Big budget productions are a huge part of entertainment life these days with shows such as The Crown, Stranger Things, and The Mandalorian and although you may not be able to afford all of the necessary components and individual subscriptions that are required for watching most of them, there are some alternative providers that offer excellent value for money.
Some of these providers might not come with the required channels, such as Disney Plus and Netflix, but they can easily be added on later for a relatively small fee. Some of the best providers allow you to install and subscribe to apps like Netflix, Hulu, and others provide access to a massive collection of channels for either a small monthly fee or a substantial one-off price and no fee.
- Virgin Media
- TiVo Roamio
Virgin Media is a massive company with suitable packages for any budget while TiVo Roamio offers access to HD broadcast TV without a subscription but plenty of options for add ons and Roku is a streaming device with very high package customization where you only pay for what you use.
Virgin Media – Substantial Access
One of the largest companies in the world, Virgin Media is available in many countries and is a direct competitor to Sky TV in the UK. Since Sky isn’t available in other countries, Virgin is an excellent choice when it comes to paid-for TV and they offer many packages for all budgets and while they do start relatively cheap you can get some tips for cheaper Virgin Media packages.
Virgin Media can come on its own as a TV provider or with internet, which is actually one of the best available and because of the cabled nature of Virgin’s systems, doesn’t require the added expense of a telephone subscription as with Sky. Virgin also allows the addition of Netflix, Disney Plus, and others for an additional monthly fee, and the program guide is a customized version of TiVo that is familiar and easy to use.
TiVo Roamio – A Good All-Rounder
Launched in 1992, TiVo has been a staple of entertainment in the United States and beyond, allowing access to broadcast and premium TV and the ability to record programs. Since then, other companies such as Virgin and Sky have copied the TiVo system but like these providers, TiVo came with a monthly fee that could get high.
Then Roamio was launched to take advantage of the growing trend of cutting the cable, a new alternative for people who are sick of paying high monthly fees for channels they don’t watch. TiVo Roamio allows you to pick and choose your channels from a list of online providers such as Netflix, Hulu, and Starz and you only pay for these channels and nothing else with no monthly fee for your Roamio device and it also provides access to free HD broadcast TV through an HD capable antenna.
Roku – Best for Cable Cutters
Similar to TiVo Roamio, Roku offers you a customized TV package experience from popular online streaming services and is a true cable cutter’s device. There are no monthly fees for the use of the device and it is relatively cheap while offering premium show access from massive providers such as Apple TV, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime. In addition, Roku comes with its own TV channel with access to excellent shows, movies, and documentaries.
There are also country-specific on-demand channels available on Roku that allow you to stream TV shows from broadcast TV available in your own nation such as BBC iPlayer in the UK. The nature of Roku means that you can have access to an extra level of available and on-demand TV and movies at no additional cost following the one-time HD or 4K device purchase which is a great addition if you haven’t got Smart TV capabilities.
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