What You Should Know About Cord Cutting
Have you ever found yourself questioning the value of your traditional cable subscription? Since every penny counts and convenience is king, it’s no surprise that many of us are reevaluating our monthly expenses, especially when it comes to entertainment. This is where the concept of ‘cord cutting’ comes into play. But what exactly does it mean, and is it the right choice for you?
Cord cutting refers to viewers canceling their cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of more flexible, often cheaper, internet-based services. Statista reports a significant shift in TV viewership trends in the U.S.: by 2025, it’s projected that 75% of TV households will not have a traditional TV subscription. This marks a drastic increase from 2014 when only 18.8% of U.S. households were without a TV subscription.
Join us as we explore the reasons behind cord-cutting and how to choose the right streaming services for your needs.
The Reasons Behind Cord Cutting
It’s not just a few tech enthusiasts or budget-conscious households making the switch anymore. Cord cutting has become a mainstream movement. But what’s fueling this surge in popularity? Let’s break it down.
Cost Savings: The Financial Appeal
Traditional cable subscriptions can be pricey. They often come with long-term contracts, bundled packages including channels you may never watch, and hidden fees like equipment rentals or installation charges. On average, cable TV costs $118 monthly, often more if you subscribe to premium channels.
In contrast, streaming services offer a more a la carte approach. You can subscribe to services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, with monthly plans starting at $9.
By carefully selecting streaming services that fit your viewing habits, you could cut your monthly entertainment bill by half or even more. For example, if you’re currently paying $80 per month for cable and switch to two streaming services costing $15 each, you’re looking at a monthly saving of $50. That’s $600 saved over a year!
Flexibility: Entertainment on Your Terms
Gone are the days when you had to schedule your life around your favorite TV show’s broadcast time. Streaming services offer unparalleled flexibility. Want to binge-watch an entire season in one weekend? Go ahead. Prefer to catch up on a show during your commute? That’s possible too.
This flexibility extends to your devices – from smart TVs and laptops to smartphones and tablets, you can watch your favorite content almost anywhere. This level of convenience is something traditional cable simply can’t match.
The Rise of Streaming Services: A World of Choices
Streaming services are continually evolving, offering diverse content that caters to all tastes and interests. They’re constantly expanding their libraries, from blockbuster movies and binge-worthy TV series to documentaries and exclusive originals.
Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have become household names, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Niche services cater to interests like anime, classic films, or foreign cinema. So, there’s something for everyone.
Below, we compare streaming services by price and content so you can decide which one’s best for you.
Choosing the Right Streaming Services
Navigating the sea of streaming services can be overwhelming. With so many options, how do you choose the ones that best fit your viewing habits and interests?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular streaming services and how to select the right mix for your entertainment needs.
- Netflix: Known for its vast library of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and an impressive lineup of original content. Netflix is a great all-rounder with something for everyone.
- Amazon Prime Video: Offers a wide range of movies and TV shows, including critically acclaimed original series. It’s a strong contender, especially if you’re already an Amazon Prime member.
- Hulu: Stands out for its next-day access to current TV shows from major networks, a range of movies, and its own original content. It’s a good choice if you want to keep up with current TV shows.
- Disney+: A must-have for families and fans of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content.
Beyond the mainstream services, there are niche streaming platforms catering to specific interests:
- Sports Fans: Services like ESPN+ offer extensive sports programming, live games, and sports documentaries.
- Documentary Enthusiasts: Platforms like CuriosityStream specialize in high-quality documentaries across various subjects.
- International Content: Services like Acorn TV for British shows or Crunchyroll for anime cater to specific international tastes.
- Streaming Services for Kids: Many mainstream streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video feature robust kids’ sections. But there are also services dedicated exclusively to children’s content. Explore our blog about the best streaming services for kids to learn more.
Remember, the beauty of streaming services is their flexibility. You can subscribe or unsubscribe as your interests change, without the long-term commitments required by traditional cable.
The Technical Side of Cord Cutting
Switching to streaming involves more than just choosing your services; it’s also about ensuring you have the right technical setup.
Many modern TVs come with built-in streaming apps. If you have a Smart TV, you’re likely already set up for streaming. However, if your TV isn’t a Smart TV, don’t worry. Devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast can turn any TV into a streaming powerhouse. These devices are easy to use, plug into your TV’s HDMI port, and provide access to a wide range of streaming services.
Setting Up a Home Network for Streaming
A well-structured home network is vital to a good streaming experience, especially if you use multiple devices simultaneously. Here are some tips:
- If you don’t have high-speed fiber internet, an Ethernet connection can be more stable and faster, especially for streaming in high definition or 4K.
- Streaming will require at least 25 Mbps internet speed.
- Your router should be centrally located and not obstructed to maximize WiFi coverage.
- Secure your network with a strong password to prevent unauthorized access.
- If your household has multiple users streaming simultaneously, consider a router that can prioritize traffic to avoid congestion.
What About Live Sports?
While cord cutting offers numerous benefits, it’s not without its challenges. One of the biggest concerns for many is the potential loss of live sports. But luckily, you can overcome these hurdles too – you just need to know where to look.
For those who can’t miss live TV and sports, services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, ESPN+, NFL Network, NBA League Pass, and Hulu + Live TV offer a great solution. They provide a range of live channels, including sports and news, similar to traditional cable but often at a lower cost and without long-term contracts.
For special events, like boxing matches or exclusive sports events, services like Amazon Prime Video and YouTube offer pay-per-view options. This way, you only pay for the events you’re truly interested in.
Now You Know Everything About Cord Cutting
As we’ve navigated the ins and outs of cord cutting, it’s clear that this growing trend offers a wealth of benefits for the modern viewer. From significant cost savings to unparalleled flexibility and a diverse range of content options, cord cutting is redefining the television experience. It empowers you, the viewer, to tailor your entertainment to fit your lifestyle, preferences, and budget.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of cord cutting but still weighing your options, our blog post “Cable Vs. Streaming, What’s the Real Difference?” offers a deeper dive into this topic. It compares the two models side by side, discussing not just the cost and content differences but also the user experience, service quality, and more.
As you consider making the switch, don’t forget to explore RaceTV for your streaming needs. With our fiber internet services – the fastest in California – you’re not just cutting the cord; you’re stepping into a world of high-speed online experience without interruptions.