It's 2023, and the simple act of watching TV has changed drastically. More and more people are choosing to go with live TV streaming services as opposed to the traditional TV cable provider.
With so many people choosing to stream TV services, you might be asking yourself, "Am I missing out?" or "Should I also be switching to other services like Sling TV or Amazon Prime Video?"
HomeLinkd is here to help! We compare the old and the new, looking at each TV provider's pros and cons, what they're all about, and whether you should be making the switch.
For many people, traditional cable TV is the go-to for their entertainment needs. It's been around for decades, and it's a service that most people are familiar with. But, with the rise of streaming services, is it worth it to stick with cable TV?
Here are some pros and cons of cable TV:
- You'll get a lot of channels with your basic package (usually over 100), so you're sure to find something to watch.
- Cable TV providers typically offer good discounts if you bundle your TV service with other services like internet or home phone.
- Local channels are almost always included in your basic package.
- Most cable providers offer DVRs at an extra monthly fee, so you can record shows and watch them later.
- You don't need an internet connection to watch cable TV.
- The price of cable has been steadily increasing over the years, and it's now one of the most expensive ways to watch TV.
- Cable businesses have been known to have poor customer service.
- Cable companies often have long contracts, which can be difficult to get out of if you're not happy with the service and you might end up paying a hefty fee.
- The number of channels offered by cable providers has been steadily declining as people unsubscribe.
- You might have to rent a cable box from your provider if you do not have a newer TV that has an HDMI port, which can add to the monthly cost.
In the last few years, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have become increasingly popular. And it's not hard to see why — they're typically much cheaper than cable TV, they don't require a long-term contract, and you can watch them on any internet-connected device.
There are two types of streaming services: live TV streaming services and on-demand streaming services. Live TV streaming services, like Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV, let you watch shows as they air on cable channels. On-demand streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have a library of movies and TV shows that you can watch whenever you want.
But are these services really better than cable TV? Here are some pros and cons of streaming services:
- You can watch shows and movies whenever you want with no commercials.
- Most streaming services are much cheaper than cable TV—you can get a basic package for around $10/month.
- You can watch shows and movies on any device with internet service, including your smart TV, gaming console, laptop, or smartphone.
- Many streaming services offer a free trial period so you can try before you buy.
- You need a high-speed internet connection to stream TV without interruption.
- The selection of TV shows and movies can be limited on some streaming services.
- If you want to watch live TV, you'll need to subscribe to a separate service like Sling TV or YouTube TV.
So, should you switch to a streaming service? Let's take a further look.
Now that we've looked at the pros and cons of each TV service, let's compare them side-by-side.
Cable TV is typically much more expensive than streaming services. The price of cable TV has been steadily increasing over the years, while the price of streaming services has remained relatively stable.
Cable TV providers usually offer a basic package with over 100 channels, while streaming services typically have a smaller selection of channels. However, many streaming services offer add-on packages with additional channels for a small monthly fee.
Local channels are almost always included with traditional cable TV packages, but they may not be available on all streaming services.
Cable TV providers often require customers to sign long-term contracts, while streaming services typically do not.
Most cable companies offer DVR service for an additional monthly fee, while some streaming services include a DVR feature in their basic package.
Cable companies have been known for having poor customer service, while streaming services generally have good customer service.
You need a high-speed internet connection to stream TV without interruption, but you don't need an internet connection to watch cable TV.
You can watch cable TV on any TV in your home, but you'll need a streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick to watch most streaming services.
Our recommendation? We believe streaming services are the better way to go.
But, it really depends on what you're looking for. If you're just looking to watch some old shows and movies, then you might be better off with a cable or satellite TV subscription. However, if you want to watch the latest shows and movies without commercials, then you'll probably want to sign up for a streaming service.
As we've previously listed, there are pros and cons to both broadcast TV and streaming services. The best option for you will ultimately depend on your budget, whether your favorite channels are included, and whether or not you need a contract. If you're interested in cutting the cord, HomeLinkd can help you compare internet and TV providers in your area so you can find the perfect package for your needs.
Now that you know a little bit more about streaming services, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a platform:
Not all devices are compatible with all streaming platforms. Make sure to check that your device is compatible with your chosen platform before signing up. Some of the most popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu, are compatible with most devices.
Multiple streaming services allow you to watch shows and movies on multiple devices, but some have limits on the number of devices you can use. Be sure to check how many devices you can use before signing up. Streaming services like YouTube TV allow up to 6 devices to be connected to one subscription.
Find a streaming platform that offers free trials, so you can try it before you buy. Just be sure to cancel if you decide you don't like the service before you get charged.
Not all streaming platforms have the same content selection. Make sure to check out the selection of movies and TV shows offered by your chosen platform before signing up. Different streaming platforms offer many of the channels you actually enjoy - you might have to do a bit of research to find which service offers most of your favorites.
As we've mentioned, streaming services are typically much cheaper than cable or satellite TV. However, prices can vary depending on the platform you choose. Be sure to compare prices before signing up.
So, in the battle of cable vs streaming, which has reigned supreme?
We believe streaming is better than cable, as you have access to different streaming services which will give you a wider range of entertainment to choose from, not to mention the lower streaming costs, no unwanted ads like you see on cable TV or satellite TV.
If you're convinced cutting the cord really is your next plan of action, HomeLinkd can help you switch from cable to enter the new streaming world.
Follow our guides and blogs on everything you need to streaming services, and how you can make the switch from local cable providers to streaming services such as Netflix and AT&T TV.
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