Pay TV vs Streaming – What is best for you?

Pay TV vs Streaming - What is best for you?

There is no doubt that we are living in the golden age of television, whether it’s delivered to your living room via cable or siphoned from the Internet in a glorious stream of 1s and 0. Nearly anything you desire is available to you from a library of entertainment that is nearly 100 years old. Plus, there is always new content to enjoy.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus have become accessible to most Australians thanks to advancements in Internet infrastructure, notably via the NBN or wireless technologies such as 4G and 5G. Local pay-tv providers, which have cornered the market for decades, have been targeted by these streaming services.

Now, the question should not be whether you can watch it, but what you should do when you do watch it. It’s cable TV vs video streaming. So what are the pros and cons of each?

Table of content

  • What is pay tv?
  • Pros and cons of pay-tv
  • What is streaming?
  • Pros and cons of streaming
  • What is best between pay-tv and streaming
  1. What is pay tv?

Pay-TV, also known as cable TV, is quite the old service in this range. Having the Internet at home made you feel like the coolest kid on the block, so these services have been patrolling the block for a long time. There is no doubt that pay tv Australia has established itself as a brand across the country.

Australian markets have fewer providers competing for consumers’ dollars as compared to international markets. Traditionally, Foxtel has dominated the market. With so many current rivals, pay-tv still leads the overall market.

Cable TV delivers content via a dedicated cable, connected to a set-top box beneath your television and wired into your home by a professional. To watch cable TV, you simply need a box to decode the programming and no Internet connection is necessary, although some components rely on the Internet nowadays.

  1. Pros and cons of pay-tv


  • Pay-tv can handle the new technology without a problem.  
  • More stable connection speed
  • No lag or buffering.
  • Outstanding for homes with low network speeds or small data plans
  • Can be used to purchase pay-per-view 
  • Bundles of offers with other services, such as Internet and telephone
  • Super easy content discovery with live channels


  • Requires intrusive installation of hardware 
  • Substantial cost per month
  • May require a fixed contract
  • It may have restricted accessibility 
  • Confusing price bundles
  • One profile per account only
  1. What is streaming?

Video streaming is highly on-demand as compared to TV. It’s younger, more agile, and active and has a louder pitch, but it can also be prone to error. Streaming service in Australia works quite differently from pay-TV. As you watch streaming content, no more of that content is stored in your home than what you’re currently watching.

Essentially, the content resides on the hard drive of the service provider, which is called “the cloud”. The content is streamed from their hard drive to your device, which displays, downloads, and then deletes the data as quickly as you can watch it. Australians are currently able to choose from a variety of video streaming services. 

  1. Pros and cons of streaming


  • Offering 4K on higher price tiers.
  • More affordable
  • No contracts are required
  • Flexible free trials  
  • Allow set up multiple profiles
  • Easy to share on multiple devices
  • Allow multiple services 


  • Available content can be restricted 
  • Requires a stable Internet connection 
  • Buffering and lag are possible during peak periods
  • Can consume a lot of data 
  1. What is best between pay-tv and streaming

In the past, the cons of streaming TV – in particular, the need for a reliable Internet connection – were enough to keep cable TV in the conversation. Streaming TV has had its pros and cons over the years, most importantly the inability to rely on fast, stable Internet. 

If you live in an area with poor Internet stability, this could still be true. Because of this, pay-tv relevance is eroding. In Australia, it is mostly marketed to people who don’t desire the flexibility of video streaming and cannot afford the more expensive service, pay-tv Australia is still the perfect solution.