Friday, May 18, 2012

Cable TV or Internet Streaming?

During the last few months, the hottest debate has been whether it's even worth paying for a cable TV connection when everything is available on the internet. Let's compare the costs first. In Minneapolis, the main companies providing the cable TV services are Comcast and Charter Communications. Comcast charges $50 per month and Charter charges roughly $65 for the same.

Assuming that I will be getting cable internet anyways, I will need to upgrade it to have streaming TV over it. With Charter, I will need to upgrade from 3 Mbps ($25/month) to a 30 Mbps ($48/month) connection. I will have to pay $23 extra. They currently have quite a few promotions going on, but the promotional prices are only valid for the first six months. Therefore, I would rather ignore those and stick to the actual price which I would have to pay in the long run.

With Comcast, their minimum speed is 20 Mbps for $30/month. But, they offer a $50/month package which includes 30 Mbps internet and Xfinity Streamplay (which includes streaming TV and movies).

So, if I only use internet with Comcast, I spend $50/month. Plus, I also need to get the services of an online streaming company like Amazon Instant or Hulu or Netflix. Since Netflix is a replacement for renting DVDs, I would probably get it regardless of cable TV or not.

Amazon Instant is free for Amazon Prime members which is $6.50/month and Hulu is $8/month. So, it costs roughly $58/month for internet streaming and around $80/month for cable TV and internet. I think the cost benefit is quite obvious!

Another major benefit of using internet streaming is not having to go through commercials! Finishing an episode of an hour long TV show in 40 minutes is a big time saver as well. Also, being able to watch it on your own time is like having a DVR with unlimited capacity. One con that I came across is the fact that none of the shows are available instantly. They are only available a day after airing. So, if you are interested in sports, you definitely need cable TV.

For me, the decision is obvious. Internet streaming is the way to go. Cable TV is becoming a thing of the past.