Should I cut the cord on cable?

In the last few years, it's become common for consumers to ditch cable television in favor of streaming services and devices. Many affordable streaming options are available, making it easier for consumers to give up cable without necessarily sacrificing their favorite shows. But there are some drawbacks to relying exclusively on streaming services for television viewing. Consider the following before you decide to cut the cord.

The most obvious benefit of cutting cable is the money you'll likely save each month. Compare what you spend on your monthly bill to how much of your cable subscription you actually use. Are you regularly watching all the channels you pay for, or do you watch only a few of them? Are the channels you watch worth what you pay each month? If not, it might make sense to cancel cable and switch to an alternative entertainment source.

You may decide to replace cable with a streaming service or device. In addition to being less expensive than cable, most services are user-friendly. You won't need to flip through hundreds of channels to find your favorite shows, and as long as you have an Internet connection, you can view them on the go on your cell phone or tablet. Plus, streaming services typically let you stop and start month to month without termination fees.

But depending on your viewing preferences, a streaming service might not be the right option for you. There is often a delay in the online release of many television shows, which can be frustrating for dedicated viewers. And if you're a sports fan, you might be disappointed to learn that you won't have access to live sports coverage through most streaming services. Comprehensive sports packages are offered by some services, but they can be expensive and are not available in all regions.

Another disadvantage of switching to streaming is that you may need to subscribe to multiple packages or invest in special streaming devices to access the programs you want. You might also consider the cost of high-speed Internet — you won't be able to stream without a relatively fast Internet connection. Between multiple subscriptions and reliable Internet, the cost of streaming can add up quickly. Be sure to compare prices and take advantage of any free-trial offers.


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