More and more cable customers are deciding to get rid of their cable services and switch to streaming platforms as their form of entertainment – Netflix, Sling TV, and DirecTV. Now it’s more convenient to stream the content you want, when you want it and avoid commercials. I would give my right kidney for commercial-free TV, but I have to admit that I have made quite a few discoveries in terms of service and products because of commercials.
It doesn’t matter if you love or hate ads, no one can deny the ability to stream what you want, and when you want it. After all, we pay for convenience, and Amazon Prime is a prime example – pun intended. Before you go ahead and disconnect your cable services, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. Last year, 22.2 million people went ahead and canceled their cable services, and the number of adults who never subscribed to cable services rose to 34.4 million.
These numbers indicate a trend of people moving away from cable services and transitioning to streaming services. However, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before making a move.
1. Internet Requirements to Keep in Mind
The very first thing to keep in mind is that once you make the switch from a traditional cable to streaming entertainment, then you will become reliant on the Internet for your streaming services. These services will be impacted, positively or negatively, based on how fast your internet connection is and if it happens to be a metered connection. A metered internet connection is when you purchase slabs of data that need to be consumed within a specific time frame, which is the case with me. Streaming HD and 4K video content can consume large amounts of data, and metered internet connections are usually pricier when compared to unlimited internet packages.
So, unless you have an unlimited high-speed internet connection of at least 25 Mbps, then you will face constant buffering issues, which can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of binge-watching Game of Thrones on Netflix. Also, it’s essential to keep in mind that the number of people who live in your home may result in a demand for a higher speed internet package, and if you happen to have a gamer at home, then I would recommend at least 100 Mbps. If your service provider is able to offer higher speeds and unlimited usage in terms of data, then streaming may be the right decision. If you can’t get unlimited data, then you will most likely be paying double for your cable services. It means that supplementing your cable services with Netflix or another provider would be a better option than replacing your cable service. If you happen to have a service provider in your area who offers high-speed fiber-optic services, then you should make a move to that service provider since you will get the most bang for your buck.
2. Live Sports and the Gray Area When It Comes to Streaming
I am personally not a huge sports fan, but my friends are, especially when it comes to soccer and the upcoming World Cup in Russia. The only reason I happen to know this is because my friends and family are planning a World Cup party at my place. There was a time in my career when I used to sell cable services, but I was never able to get hardcore NFL fans to give up their DirecTV and the NFL Sunday ticket due to the number of live games that were available and because no other service provider was able to offer a package that was comparable and competitively priced.
Most live streaming services such as DirecTV Now, Sling TV, or YouTube TV offers live TV where the number of live channels can range anywhere from 30-60 for entry-level packages. Any package with ESPN will provide access to a few live games, but remember that not all live events will be covered. If you happen to be a diehard sports fan, then you can always opt to take advantage of either MLB.TV, NBA Leagues Pass, or the NFL Game Pass, which will provide access to most of your games. Keep in mind that all games may not be live and these streaming services are affected by regional blackouts, where a local broadcast network has the sole rights to broadcast the game as compared to the streaming service. Therefore where it comes to diehard sports fans, then you may be better off with traditional cable services that carry your favorite teams.
3. The Negative Aspects of Technological Advancements
Technology is high, but it’s not for everyone. For example, all of my siblings and I can use the Internet to access the content that we want. However, my mother, the baby boomer, isn’t able to learn how to use digital services as compared to our younger generation. Therefore, a traditional cable box and remote control are more convenient for her to use then applications on a smart device. She actually prefers Cox cable TV services compared to Netflix which you can get from here. Technically, some tools allow you to use the remote control on an interface that is simple enough for most people to use. However, it’s not the same as using a traditional cable TV remote control.
4. Is Streaming Right for You
I don’t live with my mother, so Netflix, coupled with Sling TV, is more than enough to keep me entertained. Also, keep in mind that stacking streaming services to get what is offered through your cable company can get pretty expensive. At times it could make sense to ditch cable and start streaming instead; however, it may not make sense at all based on your requirements. My advice, do your research and calculate the cost of the streaming services that you may want and compare it to traditional cable. Also, keep in mind that if you’re not bundling your cable and internet services from your provider, then the cost for Internet-only service may increase when compared to bundled prices. A final side note, no streaming services that I am aware of offers DVR services, which are such a convenience, and maybe a reason for sticking with cable.
As I mentioned earlier, Netflix is more than enough for me, and not having DVR service didn’t have an impact on me. Another thing to consider is that with Netflix, I don’t require a DVR since everything is on-demand. However, that will not be the case with streaming Live TV services.