The best entertainment value? It will surprise you!

In the 2020s, we pay more for entertainment than we ever have. It’s become a premium as the world around us seems ever more foreboding. The way we consume that entertainment has changed, too. We don’t travel as much, for obvious reasons. We stopped going to live events for quite a while. And, there was a good long chunk of time when many of us couldn’t even go to a movie theater. Today, we look to our screens large and small to give us that entertainment.

But what’s the best value? Let’s assume you already pay for internet, and so let’s not put that in as part of the equation. It’s hard to argue that we just need internet in our lives, it’s not just idle entertainment. So what form of entertainment actually brings the best value?

Value isn’t price, except when it is

Value and price are two different things for most people. The lowest price may help you put more money in the savings account but it’s not necessarily going to help you live your best life. If you can afford to do so, you have to look at what you’re getting, not just what you’re spending. Often times the cheapest choice leaves you unsatisfied and the most expensive choice pays off because it’s just that good.

Let’s take a look at the options you have for video entertainment and what their value is, from worst to best.

Worst: Cable TV

Cable TV is the loser industry of the 2020s. No question about it. Even the cable companies know it, which is why they don’t focus on TV anymore. In many areas, your cable company also provides you with internet service. They will hook you in with a teaser rate on TV, then beat you down with monthly rental fees for the equipment. When that teaser rate ends, you’ll find yourself paying double or triple the price you were paying.

The quality on most cable systems isn’t very good, either. There’s a huge difference between the picture and sound carried on most systems compared to streaming. Yes there are a few “next-generation” systems out there but they’re not available nationwide.

Next: Streaming

Streaming came to us less than a decade ago and many folks thought it would be the best value in entertainment. After all, you could choose what you wanted, cancel any time, and the services could improve without your having to buy new hardware.

That all sounds good, but the fact is most people sign up for streaming services and don’t cancel them. The streaming landscape is a hodgepodge of different services. You can’t find what you’re looking for half the time. If you’ve ever tried to watch a whole movie franchise through streaming, you’ll realize that you often need a mix of different services to get what you want. You may even have to rent some stuff. Streaming is confusing, immature, and ultimately more expensive than cable.

Then: Over-the-air antenna

An over-the-air antenna will bring most people dozens of free channels. Once you pay for the antenna there’s nothing more to buy ever. That makes the value equation pretty attractive. It’s pretty hard to beat “free.” The picture and sound quality will be uniformly excellent, and it’s only going to get better.

Antenna TV can be limiting, for sure. While there are tons of top-rated shows, the buzzworthy stuff is on streaming and pay-TV. That’s been true for years and it’s not likely to change.  But when you consider the extreme low cost and what you get, it’s pretty awesome.

Best: DIRECTV Premier

No question, this is the most expensive choice. And yes, let’s get it out there — yes there is a teaser rate just like cable. It gets even more pricey after two years. But look at what you get:

  • Major local channels with the ability to pause and record
  • Hundreds of channels of live content
  • over 20,000 on-demand programs
  • All the major premium channels

Here’s the most important thing: With your DIRECTV subscription, you can authenticate to literally dozens of apps. Your streaming experience gets one hundred times better for no additional cost. You even get access to the streaming apps for HBO Max, Starz, and Showtime which gives you a huge amount of extra content.

Looking for that movie series that you can’t find on Netflix or Hulu? Chances are it’s available on DIRECTV somewhere, for no extra charge! So is practically every buzzworthy show out there.

If you are able to budget for a subscription to DIRECTV’s PREMIER package, you’ll find that it’s going to keep you entertained month in and month out. And that’s a lot of value.

Call Signal Connect

When you’re ready to upgrade to the best value in entertainment, call the experts. You don’t want to deal with a big call center. You want personal service. And, that’s what we provide. Call us now at 888-233-7563 or fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, often within one business day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.