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Television The Internet Entertainment

Time To Ditch Cable For Internet TV? 321

itwbennett writes "A flurry of announcements from YouTube, Boxee, Dell and Clicker on Thursday brought good news for anyone considering canceling their cable service in favor of internet TV. First, YouTube announced that within the next few days it will start offering full 1080P HD streams; better than your cable company can offer. Next, Boxee announced a 'Boxee Box' that promises to make it easier to get the content off your computer and onto your TV. Or you could hook up Dell's Inspiron Zino HD instead. 'This is an 8" x 8" PC running Windows 7 (with an option for Ubuntu) that you certainly could use as a desktop machine, but the form factor just screams 'Hook me up to your TV!' via its HDMI port,' says Peter Smith. And, last but not least in this roundup of announcements is the launch of Clicker, a programming guide for internet TV that aims to help you find what you want, when you want it."
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Time To Ditch Cable For Internet TV?

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  • I'm sorry. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:56PM (#30093866)

    Next, Boxee announced a 'Boxee Box' that promises to make it easier to get the content off your computer and onto your TV.

    Good luck. I'm hiding behind 7 of them right now!

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:58PM (#30093890)

    But can I keep what I download?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Why do you want to?

      Imagine a world where anything you could possibly want to watch is available from the internet instantly for a flat rate all you can eat cheap price. That's where we are headed. In that world, why bother maintaining enough expensive disk space (with backups) for a video format that will be obsolete 6 months after you download it?
      • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:07PM (#30093964)

        Two reasons:

        One, I can transcode it to eliminate the commercials.

        Two, I never have to worry about my service provider (at the behest of the Content Cabal) revoking my ability to watch something I've saved.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TBoon ( 1381891 )
          Three, transcode for portable devices. Watch on while travelling.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by westlake ( 615356 )

          One, I can transcode it to eliminate the commercials.

          I watch Netflix downloads almost daily and I haven't been plagued by commercials.

          Who has the time to do a clean - professional-looking - edit of every episode of Law & Order?

          I never have to worry about my service provider (at the behest of the Content Cabal) revoking my ability to watch something I've saved.

          Like revoking the online key that unlocks the encryption? Or embedding a time stamp in the file?

        • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @11:00PM (#30094604)
          Yeah, I don't understand the attitude that things are always a click away. It takes a long time to download, and the internet is not always stable or available. If you're streaming you'll still want to back up or skip forward. If you've paid for something, even a measly $1, you'd like the ability to watch it twice. Backing up to DVD is a good option. Maybe not for Cheers reruns of course, but if you're watching next year's equivalent of Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, it could be worth keeping. Though I suspect there are a lot of younger generation who can't imagine being interested in anything older than a tweet.

          I'm still wrapping my head around the idea that some people have internet good enough to stream this high definition video in real time, fast enough to treat the whole thing like it was on Tivo. They've probably got cable modems, which they'd have to give up if they got rid of cable...

          And no one is going to let you skip commercials forever without having a subscription fee. The whole "everything should be free, and high quality entertainment will spontaneously produce itself" idea seems very suspect. Too much like the whole dot-com bubble where visions of the future didn't synch up with reality.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mcrbids ( 148650 )

            Yeah, I don't understand the attitude that things are always a click away.

            OK. For me, they are.

            It takes a long time to download, and the internet is not always stable or available.

            It takes me something less than 1 hour to download a 1 hour show. This is called "streaming"....

            If you're streaming you'll still want to back up or skip forward.

            And I commonly do. It takes about 10 seconds for the stream to resume when I do.

            If you've paid for something, even a measly $1, you'd like the ability to watch it twice.

        • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <`gro.sndnyd.derbatip' `ta' `todhsals'> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @12:27AM (#30095024) Homepage
          Honestly? The commercials on Hulu are less of an effort to watch than they are to try to circumvent. They're few, they're far between, and they aren't horribly annoying and at a different volume from the show. I'll take those any day in return for free content.
      • by GameMaster ( 148118 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:27PM (#30094116)

        Because this can, very easily, turn into one, giant, bait-and-switch. Once the big content companies companies get the entire market to abandon physical media and adopt online, on-demand, delivery it won't take long for them to end the "all you can eat" pricing system and adopt a "pay per view" system. Once that's done, they'll just keep jacking up the rates arbitrarily. We've already seen this kind of behavior from the broadband ISPs and cell phone companies in the US.

        • by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:37PM (#30094172) Homepage
          Come on, you really think someone won't find a way around it? If the rates become more than people think is reasonable, they'll pirate it. They already do. And technology in 3 years isn't suddenly going to become impregnable. At the VERY worst, it'll take one guy with a machine fast enough to virtualize Windows, fullscreen a paid Hulu account, and record the screen output to a video file, and you've got an unencumbered video you can share with friends.

