Are you thinking about taking the plunge and cutting the cable cord in favor of streaming media? You’re not alone. While there’s no shortage of enthusiastic tech articles out there telling you cable TV will be dead any time now, the truth is, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Major networks are just dipping their toes into the streaming pool, and even the big three services (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix) are subject to shakeups.
Many households are holding off a little longer before making the switch, keeping their cable subscription while they edge toward cutting the cord entirely. But is it time to take that final step and cut the cable cord? Here are a few reasons why the answer may be yes.
1. The Big One: Money
Let’s just get this one out of the way. Cable is a monthly bill you don’t need to be paying. If you’re looking to trim some fat from your entertainment budget, switching to streaming media is a great way to save money in the long run. Especially considering there are so many great streaming alternatives out there.
Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Say you cut the cable cord and pick up a Roku device to hook up to your flatscreen. You then subscribe to Netflix ($9.99 monthly), Amazon Prime Video ($8.99 monthly), and splurge for Hulu with no commercials ($11.99 monthly, up from $7.99) giving you a very generous range of shows and movies to choose from.
That’s $30.97. Let’s compare that to DirecTV’s base package, which starts at $50.00 (they range up to $150). Of course, you won’t actually pay $50 a month; when we had DirecTV, DVR fees and HD fees and other add-ons pushed the base package up to around $70 a month — over double what you’d pay for subscribing to all those streaming services.
Granted, once you start tacking on a la carte subscription streaming services like HBO Go, Showtime, or sports packages, the margin of savings will narrow a bit. But, consider this:
- You’ll still pay less than a cable subscription (adding Showtime to Hulu is currently an additional $9 a month).
- Unlike cable packages, you’ll only subscribe to what you want.
This brings me to the next reason you should consider cutting the cable cord…
2. Pay for What You Want
The obnoxious bundling of channels by cable companies, where customers pay for channels they never watch while missing channels they’d like to have, has long been a bone of contention between consumers and media companies.
Once you cut the cable cord and go with streaming media, it’s less of an issue. Want to see a show online? Subscribe to the service that carries it. Done!
3. Use Your Freedom of Choice
If you pick up a Roku (or other streaming media player), one of the first things you’ll discover is how much content is out there, much of it free. Sure, some of it is commercial-driven and thus interrupted with ads, but there’s a ton of free content available just waiting to be discovered.
You also won’t have to look far to find content that caters specifically to you. This another great benefit of cutting the cable cord. With streaming media subscriptions, shows and movies are recommended to you based on your watch history. No more mindless channel surfing, trying to find the least objectionable thing to settle on. Instead, your problem will become picking among many things you want to watch.
4. Adios, Commercials
There’s no lengthy justification needed here. Cut the cable cord and you may see a few TV commercials a week on Hulu, at most. No obnoxious interstitials splashing all over the screen during shows, either. It’s like some sort of beautiful dream.
5. Literally, No Cord
A streaming subscription means uncoupling your media-watching experience from your TV. By installing an app or two, you can watch your shows on your laptop, tablet, or even your phone if you’re so inclined. This means you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies on-the-go, or even while brushing your teeth in the bathroom. I’m not saying you should. But you can.
And by shopping at off-price retailers like BLINQ.com, you can find great deals on home theater essentials like smart LED TVs, streaming media players and game consoles, that will make cutting the cord easier — and your viewing experience more enjoyable.
Are there any reasons you shouldn’t cut the cable cord? Possibly…if your internet service is terrible, or if you love your channel-surfing habit so much you could never give it up. But in terms of money, variety, and personal choice, there are many great reasons to take the leap and cut the cable cord now.
Have you thought about cutting the cable cord in your home? Any pros or cons that stand out to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!