13 apps that will help you cut cable

There has never been a better time to cut the cord, because there are more ways than ever before to watch moves and TV shows without actually paying a cable or satellite company.

We’ve rounded up some of the essential apps for cord cutters to make it easier for you to get streaming.

You of course don’t need all of these apps — if you subscribed to all of them, then you’d be paying more than you’d pay for a cable or satellite subscription. But the beautiful thing about these services is that none of them have contracts, so you can pick whichever ones appeal to you, and quit whenever you’d like.

Let’s jump in!

Netflix

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Netflix has transformed itself from a DVD by mail company into the largest subscription streaming service in the world.

Now, it's focusing on original and exclusive programming, and it's more than just 'Orange is the New Black' and 'House of Cards.' New shows like 'Jessica Jones' and Aziz Ansari's 'Master of None' will keep you bingeing for days.

Cost: Plans start at $US7.99 per month, but the most popular plan is $US9.99 per month.

Available on: A wide variety of smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, streaming media players, and PCs.

HBO Now

Courtesy of HBO

You used to need a cable or satellite subscription to get HBO. But this year, HBO started offering HBO Now, an on-demand service that gives you everything you'd get with HBO through your TV provider.

So now you can watch 'Game of Thrones' and 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' without paying a cable company.

Cost: $US14.99 per month.

Available on: PC/Mac, streaming media players from Amazon, Roku, Google, and Apple, Android and iOS smartphones, and Amazon, iOS, and Anrdoid tablets.

Hulu

Hulu.com

Hulu is a great option for cord cutters because unlike Netflix, it has many current season TV shows available to stream the day after they air on TV.

It also recently acquired the streaming rights to 'Seinfeld,' so you can watch any of the show's 180 episodes at anytime.

Cost: You can watch for free, but the selection is limited. Subscriptions start at $US7.99 per month, and a new commercial free option is available for $US11.99 per month.

Available on: A wide variety of smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, streaming media players, and PCs.

Sling TV

Sling TV, a service from the satellite provider Dish, gives you live, streaming TV for $US20 per month. The base package comes with 23 channels, including ESPN, AMC and TBS, but doesn't have networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.

The downside is that there's no DVR, and not every channel allows you to pause or rewind while you're watching.

Cost: Subscriptions start at $US20 per month, and you can add on other packages of channels for $US5 per month each.

Available on: Streaming media players from Amazon, Roku, and Google, phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox One.

PlayStation Vue

If you're looking for more channels, and a DVR, PlayStation Vue could be the choice for you. It's only available the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami, though, and it's relatively expensive -- similar in pricing to some cable and satellite plans.

But if you want TV, and don't want to pay your cable or satellite company (and have a PlayStation 3 or 4, iOS device, or an Amazon streaming device) then Vue could be a great choice.

Cost: Plans start at $US49.99 per month.

Available on: PlayStation 3 and Playstation 4, iPhone, iPad, and Amazon' Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

Amazon Prime

Amazon
Jeffrey Tambor plays a late-life husband-turned-transgender woman on Amazon's 'Transparent.'

Most people don't think of Amazon Prime, the company's $US99 per year free-shipping loyalty program, as a video streaming service. But over the last few years, it's built up its catalogue and offers some great exclusive shows, like 'Transparent,' 'Red Oaks,' and the forthcoming 'The Man in the High Castle.' And only members of Amazon Prime can stream these shows.

Cost: $US99 per year, though you can quit at anytime (and it comes with a variety of other services).

Available on: A wide variety of smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, streaming media players, PCs, and more. Notably absent from the Apple TV, however.

Showtime

Like HBO, Showtime now offers a standalone streaming app, so you can watch original series, like 'Homeland,' 'Nurse Jackie,' and 'Masters of Sex' without paying for the network through a cable or satellite company.

Cost: $US10.99 per month, though Hulu subscribers an add it to their Hulu accounts for $US8.99 per month.

Available on: Streaming media players from Amazon, Roku, Google, and Apple, Android and iOS smartphones, Amazon, iOS and Anrdoid tablets, and PCs.

CBS All Access

CBS

This new standalone streaming service from CBS allows you to catch up on new shows on the network, like 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,' though you have to wait until a day after they have aired. It also has a library of 7,500 episodes on demand, including episodes from popular shows like 'The Big Bang Theory' and '60 Minutes.'

CBS All Access will also be the home to the new 'Star Trek' series in 2017.

In some areas, you can watch live CBS broadcasts through the app, though you can also do this for free with an antenna in most places.

Cost: $US5.99 per month

Available on: Streaming media players from Roku, Google, and Apple, Android and iOS smartphones, Amazon, iOS, and Anrdoid tablets, and PCs.

PBS

BBC

You can watch great programming on PBS's free app and website, like 'NOVA,' 'Sherlock,' 'Mind of a Chef,' and 'Frontline,' and much more.

Did we mention that it's free? Free!

Cost: Free

Available on: Streaming media players from Amazon, Roku, Google, and Apple, Android and iOS smartphones, Amazon, iOS, and Anrdoid tablets, Xbox 360, and PCs.

YouTube

YouTube is an essential app for cord cutters and TV subscribers alike. It has pretty much something for everyone, from viral cat videos to YouTube stars to features from media organisations like Vice. Subscribing to channels turns it into a personalised TV lineup!

Cost: Free, though you can now pay $US10 a month for a subscription to YouTube Red, which removes ads and gives you access to a streaming music subscription.

Available on: A wide variety of smartphones, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs, and streaming media boxes.

Crackle

Crackle/Sony

Crackle is another free app that has some great programming, like Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' (a notable exclusive!) and old episodes of 'The Larry Sanders Show.' It also has lots of movies, but you have to be OK with commercial interruptions.

Cost: Free

Available on: Android and iOS devices,

Snagfilms

Snagfilms is a free streaming service focused on independent films. It has a catalogue of 5,000 movies, TV shows, and documentaries. Like Crackle, programming is interrupted by commercials.

Cost: Free

Available on: Android and iOS smartphones, Amazon, iOS, and Android tablets, PS3, PS4, some smart TVs, Roku, and Xbox 360.

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll has a large catalogue -- 25,000 episodes, or 15,000 hours -- of Japanese anime and Asian programming.

Cost: Free for limited programming with commercials and in standard definition. Ad free subscriptions start at $US6.95 per month.

Available on: Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices, a variety of game consoles, and streaming players from Google, Apple, and Roku.

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