Online Streaming and Cable TV: A Comparison of the Two Biggest TV Technologies

It is obvious that online streaming and cable TV are some of the biggest television technologies available. While streaming makes use of streams of data that allows you watch video in real time, cable TV makes use of radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial cables.

Both technologies are widely used in all parts of the world, although streaming is the newer of both. The aim of comparing both TV innovations is not to determine which is better as both have unique features. However, this comparison will help users determine which of them suits their needs most, or provides the kind of value they want.

Here is a quick comparison between online streaming and cable TV. It highlights some important features that you should know.


i. Technology

Streaming requires large amount of data to watch live videos. To enjoy uninterrupted streaming, you’ll also need a high speed internet connection. This means that if you live in an area with poor internet signals, streaming might not be the best choice.

ii. Flexibility

One of the main advantages of streaming is that you can watch live videos on the go. The fact that streaming is supported by a wide variety of electronic gadgets, operating systems and video game consoles makes it flexible.

iii. Affordability

Streaming is relatively cheaper when placed side-by-side with cable. There are no strict contracts, no termination fees or penalties. And the pricing is competitive among the different service providers. So you can always check to decide which online video service is best for you. Again, there are lots of streaming services that allow you to watch free live streaming of videos without compromising quality of content.

Cable TV

i. Technology

Cable TV works differently from online streaming. The cable system delivers hundreds of channels to many homes, while also providing a growing number of people with high-speed internet access. Some cable systems even let you make telephone calls and receive new programming technologies. Basically, all you need to watch your favorite TV channels are your coaxial cables, amplifiers and antennas.

ii. Flexibility

Cable allows you to watch a wide variety of channels with many companies as many as 200 channels. Therefore, you’d enjoy your cable subscription to the extent you’re willing to pay. In addition, it’s possible to watch different channels from different locations within the same building.

iii. Affordability

Although, cable is the more expensive of both technologies, you can streamline your payment to suit your preferences. Considering the amount of value you’d get from it such as the ability to make toll-free calls, and internet connection, the value matches the financial commitment. On the other hand, cable offers many free-to-air channels that you can watch at your convenience. So it’s not about subscriptions all the time.


As you’ve seen so far, both TV technologies have their pros and cons, so it’s not about which is better. Come to think of this: you could benefit from both technologies at the same time by building a custom package for yourself. Choose an affordable cable package with high speed internet, and let it complement your preferred streaming service.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter