In case you haven’t noticed, online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling have totally disrupted what was once a rather safe industry. Millions of Americans are cutting the cord to cable and pursuing alternative options. But before blindly following suit, you should carefully consider your options.
6 Reasons to Keep Cable
Streaming media may be the hottest technology on the block, but it doesn’t make sense for people in every situation. Cable still has value and you shouldn’t automatically discount it. Here are some possible reasons why you may want to keep cable:
1. You Don’t Have Fast Internet Options
“If you’re not getting TV through your cable provider, that means you need to get it from the Internet — which means you need a good, stable Internet connection,” explains Dann Albright, who regularly has trouble with his internet connection. “You might think that getting cable TV and Internet service from the same provider means you’d have the same quality of service on both, but that’s not necessarily true. Even with solid cable service, you’ll sometimes have an Internet blackout.”
You need fast, reliable internet in order to enjoy streaming TV. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated beyond belief. No amount of cost savings will offset this.
2. Your Internet Bill Will Skyrocket
For the most part, people with cable contracts have their services bundled together. It’s common for phone, internet, and TV to all be connected. So while you might think it’s as easy as removing the TV portion, you’d be wrong. Cable providers have cleverly written contracts that allow them to raise your rates on other services if you cancel. So while you might only be paying $30 for bundled internet, your rate might go up to $70 per month when you cut out cable. That’s hardly a way to save money!
3. You Want Reliability
Cable might cost slightly more, but it comes with a certain degree of reliability and certainty.
“Stand alone streaming services are notorious for adding and removing titles from their library abruptly and without explanation. Your favorite show or movie might be there one day and gone the next,” InMyArea explains. “With cable TV, you can set up a series recording for your show so you can watch every episode.”
4. You Have Particular Channel Needs
Before making a switch to streaming, evaluate your channel needs and make a list of the ones you can’t do without. In some cases, you may be able to perfectly replicate this channel lineup via a streaming service. But odds are, you’ll have to make some sacrifices.
If you’re a sports fan, good luck finding a streaming package that meets all of your needs. Many of the channel packages are regionally based, which makes it difficult to get local sports. You may also be forced to purchase a bunch of add-on premium services to access sports content that isn’t found on one of the basic channels like ESPN.
5. You Use Lots of TVs
If you have lots of TVs that are used simultaneously in the home, cable is your best option. Many of the leading streaming services have caps on the number of TVs that can stream content at once. You’ll also have to purchase streaming devices for each TV, which can get expensive. With cable, there’s no need to jump through any of these hoops to watch programming.
6. Cost Isn’t an Issue
Finally, consider the cost. If you’re doing well financially and have plenty of room in your monthly budget, spending a few dollars extra on cable isn’t going to make much of a difference. Cable doesn’t cost that much more. And considering that it’s more convenient, your money is better spent keeping the cord.
Think Before You Cut
You don’t need a master’s degree in data and analytics to understand that the cable industry is hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of customers by the month. And while we’ll eventually reach a point where cable providers will be forced to pivot towards streaming or go obsolete, that time has not yet arrived. Before cutting the cord, weigh the pros and cons and figure out what makes the most sense for your lifestyle, budget, and peace of mind. The answer may surprise you.
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