Spectrum Resource Center

Spectrum Resource Center


Should I Cut the Cable Cord?

7:00 Minute Read

There’s a buzz about “cutting the cable cord” these days, usually in favor of paying for multiple streaming services and “faux cable” alternatives. But is cutting the cord really worth it? What are the pros and cons of cutting the cord? And which is right for you and your household?

The answers to these questions aren’t always a simple “yes” or “no.” Before making your choice, there are plenty of factors you should consider, including connection quality, cost and deciding which shows, events and channels you care about the most. Let’s explore below. 

What is Cutting the Cord?

“Cutting the cord” means cancelling cable TV. You might replace cable by subscribing to a handful of video streaming services, like Netflix, HBO or Hulu. There are also “faux cable” alternatives that allow you to watch live TV, such as YouTube TV and Sling TV.

However, cutting the cord isn’t the best choice for everyone.

Is Your Internet Connection Good Enough for Streaming?

If you want to stream video, you’ll need home Internet that is up for the job . If your household has multiple people who regularly use Internet at once, it could impact streaming quality without enough bandwidth. So, it’s important to remember the most reliable home Internet often comes through the same cable you might be planning to cut.

Netflix notes that you need a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps to stream HD video. But if you have an Ultra-High Definition or 4K TV, a download speed of at least 25 Mbps is required to enjoy higher resolution. And the more people who stream or game at once on your network, the more bandwidth you will need. A minimum of 150 Mbps is recommended for homes with users who often like to stream during the same time of day.

In contrast, cable TV is more reliable than streaming. Because cable distribution comes from local utility lines, cable TV provides a consistent, clear picture. You don’t have to worry about video quality based on your Internet plan, number of users in your neighborhood or the time of day – you can simply turn on your TV and get the great quality you expect.

Watching Live TV Without Cable

Another issue with cutting the cord is watching live TV and getting local channels without cable. While the ability to get local channels from streaming services has recently improved, it’s still difficult to get all of your regional coverage from a single provider.

Many streaming services offer local channels on demand, but that means you’ll have to wait at least a day to watch the news or live events.

With a Cable TV provider like Spectrum, that’s not an issue. You can watch all your local channels and noteworthy events – live. 

Watching Sports Without Cable

You might also be wondering how to watch sports without cable. Watching sports on streaming services can be a challenge, although a handful of apps now offer select sports if you are willing to pay for the subscription.

With Spectrum TV®, you can watch a variety of live and On Demand sports on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1 , along with local broadcast channels which cover your home teams. Spectrum TV customers can add Spectrum Sports View to their plan for just $7/mo. Spectrum Sports View offers pro sports, college sports, minor leagues and more. Plus, you can watch your favorite sports on any screen with the Spectrum TV App, both live and On Demand.

Cable TV Costs

One of the main reasons people look at cable TV alternatives is cost; the average monthly cable TV bill in the US is $217.42, equating to over $2,600 per year.

That’s expensive, but there are more affordable cable TV plans that still provide a wide variety of entertainment. For instance, Spectrum TV is available from $64.99/mo for a year, and includes 150+ available channels and over 85,000 On Demand titles.

Streaming Service Costs

Potential cord cutters might find the pricing of streaming services attractive individually, but if you want a range of entertainment, news and sports coverage the total cost can add up in a hurry. For instance, if a household wants YouTube+ for sports and news, the Disney Bundle to entertain the kids and HBO Max for the adults, that will cost almost $100/mo before taxes and other fees.

Below are the monthly prices1 for some common streaming services – and remember, most households will subscribe to multiple services, which can really add up.

·       Netflix - $15.49/mo (ad-free)

·       Hulu - $7.99/mo

·       DUO (Hulu/Disney+) - $9.99 Disney Bundle (ad supported)

·       TRIO (Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+) - $12.99

·       Apple TV+ - $6.99/mo

·       Amazon Prime - $14.99/mo

·       Max™ - $15.99/mo, ad-free

·       YouTube TV - $72.99/mo

Keep in mind that cord-cutting might also make you pay more for Internet. To support multi-user streaming in one household, it’s possible you will need to upgrade your Internet plan for more speed. 

The Best of Both Worlds: Stream with Spectrum TV

If you want the benefits that both cable and streaming offer, the Spectrum TV App allows you to stream anytime, anywhere, on any device. You can enjoy live TV and On Demand shows on all your connected devices, including iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, XBOX and Samsung Smart TV. Plus, you can get access to Paramount+ with SHOWTIME, HBO Max and STARZ ® and other apps with subscription.

And with Spectrum Internet®, you get a fast, reliable connection for everyone in your home. While wireless speeds may vary, Spectrum delivers powerful Internet for all your streaming needs.

If you want the best of both worlds at an affordable price, go with Spectrum TV.

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1 Listed streaming service prices as of 8/23

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