How to Decide Whether You Bundle your TV and Internet or Streaming Services

How to Decide Whether You Bundle your TV and Internet or Streaming Services

Wed, Feb 10, 2021 5:05 PM

TV Spectrum Cable AT&T

Often, in the first year, subscription packages are cheaper than live streaming services, but streaming will offer greater versatility and independence.

The average American spends about $ 107 per month on subscription TV, including TV streaming services, cable, and satellite TV.

It's a shocking amount, but most of us do not re-evaluate our options unless we really have to, much like auto insurance or savings accounts.

Moving to a new place is the ideal moment to give a fresh look to your TV budget. In your new neighborhood, you'll probably have just a few TV and internet options, so contrasting them with TV streaming services and other cord-cutting alternatives should be pretty simple. We'll show you in this guide how TV providers stack up against their flashy new competition in general.

 

Price: Streaming Services vs Cable and Satellite

 

For most individuals, the default option is to pay via their internet service provider for cable TV. We took the numbers for a few regular cable packages from the table below and compared them with the Hulu and Sling live TV streaming services.

 

AT&T WatchTV 

 

  • Monthly TV + internet cost - $15 (TV) + $60* (internet)

  • Installation Fee - None

  • Equipment rental fee - None

  • TV contract length - 1 Month

  • Number of channels - 41

  • Estimated year one costs - $900

 

Xfinity (Starter Pro Double Play)

  • Monthly TV + internet cost - $90

  • Installation Fee - Up to $60

  • Equipment rental fee - $13/mo.

  • TV contract length - One year

  • Number of channels - 140+

  • Estimated year one costs - $1,296

 

Spectrum (TV Select + Internet)

  • Monthly TV + internet cost - $90

  • Installation Fee - Up to $200

  • Equipment rental fee - $5/mo.

  • TV contract length - One year

  • Number of channels - 125+

  • Estimated year one costs - $1,340

 

AT&T Internet + DIRECTV

  • Monthly TV + internet cost - $75 year one, $121 year two

  • Installation Fee - Up to $99

  • Equipment rental fee - None

  • TV contract length - Two year

  • Number of channels - 155+

  • Estimated year one costs - $999 ($1,452 year two)

 

You would typically get a lot of channels going to a cable or satellite TV provider, as you notice on the table. Having said that, those raw figures can be a little deceptive. For example, the 155 channels of DIRECTV include three dedicated entirely to selling jewelry.

In the live TV streaming options, you won't find too much padding, but they're also more likely to skip channels that you really like. YouTube TV does not have common networks, such as A&E, Comedy Central, or History, although all local channels are absent from AT&T TV.

It's the versatility that streaming has the edge. And you're never locked into annual contracts with high early termination penalties, so you only pay one month at a time. After a one-year "promotional" cycle, most cable providers increase costs, and even without that increase, Consumer Reports estimates that advertised rates rise between 3 percent to 4 percent per year.

Streaming programs far outpace that amount. The five major live TV streaming platforms, Hulu, Sling, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue, have increased rates every year for the past four years by an average of 12.98 percent. That said, it started with much lower prices than cable TV, but it's still a surprising trend.

But it's extremely easy to switch providers if (and when) subscription services raise rates. No such versatility is provided by cable and satellite providers. DIRECTV is also locking you into a two-year deal that increases rates from $75/mo. $121/mo in year one.

 

 Bundle your TV and Internet or Streaming Services

 

Customers using streaming services are happier than the ones using TV

 

While if you want a robust channel range, rates would likely end up being close, live TV streamers are far more pleased with their service than typical TV customers.

Video streaming services have become one of the most highly valued sectors by customers, with an average score of 76, according to the most recent survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

On the other hand, since 2013, subscription television services have been the lowest-rated sector, with a score of 62 in 2019. Although the offerings and prices of the channels are typically similar, it is clear that viewers enjoy the freedom that cable providers offer live TV streaming options.

 

How about trying TV Antenna

 

A TV antenna is one of the best tools in the cord cutter's arsenal if you want to seriously reduce your TV spending when you travel. Usually, they cost around $50, can be mounted indoors or outdoors, and provide free HD for all your local channels.

And that means, without paying a dime, you can catch almost any big TV case. In reality, all but six were available via a TV antenna out of the top 50 most-watched telecasts of 2018.

Locast.org, a non-profit that streams the same local channels in HD, can also be used. It's only available in 31% of the U.S. markets at the moment, but that list is increasing every day.

 

Creating your own streaming bundle.

 

There are more choices for the television world than ever before. You have the freedom to customize your TV subscriptions exactly as you see fit when you move into your new home. We've highlighted variations in the table below that could work for different viewers.

  • The Cord Cutter:  This is a fairly common combination. Via a TV antenna, and cable channels such as ESPN, TNT, and CNN via Sling's Orange bundle, you can get your local stations- ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and PBS. Put in an ad-supported plan for Netflix and Hulu, and you have a well-rounded TV set.

 

  • The Sports Fan: Hulu + Live TV has almost every channel that airs live sports from the NFL, MLB, and NBA, plus regional sports networks in almost every market, for the fanatic who wants to catch every game. It's on the pricey side at $55/mo., but it has more sports channels than even cable packages.

 

  • The Minimalist: This combination is the cheapest of all of our bundles, great if you want to cut your TV budget dramatically. Your basics will be covered with a TV antenna and Netflix. You'll get major events like the Super Bowl and Oscars, while still getting access to TV and movies from Netflix's treasure trove.

 

  • The On-Demand Only: You're free to load up on the best on-demand streaming services if you don't care about live events like sports, news, and awards shows. You'll get almost every TV show out there, with Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and HBO Now, whether it initially airs on a cable channel, television network, or streaming service.

 

  • The Traditionalist: The TV/internet kit to which the bulk of the nation subscribes. The simplicity is enticing, no need to pay individually for multiple facilities or mount a TV antenna, but you are also at the mercy of annual contracts and secret charges.

 

Check Your Options

 

Bundling TV and the internet would also be the most cost-effective solution when moving to a new place for many individuals. Yet TV streaming services are always the better deal after the first year's discounted rates expire, even if you'll still have to pay for the internet.

Overall, moving offers a great chance to re-evaluate your decisions. We have put together a thorough guide to cutting the cord to help you find the right balance if you are unsure of where to begin

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