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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Cutting the cord is complicated

Streaming+services+illustration
Streaming services illustration

Streaming services have come from nearly every entertainment company to take over cable and, for the first time in July, accounted for more usage than cable. But it can be pricier than expected, and tier lists with ads plus add-ons that read like different cable packages make subscriptions complicated. As a result, choosing the exemplary service involves much more research and is getting more difficult.
While there are drawbacks of cable, it is consistent. You will get local and national news in the morning, evening and night. National sporting events will also be on those national broadcast networks with local ones that are not buffering or delayed because of unstable internet connections.
Fans of a few specific shows have no choice but to pay for a monthly subscription. Fans of various shows like HBO’s ”Succession,” Hulu’s ”Only Murders in the Building,” Apple TV +‘ “For All Mankind,” Showtime’s ”Yellowjackets,” Prime Video’s ”The Boys,” Netflix’s ”Stranger Things,” Disney+’s ”The Mandalorian,” ESPN+’s ”The Captain” and Paramount +’ ”The Offer,” could be paying upwards of $89.93 a month, and that is with the Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN + bundle.
Another thing many people enjoy about cable TV is that there is no sifting through hundreds of TV shows and movies. TV and movies move around from service to service, making it difficult to track down where your favorite show or movie is. Next year, HBO Max will merge with Discovery+ and several HBO Max programs will be removed from the platform. Even so, the streamlining efforts of merging two services can be too much.
Not everyone can watch or enjoy that much content in a month, and prices continue to rise as streaming services take advantage of their popularity to add advertisements. Additionally, those who hold off on subscribing may see prices increase by the time they get around to actually beginning payment.
Although we may be past the era of appointment television, you may want to enjoy a show as it gets released so that nothing is spoiled. Streaming services have been experimenting with how certain shows are released. Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” follows a traditional release schedule with weekly episodes. Whereas the limited series on HBO, “Station Eleven,” came out with the first three episodes in one week, two episodes per week for the next three weeks and the finale on its own the last week. Netflix’s big shows, like ‘Stranger Things’ come out all at once.
A streaming service that has a popular show not mentioned is Peacock Plus, which has “The Office” and some live sports for free with ads for the time being, which is rare. Although, “The Office” can also be found on live TV on Comedy Central and Freeform at any time, a solution for fans of the show and those who do not want to look through expansive libraries of content.
There are planners for selecting the best streaming service for your budget or banking tools to help eliminate unwanted subscriptions. These may be helpful in the short term. Still, the media landscape is ever evolving. Just recently, a significant shift saw a $90 million HBO Max comic book movie written off rather than released.
I am not writing this as a defense of cable; as stated, it also has its drawbacks. Commercials are not fun to watch except for one day in February. Customer service is still a hassle even with cable TV providers working to fix it. Having another cord, in general, is frustrating as you have too many cables with a decent home TV setup.
Despite all of this, streaming services have live TV subscriptions available. For example, Hulu, which has original content, offers live TV with add-ons like sports packages. In addition, there are other live TV streaming providers like YouTube TVfuboTV and Sling, to name a few. Most of them have deals or trials so users can discover what they prefer.
The beginning of streaming taking over cable was promising when Netflix had just one plan, quality original content and some good older movies. However, it has now gotten to the point where it can be overwhelming, and watching live TV is less stressful. So cut the cord or do not; the choice is yours. But do not expect it to get cheaper or easier to navigate.
– Dillon Strine is a journalism senior
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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