Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Cord Cutter or Cord Shaver?

Never heard those terms until now. It seems a growing number of people are giving up on traditional television altogether according to the Bennington Banner. Cord cutters are those that tossed the TV and watch shows online or via antenna. Cord shavers would be ones like me- at least I was a few years ago- that cut back on their programming or the number of televisions in the house.

The number of such households in the U.S. is increasing, supposedly up to 5 million now as opposed to 2 million in 2007. I won't mind being one of them if I can find the right set up.

I suspect we'll end up seeing the same potential problems as with print media. More and more people will tire of paying the high costs of cable and satellite TV and will find alternatives. The problem being, the networks and producers of the shows we watch need money to put those shows together. I don't know that they could get by with everyone just paying $15.00 a month for a Netflix account.

Just as with the reorganization of print news media, TV shows are going to have to find a way to survive as their traditional sources of revenue fizzle out.

Hat tip to Rational Review News Digest for the link.


At 9:24 AM, Blogger Travis said...

I think a bigger part of it rather than the cost is the quality of the entertainment they're putting on the TV it's all crap these days I haven't had TV for over 12 years and everytime I go somewhere that has it I'm just really amazed at the sure nonsense they have on and people wonder why the education level for United States has been steadily dropping for over 20 years especially given the fact that our school systems are so bad TV & video games is really the primary source for the education of your youngsters

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cord cutting simply means obtaining your video content from a source other than a cable company.

I use a Roku box to watch via Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, and an antenna for the 14 local channels.

Netflix and Prime are similar. Netflix has a much better interface, but Prime gets you 2-day shipping if you buy from Amazon (and Prime works out to about $6.50/month).

Recent movies are rented (streamed) for $3 from Amazon (no Prime needed). You get them for 48 hours (some longer), counted from the time you begin streaming.

Hulu Plus is your best bet for currently broadcast TV programs. Netflix and Prime lag by 1 year if they carry your favorite show at all.

Hulu's licensing terms sometimes restrict shows from being streamed to a TV. For those shows, I run an HDMI cable from my PC to my TV and set the TV as a second monitor and set the video to full-screen.

If you're a techie, there are much easier solutions (after you set it up) for streaming from your PC to your TV. You can even burn your entire DVD/Blu-Ray collection and then call it up from your PC using your TV remote (Roku remote). This requires using the free Plex media server on your PC.

I have a wall-mounted TV antenna (it never needs adjusting) that pulls in everything. A roof-mounted antenna does even better.

If you don't subscribe to Hulu, you'll miss new shows on cable TV. But, when you discover the tens of thousands of movies and TV shows on Netflix and Prime, you'll spend a lot of time discovering new shows.

I've watched a lot of TV series I missed the first time around, and now I have access the all seasons of those shows (assuming they're off-air now).

Also, say you're watching Downton Abbey. You watch all previous seasons on Netflix, then either watch PBS via antenna or stream the show from the PBS website. A lot of TV shows are available directly from the TV/Cable channel websites.

If you like BBC shows, there are options for streaming that are easily found by googling the subject. *cough*

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, the Brits know how to do it right. The BBC allows its citizens to stream in HD or download TV shows for a week after a show airs (and sometimes longer). And those shows typically appear online within an hour of a broadcast concluding.


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