Yet again, we're hearing that cord cutting is on the rise. Consumers everywhere are opting for streaming services over traditional pay TV. While this is clearly bad news for the big pay TV companies out there, like Comcast and DirecTV, consumers are now flooded with a variety of streaming options, each of which has its own unique benefits.
The sheer amount of streaming services available now make it possible to completely replace traditional pay TV plans with equipment-free and contract-free streaming. But which streaming service is best? It all depends on your preferences and your budget.
With so many pay TV providers partnering up with streaming services in an effort to move with the trend, it's clear that streaming is quickly becoming the norm. If you're ready to make the switch, there are a few key factors to consider before you settle on your new TV viewing experience.
What matters to you most?
Each of the major streaming services has its own pros and cons, and what may be a pro to you, could be a con to you neighbor with different tastes. If you're looking for the latest episode of your favorite TV show that just aired last week, Hulu is likely your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to watch the football game live, Sling TV is a go-to. HBO Now is a great source of top-tier movies, but Amazon Prime Video is included for all existing Amazon Prime members.
Of course, Netflix is typically found at the top of everyone's list with a massive selection, a reasonable price, and the ability to watch downloaded episodes and movies offline.
One of the most appealing features of streaming services is the affordability. If you already use Amazon Prime you already have access to Amazon Prime video with no additional fee. Some of the other options offer different levels of pricing to exclude commercials or use multiple devices at the same time. Make sure to consider how you will be using your service(s) and which pricing option works best for your household.
Two is better than one
While you may be looking to cut the cord in the interest of saving money, chances are you'll still be saving a bundle if you drop your traditional Pay TV provider and sign up for two or three streaming services. Don't feel pressured to find the perfect all-in-one solution. That's what got most of us into the "bundled" Pay TV contract price in the first place.
Keep in mind that, in addition to saving money on the service itself, you won't be paying any of the typical fees that come with pay TV. There aren't any monthly payments needed to rent your cable box or one-time installation fees. In fact, depending on which service(s) you choose and the type of TV you own, you may already have many these apps built-in, eliminating the need for an external device to make streaming possible.
Try before you buy
If you're still on the fence about cutting the cord, or already have but can't decide on one or more streaming services, try them out! Most of the services out there offer free trials. Try out all of the top contenders and see what you think.
Look for the shows you currently watch on the different services to determine which one(s) have the most of what you will want. If your favorite show isn't available on one of the services you are considering, that may be a deal breaker. As you go through the process of narrowing things down keep in mind the price, commercials, and selection.
Thanks to the ability to try before you buy, the best solution should become clear to you by the time your trial is up.
Need some more advice? Kim walks you through the streaming services in this video.
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