Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are you afraid to cut the cord?

Go ahead, you know you want to!  Try it, what is the worst that could happen?

Okay, this is a bit of an editorial, but the subject comes up over and over again.  Many people who are upset about their pay TV bills also worry that they would miss out on all of their favorite shows when they cut the cord.  I also don't think people realize that if it doesn't work out you can always go back!  Cutting the cord isn't like a relationship breakup.   Your local Cable company or Satellite provider will always be happy to take you back.  You don't even have to apologize or buy them flowers.  Just send them money and they will love you forever.  Where else can you buy such unconditional loyalty?

I'll also share my philosophy on cutting the cord and finding content.  Some people point out that mass adoption for cutting the cord might not be in cards (now or ever).   I personally think there are far too many forces at war with each other to make it easy or convenient for us cord cutters.   To be happy with cutting the cord I think you have to have an open mind with regards to what you would like to watch (and how you get to it).  If you are hooked into specific shows or cable only sports (and there is nothing wrong with this), then cutting the cord might not ever be for you.   Many of my friends fall into this category. This is precisely the strategy that I think the major cable companies, etc. are banking on.

However, there is definitely no shortage whatsoever of really good/quality content that you can watch.   Broadcast TV (if you can get it), is really good.   Combine this with the wide selection of video streaming options and there is always something for just about anyone.   My kids liked the Disney channel (which we no longer get), but don't seem to mind only having Netflix, Nickelodeon, Vimeo, etc as alternatives.  Of course, I just ignored their complaints in the beginning! :)

Cord cutting is also not for those who want a simple solution (unless you are happy with just broadcast, non-recorded TV).  I wouldn't recommend it for people who don't want anything more complicated than their current Cable set top box.  Having to look for content in multiple places is a result of the war of control that is currently going on between all the parties involved (Content owners, Cable companies, Set top box makers, Netflix, etc.).  As annoying as this is, I think we are currently benefiting from this confusion and lack of consolidation.

Once (if ever), these wars are settled and content is nicely packaged in one easy place, you can be sure that there will be a monopoly in place and we will be back to high cost entertainment.  So enjoy it while you can is my view (even if it is a bit more work)!

Another way to look at it is that cutting the cord is about getting your entertainment from different places than you are used to.   It is not as if your fancy new digital TV will suddenly be useless (far from it!).   In fact, when you use a Media PC to cut the cord, you'll enjoy your TV in ways that a cable box could never provide.  Are you willing to try an experiment that might save you $1,000 per year?

I plan to put together a "survival guide" soon for cord cutters to help people cope with cable withdrawl!  Hopefully that will help.

So what is stopping you?  Or, if you have already cut the cord, tell us how you are getting along!

Share your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. We cut the satellite cord about three weeks ago and really don't miss it. We were paying 80 bucks a month for 200 or so channels but were only watching a half dozen shows. We never watched live TV as the commercials drove us crazy. We're getting by with Netflix DVDs and Roku right now. Later this year Google TV, Boxee Box and a few more products are coming out so that might be interesting. I'm thinking about building an HTPC and putting up an aerial for OTA TV.

    Don't think we'll be going back.


Copyright (c) 2010 All Rights Reserved.