Netflix And Cable TV
Historically, Netflix, the television and movie streaming service that provides unlimited streaming, has been the arch enemy of cable providers everywhere. Premonitions of the death of cable TV at the hands of streaming services like Netflix littered the internet once the streaming service gained momentum. While this war of television providers wages on, a recent armistice between Netflix and three small television operatorsRCN Telecom Services LLC, Grande Communications LLC, and Atlantic Broadbandcould change the way we view television altogether.
The agreement allows customers under all three networks to access Netflix through their TiVo set top boxes, just as they would stations like HBO. This puts Netflix on par with its competitor networks, but at the same time, incentivizes purchasing cable television through a provider.
But what does this mean to us, the cable television viewers? This change will influence the way we view cable TV in a few ways:
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All Your Content, All The Time
There were disadvantages to both cable TV and Netflix before this agreement. While cable TV providers allows you to record your favorite shows when they air, it's pretty easy to forget to hit record. Netflix, on the other hand, allows you to view your content even if its not recorded. If youre flipping through channels and dont see anything you like to watch, the Netflix feature also comes in handy because you can watch your favorite movies or TV shows just by pressing a few buttons on your remote. And while you might or might not have a DVR feature on your TV that allows you to fast-forward through commercials, with Netflix, you dont need such a feature. You simply stream the movie or TV show you want without hassle.
But Netflix isnt perfect either. One problem with Netflix is that it doesn't always have the content customers want and sometimes, shows and movies you love expire and are no longer searchable after a certain amount of time.With this addition for cable providers, subscribers will be able to see all their content, no matter the network, because the viewer can just switch to the channel their favorite content is on. Better yet, they can watch their content as it airs instead of having to wait a few days for it to go on the internet or on Netflix. Subscribers to this service no longer have to have to have a show or movie in mind before logging on. If you're not sure what you want to watch, all you have to do is go to the regular TV mode and start flipping channels.
There is, however, one drawback to this feature: the cost. While it is convenient to have cable TV and Netflix all in one, the cost is slightly more than you might be willing to pay. In addition to the regular cost of connecting a TiVo, customers also have to have a Netflix account, meaning that they will be paying the extra $7.99 a month. The cable companies might remedy the situation soon, but having a Netflix connection is definitely going to boost the service price, even if they do.
Another price factor Netflix customers should consider is that Netflix subscriptions might be going up soon. While it might only be a few dollars more every month, customers looking to get back their cable subscriptions might be more tempted to do so after the fee hike. There is no word yet on how the hike will affect the app offered by RCN, Grande, and Atlantic.
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Should You Switch?
The question becomes, then, is the addition worth it? The answer depends on the person. Hardcore television fans will love this new feature, and, if it is only a few dollars more a month, should most likely get the add-on. People who do not watch television on a regular basis should be more hesitant. Still, if you would like the additional feature, it might be worth getting before the price of Netflix goes up. Regardless of if you watch TV frequently or not, it is a pretty interesting feature to have. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.