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Cable TV vs Streaming Services: Which is Better?

cable tv vs streaming services

With the rise of streaming services, cable TV vs streaming services battle is getting fiercer. More and more people are ditching their cable TV  and subscribing to a streaming service like Netflix or the like. But several people still prefer cable because it offers a wide variety of content.

In terms of both these services, there are several providers available in the market. To choose the best one, you should determine your needs and affordability before deciding on any.

Which Service Is the Right Choice for You?

While subscribing to streaming services might seem to be a better option, it is not guaranteed to be one. This is because these have a limited amount of content to offer. Therefore, it is better to determine your content needs before making a choice. Make a list of channels and shows that you want and then compare the various services. Then, find out which providers are offering these channels and shows and at what cost. You can also access online resources to compare channels provided by various services.

If you are a hardcore sports fan, then it might be a better option to subscribe to cable services like Spectrum TV. This is because they offer a wide variety of sports channels to its viewers. But if you love to watch movies and shows, then it might be a good idea to give streaming services a try. As they don’t have any contracts, you can cancel your subscription at any time if you are not satisfied with the services.

Another option is to opt for DVD Netflix which also is free of contracts.

Read also: How Much Internet Speed is Mandatory for Streaming?

Cable TV vs Streaming Service

In the face of fierce competition, the main difference between Cable TV vs Streaming services is that cable TV service providers are now offering amazing TV apps that allow their customers to stream their favorite shows anytime and anywhere. This step has made cable TV services very attractive to several users.

On the other hand, streaming services are also trying to take their game up a notch. They are offering live TV services as well to make their services more appealing to the users. The upsides and downsides of both these services are discussed below.

Streaming Service Advantages

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney are providing their user with a wide variety of shows at affordable rates. Here are some of the advantages of these services:

More Flexibility

Streaming services offer a lot of flexibility in terms of service provision. You don’t have to worry about contracts. And you can cancel the subscription at any time with no worries of termination fees. Also, if you move to a new city or a new location, then you can cancel the service easily.


These are quite affordable in comparison with cable TV services. If you opt for lesser resolution and fewer number of devices, then you can also subscribe to multiple services at a time.

Binge Watching

With streaming services, you can easily stream movies and TV shows that are no longer being aired. Also, you don’t have to worry about recording the shows as long as you have a stable Internet connection. Unlike cable TV streaming, you can binge-watch your favorite shows anytime and anywhere.

Greater Customization

Streaming services offer great customization options. By subscribing to your favorite programs, you can receive alerts for it easily. In this way, you can stream the latest episodes as soon as they come out.

Not only that, but streaming services can also suggest you shows and movies based on your viewing history. So, you never run out of good content to watch if you subscribe to a streaming service. Based on your preference, you can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Disney, and Amazon Prime extra.

No Additional Fees

The monthly subscription fees are fixed. So, you don’t have to pay any additional fees at the end of the month.


Some disadvantages of these include:

Need for High-Speed Internet Connection

To seamlessly stream your favorite shows, you need to have a high-speed Internet connection. Therefore, you’ll need to subscribe to a reliable Internet package as well if you want to stream your favorite programs without any interruptions. This can significantly increase your monthly costs.

Cannot Be Accessed Without Internet

You need a stable Internet connection to stream the shows easily. If you live in an area with poor Internet availability, then it might not be a smart choice to subscribe to a streaming service. You can enjoy perks like 200 HD channels by subscribing to a service like Spectrum cable TV plan.

Cable TV Advantages

Some of the best features of cable TV include:

More Number of Shows

The cable TV is the obvious winner in terms of the number of channels. You can enjoy a wide range of news, sports, wildlife, and movie channels by subscribing to the right TV package. But you’ll have to compare the services offered by various providers to choose the best one.

Greater Variety of Sports Channels

Another great advantage of cable TV service is that it offers a wide range of sports channels. If you subscribe to a streaming service, you can’t watch live sports events. Even if you can stream them, you have to pay separately for them.


Some disadvantages of this service are:

Expensive Services

The packages offered by cable TV services are more expensive than streaming services. Although some providers do offer discounts or deals for one or two years, the prices can go up significantly.

Additional Fees

For many services, you’ll have to pay a hefty termination fee if you choose to cancel your subscription. Not only that but after a few months, your monthly bill might significantly increase.

Not Reliable

One of the greatest benefits of cable TV is that it doesn’t require an Internet connection. But extreme weather conditions like thunderstorms can disrupt the connection easily. On the other hand, streaming services don’t get affected by such extreme conditions.

Final Words

The above-mentioned advantages and disadvantages might have given you enough clarity to make a choice. It all boils down to your needs and Internet availability in your area. Therefore, it might be a good idea to compare various packages and discounts offered by several services before choosing the best one.

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