The new 4K-capable Roku 4 and Acorn TV, an over-the-top service specializing in British TV, were the top-ranked products in a new study on streaming devices and services from Consumer Reports.
CR’s review included a mix of subscription, ad-supported and pay-per-view online video services. Acorn TV, praised by readers for its overall value, posted a score of 76, edging out Netflix (74), Apple iTunes (74), Vudu (72), and HBO Now and Amazon Video (71 each).
Further back in the pack were Hulu (68), Sling TV (60) and Blockbuster (56). Per CR, a score of 100 would mean that all respondents were completely satisfied, 80 would be very satisfied, 60 would be fairly well satisfied, and 40 somewhat dissatisfied.
The study also looked at which services are the most popular among consumers who already get Netflix. Despite its high ranking in the report, Acorn TV (1%) had the lowest score here (a score shared by M-Go/FandangoNow), while Amazon (Prime and Video ) was highest, at 46%.
On the device side, Roku 4 posted a ranking of 81, cited for its excellent picture quality, features, and connectivity, followed by the Roku 3 (76), Roku 2 (72), Amazon Fire TV (71). Among other notables were the Chromecast (69), Apple TV fourth-gen (67), Fire TV Stick (65), and Google Nexus Player (63). At the bottom of the heap: Mohu Channels (60) and Vudu Spark (36).
Consumer Reports also dove into the cord-cutting trend. A survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in February and an analysis of an annual questionnaire to its 82,000 subscribers found that 47% of them use some type of streaming service.
However, 68% of them still subscribe to a traditional pay TV service.
“Perhaps more surprising is that nearly three-fourths of cable subscribers deciding to keep cable say they won’t drop it because they’re relatively happy with their provider,” CR noted.
About 20% who have a subscription of PPV streaming service said they had cut back on their pay TV service in the past year, but 72% said they were satisfied with their current plan when asked why they were keeping their cable service.
Among other reasons: 49% liked having a DVR, 34% said it would be a hassle to change service, and 30% said it was the only option to get their TV shows.
The study also found that rising pay TV rates were the biggest motivator for scaling back or eliminating their pay TV service.