Do you watch Live TV?
Do you have greater than 5-10 mb/s internet download speed? (“good” internet)
Do you subscribe to a cable or satellite provider for live TV?
If so, why?
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way; I am not being paid by any streaming TV provider (or anybody at all, actually) to write this blog post. I am writing this out of pure concern for the dozens of people I see every day (my friends, family, and those I encounter in my professional life) who constantly complain about the high cost-low value associated with their current TV provider. I regularly hear about people paying $200+ for TV service alone, not to mention their bills for internet and landline phone (if you’re still in need of such a thing). These very same people are oftentimes those that claim that they “don’t watch a whole lot of TV”. Then why on Earth are you paying such an exorbitant amount for it in 2019? I have some theories.
Reason 1: you don’t know what other options there are
You’ve come to the right place. People have consumed video content at home (read “watched TV and/or movies”) for the same three primary ways for decades: over-the-air broadcast, cable/satellite provider, physical media (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.). With the rise of streaming internet video services Netflix and YouTube, among others, in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s we have found that a fourth method of consumption has risen to prominence. For several years, on-demand video streaming services were (and still are, to a degree) the dominant force. Subscription content library and on-demand rental services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant (or Prime) Video, and Hulu were the standard until the development of live TV streaming services.
While there had been less attempts in the past, 2015 saw the launch of the Dish Network-owned Sling TV service. Since the launch of Sling in 2015, other major players such as Sony’s Playstation Vue, Hulu’s live TV service, Google’s YouTube TV, and AT&T’s own DirecTV Now have grown to prominence among “cord-cutters” looking to reduce the cost of their current television bill. Let’s do a basic comparison of each of these services.
The big takeaway here should be that if you own or purchase any of this listed compatible devices (bear in mind the list provided above is not exhaustive), you are capable of trying out one of these services for yourself free of charge. Use that time to find what works best for you.
Reason 2: you might think it’s more complicated than your existing provider
What sounds more complicated to you:
Scenario A: Waiting around on a technician for a 2-8 hour window to install your service, keeping up with near-monthly billing changes (often trending upwards), getting varied starting pricing depending on who you talk to and when (looking at you, DirecTV), and having a slow-operating, quickly-outdated box attached to every display in your home.
Scenario B: Taking 5-10 minutes to fill out a form and credit card information online to sign up for an account, paying for consistent and transparent pricing models, and experiencing a setup process involving many devices you already own with the possible addition of (very small) devices starting as low as $29.99.
I’d love to hear from anybody reading this regarding their experiences with internet-based or traditional (cable/satellite) live TV services. You can find me on Twitter at @drewbcarrier or leave a comment on this post. Thanks for reading!