It is an undeniable fact that technology is evolving every day, and we are continually witnessing new gadgets come to life that changes the way we do things. One prime example of that fact is the evolution of the way we consume content.
There was a time when movies were only released in theatres, and TV shows were broadcast on TV channels at a fixed time. It was you who had to wait and make time to watch a show you liked.
That is no longer the case now. With the Internet taking over the world, and technology advancing at a rapid rate, you now have the freedom of watching whatever you like, wherever and whenever you want, or have the time to.
Today almost all the highly anticipated shows are released on online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video, and even some big movies are released online rather than in theatres.
We can also not overlook the fact that due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the world, streaming services have got a big boost since everyone is staying at home and consuming more content than ever.
With all these factors that have been affecting the Internet-based content business, some people might argue that there is no longer the need for a cable-based TV connection, as you can get anything and everything on the Internet.
As much as I would like to argue on that, I agree with them. But that is not entirely true. There are still factors that favor a cable connection over the wireless one, which compels us to ask ourselves, “Are fire sticks better than cable?”. Let us find out.
What are Firesticks?
I am pretty sure almost all of us are aware of how the cable TV connection works. Those of you who aren’t; It’s time you come out of that rock you’ve been living under. However, a fire stick is a relatively new piece of technology. So what exactly is a fire stick, and what does it do?
To be straightforward, a fire stick is a portable TV. Well, not exactly, as it does not have a screen. It is a device that allows your TV to browse the vast world of the Internet so that you can access your favorite piece of content through your TV.
A fire stick, with the help of an active Internet connection, will let you open almost any website/app on the Internet, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and many more.
The device is plug and plays kind, meaning all you have to do to make it work is to connect it to your TV using the HDMI port and connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you’re good to go. A fire stick also has its memory to save all your data and carry it with you wherever you go like a portable TV.
All these features and functionality make fire sticks a rather attractive choice and a potential replacement for the wired cable connection. I mean, we are getting rid of wires from everywhere, be it your Wi-Fi or wireless charging on your phone.
So why not a wireless TV connection? Well, as tempting as that idea may seem, it might not yet, be the time for that to happen as there are some significant factors in play here. To be precise about why we think so, let us take a look at all the major pros and cons of having a wired TV connection and a wireless one.
- Latest release of our best-selling Fire TV device - 50% more powerful than previous gen for fast streaming in Full HD. Includes Alexa Voice Remote with power and volume buttons.
- Less clutter, more control - Alexa Voice Remote lets you use your voice to search and launch shows across apps. Plus, control power and volume on your TV and soundbar with a single remote.
- Home theater audio with Dolby Atmos - Feel scenes come to life with immersive Dolby Atmos audio on select titles with compatible home audio systems.
- Tens of thousands of channels, Alexa skills, and apps - Including Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max. Subscription fees may apply.
- 500,000+ movies and TV episodes - With thousands included in your Prime membership.
Pros and Cons of a Cable Connection
The most significant advantage that a cable connection has over something like a fire stick is the fast and reliable mode of connection. Cables are incredibly reliable when it comes to communication as they are not prone to weather changes or any other physical interruptions. An Internet connection, on the other hand, is not the best option when it comes to streaming videos.
Although, it is not any secret that Internet speeds have become amazingly fast over the years, so much so that you can download a 3-hour long movie in 1080p in under one minute.
But the consistency is still something that is of the question. You would not want to be interrupted while watching a nail-biting match of your favorite team just because it started raining outside. Would you?
Although people might argue that a fire stick will cost you less per year than a cable connection, it is not at all true. The arguments are since you need to pay monthly fees to watch TV with a cable connection, while with a fire stick, you only need an active Internet connection. But the Internet is not cheap.
And if your whole family is to watch TV on a fire stick, then you will be watching live sports, live news, TV shows, and movies almost every day in your 1080p HD TV. The amount of data consumed will be beyond measure. Plus, the subscription fees of streaming platforms that you will be watching your content in is another money consuming factor.
While you can take your portable fire stick with you wherever you want, that is not so much the case with a cable connection. Moving your cable TV from one room to another is a headache in itself. As for a fire stick, you can even move your TV in your backyard as long as you have a power outlet and a Wi-Fi connection.
No Internet Access
You cannot access the Internet using a cable connection. This is a massive disadvantage as almost all the good TV shows are released on platforms like Netflix and Hulu rather than being broadcast on TV channels. One of the main reasons behind that is the fact that it gives the viewers the freedom to watch their favorite pieces of content according to their comfort.
Pros and Cons of a Firestick
Smart and Connected TV
A fire stick not only allows you to watch shows online on your TV, but it also converts your TV into a smart TV. What I mean by that is, you can not only download and use Netflix or Hulu on your TV but also other Internet-based apps such as YouTube to watch cooking videos or Skype to make video calls (as long as you have a camera connected to your TV).
Some of you might argue that you can always get a smart TV instead, but a smart TV with the same specifications as a non-smart TV will cost you more compared to a non-smart TV with a fire stick.
Access to Premium Content
You cannot get the exclusive shows of platforms like Netflix and Prime Video on your cable TV. If you want to watch those shows on your TV, you have to buy a fire stick or a smart TV. A fire stick would be a better option as smart TVs do not always provide all the platforms.
No access to local content
Firesticks, although it allows you to watch pretty much everything you want to watch without any restrictions, still you cannot watch local channels and content on the Internet. This is one of the biggest deal-breaker for people who consider buying a fire stick but also consume a lot of local content like local news and sports.
However, there is a solution to this problem as well, which is using both a fire stick and a cable connection simultaneously. Yes, you can do that.
Internet Speed Requirements
As mentioned earlier, streaming videos in high-quality require a stable and high-speed internet connection. It is of no use if you buy a big HD TV and don’t have an internet connection to stream HD content in it. Also, streaming HD content means more data being used, which in turn means a bigger Internet bill at the end of the month.
Now that I have mentioned all the advantages and disadvantages of both a cable connection and a fire stick, it might be easier for you to understand my verdict on the question we put forth at the beginning of this article.
In my opinion, as of right now, you should use both the forms of TV connections simultaneously. As much as you might want to move forward with time and use the latest technology, cable connection still gives us compelling reasons for us not to completely abandon it.
But I am sure most of you would have subscribed to at least one streaming service, so why not watch it on the big screen. As for the future, I’m sure there will be a time when the Internet will be free, and cables and wires will be a thing of the past, but it will take a few years for that to become a reality.
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