Is Cordcutting Right For You?

It can be difficult to go even a week without hearing about the latest online streaming service or buzzwords in the video industry such as "cordcutting." That term, at least, refers to the break between people and their cable providers, and often, when people drop cable, they switch to online streaming in the form of Netflix, Hulu, or Roku.

How do you know if an online streaming service (Netflix), a website dedicated to streaming the latest television shows (Hulu), or a set-top box that brings together movies and television (Roku) is right for you? Your cordcutting fitness could rely on a number of factors such as the type of content you enjoy, the speed of your Internet connection, and how dedicated you already are to your existing cable package -- that is, if you have a cable package. The process of finding what fits you best isn't too hard, though, and the Associated Press recently put together an interactive test that packs all those elements into a single six-question quiz.

The test begins by asking users what devices they use to watch television. After clicking "PC" as this writer's device of choice, I was greeted with a message which informed me that there are a number of streaming services I can use while on my desktop. After that, I was told that my connectivity, the speed of my Internet connection, would be better if it was higher. But don't fret, readers, because even a moderate DSL or cable Internet package can usually sustain at least one stream of a reasonable quality.

AP then wanted to know about sports. I'm a casual watcher, and in my own experience, finding sporting matches can be a simple task if I know where to look. The quiz offers Sling TV and ESPN as popular streaming destinations for all types of competitive matches. Next up on the quiz was appointment shows -- the ones that come on every Sunday at 9 p.m. or only happen once per year such as an awards show. If you answer that there are too many on your list to count, the AP says it could cost you. Again, Sling TV, it mentions, has a number of cable channels to choose from, and Roku, which was mentioned earlier, can also fit that bill. To get all of them, you could end up forking out some extra dough just to have all the shows you once found in your cable package.

Finally, if you're into binge watching shows or viewing movies on your free nights and weekends, streaming could be great for you because there are a lot of avenues where you can find collections of episodes and films from every era. Do-it-yourself networks, AP says, may also find their way onto your devices either through some of the sites listed above or through channels such as HGTV which allow streaming from their individual webpages.

All in all, if you're willing to make a few sacrifices, a single streaming service can do well to replace cable. I can cope with the loss of a few channels in order to save myself some money, so in the end, my reasons for cord cutting outweighed my reasons for keeping cable. Take the test and find out where you stand. Even if you've already ditched the cord, the test could provide a few insights about which streaming services you should adopt if you haven't found them already.

Header and features images courtesy of theilr and Crimollo via Flickr here and here.