With YouTube TV and DirecTV Now starting at $ 40 / month, and others like Sling TV offering a flashy 25-US Dollar Plan for Streaming Cable Services sound like a good way to cut costs while the cable is being cut. If you look at all the factors, the price you pay may be as high as your traditional cable bill ̵
Nowadays, internet connection is a must. So, if you're already paying for it, why pay for a full-content delivery system (in the form of a traditional cable) that typically has a separate connection to the outside world? With streaming cable you only pay for the content, not for the network. So you can save a good deal of money, right? As you will see below, this is not always the case.
Hidden Cost # 1: High Speed Internet
The first hidden costs to consider when using streaming cables are the strength of your internet connection. YouTube TV recommends at least a 13 Mbps Internet connection. This is the case with Google's superfast servers and efficient coding, so other streaming services may recommend higher bandwidth. That's for a stream. So if you want to buy cables for a family, you'll need even more bandwidth when the kids watch TV at the top and below.
This means that you need a broadband internet connection for the best results. If you're connected to a DSL line and it works just fine, you'll need to accept a higher monthly internet bill. According to Point Topic, the average cost of a broadband Internet connection in the US in 2017 was $ 80.
Let's say you just update your internet connection to get better quality with streaming cables. The full $ 80 would not be a hidden expense, just the difference between your current internet bill and the broadband connection. The average DSL line ranges from $ 50 to $ 60 a month – in any case, we're going from $ 60, meaning that for many users, these streaming services will still cost $ 20 a month just to update their internet connection ,
Hidden Cost # 2: No bundling
Things get a bit complicated here. Chances are, your existing Internet service will be provided by a company that also offers cable television. Such companies always offer a slight discount on cable subscriptions when you bundle them together with the Internet service.
It is impossible to isolate the actual savings of these packages, but there is no doubt that they offer some cost advantages. Using a streaming cable service instead will lower this discount and reduce the gap between your current cable bill and the cost of the streaming cable plus the Internet.
Hidden Cost # 3: Tiers & Add-Ons
The two hidden costs described above overlap as you contemplate the levels of the channels that provide streaming cable services. These plans are designed to allow streaming cable companies to announce a surprisingly low entry price. They are therefore not really analogous to the basic cable plans.
If you are currently a cable subscriber and you (or your family) have become accustomed to the choice of channels offered through your cable provider, you probably need to increase the levels and add-ons with your streaming cable service pay to get the same setup you are used to.
Take Sling TV as an example. Of the five major streaming cable services, they offer the cheapest base price at $ 25 / month. However, they have two $ 25 levels that effectively split their base channel lineup in half. To get these two channel layouts, you'll need to upgrade to the $ 40 / month price – but even then your channel layout will fade compared to traditional cables.
Sling TV offers a number of add-ons that will do this to get you most of the channels you're used to. These cost $ 5 each ($ 10 for the Sports Add-On), but you can sum up four add-ons for $ 10 per month (except the Sports Add-On).
So, if you want the full "basic cable" You will need to purchase the four additional packages and the Sports Supplements Package, which will increase your account from $ 40 / month to $ 60 / month. Even then, you still lack some important channels – combine that with the above mentioned average internet cost of $ 20, and you now pay $ 80 per month, just as you would with traditional cables.
Other services like Hulu with live TV and YouTube TV only offer a $ 40 level. These are similar to Sling's Orange + Blue $ 40 tier with the added benefit that Hulu and Google were more focused on the channels they contained (ie, the lineups are more suitable for more people), but the downside is that they are simple can not Get the extra channels.
To be honest, the general public has been asking for cable options from a la carte for years, and that's exactly what we get with streaming cables. If one of the $ 40 levels work for you, you can still save a considerable amount of money compared to the all-or-nothing approach of the traditional cable.
Hidden Cost # 4: Networks Resist Streaming
Let's talk about price volatility. Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Now are still too new to have experienced this, but there is a trend among the more mature streaming cable services. Sling TV's base plan was $ 20 last year, YouTube TVs $ 35, and PlayStation Vue at least $ 30. All these prices have risen at least $ 5 / month lately.
The main cause of these price increases is the channel selection. In the beginning, many networks simply did not offer their content for stand-alone streaming services. Now that this is the case, every provider of streaming cables has added more channels to its base class, and cost-effectiveness says it costs more.
As more channels become available over the Internet, prices for streaming cables will continue to rise. Then there is another twist: many networks belong to traditional cable providers who may not want to negotiate in good faith with a competing product in the form of streaming cables. For example, YouTube TV could pay more for NBC Universal Content (NBC, SyFy, USA and Bravo, to name a few) than Xfinity, especially considering that Comcast has both.
Okay, streaming cables may not be as cheap as it may seem at first – but it's not a bad deal yet. Personally, I have been using these services over the past three years, saving an average of $ 50 per month compared to my old cable bill (totaling around $ 1,800). This was because I first had DirecTV with a separate broadband connection, so I did not incur any additional internet costs or bundle discounts were lost when I gave up the satellite. I also enjoy losing some channels as all of my key networks are available at the base levels of streaming cables.
If you're in a similar boat, streaming cable may be the most cost-effective option for you. This article was not about making a hit for streaming cables, but to point out that depending on the use, this is not always the cheaper solution. But in the end, the fact that we have more options is a good thing for us as consumers, regardless of where you source your content.
This article was produced during the annual film and television films by Gadget Hacks on Mobile Special Cover. Read all movies and TV shows on mobile.
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