Cut the Cord or Stick With Cable TV? - Colliers Hill
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Cut the Cord or Stick With Cable TV?

One of the hottest topics of 2019 is cutting the cable TV cord in favor of alternative streaming and on-demand services. Cutting the cord sounds scary, right? After all it’s what we’ve known for YEARS. But thanks to 21st century technology, streaming television services compete handily with cable – delivering much the same programming for less. Lots of cool kids are cutting the cord – but before YOU make the move, here are some tips to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Cable TV vs. Streaming Services

Cable makes things simple. You have the cable company install it, grab the remote and you’re good to go. And with bundled packages, you may have internet, cable and a landline all rolled into one. But the package prices keep getting more and more expensive. And while everybody likes simple, no one likes paying through the nose – especially for a bunch of channels they don’t watch. Sometimes just talking to the retention department will enable you to secure a promotional rate (if you’re willing to give a two-year commitment to the cable company). 

And as Wirecutter notes, the more TVs you have — the more value you get out of the price of a traditional cable or satellite subscription, because the same package and price works for a single person or a family of five. Many streaming services support only a single stream at once, which appeals more to a small household than one with multiple viewers.

Here are some basic facts about cable TV alternatives from industry experts.

Track Your Viewing Habits

Streaming services typically cost $15 to $50 a month – but you may need more than one service and a device to access them, and all of them will require an internet connection. So be sure to consider the cost of internet as well – especially if you currently get a discount for bundling cable and internet. Wirecutter recommends tracking the viewing habits in your household and evaluating what you watch. Some cord cutters have kept journals for a few months to develop must-see and could-live-without lists. You may find you watch the alphabet networks – ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX as much as much or more than you do cable stations, or vice versa.

Clark Howard puts TV viewers into one of three categories – Extreme Savers, Big Savers and Great Savers – all of which require a high-speed internet connection. Extreme Savers are satisfied with local stations and with a digital antenna and a free streaming service like Pluto TV, Sony Crackle or The Roku Channel. For a list of channels you can access with a digital antenna, enter your street address on this antenna analysis tool. And here’s a report on HDTV antennas from Consumer Reports.

If you want more than local, the experts recommend newer TVs that have smarter interfaces, or something like the Roku TV’s TCL’s 6-Series for all-in-one streaming. Or, you might keep your TV and sign up for a full-time streaming entertainment plan, in which case you’ll want a separate device like one of these Digital Trends favorites – built for the job.

Streaming Services Live and On-Demand TV

Clark Howard’s top picks for streaming services–  published this month on his website – include seven services with starting prices (again, between $15 to $50 a month), supported devices and links to free trial offers and other details. Topping the list is YouTube TV, and in his post Howard also enumerates the pros and cons for his favorites.

Jared Newman, who has been writing about cord cutting in Tech News for the last five years, says if you were to ask him for the simplest, easiest way to cut the cord, he’d say: “Sign up for YouTube TV and Netflix (his favorite live and on-demand streaming services respectively).” He’d also advise you to buy a Roku Streaming Stick+ for $50 (his favorite low-cost device that supports both of those services) to plug into your TV monitor.

But as we know, TV isn’t one-size-fits-all anymore. If it was, we’d all just be sticking with cable and absorbing its price hikes. Being able to pick and choose is what makes cord-cutting great. For example, you might want to add-on one of the best streaming services for sports, in which case check out Mashable’s recommendations.

Cord Cutter News has more comparisons on their site to make this evaluation easier, citing which are the better deals. 

According to an article last fall in the Wall Street Journal, streaming services added millions of customers in the last year by promising big savings over traditional cable and satellite-TV subscriptions. Just beware that there are some downsides, too, to cutting the cord. Things like internet fees, DVR restrictions, buffering and a lack of things to watch — especially live sports — are considerations. And just like the cost of cable TV, streaming services costs are likely to keep going up, too!

Savvy Shoppers in Colliers Hill

The buyers in the master-planned community of Colliers Hill are savvy shoppers who know the value of a dollar! They became homeowners to enjoy small town living in Erie, with access to big city life. Come and visit the beautiful model homes offered by Richmond American Homes, Century Communities, Shea Homes and Meritage Homes in ranch and two-story designs, priced from the upper $300s to the $600s.