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Cable TV is dead!

This weekend I came to the conclusion that I no longer need cable TV, and to some extent I no longer need my beloved friend Tivo.  My cable bill runs at about $100 a month, which I have always though was ridiculous, I wouldn't mind paying $100 a month if all the content was ad free but it isn't.  For $100 bucks I get about 200 channels I have never ever watched and about 7 I'm interested in, HBO, Showtime, Fox Soccer, Speed and a few others.  If Cable companies were interested in satisfying the customer they would allow me to subscribe to the the 7 channels I want versus putting every channel I want in a different package that I have to buy. Yes, they're smart, but I'm going to get revenge.

The reason I no longer need cable TV has nothing to do with the cost, but the fact I'm not really using it.  I've found myself watching more and more streamed content.  I watch streaming movies from Netflix and I was watching most shows on Tivo, and I've been using a UK VPN to watch a lot of British TV shows with BBC iPLayer and Channel 4 etc. With Tivo I haven't watched any live TV apart from some football games and some Formula 1 in a long time, so Tivo has basically become a device to allow me to skip commercials.  I'm not watching this streamed content on PC, I don't really find that an enjoyable experience, no it's nice to lay back on the couch and watch it on the big screen, and the PS3 and Tivo allow me to do that.

Just for grins I decided to take a look at Hulu through the PS3 via the PlayOn media server again.  Wow I didn't realize how many more options had been added to Hulu, and I had no idea all the shows I was basically watching on Tivo were already on Hulu, and what's more they were on Hulu with a lot less ads.  For example, the entire series of Rescue Me is on Hulu, no need to rent DVDs, no need to set the Tivo, it's just there from Series 1 through to today. The Office is up there, Heroes is up there (not very good anymore), there is lots of chouce.  The quality via the internet streamed is obviously no where near the quality I get from a 1080i HiDef broadcast, the colours are a little washed out but for my needs it's perfectly adequate, and unless I stand up and walk closer to the TV I can't really tell when I'm crashed out on the sofa.

So I decided this weekend to try an experiment and I will be cancelling my Cable TV subscription, and see how I get on. But what about the football and Formula 1 you ask?  Well, I'm going to be saving ~$100 in the cable bill each month, $15 of that goes to my UK VPN account for watching BBC and other UK streaming sites, and guess what, BBC has the Formula 1 races, what about football (soccer) well for $149 a year I can get a subscription to Setantas broadband service, which allows me to watch the Premier League games, the World Cup Qualifier Pay-Per-View events and other stuff.  With the savings each month, I could start to build up my collection of Blu-Ray DVDs if I wanted.

So this isn't necessarily good news for Cable TV, but it also probably isn't good news for Tivo, it all depends on how much Tivo becomes a media hub, versus a DVR, which in fairness for Tivo they have been making a lot of effort to do and the Netflix experience via Tivo is very good.


Gravatar Image1 - I'm with you.
I wish they'd offer real pay-per-view options here, so I didn't have to pay for a whole month of TV just for watching two races a month.

Gravatar Image2 - you sound like a O.A.P. watching all your penniesEmoticon

Gravatar Image3 - the last comment was from Mum

Gravatar Image4 - @2/3 Oh I knew who it was. Not about the Pennies. Just not find it valuable.

Gravatar Image5 - @2 --- OK we give up??? What is an O.A.P?
Most of what we came up that sums up your son's obsession with TV (whilst not giving his friends old NAS's) simply wouldn't meet this blog's high moral standards. <>tim

Gravatar Image6 - Welcome to the "experiment". I've been on this tract for 2 years. It'd be a complete success, on my part, if I had a bit faster Internet connection. Still, it has been totally respectable.

Gravatar Image7 - O.A.P (Old Age Pensioner) what they call Senior citizen in the UK.
In Europe ( including UK) you can have FREE sat which privides free delivery of some HD via satelite, including BBC, ITV etc.
I need (birthday hint)a dish and HD Sat receiver with Hard Drive. Seeing you are saving $100 a month. 135 pounds at Maplins Emoticon Emoticon

Gravatar Image8 - Welcome to the new world. I did a similar thing a year ago, saving money on Sky (here in the UK) and the licence fee. Also plugging the laptop into the tv & surround sound system means the experience is just as good.

plus points - cheaper. Only watch what I want to watch rather than just having the tv on and watching whatever happens to be on. Very few adverts. Never had a tivo/sky+ so can watch older programs now. Family spends more time doing something less lobotomic (my made up word of the day)

negative points - streaming live tv is not legal without a tv licence. Not all channels have as good a system as iPlayer or 4OD, ITV is woefully unreliable for example.

Gravatar Image9 - Sheriff Browne an OAP is an Old Age Pensioner in UK (Senior Citizen in USA).

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