Cable television and the Internet are high cost items for many families, but are they a necessity or a dispensable luxury? Do families really need both or can they get by with one or none? When it comes to cable TV, many businesses and families are pondering cutting the cord, either due to dissatisfaction with offerings and price or due to the expanding field of alternatives. With the Internet, the converse is true with businesses and homes getting more wired
The Cons of Cable Television
- Many digital options exist to enable people to watch television shows and movies without cable. Those services include Amazon’s Kindle services, Hulu.com, Crackle, TV.com and Netflix, which streams to computers, TVs or even game consoles such as Xbox. Plus, Netflix also has DVDs; both Netflix services allow people to watch whole seasons of coveted cable shows. The drawback is that they are last year’s shows.Most networks upload entire episodes of series to their official website for Internet viewing. Tap TV can provide children with cartoons. Even YouTube has movies and TV shows (although often exasperatingly divided into several parts and facing charges of copyright violation.) Plus, tablets have many viewing services available through apps.
- At the office, cable is often simply a lunch hour or afternoon diversion for workers, which businesses don’t need if they wish to improve productivity.
- Cable options are increasingly expensive for businesses and individuals, with prices going up yearly; the lowest cost basic option has few channels and few worthwhile free movie options. Individuals and families have to pay for the premium packages in order to get satisfying and worthwhile TV.
By using an indoor antenna and a contemporary flat screen TV configured to pick up digital signals, anyone can acquire a range of TV channels. The reception is significantly better than the defunct air signal reception, even if several leagues below cable quality.
Pros of Cable Television
- Free TV through the cheap miracle of rabbit ears on a basic TV no longer exists, since most stations have abandoned air signals for digital signals. Now, cable is the most convenient way to view television programs in multiple rooms as they air.
- Cable is less cumbersome than viewing TV on the Internet, which can stall or load slowly as programs are being streamed. Families don’t have to worry about having the computer on constantly nor about slowing down the connection for others who want surf the web. Plus, let’s face it: the beautiful large TV screens top computer screens any day.
- At the office, cable television can help employees and managers follow trade news, stock market updates, weather emergencies and breaking news.
- Businesses can keep clients and visitors engaged in the reception area by using cable television.
- Cable services generally come with bonuses, such as a DVR that allows families or business managers to record programs and watch them later. Businesses can benefit from this if they need to show clips from the news, Discovery channel, Bloomberg business channel or various financial broadcasts during a conference meeting. Recording on the computer can be done with expensive equipment by the tech-savvy, but it’s neither easy nor common.
The Internet is becoming more pervasive and more desirable than cable TV for many companies and individuals. Whether people are communicating, researching, browsing for recipes or networking for business deals, the Internet has become a must-have that all but the Quakers find hard to resist.
The Cons of Internet Service
- Most Internet service is still quite slow compared with the bandwidth cable TV provides. This causes annoying buffering when trying to watch shows and movies.
- Trying to watch high-definition programming on a big screen using an Internet connection is often clumsy to set up, and usually does not deliver the same level of quality as true HD.
- At work, the Internet is often a time-waster and distraction, causing businesses to have to ban sites and set up use restrictions.
The Pros of Internet Service
- Print ads are not as profitable for businesses as they used to be. The Internet is the current goldmine for pitching wares to an audience. Thus, businesses absolutely need the Internet to advertise, whether through search engine ads, website ads or email marketing.
- The Internet provides the main form of communication for both individuals and businesses. Business with clients can still be done by phone and even by snail mail, but email is the most efficient and popular way for employees to stay in touch with clients and customers. Video conferences can also be conducted online.
- Bandwidth and storage is getting cheaper. Anyone can set up an online business.
- Outside of the office, online communication keeps individuals in touch with relatives and friends. Services like video calling and virtual environments keep clients and employees connected.
- Socializing is one of the most fulfilling uses of the Internet for both individuals and businesses. While individuals use Facebook, Linked-in and Twitter to yoke with former classmates and childhood buddies, businesses also maintain social media pages to interact with customers and prospective clients.
- Businesses benefit from using the Internet to maintain a brand presence. They maintain websites with the company’s message, products, store and latest happenings.
- Human resource experts can use the Internet to post open job positions, receive resumes and research potential candidates.
The conclusion one may reach is that both cable and Internet may serve their purposes, but technological advancements will likely cause Internet service to surpass cable TV, rendering it as extinct as rabbit-ear antennas.
About the author: Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. In addition to writing for firms such as IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients and websites, he also shoots, directs, and edits the hit celebrity web series “Teens Wanna Know”. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.