Everyone likes to settle down and watch their favorite movies and TV shows from time to time. With Christmas just around the corner, I know plenty of you will have lots of free time on your hands. No doubt you’ve already ordered some cosy blankets and a truckload of popcorn to prepare for a winter binge of all the great movies and TV you missed out on this year. The only question on your lips is; what’s the best way to watch everything?
Well, most people have two options; subscribe to a streaming service or buy cable TV. Both of these ideas are both good in their own right, and there’s no real ‘winner’ per say. Instead, they suit different types of people. So, let’s compare the two and see which one may be best for you!
There are plenty of ups and downs with cable TV. The main positive is that you get a lot more available to you. They tend to have lots of channels packed full of movies, and you also get to see TV shows when they’re first aired. If you stream TV shows, then you’re likely going to have to wait until the series is finished before it comes to the service. The only exceptions are shows that are made for the streaming platforms. So, if you’re someone that hates spoilers and needs to stay up-to-date with the best shows, then cable tv packages are more your thing. Plus, movie channels tend to get new movies before streaming services too. A lot of them have options to buy or rent the movie as soon as it’s out on Blu-Ray, which is good for anyone that can’t wait too!
Another big plus point is that you also get a kind of streaming service in on-demand TV. Loads of providers will give you access to a library of on-demand shows that you can stream whenever you want. This means that, if you missed the season finale of a Game Of Thrones because you were working, you could stream it almost immediately after it’s aired. Similarly, you can record live TV, which means you can record entire series of movies to watch when you want, and fast forward through any commercials!
I find there are two main downsides of cable TV. The first is that they often don’t have a lot of what streaming services have. A streaming service could have a bigger catalogue of TV shows and movies, giving you more variety when you want to find something to watch. The second downside is that these packages are more expensive and often less flexible. However, you do get a lot for what you pay, so it’s really up to you whether this is an issue or not.
As you can already tell from the pros and cons of cable TV, there are numerous positives and negatives of streaming services. The biggest pro is that they’re very affordable. For just a few dollars a month, you can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, etc. and have access to loads of movies and TV shows. The services are often flexible too, meaning you can cancel your contract at any time without having to pay a get-out clause of any kind. Some people will really benefit from these low costs, particularly students that don’t have a great deal of cash to spare.
You’ll also find a huge variety of shows and movies on these streaming services. They have genres to cater to every taste, and don’t just show the popular films. If you love indie films, or TV shows that go a bit under the radar, then a streaming service is where you’re most likely to find them. They keep updating their catalogues too, so there’s pretty much always going to be something for someone, somewhere. Another thing I personally enjoy is the absence of any commercials or adverts. There’s no intrusion when you watch, just choose what you want to indulge in, and stream it right away!
There are also two main downsides of streaming, but they’re also quite subjective. The first is that they don’t offer anything other than streaming. So, if you like watching live TV, then you won’t find it here – although, saying that, some streaming sites like Amazon are trying to a acquire rights to stream sports live! The second is that you really depend on a good internet connection here. If you have dodgy wifi, then you won’t be able to stream anything in good quality and end up with that horrible buffering symbol on your screen permanently.
Which Is Best For You?
So, have you decided which option is best for you? Of course, some of you are probably thinking; why can’t I have both. You can, but it might be costly for you. Some people are lucky if they’re students and their family home has cable TV paid by their parents, so they can buy a streaming service and get the best of both worlds!
In general, if you’re an avid lover of live TV and like staying up-to-date with the latest shows, then cable TV is the better option for you. If you can afford the price of a package, then it will give you everything you want and more. The great thing is, you can often build your package by choosing the channels you want to pay for, lowering the costs a bit.
But, if you have a very tight budget and don’t care about watching things live, then a subscription service is best for you. You could even be cheeky and pay for one month over Christmas then cancel your contract if you don’t have time to watch a lot of things afterwards.
As you can see, both options have a load of pros and cons that make them ideal for certain types of people. Like I said earlier, neither option is inherently ‘better’ than the other. It all depends on your needs, and I hope you’ve used this guide to figure out which one suits you best of all.