This is a collaborative post.
It is safe to say that home entertainment has changed considerably over the last 10 years meaning that traditional TV channels such as BBC and ITV are no longer the popular choice of the consumer. The wide variety offered by subscription TV providers such as Sky, BT and Virgin along with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has revolutionised the way we watch out TV.
Obviously as with everything that offers us increased, and in some cases, improved choice it comes at a cost. So, we thought we may have a look at some of the pros and cons of the different services available to the consumer in today’s market.
Subscription TV Services
Pros: There is no denying that operators like Sky and BT have cornered the market when it comes to live sport on TV. It could be said that the innovations they have introduced have taken sports coverage to a new level. Alongside sport they also offer an extensive range of entertainment including documentaries, light entertainment, comedy shows, live music along with a back catalogue of classic shows. With on demand and the ability to binge watch series Subscription TV is an extremely attractive proposition. In fact, you are also able to access streaming services and terrestrial TV through your provider making it an easy one stop option. The likes of Sky have now started producing drama series and films in the same way traditional TV companies have done for many years.
Cons: Obviously all this great content is not available to the consumer free of charge and many people see the cost as prohibitive. Also, this type of platform is extremely attractive to advertisers so there are numerous ad breaks when watching the channels live. You can of course bypass this by recording programmes however this is not ideal when watching things such as live sport.
Pros: Steaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have become very popular over the last couple of years. Like the subscription cannels they have a wide variety of available content including films, documentaries, and TV series.
They also offer access to programmes from other countries that may previously have been unavailable to viewers. The cost of these streaming services is also significantly lower than the likes of Sky and BT. As with the subscription channels the content is available as and when you want it, no longer do you have to wait a week to see the next episode. Another advantage of streaming services is that it is ad free entertainment.
Cons: If you are a sports fan the likes of Netflix do not give you access to live sport so you would still need to pay for Sky or BT to get your football, cricket, rugby, or golf fix. Streaming services are internet based so if you have any issues affecting your internet connection you will lose access to your platform.
Pros: It would be remiss of us not to include traditional TV services in this discussion. Traditional TV has changed a lot recently, it also offers on demand services where you can binge watch some series and things like BBC IPlayer and ITV hub offer consumers access to a wide range of programmes. Allied to this most TVS are now equipped for Freeview giving us a wider range of programmes than ever before free of charge. To get access to this you will need a digital TV aerial, however the one off cost of TV aerial installation in Lancaster or anywhere else in the UK is nowhere near the cost of subscription TV. Traditional TV also still has access to some live sport such as the FA cup and Champions league football.
Cons: The obvious downside of terrestrial TV is that you don’t get access to some of the content available on Subscription services. However that is something to weigh up against the cost of a subscription service.
To sum things up, the roles of both subscription services and terrestrial TV tend to be clearly defined and one does not necessarily cancel out the other. To some people on-demand services may perfectly compliment their lifestyle. On the other hand viewing live and topical content can create a shared experience and connect with each other. In conclusion there is no right or wrong it’s a matter of personal choice.