The Inevitable Rise of Cost-Effective Cable Alternatives Involve Streaming, But Is It Reliable Enough for Live News 

More consumers are transitioning from traditional cable to other streaming methods. We discuss the numerous cost-effective cable alternatives available today. 

 

The Inevitable Rise of Cost-Effective Cable Alternatives

Cable is not the only way people watch TV. In fact, with each passing year, more and more people are cutting out cable entirely. However, some who primarily watch live news networks, such CNN, FOX, CNBC, Fox Business, might still prefer the reliability of traditional cable — even when streaming options for these channels exist. Restarting a movie, where it stalled is one thing, but missing a live news segment is another. Streaming might not be right for the news audience until streaming becomes more reliable.

In 2017, 24.9 million people cut the cord on cable providers. Just last year, even fewer people watched movies and shows on traditional cable—about 33 million consumers decided not to re-subscribe to pay-TV services

There are numerous reasons why consumers choose to opt out of cable television. Some people find that they are receiving too little for their money or find they do not watch a majority of the channels they were paying a premium for. Others want a more diverse library of viewing options or decide to prioritize getting out of debt over giving into monthly cable bills. Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective cable alternatives out there today—these prove that people can still enjoy available entertainment without giving up on their financial goals. 

There is a wide range of these technological offerings, and because they are all competing against each other for your attention, they are hard to ignore. Prime examples of cable alternatives are online streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix. These on-demand streaming services offer different programming, so people will typically select one or multiple platforms based on their viewing needs. Another thing to keep in mind is that these services often offer free trials, so you do not have to commit to a specific platform right away. 
You can also consider live streaming platforms—a couple of popular ones are Sling TV and YouTube TV. With these services, you are able to watch live events as they unfold on cable channels. If you do not want to miss out on important broadcasts or sports games, live streaming services are a viable option. 

Additionally, streaming devices, such as Amazon Fire TV and Roku players, give you access to hundreds of movies and TV episodes. You can also watch free live broadcast TV through your home’s antenna. Many consumers praise these devices for their convenience and ease of use. 

Consumers pay less for these streaming devices and services for a host of reasons. First, they do not have to pay fees to stream content in HD—today’s platforms are already serving viewers content in at least 720p. Furthermore, cable companies (think Comcast, DISH, and DirecTV) charge unnecessary regulatory fees. 

Comcast is responding to changes in TV watching. On March 21 2019, Comcast announced Xfinity Flex, which features one integrated guide for easy access to popular streaming entertainment including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Showtime, Pandora, iHeartRadio, as well as Comcast’s home WiFi, mobile, security, and home automation services.   

Xfinity Flex includes a 4K HDR streaming TV device, Comcast’s award-winning voice remote, more than 10,000 free movies and TV shows, and live TV from ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Cheddar, and YouTube. 

Comcast said Xfinity Flex will be available starting sometime during the last week of March 2019.

You don’t even have to connect to the Internet if you want an alternative to cable. If you are not quite ready to dive into paying for streaming services, you can always just invest in an HDTV antenna. A final cost-effective option is your local public library. It is an overlooked option, but it is home to a seemingly endless selection of movies and TV shows on DVD.
  
As anyone can notice, the cost-effective cable alternatives are gaining on traditional television viewing options. 

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