Consumer Reports: Watch your way with new cable options

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If you think you're spending too much for cable TV, Consumer Reports has a few options for you. (WLS)

Think you're spending too much for cable TV? Close to 800,000 Americans dropped their traditional pay TV package in the first three months of 2017.

So maybe it's time to shop around for online ways to get the shows and movies you want. Consumer Reports reveals some cord-cutting options that deliver the biggest savings.

There are some TV fans who want it all: pay TV, internet, phone, Amazon Prime and Netflix. For all that, you'll pay at least $200 a month. But Consumer Reports says you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot, as long as you have a good internet connection and a smart TV or streaming device.

"If you're thinking about cutting the cord, you really need to get together with your family, write up a list of channels that are must-haves, and then look at the different packages and see which of those companies are providing the channels that your family really needs," said Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Jim Willcox.

Now there are also cable replacement services designed to replicate what a cable TV package provides, but at a lower cost.

"The most recent ones are YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. They're very similar, typically going to spend anywhere from say $35 to $40 a month and you'll get anywhere from 40 to 50 channels."

A package with internet, phone, Hulu with Live TV, Netflix Standard and Amazon Prime would cost you about $128 a month.

Someone who doesn't need that many options could survive with an antenna for local stations, Netflix Basic and HBO Now. That would cost about $86 a month, including internet.

And if you're really interested in watching online-only content, you can just add some pay-per-view options from iTunes and Amazon Video for about $78 a month.

Consumer Reports says some people are finding when they add up all the services they'd need to get the shows they want, they're not saving as much money as they thought and may be better sticking with a typical cable bundle.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org

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