This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.
It used to be all about cable TV. Without it you couldn’t talk to your friends about the latest “Game of Thrones” episode. You had no idea how many “Real Housewives” shows there were (what is it, nine now?). And your sports were limited to whatever’s free to air.
It seemed you had no choice but to sign up for a cable TV service — at upwards of $60 per month.
Stream live TV
With the availability of streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling TV, I’m happy to say that those days are long gone. I’m not just talking about streaming on-demand TV shows and movies, like those you can watch on Netflix. I’m talking about services that go one further, that let us stream live TV.
A number of these services are available now, giving you access to all of your favorite TV channels. Some even offer DVR capability, so you can record your shows.
Switching to one of these services — and bidding farewell to your cable provider — can save you a ton of money.
Cost of TV streaming services versus cable
The bottom line: internet. Depending where you live, you probably can find a solid internet plan with speeds of 50 Mbps or faster for around $30 to $45 a month. That means that, in total, you’d pay about $55 to $85 a month for both home internet and streaming live TV.
The bottom line: cable. Let’s compare this with cable TV. Some of the biggest internet providers start their TV and internet bundle plans at around $75 a month as an introductory rate. So, yes — slightly cheaper than the streaming TV route.
But … don’t stop there. You’ll also need to consider this: Your cable TV bill will almost inevitably increase after your introductory rate expires. It could change dramatically, and in your second year, after the low rate expires, you could be paying well above $100 a month and wondering why you didn’t sign up with Sling TV or YouTube TV in the first place.
Is your internet fast enough for TV streaming?
One more thing to consider when switching to a TV streaming service: Is your internet plan fast enough to handle the increase in internet downloads?
Rule of thumb: You’ll generally need download speeds of at least 5 Mbps if you plan on streaming on just a single device at any given time.
If you’re likely to use internet on other devices — your phone or laptop, for instance — at the same time as you’re streaming TV shows, then you’ll want download speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
It’s your decision
You’ll find many affordable internet-only plans available, starting at just $25 a month for speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
To learn more and compare costs, check out these plans.
More from Whistleout.com:
- “Are Longer Cellphone Installment Plans Worth It?”
- “How to Pick the Best Cellphone Plan”
- “The 3 Best Times to Buy a New Cellphone”
Have you cut the cable cord and switched to streaming live TV? Or are you hesitant? Share your thinking below or on our Facebook page.