Over the last few weeks, Connected Home has tried to give a better understanding of the top brands in cable, satellite and streaming services. We always want you to be satisfied with the choice you have made. Plus we are all about saving our customers money where we can. Now that we have visited all of your options, let's see which ones may make sense for you.
No matter which choice you will make on your entertainment, you will have to have an internet service provider. This means you will still pay part of your bill to one of the cable companies in the area. Only issue now is which one. The unfortunate news is you may only have one choice. Spectrum has the largest coverage area for internet. Currently, they only offer up to 300MbPS speeds, but they have rolled out their own version of fiber. It is just available for business only (Spectrum Enterprise), but we hope it will be available on the residential side by next year. For many of our customers, this may bee you only choice. As ATMC and AT&T have limited coverage maps, especially when it comes to Fiber connections. They both only have coverage for Fiber in Brunswick county to roughly 30% of all homes. Even though this is growing by the week, it may take a few more years to reach your address. The good news, Spectrum does not require any contracts. If Fiber is available in your area, get one of these services (even with a year contract); faster can be better, more important if you have children who game. If not, ride out that no contract with Spectrum until it is available.
If you still want to go the traditional cable route, stick with Spectrum. Spectrum has the best introductory prices and they do not require a contract, so you really can leave if you are not happy. If you have AT&T or ATMC cellular, bundle your phones with the fiber cable package. You can save a good chunk this way, plus only have one bill to sort through for 4 services. That can be worth it alone for some.
The two big players in Satellite are Directv and Dish Network. Both of these have their pros, so it truly depends on what you are looking for in your entertainment. Both have huge on demand libraries, both have a two year agreement, both have similar channels. Here is the main difference. Directv has cornered the market on sports. If you live for sports, especially NFL, NHL and MLB, you have to get Directv. If you are more into movies, family shows and a price guarantee for 2 years instead of paying double price the second year, Dish is your best choice.
The most attractive selling point for ALL streaming services...NO CONTRACTS OR AGREEMENTS! This means you are free to try them all with no catches and no equipment to rent of buy. Some offer a 7 day trial and others a 30 day trial, so literally could go two months and not have a bill when you try them all. The best choice actually a tie between Youtube and HULU. There are some great choices with comparable price points, but you get the most and best channels, including locals, with these choices. Youtube is $5 more a month, but offer a few more of the top 100 channels than Hulu and has more of its own content. Hulu is cheaper and has better pricing on the premium channels. Just remember, with either of these services, you can always add Netflix or Amazon prime to get more on demand or more original content and two of these is still cheaper than cable or satellite.
Streaming devices are all just about built the same and carry most of the same features. They are simply devices to hold and maintain all of your streaming apps if you do not have a smart tv. This one is all about preference. Do you have an iPhone? Get the Apple TV so you have the option for Air Play. Do you have an android? You may want to get a ChromeCast device to cast your phone to the tv. Love you Amazon Alexa? Get a FireTv or the new Cube. Has the voice remote feature just like you Alexa speaker. They can be linked for voice commands and you are already familiar with the skills. Remember, these devices are not necessary for streaming, they are a compliment to your current services or devices.
In conclusion, there can be seemingly too many choices these days for your entertainment. Hopefully this series of blogs better explained some of your choices to make your decision easier. We always recommend, go with what you know! No need to re-invent the wheel. When technology improves, so do your devices and software, no matter the company. Eventually, these devices and services will offer most, if not all, of the same things as each other. Find which platforms are easier for you to work and at the price you want. Then pair that with the devices you already own. This will always save you money in the long run and make your transition even easier. Good luck and if we can help installing any of these devices or upgrading your television, please give us a call.