In the digital era of evolution, we’re moving away from conventional cable and heading for streaming devices such as Firesticks. We can’t avoid it. Most of us select the best alternative, i.e, cutting off the cable and counting on the streaming gadgets for streaming videos, television programming, and even music. So, are you picking the Fire Stick over conventional cable?
No doubt, Firesticks are beneficial over regular cable TV. Since it has internet access, it provides users with various choices, such as watching TV shows, movies on streaming platforms like Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and more. Along with that, it includes a variety of apps like Facebook and youtube. You can also watch live camera recordings to compatible gadgets such as Ring Doorbell.
One thing you should know is, using a Firestick does not cover set-up fees, long-term commitments, or a regular coaxial cable. The experience of working with a Firestick is indeed totally different from the cable. Now, the question is how different is it?
Fire Stick vs. Cable
Here’s a table for you to compare their features easily-
|Purchase Price||Nearly $29**||Equipment charges may apply|
|Monthly Charge (Standard)||$0||Around $35-$65|
|Annual Charges (Standard)||$0||Around $420-$780|
*additional payment required
**4K HD Fire Sticks cost around $70+
If you want to add popular streaming platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or Netflix to the Fire Stick, then the average price is about $8 to $16 monthly. However, price isn’t the only distinction between a Cable and Firestick, there are some pros and cons as well.
Benefits Of Fire Stick
When you get a Fire Stick, it opens a completely new experience of digital access, smart home communications, apps, and contents. Here I’ve mentioned some of the benefits of getting a Fire Stick
Fire Stick is a one-time investment, and it provides you with endless access to various digital contents, and some of them are even free.
You can also go for premium streaming packages. Normally, you can get the premium package for a monthly payment. Also, as a prime member, you will be provided with Prime Video including their membership. This can also be accessed with the Fire Stick.
It is so versatile that it allows you to use different streaming services through a single device. Streaming platforms such as Youtube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix are just one tap away.
One more streaming subscription such as Sling TV also has various deals that provide you with many channels such as TBS, ESPN, ID, and more, just like traditional cable.
Protip– You can also add your desired game app on the Fire Stick.
- Alexa Enabled
Fire Sticks are now Alexa enabled. There’s a button provided within the remote itself, all you’ve to do is ask for what you want and you’ll get it immediately.
You can try it out by asking “What’s the weather”, after pressing the microphone button, and you’ll be informed about the local weather. Alexa will display the information and you’ll have your answer.
- Zero Contracts
There are zero contracts connected with the Fire Stick. This means it does not involve any subscription or contracts connected with the premium streaming platforms or services.
Yes, you read it right. Firestick is portable, so you can use it while traveling and more. If you’re visiting somewhere, you can take it with you and connect it with the compatible HDMI TV. However, Wi-Fi connections should be available there.
Now, most of the hotels also offer HDMI input and Wi-Fi access, so you will not miss your desired shows.
Drawback Of Fire Stick
Just like every coin has two sides, it also has some drawbacks. Here are some of them.
- Needs Internet Connection
You should have a stable and trustworthy internet connection if you want to use the Fire Stick smoothly. Ideally, the minimum internet speed should be 3.5 Mbps, whereas HD streaming needs 7-10 Mbps.
If several devices are connected with the same Wi-Fi network along with the Fire Stick, then buffering might happen. However, the Firestick will let you know when the network is too low for it to function.
- Zero Local Channels
Most likely, provided the channel you want and your location, Fire Stick will not be able to offer you your local channel. This is sort of troublesome for critical local news, weather reports, and sports.
There are some significant networks such as CBS that provide you with streaming content, but yet they are not local broadcasts.
Related Article– SOLVED- Amazon Fire Stick No Signal Issue?
Benefits Of Cable
Conventional cable has been used for a while, along with that, it does have some benefits such as-
- Local Channels
Conventional cable offers you local sports channels and news.
The traditional cable serves all the time, apart from the major storm damage. As the cable service does not depend on streaming with a Wi-Fi connection, so it does not have any interference while using different digital devices.
- Technical Support
Most cable services provide you with 24/7 call support. So, if you’re facing any problems with your cable services, then you can interact with a real person who will help you with identifying and fixing the issue.
However, sometimes even the technical support through phone might end in an added charge on your next bill.
- Bundling Alternatives
In most of the market, the local cable service providers have partnered with the internet and local phone companies to offer various discounts. So, if you select to bundle different services, they have it all for you. In most cases, there’s one bill for the bundle.
Drawbacks Of Cable
Just like Fire Stick, it also has some drawbacks. Here are some of them-
- Technical Support
Yes, this was indeed on the benefits lists. However, what arises, when you are unable to fix the issue yourself.
However, if you face some bigger issue then you should fix an appointment with a technician. They will come to your residence and resolve it. Though, in some instances, you might have to spend some money, which depends upon your agreement.
- Not Moveable
Whether it is rearranging your sitting room or just wanting to watch the TV in your yard, you are restricted to the spot where you can place your television.
Generally, the cable outlets are near the exterior wall and they are 1 per room. For that, some cable services offer you an additional connection, but they charge as well.
- Restricted Availability
Depending on your location, the cable service providers are limited. For example, Comcast provides you with budget-friendly and reliable cable services. However, it is only feasible in some major metropolitan areas. Even in most rural regions, the cable is not an alternative.
Most of the cable service providers demand that consumers agree to yearly or more extended service.
If the consumer disconnected the service, whether for non-payment or voluntarily, still the consumer is accountable for the contracted fees.
So, Whether Cable Or Fire Stick?
Indeed, many residences already have their premium plans for streaming platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix. And if they have it, then probably they also have a stable internet connection. So, for these scenarios, a Fire Stick is a compatible device, and along with that, it also provides access to more content.
If you’re already an Amazon Prime user, then getting Fire Sticks allows you to access different content, along with your membership.
However, if you don’t have a stable internet connection then you should not drop the cable services. As it might not be a good option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Fire Stick compatible with cable?
Yes, you can use Fire Stick with a traditional cable. However, you would need an HDMI input and Wi-Fi connection on your TV. With this alternative, you will get the best of both experiences.
Do you require a Fire Stick with a smart TV?
Even though Smart TVs provide you with access to the streaming platform, they are restricted. Usually, TV companies agree with each streaming platform they provide. So, even if you don’t get a Fire Stick for the Smart TV, still there are various benefits to adding a Fire Stick.