Is Cable TV Becoming Obsolete? November 1st, 2012
Imagine if your cable subscription was canceled forever. How would your life change? What would you do? After you fall to your knees and curse the Gods for this loss of unparalleled proportions, how would you get on with your life? You’d do what millions are already starting to do; you’d turn to the Internet.
There’s no denying it, the Internet is the world’s largest source of information and entertainment. Moreover, the Internet makes everything easier. Almost everything you watch on TV, you can find online (one way or another). A decade ago, file-sharing websites like Napster, Limewire, and KaZaa put a huge dent in the music industry. Today, as network bandwidth and streaming capabilities continue to grow and improve, it is becoming easier to access multimedia via the Internet.
Websites like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and GoogleTV are making cable television obsolete. Many popular TV shows and clips are available for free on Hulu and Youtube. Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Google TV offer more choices but require subscriptions. Many people take a third option: find a shady foreign website to stream their show for free. Devices like AppleTV allow you to stream high quality shows from Hulu Plus, Netflix, and GoogleTV right to your 72-inch flat screen television. Other AppleTV apps and add-ons like XBMC, CBS Sports, LiveTV, and Airplay allow you to watch sports and other live content on your TV, tablet, and smart phone.
If you live in a part of the country that has access to high speed Internet, everything you can get from cable is available through the Internet. The cable TV industry is not dead, but it is dying. For the first time in 2010, the total number of cable subscribers decreased. Between April and June of 2011 eight of the nine largest subscription-TV providers in the U.S. lost 195,700 subscribers. In the same quarter Dish network lost 135,000 subscribers. For the first time, satellite TV lost subscribers as well.
Comcast’s Xfinity digital TV services cost upward of $65 a month and their DVR services cost over $16/month. It’s no wonder so many people today are consolidating their bills by ending their cable subscriptions. It’s hard to say goodbye to cable television. TV is our best friend. But in today’s digital world, is it really worth the price?
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