Is cable still a must-have in 2022? The pros and cons of cable TV

Internet    24/12/2021    5 minute read

Cable has long been viewed as a much-loved staple in home entertainment. With the advancement of fibre and 5G internet making online viewing more reliable, and a number of streaming services offering quality content, is cable TV still a thing people consider a must-have? HomeLinkd looks at the top cable providers in the US as well as the pros and cons of using cable.

Top 4 cable providers in the US

Who are the big dogs in cable TV? Let’s take a look.

Spectrum
Maximum speeds:
940 Mbps
How many states is it available? 42

The details:
1. No contracts required. Cancel at any time!
2. More HD channels than other providers.
3. Three packages are on offer, starting from $45 per month.
4. Starting from 125 channelsand up to 200 depending on your package.
5. Packages includes prime TV like HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, CNN and HBO Max.6.Bundles with internet and phone on offer.


Cox
Maximum speeds:
1,000 Mbps
How many states is it available? 19

The details:
1. Contracts are required.
2. 4-in-1 bundles on offer including TV, internet, landline and home security.
3. Four packages are on offer, ranging from $53 -$138 per month.
4. The more affordable packages also include premium channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Telemundo and more.
5. Packages are customizable in the sense that you can add on a channel you want at a small cost.


Xfinity
Maximum speeds
: 1,000 Mbps
How many states is it available? 40

The details:
1. Contracts are required.
2. Xfinity’s “Popular TV” package is competitively priced at only $49 per month, which is one of the cheapest cable packages on offer in the US.
3. There are only two cable packages on offer, however, they are extremely reasonable, ranging from $49 -$59 per month.
4. Bundles with internet are on offer.
5. Channels include ABC, CBS, Lifetime, MSNBC, CNN, Food Network, Discovery and more.


AT&T via DirecTV
Maximum speeds:
1,000 Mbps
How many states is it available? 21

The details:
1. Contracts are required.
2. Three packages are on offer, ranging from $65 -$85 per month.
3. The number of channels range from 160 –250+ including Showtime, CNN, Nat Geo, ESPN, HBO Max, Cinemax and more.
4. HDR and 4K formats are available
5. Bundles with internet on offer.

The pros and cons of cable

It may sound a little tedious but writing out and looking at the pros and cons of something written out in front of you can often be the very thing that helps you decide.

The Pros:

You’re not reliant on the internet

At some point, we’ve all been on the receiving end of a shoddy internet connection, whether it is because of bad weather or provider issues. It’s safe to say that there is a collective eye roll across the US when this happens. With cable, your evening entertainment can’t be interrupted by internet issues because cable isn’t reliant on the internet. Cable TV works via underground coaxial cables, similarly to today’s fibre-optic cables.

Live sport is king

Everybody knows that if you want to watch a live game of pretty much any sport, cable TV is the way to do it –especially at a time when staying at home might be a smarter choice than going out. You can also watch the latest movies and documentaries On Demand or order sporting events like boxing and MMA on pay-per-view.

It’s affordable

When you’re using streaming services for entertainment, chances are you have more than one kind. Perhaps Netflix has great documentaries but there’s a better movie selection on Amazon Prime or Hulu. Either way, paying for 2-3 individual services can cost hundreds of dollars per month. Cable TV has a plethora of channels to choose from, with plans starting at $45 a month from Spectrum.

Slow releases

If you’re deeply engrossed in a series that’s produced by a streaming service, such as the Netflix Original YOU, you’ll receive the entire season in one go and it can take over a year for the service to release another season. In addition, one season produced by a streaming service seems to only be 8-10 episodes, which is not ideal for binge weekends. With cable TV, you get to enjoy a season of at least 20 episodes with an episode released each week –just like the good ol’days.

The Cons

You might only watch a small handful of channels

One of the pitfalls of cable is that your package or bundle will often have a ton of channels of which you only watch between 5-10 at the most. This could seem like a waste of channels and money if you’re sticking to a select few.

Equipment and installation costs

First off, your home needs to be cable ready. Secondly, cable requires some equipment such as the coaxial cables that connect from the wall to your TV. If you don’t have a TV that takes cable cords, you’ll have get a converter box which is another cost. Cable providers will also usually charge you an installation fee as an approved technician is needed. Some providers will also require you to pay for the equipment once-off or they will include a small fee on top of your monthly subscription to use the equipment.

Your internet privacy may be affected

f you bundle your cable with internet services, your IP address is fixed and cannot change. This may make your online activity more prone to people tracking the websites you visit and in some cases, can lead to scamming or hacking.

Compare cable internet providers with HomeLinkd

In the age of fast-moving developments in entertainment technology, cable remains a steadfast choice for homes looking for reliable TV offering a variety of channels at reasonable prices.

Browse a variety of providers for home cable today!

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