Cable TV and online streaming services are the two most common video services available these days. Before you decide on one of the two, you must keep the pros and cons in mind. Your decision can vary based on the overall cost, availability, and the number of channels.
Let’s say, if you are looking to reduce your Spectrum net billing, you might want to get a streaming service. Conversely, if you want more channels and content, cable TV is right for you. It all depends upon what, where, and how much content you want. Both video services are different in many ways, and here is everything you need to know about them.
How are Cable TV and Internet Streaming Different?
Cable TV is the trusted old companion that local cable operators provide. It comes with a set-top box that you can connect with your TV. Cable TV connects you with channels from all across the globe. You can watch sports, news, and movies all at the same time. The channels are readily available, even when you are offline.
Streaming services like Hulu or YouTube TV connect you with content over the internet. There are no wires or set-top boxes. If you have a good internet connection, you are ready to go. A lot of the streaming sites have a fixed number of channels. They might leave out a few things you want to watch but cover all the basics. Add-ons and on-demand content are also available for an added cost.
The biggest difference between streaming services and cable TV is the cost and content availability. While cable TV can be more expensive, you get more channels and content on all devices. Streaming services might cut costs for you, but there is a catch. If you want anything extra on your streaming service package, you have to pay up for it.
Availability of Channels
Cable TV has a wide array of channels available. The added advantage for cable TV is the ability to watch things like sports live as they happen. A lot of streaming sites do not offer sports channels, and cable is suitable for sports fans. The content can be a lot more than you will ever consume. If your cable TV has 100 channels, you may only be interested in the 25 best. So, if you are not interested in so much content, spending more money on it might not make sense. The more, the merrier is not always true.
It will be a problem if you are on cable TV and want to watch Netflix’s original shows. As more streaming sites take the main stage, the content gets better. They now have their own production houses that create stellar movies and shows. Some of the most famous shows premiere on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you are not willing to give up on exclusive content, you need a streaming service.
Streaming sites are primarily online, and you will always need an internet connection to access them. If you do not have a reliable internet connection, it is a total bust. You will lose all entertainment without an internet connection. Moreover, this holds for all streaming services. It is also something that you will have to deal with it on your own as a consumer. No streaming site can control or fix your lousy internet connection.
Cable TV takes brownie points here as it is satellite-based. You do not need an internet connection to watch your favorite TV channels. You can access cable TV anywhere and everywhere as long as you have a set-top box.
Service Providers Selection Range
Cable TV is local, and the selection of services providers varies a lot with your area of residence. Sometimes, the availability of SPs can dictate the availability of channels as well. Remote areas might not get a lot of channels, while main cities will have them all.
On the other hand, streaming services are the same everywhere in the country. The content available in Texas will be the same as in New York. You do not have to worry about losing the availability of your favorite shows even if you move across the country. There are no restrictions to the content you get because of your location.
Bundle Offers Might be Cheaper
If you have a large family with varied interests, one streaming option might not be enough for you. Meanwhile, if you are also trying to save money, multiple streams will be costlier. A lot of the companies are now offering bundle packages that include cable and internet. TV packages can come with Netflix subscriptions to upgrade your experience. It reduces the cost by a fair margin, and everyone gets what they want.
As bigger and bigger companies join the streaming segment, it is creating a huge difference. Recently, Disney, HBO, and Marvel all chose specific streaming sites to release new movies. The more exclusive at-home content is becoming available, the more people are cutting the cable cord.