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Cutting the cable TV cord? Here are some options

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Netflix, with its vast library of movies and TV shows, is still the king of binge.
Netflix, with its vast library of movies and TV shows, is still the king of binge.Elise Amendola

There's a dizzying array of video streaming services to choose from. In general, subscription services such as Hulu and Netflix make the most sense for those who watch a lot of shows and movies, and for fans of original series.

Here's an overview of options:

Acorn TV

Price: $5 per month or $50 per year.

Whom it's best for: Lovers of British TV fare, new and classic. Goodies include TV mysteries (such as "Prime Suspect," with Helen Mirren) and comedies ("Jeeves & Wooster," with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry), plus dramas and documentaries. HD is offered when available.

Amazon Prime Video

Price: $99 per year ($8.25 per month).


Whom it's best for: Anyone who's already paying for an Amazon Prime membership. It carries pay-TV titles such as AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead"; CBS's summer series "Under the Dome"; and HBO's back catalog of shows. Showtime and Starz can each be added for $9 per month. One caution: You still can't get Prime on Apple TV.


Price: $15 per month.

Whom it's best for: HBO fans who don't want to pay for cable. Sign up to get all of the network's movies, specials, and documentaries, plus "Game of Thrones" and "Vinyl." If you already get HBO through your cable package, don't pay twice: The HBO Go app lets you watch HBO shows on phones, tablets, and other devices.


Price: $8 per month with ads, $12 without ads.

Whom it's best for: Cable cord-cutters who don't want to miss out on broadcast TV. Hulu has current shows from ABC, Fox, and NBC; older ones from CBS; plus the "Seinfeld" library. Original content includes "11.22.63," a J.J. Abrams-produced miniseries based on Stephen King's timetravel novel, and "Casual," a comedy series from Jason Reitman.


Price: $8 per month for standard-def video on a single screen. $10 for high-def video on up to two screens. $12 for 4K UHD video, plus up to four screens.


Whom it's best for: Everyone. Netflix is still the king of binge. It has a vast library of movies and TV shows, plus now-classic original shows ("House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black"), and even movies ("Beasts of No Nation"). A deal with Marvel spawned "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones" TV series, and Netflix subscribers will get exclusive access to Disney titles within a year of their debut, starting with 2016 releases.

Showtime (Streaming)

Price: $11 per month, or $9 per month when purchased through certain services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Whom it's best for: Showtime fans. Like HBO Now, this service lets you watch a cable network without the cable. You get all of Showtime's movies, plus original shows such as "Billions," "Ray Donovan," and "Penny Dreadful." (Showtime Anytime is like HBO Go; it's for people who already get the network through a traditional pay-TV provider.)

Sling TV

Price: Starts at $20 per month.

Whom it's best for: Cord-cutters. With Dish's Sling TV, you don't get individual shows. You get channels. The basic package comes with about 20 cable offerings — including A&E, AMC, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, and TBS — but not broadcast TV. Consumer Reports notes that it's also one of only a few ways you can get ESPN without a TV service. Themed add-on packs cost $5 per month; HBO can also be added for $15 per month.