In the modern age of media entertainment, we find ourselves surrounded by options for watching all our TV shows and Movies. With a plethora of streaming services it is hard to know what to go with without really getting to know a service well enough. The more sophisticated it gets the more complicated our options become. In my mind it seems we have 2 online streaming option categories, VOD (video on demand) or Cord Cutting options.
What is Cord Cutting
These are services that literally offer to replace all your regular Channels that you would otherwise get on Cable or satellite television, so NBC, ABC etc… These are good for news and live sports which are only shown on television.
What is VOD
VOD is just your bog-standard streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Video which will have a large library of instant boxsets and movies, however live TV and Sports is weak on these services (almost completely void).
When it comes to price Cord Cutting is on average more expensive, however it is all relevant to what you are paying for. Some samples of typical prices…
Cord Cutting prices
Sling Tv – $15 pm ($5-$10 pm for each single add on)
Philo – $16 pm
Fubo Tv – $44.99 pm
Now Tv – from £3.99 to £11.99 for each channel package
Netflix – $9.99 pm
Amazon Video –$8.99 pm
Shudder – $4.99 pm
Mubi – $5.99 pm
Option for multiple users at once
I have found they all offer either multiple users or can be upgraded to allow multiple users.
Sling Blue package will offer you 3 simultaneous streams at once whereas sling orange will just have the one stream
Netflix – 2 streams on the basic package but with upgrade to have 4 users at once.
Amazon Prime – 2 streams on basic package
Typically, all VOD streaming services seem to offer 2 users at once, however with Cord Cutting basic packages only seem to offer 1 User with upgrade options for multiple users. I suspect this is due to the fact you are streaming live tv and licencing laws can be more complicated/expensive with the content, especially if you use your Cord Cutting service in a commercial place or in public view.
Your basic Cord-Cutting service will offer you current tv series, normally with the option to watch within a week or 2 of it being aired, whereas VOD services will more likely have a library of Boxsets and movies which stick around for possibly years.
Netflix is known for removing Boxsets occasionally when adding new ones so even with VOD services you cannot guarantee a series will stick around long enough for you too watch the whole think. I was watching Stargate Atlantis and about halfway through they removed it, this was extremely frustrating.
With movies the Cord Cutting will normally have a lot of new releases as they will be available once they have premiered on any of the Tv Channels available, however it will have a much smaller library. VOD services will have a larger Library. Having said this Netflix and Amazon are becoming so powerful and dominant that they are able to secure new releases far easier than just a year or 2 ago.
We should also consider that some VOD services now have their own production studios, creating loads of popular series.
When it comes to Sport Cord Cutting is the easy winner as VOD simply does not offer this kind of live content.
My conclusion with the content on VOD is far better for binge watching Tv but not as good when catching up on the new content that Cord Cutting currently offers.
Best streaming option for a family
If you must please numerous members off different ages, genders and maturity then Cord-cutting is probably your best option. The reason is with all the channels you will get a mix of all types of content live and on demand. Typically speaking someone will be a sports fan, someone will want to watch cartoons and someone may want to watch daytime television. Then you will also have a number of films and catchup series to watch at the weekend in your own leisurely time or together as a group.
Best Streaming option for a singleton
If your just on your own or part of a house/flat share, then there is little point in spending loads of money on Cord-cutting. There are plenty of VOD services that offer tons of great series to fill your time.
Not many consider the stream of their quality, however I have become extremely frustrated at times with the stream I am trying to enjoy.
My best example was when trying to watch Game of Thrones Through HBO Now. The dark battle scenes during the long night were near impossible to make out being both dark and pix-elated. If watching on a mobile device then its probably not an issue but when trying to enjoy on a 50 inch LED it really is annoying. And I was watching in the dark with full brightness.
Almost all online streaming options need to catch up on quality, Netflix being the biggest only offering Ultra HD at an increased price. One exception to this rule is Curiosity Stream which offers a premium 4k service, however it is a lot more expensive than watching the standard package. I suppose this shows the bandwidth they have to dedicate to get you 4k is quite tricky.
Many services will offer 4k and Ultra HD but I fail to see the quality much of the time. The best quality you will get will be from neither VOD or cord cutting but Satellite or cable. Although this will quickly change as internet speeds are getting faster and faster year on year. Most of the time 4K adverts mean you can download a rental movie at 4k, but is not normally part of your paid subscription, so be weary of this and check what you are getting.
If you’re looking for a more specific break down then check out my best streaming services of 2019 or if you want a more expensive but all inclusive option then go to best money no object streaming options.