Saturday, June 6, 2015

Counting The Cost : Cable TV vs Internet Streaming

About the Author
Neal Bricker is an avid tech enthusiast who loves writing about tech. He is a contributor to a variety of blogs and online publications.

Lately, there has been a growing number of people interested in getting rid of their cable TV subscriptions and opting instead to use streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. In fact, statistics show that one in four millennials have either cancelled their cable services or never had them to begin with!  One of the main reasons cited for doing so is that consumers believe using streaming services is going to save them money, but is this really the case? Let's take a look at how cable tv vs streaming services compare in terms of the cost.

The Changing Face of The Television Industry

Television providers are starting to take notice. CBS and HBO have recently launched new streaming services out with their regular cable packages and DirecTV opened up their NFL Sunday Ticket streaming to non-subscribers recently via the internet. Aside from offering alternative streaming options, many cable providers are also looking at ways to make their packages more attractive to consumers. One of the ways that they are doing this is by putting less emphasis on those expensive all in one cable subscriptions and offering pared back versions featuring only the channels that they subscriber wants so that they are not paying for channels that they are never going to watch.

Cable TV vs Streaming Services

Right off the bat let me say that your streaming services are going to be far cheaper than a cable TV subscription. However, you cannot simply do a straight price comparison. You have to look at what you are getting for your money in order to see which offers more value for money. It is all very well saying that streaming services are cheaper, but if they cannot provide the channels or the content that you really want then it becomes a false economy. For example, if you are looking for foreign language content then streaming services are not going to offer as much as directv international packages would be able to. So what exactly do you get for your money?

What Can Streaming Services Offer?

One of the biggest benefits of streaming services is that they offer much greater levels of flexibility. There are no sign up or termination fees and you are not tied to a contract of a certain length. You can basically sign up on a month to month basis and cancel whenever you feel like it. In addition to this you get a whole new viewing experience with streaming services. You can subscribe to a TV show so that you are notified when new episodes are released and you can take advantage of suggested viewing based on your viewing history.

Like most things in life there are of course some drawbacks. You will likely find that you need more than one streaming service as certain shows have exclusive contracts with different providers. This means paying several subscriptions fees. There is also the fact that you do require an internet connection to watch anything. This not only means yet more to pay out, but also that in bad weather you may have to resort to your DVD collection.

What Does Cable Have To Offer?

Cable packages are always going to offer far more variety than streaming services ever could. There is also more chance of stumbling upon shows that you were not aware of, but which you end up really enjoying. This is a major perk of cable over streaming. It all comes down to whether or not you think the price is worth it. Sports are also a big deal when it comes to cable. Streaming services tend not to offer sports, whereas channels like ESPN are staples of even the most basic cable packages. If you are a sports fan then cable is probably better for your needs. You might also find that your cable provider does allow at least some access to streaming content as part of your subscription.
So, in conclusion which service offers the best value for money? It is actually very difficult to give a definitive answer since it really depends on what you are looking for. Streaming services probably come out best on a straight price comparison, but cable offers much more choice. The verdict is that you should stick with at least a basic cable package and add a streaming service on as a secondary option.

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