The value of streaming goes beyond the monthly price

A big part of the appeal of streaming video is the monthly price when compared to traditional cable or satellite TV packages. But with recent price hikes by YouTube TV, fubo, and ESPN+, it’s worth questioning if the value is still there. Here are some things to consider.

quality programming

Take a look at recent Emmy nominees and you’ll see many of the shows are exclusive to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. The only way to watch these award-winning shows is though a streaming service.

And with COVID-19 shutting down movie theaters, many top-notch films are going straight to the streaming services.

vast amount of programs (lots of it free)

In terms of quantity, there are two major ways to greatly expand the number of shows you can watch.

First, you can download the apps of channels that are included with your streaming package. This is often the full catalog of the channel — every show, every season, every episode.

Second, there are about a dozen good FREE services that offer thousands of movies and shows to stream. In particular, check out Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Tubi TV, Crackle, and WatchYour.TV.

no contract

In almost all cases, you can opt-in and out of streaming services as frequently as you wish. Most come with a free trial period lasting up to two weeks. So if you no longer watch a certain streaming service, simply cancel it online. There’s no need to call an 800 number and deal with a customer service rep.

no hidden fees or taxes

When you take a close look at your cable bill you’ll see all kinds of surprising line items. It’s common to see $40 or more tacked onto the bundle deal sold to you. The initial price that you were quoted usually isn’t the final price of the bill.

One sneaky way cable companies get away with raising prices on locked-in promotional prices is to increase the “broadcast fee.” This fee is a reflection of the rising cost of carrying some of your local channels. Because they can’t bump of your promotional price, they simply increase the fee.

With using streaming video services, the price you see is the price you pay. There are no hidden fees or government taxes

you own the hardware

There are several really nice streaming devices that cost as little as $40-60. These are capable of fully controlling your TV, displaying HD and 4K TV, and are voice-controlled. Once you buy the hardware, it’s yours forever. (Streaming Installers is an authorized reseller of Roku streaming devices, but we can also provide Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Apple TV products.)

Additionally, you can buy a nice router/modem for Internet service starting at $100. Again, once you buy it, there’s no need to rent one from the cable company.

Compare those purchases to renting modems and cable boxes from the cable company and you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

DVR to your heart’s content

YouTube TV and Philo are especially generous when it comes to cloud-based DVR capability. Take advantage of this and add anything you might want to watch to your DVR. Don’t simply rely on live TV … instead watch what you like, when you like.

take it with you

A great benefit of streaming video is that once you pay for the streaming service, you can use it from multiple locations. So if you have a vacation home, either take your streaming device with you or pay for an additional device. At your second location, simply sign on to your service with no additional cost.

On the road for vacation? Your mobile phone, tablet, and laptop computer all can function exactly like your TV with full access to your DVR and live programs.