Are streaming TV Services Worth it? - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Are streaming TV Services Worth it?

New options for those who want to cut the cable cord (Source: WOIO) New options for those who want to cut the cable cord (Source: WOIO)
There's word that Apple TV will offer a streaming cable service in 2015. That would make them the latest in a string of companies giving traditional cable TV viewers an opportunity to cut the cord.

But is it worth it?

Three things have traditionally kept people tied to cable: sports, children's programming, and addictions to shows that are only available with a pay TV service.

But all that is starting to change. Nickelodeon and HBO will soon offer streaming-only services.

That means you can subscribe to those networks and watch their programming without a cable subscription.
 
Consumer Reports' television expert, Jim Willcox, says that's a breakthrough for TV viewers.

"It's the beginning of an à la carte option for what had been cable-only TV channels," says Willcox.

Another option is Sling TV from Dish Network, which Consumer Reports just reviewed. The Internet-based streaming TV package costs just $20 per month and gives you more than a dozen basic cable channels.

Those include heavy hitters like ESPN and ESPN2, CNN, Food Network, The Disney Channel, and soon, AMC.
 
You can get additional packs with extra news, sports or kids' shows for $5 apiece per month.

Consumer Reports compared Sling TV to cable and says the picture quality isn't quite as good, and Sling TV has a one-to-two-minute delay.

"But these issues may not be enough to keep some want-to-be cord cutters away, especially if they're able to get free over-the-air network broadcasts using an antenna," says Willcox.

You can get an indoor antenna for far less than $50. Consumer Reports says if you live near a major TV market, there's a good chance you'll be able to get many local networks.

Before cutting the cord though, see if the channels you watch are part of a streaming service or if they offer their own.

You'll also need a decent broadband connection. 

And if you're only looking to save money these services may not fit the bill.

Click here for more information on cable cutting.

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