The traditional model of getting your TV as it’s being broadcast might look it’s losing ground. The easily-consumed, convenient nature of streaming as you watch has won its hardcore zealots and it might look like a great deal. However, there are some problems with the services out there that deserve a bit more attention than they get. Let’s look at three reasons you might want to reconsider switching to streaming before you take the plunge and start forking over the cash.
If it’s not HD, don’t bother
Streaming is by far one of the most bandwidth-heavy activities you can enjoy on the internet. That can have a couple of implications if your internet isn’t the greatest. For one, on Wi-Fi, it can drastically limit the bandwidth availability to others sharing the same router. But it might also mean that you’re not going to enjoy the show in HD, which means it will look drastically worse on big screens. Fiber optic is really the only way to be able to enjoy streaming services without tanking the whole house’s internet access for now.
Are you going to get the shows you want?
This is a common complaint. You might hear that a couple shows you’ve been desperate to watch are on the service and you get it only to discover they’re not there. Did you get your info from an overseas source? Or maybe you moved while signed up to the service? Every streaming service is bound to different deals by country thanks to the complicated mess that is distribution rights. VPN services like those mentioned at securethoughts can help you still access them, but if you’re not very tech-savvy, that might not sound like much of a solution to you. You have to be fully informed on what’s available in your area, not just in general.
The deal might be getting worse
Streaming services are getting more popular but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re getting better. Sure, most providers are getting exclusively created shows, but they might be some amongst those that the service will eventually lose. Netflix, for instance, hasn’t only been changing out the available programming. The list of available shows and movies is actually shrinking as time goes on. This might not be an industry-wide trend set to continue to future. Catalogs could start growing again and offering more value. But it’s definitely a change to be wary of. Even if you are going to sign on, make sure you’re keeping an eye on what programming changes are made from season to season. You don’t want to pay the rising prices for a service that gets worse as it goes on.
There are a couple of things you need to figure out before you start paying for streaming services. First: can your internet handle it or are you going to be paying more for inferior quality? Have you got a full scope of the shows and movies available? If the answer to both is yes, you’re still dealing with the risk you won’t have such a great selection in the future. But it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the risk.