When Does It Make Sense To Cut The Cord?
Cutting the cord seems to be a popular trend these days. After years of being taken advantage of by cable companies, many people are deciding enough is enough and choosing to cancel their cable TV subscriptions. Pay TV just had its worst quarter ever, losing 762,000 subscribers in the first 3 months of 2017. While streaming is no doubt the future, for some it still doesn't make sense to cut the cord. Here's some things to keep in mind before deciding to give your cable television provider the boot.
Does You ISP Have a Data Cap?
If you do choose to cut the cord and move to streaming content you'll most likely see an increase in data usage with your ISP. Make sure your ISP does not have a data cap or has a very high cap. Streaming 1 hour of HD TV uses roughly 2.5 gigabytes so add up your average daily usage and add that to the data you already use. If you'll be going over your data cap, it may not be worth cancelling your TV service.
Can You Get Your Favorite TV Networks Via Streaming?
If you choose to replace your cable TV with a streaming service like Playstation Vue, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV or DirecTV Now, make sure your favorite TV networks are available on those services. For example, a popular network like Comedy Central is only available on 2 of these 5 services. Cnet offers a great chart comparing what channels are available on these services.
What Will You Use To Watch TV?
Cancelling your TV service also means getting rid of the cruddy box they gave you. Many people already have a device to watch streaming content like Playstation or XBox gaming consoles. There's also a variety of streaming devices to choose from. The most simplistic way to find out what is right for you is the following:
- Do you want the best for money? Get an Amazon Fire TV
- Do you have a bunch Apple stuff already? Get an Apple TV
- Love Google? Get a MiBox
Do You Want To Pay For TV At All?
While many people will opt for alternative ways of watching content, some people are fine with ditching paid TV all together. Check tvfool.com to see what over the air channels are available in your area. If you have access to a good amount of channels, pick up an HDHomeRun and connect a good antenna up to it like the Mohu Leaf. With the HDHomeRun, you'll have access to all your local channels on your devices. If you own any Apple devices, the Channels app is a fantastic option that pairs with a HDHomeRun for watching TV on your devices. It's available on iOS and Apple TV. It even has a paid option for a cloud DVR.
There's also tons of free content you can watch on YouTube and some networks like The CW will allow you to stream their shows with no login at all. Don't forget if you're already an Amazon Prime member, you have Prime Video which gives you access to thousands of tv shows and movies. There's also an Amazon Prime Video app coming to Apple TV this fall.