Zyxel Blog

Zyxel Blog

Are You Ready To Ditch Cable?


Is it time to cut the cord and stop paying for cable TV?

More and more households are adopting a cable-free lifestyle, choosing instead to stream content via the internet to their TV (or smartphone, tablet, laptop, smart speaker, etc.) In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date — up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016. We expect 2018 to carry the same trend, as millions more opt for the growing lists of alternatives to traditional cable offerings.

According to Parks & Associates, the most popular “over the top” (OTT) devices in 2017 were:

  1. Roku
  2. Amazon Fire
  3. Google Chromecast
  4. Apple TV
  5. Other 


  • 45% of U.S. broadband households own a smart TV.
  • Parks Associates estimates 15.6 million smart speakers with personal digital assistants were sold in the U.S. in 2016.
  • Nearly one-half of all U.S. broadband households own a gaming console.
  • For the complete study, visit HERE http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/pr-08232017

Whats this all mean from a content perspective? We all know Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc., are among the most popular choices for content. But in a short time, we'll soon be seeing companies like Disney offering their own OTT subscription services that again, fly over the cable box and directly into your streaming device or Smart TV. Cable companies know this, and many have offered OTT services that work in tandem with a traditional cable setup. How long that will last is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure: OTT content is and will not be going away. 

Question is, what’s it mean for your home network and how much bandwidth will you need to stream content not just to your TV, but to your WiFi enabled devices, too? Consumer Reports conducted a study in 2017 to determine just how much WiFi most households need to keep up with not only multiple devices, but also the increasing data rates that are required to stream content in high resolution—sometimes up to 4K. It takes up to 18mbps (that’s megabits per second, not megabytes like you see relative to memory or hard drive space) to stream 4K content, and that’s per each device. To put that in context, HD content will require upwards of 5-6 mbps. Your data speeds will likely vary depending on the time of day, and can vary even more when adding multiple devices streaming at the same time, on the same network.

Is Your Home Ready?

Equally important to having the speed you need to keep up with content streaming, is consistent speed everywhere in the house. At Zyxel, we offer a wide variety of solutions to keep your WiFi zippy fast, from full WiFi systems, Wireless Extenders and Powerline Adapters—all designed to provide consistent speeds across multiple rooms in your home. Check them out right HERE.

Tags: content streaming, netflix, over the top, how much speed need