Considerations Before Cutting The Cord

Cutting the cord has become the hot thing these days with everyone either going for it or at least contemplating the thought. Even though many users would agree that they still enjoy cable TV, but it has become extremely expensive for them to continue their subscriptions. We can all testify to this though. Cable TV prices keep increasing day by day and have reached a point that most of us are left with no other option but to unsubscribe.

And who can blame someone for trying to cut down bills in the economic crisis we’re currently living in. Anything that doesn’t fit the budget should be cut off before it becomes a monster in the closet keeping you awake at night. This has lead to a rapid increase in streaming service subscribers because you have to stay amused somehow. Although, streaming services may seem like the best thing in the world there are few things to take into consideration before making the switch so you don’t regret your decision later.

Streaming Service Types

Even though we may be able to count the available Spectrum packages on our fingertips or could tell you all the speed tiers Cox internet offers, but when it comes to streaming services many of us only know about Netflix and Hulu. This is not enough information to make a good decision.

Streaming services have come a long way from the time Netflix used to sell and rent DVD movies through the mail. Netflix has become the digital era’s streaming service giant now and many more amazing service providers like Hulu and Amazon Prime have entered the market. In addition to an extensive library of movies and TV shows available on-demand streaming services also offer live TV now. Sling TV and DirecTV Now offer several channels for live streaming through their service. These channels include CNN, Fox, HBO, CBS, etc. just to name a few.

As a result, it has led to an increase in the number of users switching to streaming services as they offer a similar experience to cable TV but at a much lower price.

Streaming Service Price

On average, a cable TV user would pay something around $100 every month for his/her cable service. On the other hand, live TV streaming service may cost a user around $50 per month. That’s a 50 percent decrease in cost right there. These streaming services offer an array of on-demand content and strive to improve their channel line-ups as the competition rises. They are also continually working towards offering incredible prices to attract users. Although prices have increased as compared to their early years, they are still well behind cable TV.

Unavailable Channels

The major problem with streaming services is that one is usually not enough. For you to access all your favourite programming, you might end up with at least two and even more streaming services. Therefore, even though the services are individually cheaper than cable but when you sign up to a few the bill might end being the same or even more. In some cases, it is also possible that your favourite channel is not even available for streaming yet.

You should be okay if you don’t have anything particular that you watch over the TV or are fine with giving up a few channels. Sports fans need to ensure that the service they’re signing up to includes sports programming because many of them don’t. If you’re a big-time NBA and NFL fan it’ll be better to stick to your cable because you may find it tricky to stream all the games.

Most of the streaming services offer free trials so it’ll be a good idea to check out what is available before paying up the subscription fee. They don’t even require contracts so even if you sign up you can cancel anytime without any consequences.

Internet Service

Streaming services may be able to give you cable TV experience but they do not work like cable TV. You need to have an internet connection for them to be accessible. If you previously had a bundle that included cable TV and internet then cancelling cable would mean you’ll now pay a higher internet only price. This may seem like a few bucks but costs quickly add up by the end of the year.

Besides that, you will also need to ensure that you have high-speed internet to enjoy seamless streaming. An internet connection with at least 100 Mbps of download speed would be required for a multi-user household. Therefore, if you were making do with a starter plan you’ll need to upgrade to a higher tier which would add cost to the bill.

Reliability

Since streaming services are completely dependent on your internet connection the video quality and lag also depend on the internet connection. If there is an internet outage then you won’t have anything else to pass your time. Peak internet usage hours or the times when everyone in your household is using the internet may be a problem for streaming videos.

Your Wi-Fi router can also affect the quality of content you stream. If your router is not up to date then you’ll need to buy a new one because it may the culprit behind bad picture quality and lag time.

Streaming services are also prone to be overwhelmed and freeze due to high traffic during public holidays, widely watched events like the Super Bowl, or over the weekends.

Limited Users

Cable TV providers will provide you set-top boxes for as many TVs as you want with one connection, as long as they’re all being used in the same house. However, with streaming services, you’ll be allowed to access the services on a limited number of devices at the same time from the same account. Usually, only 5 to 6 devices can simultaneously access the streaming services. If you want to use it on more devices there would be extra fees incurred.

Conclusion

To use streaming services you will need to learn some new technology and will need to adjust to the fact that you will not have access to every channel in the world. If you can be adaptable then you’ll be fine. Also, keep in mind that you may end up spending the same amount of money on streaming services as you did on cable. However, you’ll have the liberty to watch whatever you want to watch instead of being stuck with what’s playing on TV.

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