Replacing Cable TV With Wireless Smartphone Apps

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

Lately we've been obsessed with ways of getting around the cable barrier. If you have a smartphone or tablet as well as a smart TV or device to stream to (Apple TV, Boxee or game console) you have all the makings of an entertainment setup. It's possible to rent or buy movies, purchase individual episodes or even preorder season passes to your favorite shows. In addition to this, many of the popular networks, sports channels and streaming services have apps that stream the latest entertainment wherever you go. Best of all, it's at a fraction of the cost of cable.

iOS

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Left: Hulu Plus - Right: MLB at Bat

Hulu Plus
For those who like to see the latest shows with as little delay as possible, Hulu partners with many of the major networks to gather the hottest shows all under one service. The on-demand streaming service offers TV shows, movies, webisodes and behind the scenes clips from channels like NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS and Nickelodeon. Free
Subscription: $8/month
Also available for Android

MLB at Bat
An MLB at Bat subscription is quite versatile, with games watchable via XBox, PS3, Roku, Boxee, Apple TV, any desktop browser and on your smartphone. Every game across the nation is at your fingertips with a selection of several commentaries and camera angles. When you aren't following along with the action play by play there is also news, standings, statistics, highlights and more. Definitely a must have for die hard Baseball fans. $4 (Currently Free)
Subscription: $125/year (Fluctuates as the season progresses) - $25/month
$25 Post Season
Also available for Android

Android

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Left: Netflix - Right: NBA.TV

Netflix
This list would be pretty incomplete without the juggernaut entertainment service. Netflix is home to a myriad of classics TV shows and movies from Time Warner, Universal, Sony, Paramount, MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, Fox, Disney and NBC, to name a few. The monthly fee of $8 is a small price to pay for access to a grand library that streams right to your handset and other outlets. If you need more incentive, the much anticipated fourth season of Arrested Development is going to be a Netflix exclusive. Free
Subscription: $8/month
Also available for iOS/WP7

NBA.TV
The Basketball season starts soon — do you have your season pass yet? Watch every game live or on-demand and keep in the know with statistics, standings and news wherever you are with the Official NBA.TV app. Every gameday features 50+ clips in highlights so you'll never miss a beat. Free
Subscription: $220 - 2012-13 Season + Playoffs
Also available for iOS/WP7

Windows Phone 7

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Left: Crackle - Right: CNN

Crackle
This free (yes free) service provides a robust library of TV shows and movies from Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star, Screen Gems, Sony Classics Pictures and more. Currently available in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, Crackle can be viewed on your smartphone, tablet or game console — wherever data can reach, with the only downside being occasional ads. It's an essential part of my app library that satiates my anime cravings. Free
Subscription: Free
Also available for iOS/Android

CNN
Keep in touch with the news of the world using the leading news network's own app. Watch snippets of current events with CNN on your Windows (or Android/iOS) device and stay informed wherever you are. It also features articles based on politics, opinion, tech or entertainment and an informative live tile that constantly displays the latest headlines. Free
Also available for iOS/Android

(Images: Gregory Han; screencaps as credited above.)

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