More than five million U.S. homes are without traditional forms of television. That is more than double the number seen in 2007. Many people are now giving up standard TV in place of streaming devices. Even without network TV, most of these homes still watch streaming video via the Internet.
Streaming Video vs. Traditional Cable
One reason for this is the ever-increasing cost of cable service. Another is the fact that multiple devices can be used to stream on-demand channels. Computers, televisions, game consoles and Blu-ray players can all stream Internet video.
The benefit to keeping standard television service is the ability to watch live events such as sports, award shows, live reality shows and news broadcasts. While live sports programs can be watched online, there is usually an added cost and the stream is often slow or choppy. Furthermore, with streaming services some episodes within a series will have an individual cost due to licensing restrictions. While sports is a hot ticket item for some, when it comes to parents there’s one thing that’s even more important – children’s programming. There are plenty of options of kid friendly viewing on both TV and Internet, but there’s some considerations to be made when deciding to cut the cord if you have a rugrat or two. And guess what, your kids probably have something to say about the decision.
Streaming Children’s Programs
When you need a break from the begging, spilling and complaining like most parents, you probably plop your kids down and let the TV keep them occupied every now and then. During the summer, there is no school or homework to keep them busy, so some kids spend it devouring books or learning a new language. However, if your family is from planet Earth, they probably spend a great deal of it engaged in the big screen.
Streaming providers allow your kids to take their entertainment with them. Two of the biggest streaming content providers, Amazon and Netflix, feature selections specifically for kids.
Amazon now has exclusive rights to Nickelodeon’s lineup for preschool-aged children, offering classics such as “Blue’s Clues,” “The Backyardigans” and “Dora the Explorer.” In addition, the company secured shows from MTV including episodes of “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom 2.” While the latter may not be exactly what you want your tween to aspire to (or the former, for that matter), it serves as entertainment at this age, as well as a deterrent.
Netflix gained rights from the Walt Disney Company to stream Disney Jr. shows and includes a section just for children and families. It also features programs for older kids (you know, the ones who complain a lot?), including shows made specifically to keep them busy while traveling. For the curious types, Netflix offers educational programs on a variety of topics.
The downside to streaming kids’ entertainment is the fact that some shows may not update frequently, unlike cable which may have a new show available daily or weekly.
What Your Kids Want You to Know
Proposing the idea of switching to streaming services will probably make your kids light up with joy. They were born into a generation that can access media within seconds on top of taking it wherever they go. Additionally, this gives them the perfect opportunity to request that new game console, HDTV or smart phone they’ve been drooling over.
There is no reason to feel stuck between choosing standard cable and streaming video. If you are interested, but not yet committed to subscribing, you can keep your cable and gradually explore streaming services that offer free content. What’s more, many cable providers are upgrading in order to compete with streaming companies. In other words, you may be able to get both features for the price of one at some point very soon.
The author: Nikki DLongo
Nikki is an east coast girl at heart who loves tech-everything. When she’s not writing she’s usually out at the dog park, playing with her nieces or making something scrumptious in the kitchen.