          No system yet has proven foolproof. If you can watch it, you can record it. And if the default experience becomes irritating enough, someone's going to work their way around it just to spite the media companies if nothing else.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by fredklein ( 532096 )

            But all Hulu has to do is insert a user ID into the stream. Something subtle, and distributed, so it can't be (easily) removed. When a pirated copy is found, they find the ID, and cancel that person's subscription, permanently.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Golddess ( 1361003 )
              Perhaps I inferred incorrectly, but I took the method described as basically pointing a video camera at the computer monitor and recording the show like that (taking advantage of the analog hole). Only instead of a physical video camera, you use a WYSIWYG video capture program to record what is displayed on the screen. Since you're recording the resulting image and not the stream used to create the image, there will be no user ID in the resultant file.

              Though I guess they could try and watermark the user
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by fredklein ( 532096 )

                I always wondered why they didn't do something like this with screeners. (In case you don't know, 'screener' refers to a copy of a movie that is sent to movie critics and censors before the movie is available to public). Take a minor detail, like the color of the purse a women in the background walks by with, and change it. Then when a screener is uploaded, all they have to do is download it, and look at that scene. By looking at the color purse, they know who's screener was copied.

        • by Abreu ( 173023 )

          Why is this modded Troll? It is the plain truth!

          Besides, some of us are outside the US and cannot access Hulu or any other similar service...

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            Hulu has commercials. So it's an immediate fail. It is ultimately WORSE than a 10 year old Tivo.

            I want bookmarks. I want random seeking. I want to not be subjected to commercials before and after the opening credits.

            All Hulu ever does is make me want to record it with my PVR or just get a proper set of DVDs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I remember this early on with cable TV, pre-Internet. If you bought cable, you would get some more channels, and all programming you watched would be ad-free. Then ads crept in between programs. Then eventually the shows you watched on had just as many ads as the over the air TV channels.

          Another example is tethering. As time goes by, there are more restrictions, fewer phones that offer this service without jailbreaking or reflashing, and more fees attached for this service.

        • It could be just like video rental places now. Most movies I watch I just rent when I need them. I have the DVDs of a few I want to keep.

        • You analogy is feeble. Net nuetrality will ensure a highly competitive environment. When one provider abuses its customers, those customers will jump to a better option.
          • Net Neutrality won't have any effect on prices. I think he was referring to these sites getting you to switch, and then charging for the content. It has nothing to do with throttling or anything of that sort.

        • Who modded this a troll? Opinions you don't agree with are not the same thing as trolling.
        • I don't think the OP is a Troll. I have the same concern. Hulu is already talking about charging for content []. I could see me switching to just internet from my cable company, only to find out my sources of entertainment had dried up or all started charging.

          As soon as I saw this, the same thought came to my mind.

      • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @12:38AM (#30095060) Journal

        In that world, why bother maintaining enough expensive disk space (with backups) for a video format that will be obsolete 6 months after you download it?

        Disk space is extremely inexpensive now, and will get far more so in the future.

        I have cheap, high-speed internet right now... Where I'm planning to move, I'll have no choice but to switch to expensive, low-speed dial-up. It will be an long time before such places are no longer the norm, and an extremely long time before they become legitimately hard to find...

        MPEG-2 has been the overwhelmingly dominant format for video and audio since the early 90s. All other formats, up til MPEG-4 are simply poor proprietary re-implementations with next to no improvements to be had, and tremendous drawbacks. Now, MPEG-4/H.264, with it's few small (REAL!) improvements seems to be finally showing people what crap and smoke and mirrors all the proprietary crap is, and wiping them all out. I can't help but wonder how long it will be until everyone forgets the lesson, and starts falling for the same simplistic tricks again.

    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:36PM (#30094158)

      Last I heard, the average person watches an astonishing eight hours of television per day. Switching to entertainment on the internet to replace cable won't happen until data caps are lifted. Let's say people don't even have to watch HD content. Just regular digital/standard content. And let us say you have a family of four. Or are a few roommates sharing a place. That's an average of 32 hours of streaming video content per day or almost 700 hours of content per month. Not counting all the other bandwidth suckers you have going on like radio, gaming, etc.

  • I've canceled mine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LiQiuD ( 571447 ) * on Friday November 13, 2009 @08:59PM (#30093894) Homepage
    I've canceled my cable, and I don't think I'll go back. It's me, my 3 kids, and my wife. They have all adjusted to streaming from Netflix and Hulu. About the only downside is missing out on life sporting events. I'm contemplating just adding a tuner card to my HTPC, and then getting those over the air.

    Overall I'm very happy with the new setup though, it is saving me about $100/month (canceled phone as well) and we still watch the same shows. Of course YMMV.
    • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:08PM (#30093972)

      I've done the same. However, I did actually build a HTPC with a dual QAM tuner for Boxee and OTA HD stations. Although, I did keep the $13 a month cable plan just so I don't have to fiddle with antennas. They pipe the OTA/QAM HD stations with this basic basic package.

      I've rediscovered the simple pleasures of PBS, etc. I know I've had them all along, but the ability to just put reruns on was so great that I'd never actually watch PBS. Now I enjoy it again!

