There is a big trend these days to “cut the cord” to cable and satellite TV services. Streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO NOW allow you to watch many of the same shows you’d get with your other service. This is of course your own personal decision, but it appears with some recent changes to the way the streaming service providers are managing accounts, that it might turn out to be much more costly than you’d think.
If You Can Get a Signal, Antenna is Great
First of all, if you can get an antenna installed that will pull in the local channels reliably, that feed is far and away the best quality picture you will see in our area. That is, until TV via fiber becomes a reality in our markets. When it comes to antennas in our area, the key word is reliability. With the rolling suburban terrain of the Raleigh and Charlotte metro areas, a reliable signal is not likely.
Your Streaming Options
Some of the more popular options for streaming are Netflix, great for viewing previously broadcast shows and their own content all commercial free; Hulu– the choice for getting network content and others; and a new service from DISH called Sling TV. Sling TV gives you ESPN, HBO, and many of the popular home improvement shows. Amazon also offers streaming video through Prime Instant.
Almost all new TV and sports content is done in 1080p and Dolby 5.1. You should know that Hulu Plus and Sling TV are 720p and only stereo. Netflix and Amazon both have 5.1 and will soon even have some 4K content.
No More DVR
Today, many people subscribed to satellite or cable services are used to the convenience of recording and playing their favorite programs back whenever they desire through DVR. In most cases, this feature is unavailable with streaming services, requiring you to either watch commercials or only have access to programs from prior seasons.
Multiple Users Create Problems
Where it really gets tricky is recent changes to how many people can stream on one account. Netflix will still let multiple users stream at the same time, however both Hulu and Sling now only allow one. Hulu is $8/month and Sling is 20/month+(depending on channel additions). When you consider you are probably going to need an account for each TV in your home to avoid frustrations, you may not wind up saving that much in cost, and dealing with inferior picture, sound and commercials.
As you can tell, it’s all about the quality of the experience and how many simultaneous users you expect to have in your home. And if you want to improve that viewing experiences, let one of our experts talk to you about all the advantages of the new 4K TV’s and new surround sound formats that take you from just watching TV to being there!