This post idea started out last fall with a realization that after canceling cable TV service to save money that I was now spending just as much on streaming services after I added everything up. Now though, things have changed. That point is still strong but so is the case for reliability and the importance of local news. In a crisis like we are currently in the middle of, those points supersede just cost as two of my biggest concerns.
Last year I canceled my cable TV service to save on monthly expenses. However, one by one I subscribed to new streaming services to get various shows that I wanted to watch. Then I tried a “cable tv replacement” streaming service and got a bill for nearly the same price as I had been saving by canceling my Cox TV service. Except now … it wasn’t as convenient or reliable.
I also discovered that I quickly approached my bandwidth cap due to multiple video streams, downloading games, and my normal weekly backups to protect my data.
Back then, my concern was entertainment. I wanted to watch movies and shows. Local news was something less important that I could get the gist of by updates from friends on Facebook and by browsing websites. Today though, I’ve discovered just how frustrating it is to be listening to an update from our mayor or the White House … only to have the antenna mess up so I can’t hear the complete update. I’m lucky though. I have a balcony and live in an urban area where the broadcast signal is relatively strong.
We will certainly return to a normal way of living. The unfortunate reality though, is that for the weeks and months ahead of us, we’re all going to spend a lot more time in our homes with not just one TV on, but likely two or three, or more as our families spread out across the house wanting to watch their own favorites. There’s an initial issue with internal bandwidth and home infrastructure with this. Luckily that one is easy to resolve by contacting Cox to upgrade to Gigablast or getting a new router. Fortunately, Cox has been providing a lot of relief offerings for its customers during the coronavirus pandemic, and it removed its data usage overages for internet customers so they have one less thing to worry about as they work from home or their kids move to online classes.
What’s less easy is ensuring that the servers and internet connections maintained by the streaming companies can withstand the huge increase in demand from millions of people around the world trying to watch their favorite shows. Already there are calls from customers in Europe demanding that streaming services reduce bandwidth or stream non-essential pieces of content at a lower resolution. That’s something where cable television does not suffer from since cable TV doesn’t depend on traveling through the public internet or third-party servers in the same way.
On top of that, unless you live in an area close to broadcast towers with no trees, buildings, or hills blocking antenna signals, then you also can’t get access to local broadcast news updates through your television. While you can subscribe to packages from various providers to get “cable channels,” in most cases the cost is similar and you lose the reliability, convenience, and security of a service backed by real people in your local community that you get from a company like Cox.
There will be some people who simply can’t afford monthly TV service and, in those situations, there are government programs to help. This too is something you won’t find from streaming services. For the rest of us though, let’s look at the price breakdown:
Cox Contour TV Starter “Basic Cable” provides reliable access to NBC, CW, Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS, and C-SPAN as well as 50 commercial-free Music Choice channels.
For the rest of us, Contour TV (150+ channels) offers affordable options depending on just how much variety you need or want. With this service, you get fast, reliable local and government channels as well as the flexibility to watch your favorite entertainment channels on the TV or stream it to your devices or record on the DVR to view later.
When you combine this with Gigablast Internet, there are some great deals right now and it will be one less thing for you to worry about with everyone home at the same time and needing to play games, watch TV, get news updates, and video conference all at the same time without interruption.