Streaming TV is the latest iteration of digital content delivery systems, which enables people to watch their favorite movies, television series, and more on the World Wide Web, instead of through traditional cable TV, OTT, or satellite methods. Given its massive convenience and lower costs, many pay-tv subscribers are considering adopting a multitude of streaming services and cutting their ties with the cord. Now, cords have been around for generations, distributing television programming to households around the US. It seems that their time may be up. If you are also thinking about joining the cord-cutting bandwagon, but are a bit hesitant about making the bold move, then the following points will help you weigh your options and reach the wisest decision. Read on.
Do You Prefer a Specific Kind of Programming?
Streaming services bring hundreds of entertainment options to the table for affordable pricing. If you are a fan of original programming, then Netflix adds exclusive titles every month, which you can access across all three of its plans, ranging from $9 to $16 per month. Similarly, if you love watching sports, you can stream old and new games broadcasted on NBC, FOX, beIN SPORTS, NBA TV, and more channels with fuboTV. For only $6.99 per month, you can watch family-friendly movies from Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars with the Disney+ streaming service for a high-definition throwback. So, as you can see, streaming TV platforms are ideal for people who prefer a specific kind of programming. Then, what about the people that don’t?
It is true that no streaming service delivers every kind of content. For instance, AT&T TV Now misses out on major lifestyle networks, like HGTV, Food Network, and AMC. Hulu doesn’t include Viacom properties, such as Nick, Comedy Central, and MTV. Most of the streaming services don’t even have local channels, which cord-cutters have to catch with TV antennas as a last resort. Therefore, if you need multifarious content on your subscription that caters to every taste in your household, then stick to your current pay-tv package. What’s more? Well, spectrum select package brings you the best channel lineup, so you can have the perfect blend of everything good without having to go broke.
Do You Like Bundles and Convenient Billing?
We’ve already established that streaming services follow a ‘particularized’ programming pattern in a majority of cases. Now, people who need a generalized set of content on their plates usually find a workaround to this limitation and handpick their favorites to satisfy their multi-edged entertainment cravings. According to Park Associates, more than 50% of the American viewers get at least two streaming services at one time, with 22% choosing to subscribe to four or more. This means that cord-cutters have to juggle between streaming platforms if they want to watch something new every time. Not to mention, they have to receive and deal with multiple bills for individual services at the end of the month.
One of the main reasons why people continue latching on to their cable companies is because of bundles. When you bundle your television, internet, and phone into a single plan, the price for each service typically goes down. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about separate bills for individual plans and can pay for all three services in one convenient shot. If you don’t have a problem with streaming services and their separate bills, then go for cord-cutting. However, if you are comfortable with your three-in-one or two-in-one cable bundles and their convenient bulling, then you know what to do.
Do You Mind Going a Little Extra?
In the previous points, we hinted at costs. Let’s dive deeper into it. Balancing costs with needs is something every modern consumer has to master. You want to get as many entertainment options as possible without overstepping your budget. When it comes to streaming services vs. cable costs, three main factors come up:
Device Count – Streaming services are so popular because they take the cumbersome cable boxes, DVR rentals, and other devices out of the equation. All they require is a display, a streaming player (if your TV is not web-connected), and internet access. However, in reality, that’s not the case. Not all streaming services are compatible with every kind of smart TV platform or streaming media player. For instance, if you want to watch HBO Max, you’ll have to get Apple TV or Chromecast, since the service is not yet available on Roku or Amazon Fire TV. This is just one example.
Streaming Users – How many people stream TV in your household? You’ll have to invest accordingly. For instance, Netflix’s Basic plan allows only one simultaneous stream. YouTube TV works for only three streams at one time. Sling TV’s Orange Plan gives streaming rights to only one user at a time. Eventually, you will have to pay more if there are several streaming-fans in your home.
Internet Speed – We know that streaming TV relies heavily on internet connectivity. If your network is fast, your streaming performance becomes better. No buffering and no drops in video quality. However, two things can change that. One, if you use a shared connection, then peak traffic hours might disrupt the pixels of your ongoing stream. Two, if you live in a high-outage area, then you might not get video streaming for days, while your neighbors continue to watch the latest episodes on cable TV.
So, if you are not living on a tight budget, then purchase as many streaming subscriptions as your heart desires, and vice versa.
Is Cord-Cutting Right For You, Then?
Once you come up with the answers to the aforementioned questions – programming taste, billing, and costs – you will see clearly whether you should cut the cord or stick to cable.