Cable Services or Online Streaming Portals
Hello Guys in this article of mine, we are going to discuss about a service, which is typically not a warrior of the streaming wars like others, but still losing it, ‘the cable services’. It doesn’t matter whether Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or any other streaming service wins, for cable companies, it is a lose-lose situation.
Since a while, i have been noticing that people are discussing (or sometimes arguing) a lot about the topic “cable or online streaming TV” ? It has really been a very intricate decision for many of the TV lovers, across the world. So basically in this article, i am going to compare all the major attributes which both of these services offer, for the sole objective of finding a better service for you. Lets Begin!!
Content or Watchlist
The movie catalogs of most of these online streaming services is are extensive. On these platforms, you can select from a variety of movies arranged properly, according to their genre. There is also a “recommended for you” section which is pretty good, in terms of selecting a movie of your taste. On the other hand, in the cable services, you are bound to watch limited titles at a time, and many of the titles are repeated several times.
Although neither of the services presents the latest titles to the customers, i will prefer online streaming services (for movies) for their huge streaming catalogs and frequent revisions of their watchlist.
Excluding Hulu Plus (Hulu Plus offers a lot of resent shows) from the list most of the online streaming services lacks the recent TV Shoes which are aired on the Cable networks like AMC, ABC, CBS etc. This is one of the major drawbacks of these services. On the other hand, with Cable connection you can watch all these recent shows by all these production companies along with some local shows, as soon as they are aired.
Although most of these online streaming services have started a fashion of creating their own quality content (originals), which is commendable. Some of the big original hits are House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos etc.
Sports, News and other Live Content
One of the biggest drawback of these online streaming services is that, they does not offer you any sports telecast, News or any other live content like Award Shows or Popular Events. So if you are a big time sports fan, just forget about online streaming.
There is still an option if you want to use the online streaming services and stay connected to sports, which is Sling TV. Sling TV is also an online streaming platform which has a sports package, costing around $20 per month including few ESPN channels, ABC, AMC, Cartoon Network and few other good channels.
This is the second most important factor, while comparing both the services. Over the years, the prices of cable companies have accelerated at a very high rate, this is is because of the fact that, cable companies were detaining monopoly in the media market, which means there were no considerable competition for them.
But now things have changed with the arrival and advancement of these online streaming services. Online streaming has reshaped the graphs of Media Stocks. Big Media Giants, including CBS, Viacom, Time Warner, and Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox forecasted decreases in existing cable subscriptions this summer, as a result which their stock were hammered.
Lets talk about the numbers now, big cable companies like Time Warner Cable Corp., AT&T ask around $50 per month for their basic packages and the prices go as high as $120!! per month as you upgrade to the premium, that too excluding taxes. Also you have to pay the installation charges and charges of the extra hardware requirements.
On the other hand, online streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu Plus asks around $8 per month for the standard whereas $12 per month, for their premium plans. Other platforms like Amazon Prime, iTunes are a little bit expensive then Netflix and Hulu Plus as they sell their content individually, but still much better in terms of prices when compared to cable companies.
One more thing which should be considered in this money based comparison is the internet usage. As streaming the high quality media content consumes a lot of data, upgrading your internet plan will become mandatory.
Also with services like Netflix you can share your account with your family and friends, as you can stream content on multiple screens (upto 6) at the same time. Finally, after doing all the maths, i think that online streaming can save you few hundred dollars annually.
Contracts and Installation
Cable companies bound their customers in yearly contracts, which means, even if you want to cancel your service, you have to pay for the entire year. All these contracts are complicated, annoying and totally in favor of the service providers.
On the other hand, online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus etc. have no such contract boundations. You can cancel your subscription any time you want. You can also pause, restart, upgrade or degrade your subscription according to your requirements. They also provide you with a free service, for the first month, which will give you an idea, how they work and if they are meant for you or not.
The installation of cable services is quite hectic as well as costly. A lot of extra hardware like Set-Top box, DVR, Remote, Cable etc. is required at the time of installation, which is quite expensive and some of these equipments, which you take on lease from the service providers, have extra monthly charges.
In case of online streaming services subscription no physical installation is required, which means you don’t have to call a guy from the company, to install the hardware. You can simply register for the service on the official website of respective company, by simply providing some basic information.
You can access your service as soon as you accomplish a successful registration, all you need is an internet connection on your mobile, tablet or PC. If you want to watch it on TV, you are going to need an extra device like Roku, Psay Station, Xbox 360, Chromcast by google etc. You can easily install these devices by your own and enjoy the service.
Comfort or ease of use of the service is also important. With Cable services you are bound to sit in front of your TV set, but with online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, you can watch your favorite Show or movie wherever you want.
In some of the online streaming platforms you can create multiple profiles. For example in Netflix, you can create upto six different profiles, with a single account, paying the same amount of money, and can access all the six account, on six different screens at the same time!!.
Second thing i want to point out is advertisements. In a cable TV, you have no option, but swallow them (although some of you like them). On an average, in an one hour show you spend around 20 minutes on advertisements, which is a lot of time.
Lets scan it in a different way, you watch 2 episodes of House Of Cards in 2 hours with cable TV, while you can watch 3 episodes, using the online streaming platforms. Most of the online streaming services offer you advertisement free, or very few advertisement media content. Netflix is an add free service, there might be a few advertisements at the end of a show or a movie.
So guys this is it! these are some main aspects which you should consider while choosing between cable TV and online streaming services. This article might appear, a little biased for online streaming services, but that’s because they have earned it. Also if you are a big time sports fan, cable is a better choice for you.
One more important thing i want to mention here is, if you really thinking of cancelling your cable, do not forget to return the hardware like DVR, Set-Top box etc. as the cable companies charge you monthly for these devices. At last, its your choice, CHOOSE WISELY.
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