Cutting the cord: leaving cable television behind

Ben Lennartz, Staff Writer

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With so many options available, people all across the nation are choosing to leave cable behind in exchange for modern streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon video for their lower prices, exclusive shows, and easier access to television. While cable services like Comcast’s Xfinity and AT&T’s Uverse have been the norm for decades, they just aren’t cutting it anymore.

The biggest factor in cutting the cable cord these days is not cost, however, but convenience. According to senior Jacob Van Vleet, he prefers Netflix over cable because of the ease of access and where to he can watch. Netflix seems to be the frontrunner because of the ability to download movies or shows, said Van Vleet.

One of the hottest trends today are streaming exclusives, all released on a single day, perfect for binging. Most people would rather wait months for one date instead of being strung along from September to May. Senior Tyler Cinq-Mars said his family switched because his family was interested in watching some of the shows featured on Netflix and it was much cheaper to subscribe to the streaming service than to go out and buy a new copy of every new show they were interested in.

Streaming services are much simpler to use, mostly because they aren’t live. While live television is usually something most people enjoy, the delay that comes with streaming services makes it easier to find what someone wants and watch it to completion on his or her own time. Both Van Vleet and Cinq-Mars expressed their interest in the ability to search for what they wanted, finding similar style shows and movies, and finally, to be able to do it without any commercials. When it comes to accessibility, it seems like streaming beats cable hands down.

Nevertheless, there are ups and downs to every service. Cable may be riddled with commercials and limitations, but it offers something streaming services cannot: live TV. Cinq-Mars, while a raving fan of Netflix, will not get rid of cable due to the fact that streaming services cannot allow him to watch the news or new episodes of his favorite shows. While some services like Hulu offer day-after viewing, that isn’t always enough for people to leave cable behind.

Another important aspect to choosing a television provider is the cost. While not always the reason you choose to stay, the cost of a provider is typically the reason to change. A common thread among multiple sources asked is the biggest problem with cable providers to day is the outrageous cost, especially compared to what a streaming service offers. These days, most cable packages begin around $39.99 per month for a basic package while streaming services land closer to $9 a month. For similar services, that gap is just too large, and pushes people to change to Netflix or Hulu.

So, whatever the reason may be–service, convenience, or cost–the move today is to jump the cable ship and swim for the shores of streaming, or so it seems.

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