Today I Learned...

Key Takeaways:
  • Price is the main factor that separates cable and streaming services, with cable being more expensive due to offering many more channels, while streaming services offer more cost-effective options.
  • Cable still offers the widest selection of channels, making it the best option for those who want access to a variety of channels, while streaming services are better for on-demand viewing.
  • Cable has the advantage in sports coverage and recording capabilities, while streaming services offer better portability and quality of feeds for live events.

able and streaming are two of the most common ways to watch TV, but they offer different benefits. If you’re trying to decide which one is right for you, here are some things to consider:


The price of cable and streaming services is the main thing that separates them. The average cable bill has grown to more than $100 per month, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But you can get a lot of channels with either service, so which is more cost-effective depends on your preferences.

Cable tends to be more expensive than streaming because it offers many more channels at once while giving you no freedom over what you pay for—you'll usually have to pay a set monthly rate whether or not you use all of those channels or any at all. If saving money is your priority and you're willing to sacrifice some programming options, then cutting back on cable may be worth it.


If you're looking for the widest possible selection of channels, cable is still the best bet. That's because it offers more than 200 channels—nearly four times as many as Netflix and Hulu combined. If you want to watch something specific, chances are good that your favorite channel will be available on one or all of these services.

However, if you don't care about watching live television and would rather stream shows whenever you want them, streaming is probably a better option for you. Cable companies don't offer a huge number of on-demand options (and they charge extra if they do), but streaming services have become so popular that there's usually at least one service offering what you want in terms of movies and TV shows.

Sports coverage

Sports coverage is one area where cable still has the advantage. While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have added sports programming to their offerings, many of these new shows are only available through a cable subscription. And while it’s true that you can watch some games online without a cable subscription, this often requires signing up for a separate service such as ESPN+.

If you love watching sports, then buying cable is certainly the way to go—but if you’re not really into sports, streaming may be the better option.

Devices and portability

Cable subscribers who are interested in portability should consider streaming services. You won't need to be in front of a TV to watch your shows, as you can watch them on your phone, tablet and computer. Some streaming services allow you to watch on your TV using a streaming device like Roku or Chromecast.

While cable may offer more channels overall, it does come with some downsides: most importantly, it's not portable. If you want to be able to take your entertainment with you everywhere (and who doesn't?), then going with a streaming service is probably the way to go!

Recording capabilities

While cable has more recording capabilities, streaming is better for on-demand viewing and binge-watching. If you’re looking to watch live events, like catching up on the latest episode of your favorite show or an upcoming sporting event, streaming services are more reliable in terms of the actual quality of their feeds.

Here's why: cable companies don't have direct control over their channels. (They work with third party providers.) But when it comes to streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, they're able to put their foot down and ensure that your stream will be as clear as possible.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cable vs streaming - it's all about what works best for you.

We hope that this article has helped you to understand the pros and cons of both cable and streaming.

If you are a sports fan, then cable is probably still your best bet. But if you are a casual watcher of TV, who just wants to be able to watch the big game from time to time, then streaming may be enough for you.

It’s important that before making a decision on which type of service is right for your needs, take some time to think about what kind of content matters most to you. There’s no point in spending money on something that doesn’t bring any value into your life!

For more information, watch this video:

What Does "Cord-Cutting" Really Mean for Your Cable?

Or to learn more about different types of streaming services and find the right one for you,

check out this class TV Streaming Devices - What Are They & Do You Need One?

Jul 1, 2022