Monday, August 6, 2018
In 2017, traditional cable networks lost nearly 3.1 million subscribers, while the top Internet-delivered services added about 1.6 million subscribers, according to the Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
And lately, you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord, too. After all, you don’t really watch half the channels that come with your cable subscription. Why pay for it all then? Price may be one of the biggest factors most people consider when making the switch to streaming services, but it isn’t the only one.
Here are some other things to keep in mind.
The lure of cable packages is the bundle, which ideally brings the price of each service — high-speed Internet, cable and maybe even phone — down. Oftentimes, companies will offer an introductory price on bundles, and sometimes, you’ll also get complimentary premium channels, like HBO or Starz, for a limited time.
Cutting the cord, then, may actually increase what you’re paying for what would then be just one service, the Internet connection. But it’s not the only way it could affect your pocketbook.
Know that some streaming services, like Netflix, list out their internet speed requirements for the best streaming experience. (Read on here to learn how to optimize your streaming experience with Kinetic Internet.) In that regard, you might want or need to increase your Internet speed to get the quality and quantity of streaming that you’d like.
Before you make the switch, do your research on what channels come with the streaming service of your choice. Just like a cable package, streaming services can hold different tiers of channels. Some might have add-ons, asking for, say, $5 a month for foreign language broadcasts, premium channels or a suite of children’s channels. Some will allow you to record, watch live or play a show or a movie back from the start.
Some cord-cutters may also choose to supplement. If one streaming service doesn’t include the sports channel they wanted, they can find it in another streaming service’s lineup. (For more about live-streaming sports, particularly football, read on here.) Some channels even started their own streaming services. Cutting the cord, for some, might mean having a live TV option, along with an on-demand option.
Read the fine print, too. Some packages will only allow one user at a time, so if you share an account with your family of five, you may not be able to catch your favorite show live, while one of the kids is catching up on one of the shows she missed because of soccer practice.
Say goodbye to that clunky cable box, and say hello to your newest slate of streaming devices. Starting with the most basic, if you’re looking for your local channels — affiliates of the main four TV stations in your area — then you could easily get the bunny ears. Yes, antennae still work, but they don’t look like the bunny ears of yore!
Then there are the many devices that allow you to stream content, like the Roku or gaming consoles like the Xbox One or a Playstation 4. Other options include starting the stream on your smartphone or computer and casting it to your television, using an HDMI cable, or having a smart TV where you can also download streaming apps.
Use these three factors before deciding whether you’re ready to cut the cord and go all in on Internet-delivered services. And once you’ve settled on the right Windstream Internet and the right streaming services, enjoy a nice night in, binge-watching your favorite shows and movies!