      Why did I switch? Internet TV is so much easier. No, the quality, in general, isn't there yet, but it's so convenient to watch day old shows on Hulu and other sources. Come to find out, I was paying about $75 a month to pretty much watch NBC, CBS, etc. The only channels I miss now are Discovery and Disc Science. Other than that, screw it. Paying $75 a month for a bunch of channels I don't watch, no thanks.

      The funniest part, the cableco was charging me $9+ for the DVR/Cable box and an ADDITIONAL $7 for the DVR _function_. $16/mo just for a metal box that sucks up electricity. Now I pay them $13 a month for the convenience of not needing an antenna.

      • The funniest part, the cableco was charging me $9+ for the DVR/Cable box and an ADDITIONAL $7 for the DVR _function

        That's the sad part that most people don't realize -- that, EVEN if they were paying monthly(*), getting a Tivo or other DVR(**) likely would SAVE them money in the long run, and be less junky than the cable DVRs.
        (*) Personally, I would not do that and have always bought lifetime subscriptions for mine.
        (**) There's a new Moxi out that has *3* tuners.. but they ONLY do cable, not OTA, and you ne

        • by EEBaum ( 520514 )
          If it's anything like previous versions of Moxi, I'd just as soon not watch television.
          • OK, I've not actually ever *used* a Moxi. They're just the first competitor to Tivo to come out in a long while for customer owned DVRs. (Of course there are some non-guide-based or TV Guide On Screen based recorders, but those are much much closer to VCR-like programming slots, and I don't know if any of those do HD.)

            Moxi's 3 tuner announcement was very recent. I wanted to mention something besides Tivo, even though I'm a user of them and great fan.. just wanted to show that there were multiple kinds of

        • by rotide ( 1015173 )
          Honestly, I was considering getting a Tivo and being done with the cable box. Then I researched it a bit. The problem ended up being that I would have had to rent a cable card for the Tivo from them anyways. The savings just wasn't there anymore.
          • Cablecards are typically about $1.50/month *additionally*, with the first being free with the digital cable subscription. I did say "typically" and it can sometimes be more, but those are relatively rare situations. That is, you'd probably still save that $16/month, or else save at least $14.50 or so a month (the difference being what you'd pay for a cable card).

            Personally, I can't stand watching without a recording device of some kind.. Even for PBS shows (no commercials in the middle except for pledge

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by nomadic ( 141991 )
          That's the sad part that most people don't realize -- that, EVEN if they were paying monthly(*), getting a Tivo or other DVR(**) likely would SAVE them money in the long run, and be less junky than the cable DVRs.

          What a lot of people don't realize is you can stop paying for cable, and not get a Tivo or other DVR, and save even more money. Then you can read, go outside, etc.
      • Where I live comcast promises 6 or 8 Mb/sec but can't sustain a netflix movie even once without rebuffering and quality degredations.

        Is there some place on the planet where netflix actually does work over comcast?

        I finally gave up on comcast lieing about 6Mb/sec (it works all day long till I and everyone lese gets home from work, then it barely makes 1Mb/sec) and when I went to quit they offered me their unadvertised 1Mb/sec line which costs far less. Now this one is capped but they actually can deliver

  • by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:01PM (#30093916) Homepage Journal

    I don't have cable and I use a DSL modem. I have a cheap $30 gforce with an svideo out and what I did was get a RF Modulator [] at Home Depot and I feed the svideo (well, composite, after a quick convert) and audio into it. Then I connected it to my house cable (it was wired for cable already). Outside I disabled the feed from the cable company. Anyway, I connected my TV to my home cable and I just set it to channel 4 to view any content I want.

    Netflix includes Instant Play which has a TON of movies, all included with your $8.95/month membership. Lots of TV show DVDs, especially. It's a great deal.

    • Interesting. Could a similar system be used for HD?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by inKubus ( 199753 )

        For HD you'd need an ATSC modulator. They are available but like $500+, not $22 ;)

        Some other details, I set resolution to 800x600. NTSC has 525 scan lines, around 500 of which are visible. But it really looks good, full screen fills the screen perfectly centered. The gforce handles the downconvert to TV pretty perfectly (and I'm going svideo to composite also). TV's are pretty blurry anyway so it's not noticable. The splitters in the system in this case act as a multiplexer in reverse. I was lucky th

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )


          If you want a system that outputs to an HD TV just get a modern video card with a DVI or HDMI port.

          An entire ION based system can be had for $200 (nevermind $500) and it will fully accelerate video playback.

          A modern TV is just another monitor to a computer.

    • The audio will always be mono with RF modulators that regular people buy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 )
      And then you yell upstairs "Honey, can you hit rewind on the computer for me?" :-)
    • by WidgetGuy ( 1233314 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @11:25PM (#30094738)
      It's an even better deal if you get the $99 Roku box. Plug it in and it jumps right on your WiFi network. