Which is better for you, cable or streaming services?
I cut the cable cord about a year ago, and I never intend to go back (unless the cable provider drastically decreases their costs). Growing up, we only had cable, and I was okay with that. I have pleasant memories of waking up at 6:00 in the morning on weekends to watch Looney Tunes, sneaking in an episode of King of the Hill in the afternoons (without my parents knowing), and either watching Emeril Lagasse or repeats of Gilligan’s Island with my family during dinner. My parents refused to pay for things like TiVo, DVR, and OnDemand. They thought these options were a waste of money.
For about a year I lived with a roommate where we had both cable and streaming services. Cable was included in the rent, and since we lived in the same house, we shared Netflix and Hulu. We watched both streaming services and cable. When the lease ended, we went our separate ways. I moved in with a family friend who had cable, but no Wi-Fi. Since I didn’t have an unlimited phone plan, or Wi-Fi, I lived for three months with just cable. When I moved into my own apartment, I decided to only sign up for internet and streaming services.
In the last two years, I’ve known what it’s like to live with just cable, just streaming services, and both cable and streaming services. Today, I have weighed the pros and cons of cutting the cord on cable.
Why I miss cable television:
- I miss not being able to turn on the TV for background noise. I used to have the TV on while cooking, cleaning, or working. It was great background noise, and I got to watch/listen to something entertaining. When I was home alone, it helped make the house feel more comforting. With cable television, you can just click a couple buttons to turn on the TV and change it to one of the channels that you like to frequently watch. With streaming services, you have to turn on the TV, go to the streaming service you want to use, scroll through the options, and actually pick something to watch
- I miss staying updated on daily and weekly news. I used to tune into to news on several different channels at night just to hear different opinions on recent local and national stories. Now I have to go online to find out more information about what’s happening around the world. I can read up on local, national, and world-wide news, but I’m not able to take in the information as well as I could if I was watching a broadcast program instead. If I didn’t want to be an informed citizen, it would be really easy to avoid any and all news topics. I personally like to stay informed, though. This adds another step to my day.
- I miss looking forward to weekly scheduled TV programs. I had a new episode to look forward to almost every single night of the week. On Mondays I knew I got to look forward to watching contestants perform on my favorite competition, on Tuesdays there was a new episode about those lovely soap opera doctors, on Thursdays I was able to find out which villain my favorite superheroes would get to face off against, and on Saturdays I got to see what would happen next for that hilarious sitcom family. With streaming services, I am able to watch multiple episodes, or even an entire show in just one sitting. There’s something to be said about delayed gratification, and in my experience, I would prefer to enjoy one episode a week, rather than binge an entire series in one sitting.
Why I prefer streaming services:
- I do not miss that monthly bill! My fiancé and I currently share Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Disney+ accounts. Since we have Verizon, our Disney+ is free this year, and our monthly streaming service bill is about $30 which is still less than the additional $40-50 I would have had to pay each month for cable! I personally would be fine with just having Hulu and Netflix, together it would be about $15; but my fiancé really wanted the other streaming services as well.
- I do not miss mindlessly wasting time watching something I don’t even want to watch. Have you ever just sat down in front of the TV and watched whatever was airing? Have you just scrolled through endless channels to find something, or even anything, to watch? With how easy it is to turn on cable TV, it’s even easier to get stuck watching a show that isn’t actually entertaining. Cable TV is one of the biggest timewasters. With streaming services, I have to put slightly more effort into picking something to watch. This helps discourage me from just wasting time for no reason.
- I do not miss missing episodes. A few years ago, I skipped one episode of my favorite series, and by the next episode, one of the main characters had died! I had only missed one episode, but I felt like I was missing key pieces of the plot. I had a lot of questions, and couldn’t enjoy the show at that point. With streaming services, the episodes are in order and you never have to worry about missing part of the story line.
- I do not miss constantly changing program schedules. I get that TV stations want to increase viewership, and that they want to put their most popular shows at prime time. However, do they always have to change up the schedule for my favorite shows? More than once my favorite show has been moved to a day or time that I am no longer able to watch it. It is upsetting and disappointing. With streaming services, I can watch shows where and when I want.
Based on my experience, cutting the cord on cable made the most sense. I do not foresee myself ever going back to cable, and I feel that the pros far outweigh the cons. Many of the shows that I want to watch are no longer airing on cable, anyways.
Have you cut the cord on cable? Comment below and let us know what your experience has been.
For more info, check out our Vlog on Breaking Up With Cable.