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March 8th, 2009

Time to Dump the Dish?

Now more than ever, I’m thinking we (both the collective we and the fun-to-say Royal we) are really close to being able to dump both satellite dishes and cable TV. Downloading and streaming seem to be a nearly unbeatable one-two punch of greatness.

I say this because, even though it’s a pain in the rear to hook up my laptop to my TV, that pain solely comes from trotting the power brick and laptop over to the TV stand and making it happen. The software? No sweat. Load up Hulu, Boxee, whatever and just go. It’s nice.

Moreso it’s made me question the value we get out of live TV. The only place I can see it being a winner is for live, local video news – or any kind of breaking coverage type of stuff; none of our local channels broadcast their news online and live. Reading it on the web isn’t quite the same. Our DVR functions as a mini-archive of shows we might or might watch someday with just a sliver of those shows being things we watch regularly (Lost, Daily Show, etc.)

In particular I’ve been drawn to the Roxu box this week, even though a Mac mini would kill the need for it. Do I continue to pay about $50/month for DirecTV, or just pony up $9/month for the cheapest Netflix subscription with unlimited streaming?

In any case I can understand why the networks and cable companies are scared. They should be. The internet is eating their lunch.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

COD March 8, 2009, 1:52 pm

The networks are currently negotiating with the cable companies to make content available only to cable subscribers. They are trying to get paid for web content by essentially making a benefit of subscribing to cable. For example, ABC and Comedy Central shows online may only be available to Comcast customers. I think the scheme is doomed to fail, but I also think we are still a few years from the content producers understanding that more people seeing your content is a good thing, and they need to figure out how to make money on the scare goods that can be associated with infinite digital goods.

Paul March 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

Agreed, Chris, totally agreed. The tying of content providers to distribution networks is doomed to fail.

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