5 Reasons to Ditch Streaming and Go Back to Cable

Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
May 31, 2022
3 min read

There are dozens of streaming services on the market, and it’s hard to keep up! It’s also hard for our wallets to understand why we keep forking out money for this and that subscription. (We can all relate.)

But now we’re seeing streaming prices skyrocket, and we’re finding more and more reasons to go back to cable TV.

Subscribing to streaming TV services used to be the go-to if you wanted to save money on entertainment, but now, the tables have turned—it’s worth going back to cable.

So, let’s find the answer to this question: should you ditch your streaming service subscriptions and go back to good ol’ cable?

1. Some cable TV plans are cheaper than streaming

A few years ago, streaming services were known to save you more money than if you were to order a cable TV package. YouTube TV used to be $35 per month when it launched in early 2018!

Now, live TV streaming services are increasing their prices due to the rising costs of programming, such as Disney Channel, CNN, and TBS. And now, their pricing is looking similar to that of cable television.

What are the cheapest cable TV and streaming plans?
Provider
Type
Price
Channels
Details
Sling TV logoLive TV streaming$35$5050
XfinityCable$49.99$59.99*185
SpectrumCable$34.99$49.99140
YouTubeTVLive TV streaming$34.99$64.9985
OptimumCable$30$115420
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
For the first 12 months.
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

2. Cable TV offers more channels than streaming

Hands down, cable TV has more channels than live TV streaming does (sometimes double or triple the amount!).

But the downside to getting 400+ channels with Verizon Fios TV and Optimum TV is that they’re not widely available across the US. For example, you can’t get either service if you live on the West Coast.

So we recommend double-checking during your checkout process if you’ll be able to access all news, sports, kids, movie, and entertainment that TV offers.

Which cable TV and streaming providers have the most channels?
Provider
Type
Price
Channels
Details
VerizonFiber$55$110^425
OptimumCable$30$115420
XfinityCable$49.99$59.99*185
FuboTVLive TV streaming$32.99$99.99210
Directv StreamLive TV streaming$64.99$139.99°330
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° For 12 months plus taxes & fees, w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies

3. All the content you want is on TV, so just record

All TV shows and movies you can think of are on cable television (besides Originals). So with cable TV, you can just set up a recording before you go to work, and it will be ready to watch when you get home.

Some cable TV providers also have on-demand content to watch whenever you’d like. That’s the nice thing about on-demand content: you can watch it while cleaning in the early morning or when you can’t sleep in the middle of the night.

Although you can potentially get more content through cable TV (it just might not be neatly categorized in rows like it is with streaming), some streaming services have more storage capacity.

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV have an unlimited DVR storage space. Xfinity TV has up to 300 hours of DVR space, and Cox TV has 1,000.

Which cable TV and streaming services have the best DVR?
Provider
Type
Price
Channels
Details
YouTubeTV
Live TV streaming$34.99$64.9985
Live TV streaming$69.99$75.9975
Xfinity
Cable$49.99$59.99*185
Cox
Cable$53$132250
Directv Stream
Live TV streaming$54.99$134.99**140
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
For the first 12 months.
** DIRECTV STREAM Device avail. for $5/mo. on 24-month installment agmt for well-qualified customers. Others pay $120 upfront for device. Taxes due at sale. See details. Price subject to change.

4. No need to worry about Wi-Fi reliability

When you switch back to cable TV, you won’t have to worry about Wi-Fi reliability and lag when you’re trying to watch the NBA Playoffs.

But it’s 2022. We most likely still need Wi-Fi to use our smartphones and laptops. So you might consider a TV and internet bundle.

You can bundle an Xfinity TV plan with internet of 300 Mbps download speeds for $50 more per month than if you were to order only TV (for the first year).

If you don’t need Wi-Fi and internet access, that means more savings for your new big screen 4K TV.

What are the cheapest cable TV and internet bundles?
Provider
Price
Channels
Internet download speed
Details
Popular Double Play$79.99/mo.††125+Up to 300 Mbps
Internet Gig + TV Select$139.98/mo. for 12 mos.‡‡125+Up to 1000 Mbps
Internet Ultra + TV Select$119.98/mo. for 12 mos.‡‡125+Up to 400 Mbps
Internet 100 + Value TV$104.99/mo.^^225+Up to 100 Mbps
Data effective 02/17/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† For the first 12 months
‡‡ Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
^^ w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.

5. Buying a streaming device or smart TV isn’t necessary with cable TV

We understand you might already have an Apple TV, Roku TV, or Amazon Fire TV Stick, but you won’t have to worry about upgrading devices in the future.

That’s an extra cost you won’t have to worry about when you switch over to cable. But we must warn you: cable TV does have fees that you’ll have to budget for.

Just to prepare you, some fees might include:

  • Cable box rental fees
  • DVR service fees
  • Broadcast and regional sports fees (for your local and sports channels)
Reasons to stay with streaming services
Megaphone

Don’t get us wrong, there are still many reasons to keep a live TV streaming service subscription instead of switching back to a cable provider.

  • Live TV streaming services don’t have contracts, so you can cancel at any time.
  • Your monthly pricing for cable TV usually increases when your contract expires. (At this point, we recommend calling your cable company to “threaten” that you want to switch back to streaming to see if they offer you a deal.)
  • Not only do you get live channels with a live TV streaming service, but the ease and availability of on-demand content sound better to you than recording content.

Should you ditch streaming and reconnect to cable TV?

You should switch to cable if these reasons sound appealing to you:

  1. Some cable TV plans save you more money
  2. More channels
  3. All the content you want and more
  4. No need to worry about Wi-Fi
  5. A streaming device or smart TV is not necessary

We recommend you check out our list of best cable TV providers. But if a big on-demand content library and unlimited DVR storage space sound better than receiving double the channels, you might consider a live TV streaming service.

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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