Pros and Cons: Streaming Services vs. Cable TV

Trying to decide on a cable company is one of those moving-related tasks that often falls by the wayside until you’ve already moved in (and suffered for several weeks without cable or Internet!). Sifting through all of your options can be overwhelming, leading more and more people to opt for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or Sling TV over old-fashioned cable providers.

Which option is right for you? Read on for the pros and cons of Internet streaming services vs. good old-fashioned cable TV.

Streaming Services: Pros

Flexibility
Whereas cable companies lock you into strict annual contracts, streaming services are quite flexible. You can sign up – and cancel – anytime that you’d like, with no termination fees or penalties. 

Affordability
Internet streaming services are substantially lower in price than the big cable providers. For example, you can sign up for Hulu Plus or Netflix for less than $10 per month. 

Customized Viewing
With streaming services, you can often subscribe to your favorite shows, and the service will alert you as new episodes are posted. They’re also quite “smart,” and recommend movies and TV shows that you might like based on your viewing history.

Internet Streaming Services: Cons

High-Speed Internet Required
While this isn’t necessarily a huge “con,” remember that you’ll need to have high speed Internet to ensure uninterrupted streaming. You may already have it (we’re talking to you, people who work from home!), but keep in mind – it’s more expensive than standard-speed Internet. 

No Internet? No Viewing.
That’s right – if you’re experiencing poor service or your Internet isn’t working, you’ll be left in the dark.

Cable: Pros

More Shows
Are you a channel surfer? Do you have a list of shows that you watch on more than twenty channels? If so, you might want to opt for a good old-fashioned cable company. Most cable companies offer packages ranging from 20 channels to upwards of over 200 channels. 

Sports
Just about all basic cable packages offer ESPN and other major sports networks. Can’t imagine life without Monday Night Football or the World Series? You might want to stick with cable. 

Cable: Cons

Price
Cable packages are notoriously expensive. Sure, they may lure you in with a shiny, sparkly deal for your first year, but prepare for your prices to increase after year one. Also, any price hikes imposed by networks on their cable partners translate over onto your monthly bill, so it’s possible for your monthly price to increase even before your contract ends.

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Your ultimate decision on cable vs. streaming services doesn’t have to be black and white – shop around and build your own hybrid package! There are plenty of price-conscious solutions for those who love to channel surf but still enjoy the luxury of streaming as they please. Choose a lower end cable package (with high speed Internet), and couple it with your streaming service of choice. 


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