The Definitive Guide to Cord-Cutting in 2016, Based on Your Habits

Here’s the state of cord-cutting in America today: It’s chaotic.

Consider what’s faced by people who want to end their TV subscriptions — otherwise known as cutting the cable cord. There are now multiple different streaming services and bills to juggle. And there are numerous streaming gadgets to choose from.

So to make moving away from cable cords easier, we teamed up with the Wirecutter, the product recommendations website, to compile the definitive guide to cord-cutting. The Wirecutter tested multiple services, streaming devices and antennas to come up with cord-cutter bundles for different types of people in 2016: movie buffs, sports addicts, fans of premium TV shows, binge watchers and families with children.

More on the results in a minute. First, let’s explain how we got to this point.

Every quarter for the last few years, hundreds of thousands of American households have put an end to their TV subscriptions, fed up with the costs of cable subscriptions, channels they never watch and the annoying commercials.

The cord-cutting movement peaked in 2011, when the cable sector bled 744,000 subscribers, according to the research firm SNL Kagan. Comcast and Time Warner responded by overhauling their cable boxes with simpler interfaces, but they managed only to diminish their losses. Last quarter, the damage count for cable was 298,000 lost subscribers. Countless other would-be customers now no longer bother to sign up in the first place.

At the same time, consumers’ viewing options have widened — perhaps by too much. Streaming video services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are increasingly investing in original programs that compete with traditional television shows. At office water coolers, conversations are happening around Netflix, Hulu and Amazon originals like “Luke Cage,” “Casual” and “Transparent.”

Yet cord cutters, faced with the plethora of streaming services and gadgets, remain a minority in the United States. SNL Kagan estimates that by last quarter, just 12 percent of American households subscribed to broadband internet services without a traditional TV package.

That’s where this definitive guide comes in. What we found was there is no one-size-fits-all solution because each streaming service carries a different catalog of content, and each gadget has access to different services.

The upshot: While Roku’s $50 streaming stick and Netflix are great for many purposes, you may want to use different devices or services depending on what you watch.


Source by: NY Times.

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