Here at Komando HQ, we’ve written a lot of guides about cutting the cord. Here’s a five-step plan you can follow to ditch cable and start streaming. But sticking to cable has its upsides.
In fact, some cable packages include free streaming subscriptions, which means you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming to research all the cable TV perks out there.
Good news: We did the heavy lifting for you. We found some of the most significant advantages of cable, from technical benefits like better reception to fun extra features like apps and web services. Bookmark this page so you can share it with the next person who tells you to cut the cord.
1. Cheap or free Wi-Fi
If you’re looking for ways to save on your internet connection, you may qualify for low-income internet options. There are a few good resources, like the Lifeline program or the Affordable Connectivity Program. Or you can turn to your cable TV subscription.
That’s right: One way to keep more dollars in your pocket is by double-dipping with a package deal. Some companies offer internet service as well as TV and streaming services. For example, here are a few Xfinity packages you can choose from:
Many cable providers want to turn your router into a Wi-Fi hotspot for the neighborhood. This way, other customers can get internet service no matter where they are. You might not like the idea of providing other people with free internet — but it can benefit you too.
Say you’re a Comcast customer out in the wild. You’re struggling to connect to the internet. If you’re near another Comcast customer, you may be able to connect to Xfinity Wi-Fi. Learn more about this Xfinity feature here.
You and other customers are part of the same network, but you can opt out if you want.
It’s like Amazon Sidewalk, which turns your home gadgets into a part of your neighborhood’s wireless network. Tap or click here for Kim’s take on whether or not you should opt out of Amazon Sidewalk.
2. A huge video-on-demand library is another one of the best cable TV perks
Even if you aren’t familiar with the term “video-on-demand,” you’re probably familiar with the system. It lets you watch movies or shows whenever it’s convenient to you.
Say the season finale of your favorite show is airing at 8 p.m., but you’re not home. Thanks to on-demand services, you can watch the episode on your schedule.
Every cable company and satellite service has its on-demand setup. Check with your provider for steps on watching on-demand programming. It’s usually as simple as using your remote to navigate to the on-demand section. For example, find out what Cox Cable offers on-demand here.
Many shows and movies on a particular channel are available if you’re a cable or satellite service subscriber. Some channels have their own streaming platforms and restrict certain content from on-demand viewers through cable or satellite. Paramount+ is a good example.
An important point to keep in mind
Many people switch to streaming because they think it helps them break free from broadcasting schedules. In reality, though, you can watch more freely without abandoning cable. Plus, cable TV typically has a more extensive library than streaming services.
Due to licensing agreements, don’t forget that streaming services also have ever-changing inventories. You may see a movie on Netflix one day, only for it to blip out of existence the next. Because streaming platforms are constantly shuffling out shows and movies to one another, it can be challenging to keep up.
HANDY LINK: These handy sites can help you find the streaming shows you’re looking for
3. Stream music wherever
Here’s another great benefit of sticking with cable TV: on-the-go music streaming for free. The music isn’t limited to your TV. You can listen on your phone or computer, too.
These features aren’t limited to songs. Your cable provider may include recorded concerts and music videos, too.
Sure, it might not have all the bells and whistles of apps like Spotify and Pandora, but the music channel still does its job. So if you have extra time, check your cable package and see if it comes with free music streaming features.
Remember how we mentioned video-on-demand earlier? If you want to listen to music channels, you’ll often find them in the same section. You can watch interviews, concerts and more on your TV screen.
So remember, look up your cable provider and see if it offers desktop or music streaming on its app. Some even have mobile apps for ad-free music streaming, no matter where you are.
TV and streaming guides to check out
5 of the best new TVs you can get for under $500
Tech how-to: Watch live TV from your computer without paying for cable
8 proven ways cheap people lower their monthly internet, cable, and streaming bills