Monday, August 20, 2012

Why I Haven't Ditched Cable

Lots of people are ditching their cable subscriptions for Hulu, Netflix and the like. I haven't done that and there are a lot of reasons for that.  Here is a rundown.

  1. Live Sports - I like to watch Football, NASCAR and occasionally Baseball.  I want to be able to watch those in the living room in HD.  Considering streaming an already existing movie can sometimes cause buffering, I don't want to know how bad the buffering might get streaming the live sports even where I can get them.  NASCAR streaming isn't that great the one time I did it.
  2. Online Streaming keeps getting the wind knocked out of it.  I used to be able to find plenty of content on Netflix to watch.  Then the deal with Starz expired and much of it went away.  Hulu won't let you skip ads (which I can do with the FF button on my DVR) and I would need another device (or devices) on all of my TVs to be able to view the content everywhere in my house.
  3. I like the ability to switch on the TV and randomly catch some episodes of Mythbusters, Simpsons, Family Guy, etc... to have on in the background while I am doing other things.  I am not thinking "I will go out and watch x"  I am just thinking "Hey, this makes a nice background distraction."
  4. DRM - I won't buy season passes anymore from the online video vendors because I don't like the DRM lock-in.  I have a bunch of iTunes purchased video that I can only watch on Apple devices or on my desk top now.  Very annoying.
  5. And lastly - I need cable anyway.  My Cable company is my ISP.  There aren't any other options out here for internet (not even DSL) and my internet fees go up if I cancel cable TV, so might as well enjoy the cable TV as well.
I look forward to your rebuttals to my reasoning!


Unknown said...

DirectTV is excellent for sports

Mike said...

I still need cable for internet as not even DSL is available at my house.

Full Passport said...

I love cable. I miss cable. When you have no options (other than itunes - which gets expensive), cable seems like the way-future instead of something we've had since 1982.

James H. said...

Personally, I like HD content without waiting for buffering, as well as the instant gratification of getting to watch the new shows when they air (or as soon thereafter as I want to watch them). I also like the discovery of new shows, and from time to time, I even like to see a commercial for a product I might actually want.

Tad Callin said...

There is something about this discussion that confuses me: if so many people want buffering-free, on demand, HD video - and if cable TV can deliver two of those three - then what is preventing the providers from being able to deliver on the third? As Mike says, they are already bundling TV/ISP service over the same "tube", and they are already tying the prices together in such a way that it's *cheaper* to buy both than just the ISP. That sounds rather desperate on their part.

So what is really keeping them from offering true on-demand service?

Mike said...

Tad - They make more money through only giving you the non-buffering "On-Demand" content through their cable boxes (which you have to rent, and also have cable for, and sometimes pay for). They don't have an incentive to make it easier to view content online w/o cable, but their licensing restrictions for that on-demand content sucks too :-/