Cable TV vs Streaming: What is the Best Way to Watch TV?

Category: Entertainment & Sports 21

As technology advances at unprecedented rates, older resources we’ve become accustomed to eventually phases out. From VHS tapes to CD players, many products of yesteryear have been tossed aside in favor of more digital-based ones. The same conversion of physical to digital mediums can be applied to the rise of streaming. No longer do we have to go out of our way to purchase a new movie or television series, as we can simply wait for it to appear on a service such as Netflix.

As a result, more and more individuals are finding reason to cut the cord in order to make the switch. However, sometimes what may seem enticing on the surface may be anything but an actual improvement. Here are the main differences between cable TV packages and streaming services, and how to decide on which one is the best for you.

Cable TV vs Streaming: The Cost

For any product that you spend money on, you expect quality service. When something comes along that is more efficient and cheaper, you will more than likely make the switch. As it relates to streaming, the average plan will cost around fifteen dollars. This is significantly cheaper than your standard cable TV plan, which can average around sixty or seventy dollars.

Cost of Cable TV

In most circumstances, cable TV packages can come in premium models which can skyrocket to well over one hundred dollars depending on your provider. This is often the route most consumers go because standard cable TV packages only offer basic networks. If you want to get more bang for your buck, you’ll usually have to spend more.

In addition, most cable TV providers will have auxiliary fees that you will have to spend on. These can come in the form of first-time installation charges, bundling options and contractual requirements. All of these contribute to the overall costly nature of choosing cable TV.

Cost of Streaming

This is in stark contrast to streaming services. Not only is it the most inexpensive option to choose if you are cognizant of your budget, but you are not limited to just one provider either. You could bundle together several streaming packages such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and still pay significantly less than cable TV. Streaming also allows you to share an account with a friend or two. This allows you to potentially split payments accordingly, driving down the overall cost of the service further.

Winner: Streaming

Streaming is probably the more affordable option relative to the cable TV packages. However, streaming does require you to have a good Internet service, which can be a rather costly expense. You may also need to invest in audio speakers and possibly computer equipment, which are significant expenses especially if you want to get something on the higher end.

If you are watching cable TV, all you need to set up is a television, along with a LED TV stand for display. These are both one-time costs, but must be taken into consideration when you’re comparing between cable TV vs streaming.

Cable TV vs Streaming: The Content

Cable TV vs streaming has been into discussion for years already but the one factor the differentiate the two is the content they are providing. If cost isn’t the prime factor in deciding between cable TV and streaming, the content surely is. For starters, cable TV plans comprise of hundreds of channels that include more than just your go-to series. Your favourite daytime talk shows or television documentaries are available with the simple press of a button on your TV remote. For convenience’s sake, you can also record them on most digital video recorders so you can view them at your leisure.

Cable TV Content

What mainly differentiates the content found on cable TV versus the variety found on streaming services is live TV. If you are a big fan of live sporting events or you are just a habitual consumer of daily news, cable TV has a plethora of options available. Most streaming services do not offer live TV on the whim, but an extra charge to your current package could change that depending on the provider.

Streaming Content

The content found on streaming matches, if not bests, the choice found on cable TV. Virtually every show or film you can imagine is available on streaming, along with some highly-praised and popular series such as “Breaking Bad” or “The Walking Dead.” Unlike cable TV, you won’t have to endlessly change the channel in order to find desired content. Certain algorithms within the service are curtailed towards the material you prefer in order to help you find relatable content.

In addition, most streaming platforms regularly deliver original content to be distributed on the respective service. Streaming can keep you completely satisfied with new TV series such as “Stranger Things” or movies from all genres with each daily update.

Winner: Tied

Should you find yourself deliberating between what service to go with, it really just depends on what you prefer. If you’re more of a live event person with a need for just basic channels, you might go the route of cable TV. Or, if you are an avid consumer of near-limitless amounts of entertainment from all corners of the media, you’ll find satisfaction within streaming.

Cable TV vs Streaming: The Commercials

Winner: Streaming

Advertisements cutting into our favourite TV shows at pivotal moments can be a pain. We’ve all experienced this sentiment while watching our favourite TV shows through our regular cable provider. This is standard practice for your cable providers, which can amount to over ten minutes during a regular hour-long TV show.

Another reason why streaming services might best cable TV packages is the elimination of these commercials outright. No longer will you have to worry about advertisements you don’t care about cutting into your favourite shows. The only interruption you’ll have to contend with while on a streaming binge is Netflix periodically asking you “are you still watching?”

Cable TV vs Streaming: The Verdict

Winner: Streaming

When it comes to making a decision on what service to go with, it is predicated on your circumstances. If you are looking to become more frugal with your budget, streaming can be a solution to the expensive nature of cable TV. However, most live TV events are often bundled with your basic and premium cable TV packages. This is something that most streaming services currently lack, so you’ll have to take that into consideration as well.

As it pertains to content, you’ll find countless options on both. However, with constant updates and original content developed specifically for each unique distributor, streaming would be the way to go. Weigh your options accordingly and, ultimately, you’ll discover the best option suited for you.

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