The cable television industry has a lot of competition from other media these days. You would think they’d be almost giving away their services.
Not so. In fact, cable bills don’t seem to be going down at all. So why not “cut the cord”?
Cable has many people hooked with other services like home phone and Internet service, but these are all available from other providers.
So what are the best alternatives to cable? We can think of three broad ones (four, if you count total abstinence from the “idiot box”). Each has at least a few subcategories as well.
Let’s begin with a look at the current state of cable.
The Decline of Cable TV: Myth or Fact?
For decades, the cable industry dominated television, at least in North America. What was a fledgling community antenna service in the 1950s quickly learned the benefits of scale economies. Then, it rapidly consolidated its local cable systems.
To build synergies, it also absorbed portions of related media industries. Perhaps the cable magnates were not counting on competition from diversified e-business conglomerates like Amazon and streaming TV providers like Netflix.
According to Variety, “The number of pay-TV households peaked in 2010 at 105 million; now it’s down to approximately 82.9 million.” And that number indeed is declining with every individual or household to discover how to cut the cable cord.
Now, we’ll look at some cable alternatives for those wanting to cut cable in 2020.
The Three Best Alternatives to Cable
It isn’t hard to give up cable television in this day and age since there are so many alternatives out there. The hardest part might be calling the local cable company and cutting through all the hard-sell pitches and offers.
Streaming programming services allow you to access television-type programming, either live or on-demand through your computer or device, or a box connected to your television. These include Hulu, Netflix, Amazon.com, YouTube, SlingTV, and several others.
Some streaming services require more bandwidth than others, and some households use more bandwidth for various reasons. If you plan to stream after cutting the cable cord, be sure your high-speed Internet service is fast enough.
Digital TV Antenna
Most people who live in or near cities with local TV stations likely have some way of accessing those stations’ signals, often through a funky-looking gadget that is a digital TV antenna.
You need to work with a professional antenna company though. There are so many and varied digital antenna configurations are that they must work around obstacles like hills and tall buildings that distort the signals.
If you’re looking for TV antenna installation near me, you should only hire a credentialed antenna professional. Otherwise, why spend the money?
Direct-to-home (DTH) satellite entered the multichannel television scene in the 1980s. It was just as cable was gaining a foothold in urban areas. And, despite its various iterations, it’s still an older technology.
Satellite and cable still compete with one another, especially where cable has limited availability. Both seem to be fading into the shadow of today’s high-speed fiber though.
Same Time, Different Channel
Media technologies change every day—more so, now that many people are using home Internet service instead of what their employers provide at the office.
Today’s audio-visual information and entertainment sources are more interactive than ever. So it only makes sense that more people would cut the cord to get the best alternatives to cable.
If this article captured your attention, check out others we’ve posted recently. Some of them are pretty far out!