Life without Cable TV
Have you looked at your cable TV bill and asked yourself why is this so expensive? Then you tell yourself that you are going to eliminate all the waste and get the bill back to reality. Then you get off the phone with the cable provider and realize it is as low as it can be assuming you want a DVR, HD and the Golf Channel. So about 4 months ago I went through this process and decided to explore if there was another way. I eliminated my cable TV option and kept my Internet which immediately increased in price by $20 because I no longer had the TV bundle. OK fine, I was determined to give this experiment a chance and so far it has been a worthwhile adventure.
I have learned just how much of a monopolistic control cable TV has on our entertainment choices. And guess why, Money$. Bundling cable TV channels is the only way the existing cable TV industry can survive. Hopefully “existing cable TV industry” is the key here. Will Apple be the change agent again? My guess is that breaking up the cable TV industry will be a whole lot more difficult then it was to breakup the music industry.
There have been positives come from my research. The most obvious was that we really don’t need to watch as much TV as we do. When you don’t have it you do something else. Now of course I devoted my TV quota to trying out alternative sources of video via the Internet. Netflix is good, I’ve watched a lot of great documentaries along with new and old movies. I am more then willing to buy a movie via my iTV from Apple for $5, in fact I am more then willing to spend as much if not more on entertainment if I had a choice. We watch nightly news and CBS Sunday Morning via podcasts. And you can watch most of the current TV series via the various online networks NBC, ABC, CBS, unfortunately I don’t have antenna access. A recent major success was the opportunity to buy access to the Tour de France via the NBC Sports iPad app. But once you venture into cable TV land, access ends especially when an iPad app is involved. I can watch a lot of good ESPN sports on ESPN3 but only on my laptop. If I want to watch the same content on my iPad I need a cable TV subscription. And that is the norm for TNT, History Channel, etc. The upcoming Olympics would have been the real test since online options require a cable subscription, but my upcoming 2 week vacation will wipe out that frustration. The real problem is the lack of a online Golf Channel.
The bottom line is that we are still slaves to the cable industry but there is light at the end of the cable. But wait, there is hope, Google is willing to take on CableTV in KC.