv available, but if you are going to want to watch on your Xbox One then you need the premium package.

Countries Available: United States

Price: $24.99 a month or $129.99 a year

Conclusion

Cord cutting isn’t something everyone is going to be willing to experience right now. For many, paying a flat rate for the majority of television stations is ideal simply because it is easier than a la carte internet selections. Die hard television fans are probably going to want to keep their cable subscriptions, but others may wish to take a look. I can easily live on Netflix, Sling TV and Hulu Plus – a total of $36 a month. As the future continues, we should see more companies jump on the bandwagon – IPTV is the destination for both networks and consumers.

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