If I had a nickel for every time I've thought of dropping our Xfinity and just going with streaming for our TV, I'd have...well, I'd have a lot of nickels. There's a reason, though, why I haven't "cut the cord" yet. It has to do with the discount I get with bundling my services through Xfinity. Because I get both my internet and TV service through Xfinity, I pay less than if I had subscribed to both individually. If I drop my TV service with them, then my internet cost would skyrocket, thus wiping out any savings I might have had by just using a streaming service.
That doesn't mean, necessarily, that cutting the cord is a bad idea. You just have be careful. If you read last month's blog article on streaming, then you know that there are a ton of streaming services available. It's tempting to subscribe to all of them. It's also a fast way to spend a lot of money. My advice is to pick and choose those that feature most of the shows and movies you're interested in. Also, many streaming services will let you cancel whenever you want. Potentially, you could just subscribe to watch a particular series, then unsubscribe when finished.
Being price conscious is only part of the equation, though. Here are some other things to consider when "cutting the cord":
•Do you like to have DVR service to record shows? Then make sure you are comfortable with the streaming service's version of a digital recorder. For instance, some, like YouTube TV's "DVR," doesn't actually record–you simply access their content in the cloud. They then keep it for you in a virtual library for quick access.
•Do you like to be up to date and see the latest show episodes when they first air on broadcast TV? Then make sure your streaming service carries the current season of the show–not just last year's.
•Speaking of broadcast TV, if you drop cable or satellite, make sure your streaming service has the local channels you want. (For instance, YouTubeTV and Hulu Plus Live TV have some local channels, but Netflix does not.) If none of your streaming services offers local broadcast channels, then installing an HD antenna would be a good option. The antenna costs money to buy, but the airwaves are free.
•Do you like to watch sports on TV? Ending your cable or satellite agreement means you might not be able to watch all of the Michigan football games, or see the Red Wings lose, from the comfort of your couch. Be sure that your replacement streaming service has the sports channels you enjoy, like ESPN, Big Ten Network, and Bally Sports Detroit.
Once you've factored in all of the variables–price, content, episode timing, channels, and convenience–then you can decide if cutting the cord is right for you.