Joining the Streaming Revolution
Good evening! How many of you are familiar with cutting the cord? Nowadays, many people are getting rid of cable and satellite television in favor of various streaming services. It's a much cheaper option for television that works quite well for certain individuals. I've been experimenting with the cord cutting experience this year and it might work for you too. Keep reading to find out the perks and drawbacks of using streaming services instead of traditional television.
What is a streaming service anyway? You create a subscription, download an app on your tablet, computer, or cell phone, and watch tv shows and/or movies. That's basically how streaming works. The most popular streaming services are Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. But there are many others, including HBO Now, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, etc. Some streaming services offer live network television, including sports, news, reality tv shows, and more. Today, there's a streaming service for everyone. You can even find niche options for fans of anime, horror, superheroes, etc. Most streaming services are quite cheap, ranging between eight and fifteen dollars a month on average. Streaming options with live television cost a lot more. They vary widely between twenty and eighty dollars a month.
I had DirecTv for many years, but they kept raising the prices and it was becoming prohibitively expensive. A person shouldn't be wealthy to enjoy quality television. The cheapest cable and satellite packages cost around a hundred dollars each month. These are the least impressive packages with a small number of channels. The better packages usually cost more than one hundred and fifty dollars. In fact, it's not unusual for the premiere packages to cost more than two hundred dollars a month. Who wants to pay that kind of money for tv?
Here's what I'm doing at the moment. I'm currently using PlayStation Vue for live television. It includes most of the major channels, including the main sports, movie, news, and niche options. PlayStation Vue also includes local channels like CBS, NBC, ABS, and FOX. I'm missing a few channels. It doesn't have the Lifetime channels, History, or NHL network. Beyond that, I'm perfectly happy with the channel lineup. Like I said, streaming live television costs more. My package is almost sixty dollars per month. That might sound pricy, but it's still considerably cheaper than cable or satellite. In fact, this particular package on PlayStaion Vue probably includes many more channels than the lower tier packages through cable or satellite providers. There are some extra perks as well. PlayStation Vue doesn't charge tax in my area or hidden fees. Viewers don't have to pay fees for boxes, regional sports, installation, or anything else. PlayStation Vue and most of the streaming options don't requires contracts either. It's simply an app that runs live television and you can cancel at any time.
Most of my streaming services provide on demand television shows and movies. I use Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, and Starz. The monthly cost isn't much for any of them , but you can actually reduce the monthly charges and still have several options. For example, I pay for Amazon Prime and Starz annually. On demand streaming options are great because you can flip through their video library and binge anything. You can watch any movie or tv show whenever it's convenient. All of the streaming services on my list have a ton of content, so you should be entertained for a long time. It works pretty well for families as well. The kids can watch something entirely different than the adults.
Believe it or not, I found a few free streaming services. IMDB Freedive, Tubi TV, and Sony Crackle are entirely free. They also include ads. All of three of these streaming services have decent content, but it's less impressive than competitors like Netflix. Basically, they make good supplementary content to a viewer's primary services.
Even sports fans can join the streaming revolution. I'm currently subscribed to the WWE Network and ESPN+. The WWE Network is the right choice for huge wrestling fans because it includes exclusive shows and all of the Pay Per View events for no extra charge. ESPN+ is great for fans of niche sports, such as MMA fighting, rugby, and multiple college sports. They're pretty cheap too. The WWE Network is around ten dollars a month. I'm only paying fifty dollars per year for ESPN+.
Here are the biggest advantages to cord cutting. It's less expensive than traditional television. You can also get significantly more content for the money. You can take movies or shows anywhere. Watch a football game or movie while you're sitting in the back seat during a road trip. There's no such thing as, “I’m bored. There’s nothing on tv.” A few streaming services will provide more content than you could possibly watch. Many people have limited time for tv anyway. It's simply not worth the money for cable or satellite if you can only watch something periodically. There's a lot of choice because most streaming services are on demand. You're not limited to whatever is playing on a certain date or time. Even the live streaming services, like PlayStation Vue, have a certain amount of content on demand. Overall, you can get significantly more content through streaming services than cable or satellite providers. Many people are paying almost two hundred dollars a month for a single cable or satellite package. Instead, you can have a handful of streaming services that provide a lot more content for less than a hundred dollars each month. You're getting more content for less money.
What are the biggest drawbacks? Well, your internet speed will definitely affect the quality of the programming. Faster internet speeds will give you a better viewing experience. So, if you're using a cheap and slow internet service, cord cutting might not be the best option. Most streaming services limit viewers to two devices at the same time. That means you can't watch more than two screens simultaneously, which might be a problem for larger households. Streaming can also be a fleeting experience. A particular service might be here today and gone tomorrow. Some of these streaming services won't survive in the long run because the market is so competitive. Certain apps also need a USB stick, like an Amazon Fire or Roku. It's a device that can be plugged into the television's HDMI port. For example, the PlayStation Vue app can be downloaded directly through a PlayStation 4 game system, Sony televisions, tablets, and cell phone. But PlayStation Vue requires a tv stick for everything else. This might also be a difficult option for people who aren't particularly tech savvy. Streaming in general might seem confusing for many viewers and they're simply better off with traditional tv options.
Is cord cutting the right decision for you? Ultimately, you're the only one who can make that decision. It's probably a good idea for people who are comfortable with modern technology and searching for methods to save money while retaining a lot of content. I'm going to write separate posts for certain types of streaming options. Streaming appears to go into multiple categories, so I'll keep you up to date throughout the year.
Honestly, I'm paying a little more than a hundred dollars each month for all of these streaming services combined, but it's a ridiculously huge amount of content. It's still cheaper than traditional forms of television and I'm getting way more programming.
Are you using Netflix or other streaming services? Did you recently cancel cable or satellite television? Go and ahead and leave a comment. I hope this article helps and come back for next week's post. Good night!
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