Cutting the Cord: The Use of Online Streaming

Cutting the cord is a high rising trend among cable TV viewers. It refers to the cancellation of satellite or cable TV services and embracing modern options such as online streaming. Statistics collected by Tech Crunch showed that in 2017, 24.9% of US viewers cut the cord.

The main reason given by consumers who reached this decision was because of the lack of options and paying huge amounts every month for cable TV channels they rarely watched. Comparing the monthly cable or satellite bill to online streaming channels, the amount charged for cable and satellite was higher.

Research by Broadband News Board proved that about 810,000 users of satellite TV stopped using the services in 2019. In the same report, 37.9 % of these cord-cutters pointed to the availability of internet streaming as their main reason.

What is Cord-cutting?

Cord-cutting is not a new term as it has been in motion for the last few years. It is the process of abandoning the traditional cable or satellite television services in favor of the fast-rising online streaming technology.

Like most digital technology transitions, some people cut their cable as soon as online streaming became an option. Others are yet to be convinced the good old cable or satellite TV cords can be cut, and left in memories.

In comparison, both online streaming and cable TV have their pros and cons. Before taking the bold cord-cutting step, a lot of research on suitable online streaming options must be done. Despite branding cable TV as expensive, online streaming may be equally as expensive, depending on the subscriptions and packages you choose.

Pros of Cutting the Cord:

Cheaper Option: Most cable TV services charge between $80 and $100. This is an exorbitant amount considering the number of boring advertisements in between the shows. Cutting the cord enables you to save money because streaming services such as Netflix offer more affordable rates.

Time Saving: With online streaming services, you can go straight to a show and continue watching where you left off. It’s not the same with cable TV as you have to follow their lined program.

Content Control: Cutting the cord gives you full control over what you prefer to watch. You can watch a series and change it halfway through once it becomes boring.

Allowance for Multiple Devices: It is possible to online stream on more than one device. You can synchronize your accounts to be visible on all your smart gadgets. Small households benefit from this as everyone can stream whatever they want.

Subscription channels: You only need a stable internet connection to stream online channels like Pluto, Hulu, ESPN and MANY others.

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Expensive for Large Packages: Subscribing to many channels may accumulate a larger subscription bill.

A household with many people is likely to experience this due to the diversity of their content needs.

Long Breaks Between Shows: If you are watching a series or a movie that has more than one part, you may be forced to wait for a long time before the preceding parts are released.

Location Bias: Some content is deliberately omitted based on the online streamer’s location. You may require a VPN or jailbreaking to access such content. In most cases, this is illegal.

How to Cut the Cord and Set up an Online Streaming Service

  1. Go through the pros and cons of ditching cable TV for online streaming.
  2. Decide on the type of online streaming devices you want to adopt. Examples of these are Amazon FireStick TV, Apple TV, and Roku TV.
  3. Go through the available options for internet provision and select the most suitable package for your household.
  4. Connect the online streaming device to your TV by following the given instructions.
  5. Choose the channels you want to stream from and subscribe to the packages of your choice.
  6. Call your cable TV service provider and cancel your subscriptions.
  7. Cut the cord and join the digital world of online streaming.

Popular Online Streaming Devices

Online streaming devices can be attached to smart televisions. They are equipped with different channels such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime videos, Paramount Plus, HBO Now, YouTube, Lifetime TV, and many others.

For the devices to work, they are plugged into the television’s USB port. You’ll need to set them up by following the prompt instructions on your screen. With Wi-Fi or other internet providers, they are set and ready to stream from.

Below is a list of popular streaming devices:

Amazon FireStick TV
Chromecast with Google TV
Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Apple TV 4K
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Nvidia Shield TV

The above devices come with different features and packages. They are priced according to speed, model, and other specs.

The Difference Between Competing Online Streaming Services

Before deciding on which channel to stream your content from, pay close attention to the following factors:

Subscription Cost: The amount charged to stream different shows. Streaming some content on Netflix may be charged higher than streaming the same thing from Amazon Prime Videos.
Internet consumption: If you are subscribed to a limited internet package, you may need to be more careful with your online data while using streaming services.

Available content: Some streaming services offer a wide range of content for you to stream from. Choose the online streaming services that satisfy your needs.

Common Questions about Cutting the Cord

1. Is it advisable to continue with your internet connection package offered by your previous cable company?

Cable TV companies charge separate prices for TV subscriptions and internet connections. If you are caught between cancelling both services on your journey to cord-cutting, you can go ahead and engage other internet providers.

It is recommended that you do the math first. Compare the prices of the internet subscription packages offered by your previous cable TV service provider and those that are provided by other companies. Go for the one that meets both your budget and internet needs.

2. Are there other internet alternatives?

If you decide to do away with internet provision from the cable TV company, you can select other internet provision options. Performing a Google search in your area can help. Some independent internet companies offer both limited and unlimited internet packages. For online streaming services, unlimited internet access is most convenient. Also, the internet speed should be fast enough.

Enjoy Your Online Streaming!

Disclaimer: This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:

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Cutting the Cord: The Use of Online Streaming
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