With so many ways to watch original content, television consumption has evolved. Today, cable and satellite providers and networks are finding competition from alternatives such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu and Crackle. With a streaming device, you can watch movies, TV shows and other types of programming without the need of cable or satellite services. If you decide to cut the cable cord, you’ll find streaming options, streaming devices, original content, a large virtual library and cost savings.
Aereo, a company that broadcast live TV for users over the Internet until the Supreme Court ruled it had violated copyright laws, has suspended its streaming services, which leaves fewer options for consumers interested cutting the cord. However, many TV shows are available to stream online or on a streaming device. You don't have to rely on traditional cable services when the streaming options provide content for viewing. You won't be able to watch live television, but you may be able to watch your favorite shows a day after they premiere, depending on the streaming service you use.
You’ll find several streaming boxes for watching content. Some popular choices include the Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and the TiVo Roamio. These devices connect to your TV and use your high-speed Internet connection to stream content. Streaming boxes give you direct access to streaming services from your TV. In some cases, as with the TiVo Roamio, you can record over-the-air programming, as well as stream Internet content. The real advantage of a streaming device is that you can watch programming on a television screen as you would with cable.
Although HBO, Showtime, AMC and other networks are creating buzz-worthy content, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu and Crackle offer original content as well. In some cases, entire seasons are available to stream without the weekly roll out of new programming that’s popular on TV. As a subscriber to any of these streaming services, you have access to content that is specifically for those individuals who stream content over the Internet.
Large Virtual Library
When you open a Netflix, Hulu, or an Amazon Prime account, you are immediately granted access to a virtual library of movies and TV shows – it’s like having a huge DVD collection without the DVDs. These titles are available to stream any time, day or night, and new content is added every day. Netflix has classic TV shows and movies. Hulu Plus and Amazon stream currently running television shows and classics.
According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, 19 percent of American households live without cable. The average monthly cable bill can cost $80 to several hundred dollars, depending on your package choices. The Federal Communications Commission reported that the cost of cable is steadily rising. Internet TV can potentially cut those costs. There’s also the option to buy television series a la carte, downloading only those episodes or seasons that you want.
- The New York Times: New Roku and TiVo Devices Make Cutting the Cable Cord Plausible
- Wired: How to Stream TV Shows Now That Aereo’s Dead
- CNET: Internet Pay-TV Is Coming. Will You Care?
- The Wall Street Journal: Getting Rid of Cable TV: The Smartest Ways to Cut the Cord
- Bloomberg Businessweek: Bundled Cable TV Withstands Consumer Opposition
- ABC News: Average Cable Rates on the Rise
- New York Times: Stung by Supreme Court, Aereo Suspends Service
- Amazon: Amazon Prime
- Photo Credit imtmphoto/iStock/Getty Images
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