What to Look for Before You Cut the Cord and Switch to Streaming

The choice between streaming and cable seems endless, with remotes and budgets struggling to navigate the sea of ​​possibilities.

“First it was Time Warner. And then when I moved into this building, it was Direct TV,” said resident Lisa Linares.

But now Linares works cable-free, saying goodbye to the box and welcoming streaming.

“YouTube TV will appear and you just click on it,” she said.

Young woman watching video on demand on her TV
On paper, cutting the cord may seem cheaper, but experts say consumers should consider more aspects before making changes.

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For her, the reason was simple: she wanted to drastically cut her spending.

“I was just looking for something under $120 a month,” Linares said. “Youtube cost $65 a month.”

Having cut her television budget in half, Linares said she was very happy with her move. However, depending on your browsing habits, streaming may not always be the most cost-effective.

“You can save $100 a month, but that can quickly add up to $100 or more,” said Sung Won Son, an economist at Loyola Marymount University. “At the end of the day, it’s not entirely clear that you’re saving money.”

Son added that switching to streaming exclusively requires Internet access with sufficient bandwidth. Not to be confused with internet speed, bandwidth measures the amount of data that can be transferred over an internet connection in a given period of time.

If you look at internet prices in the Los Angeles area, Spectrum offers services starting at $80 per month. AT&T has a slower option starting at $55/month. In the case of Linares, she pays about $100 just for communication. Then you need to add streaming services – and if you want live streaming, there’s even more. At the time of writing, YouTube TV is $65 a month, Hulu Live is $69.99, and Fubo and Vidgo start at $70.

“Sometimes you need new hardware to connect to your TV, so new hardware can cost anywhere from $30 to $100,” Son said.

In comparison, Spectrum offers hundreds of local TV channels and 15 additional networks for $49.99 per month.

Experts say that before you cancel your services, you should not talk to your provider to see if they have something better for your budget and look at all the streaming services you need to get the shows you want. .

“I just go live and all my channels are there,” Linares said.

As for Linares, she already had a Smart TV, so she didn’t have to buy anything. But since she expects to save over $600 this year, she says she will now have the money to upgrade her TV in the future.

“I’m definitely a happier streamer than a subscriber,” Linares said.

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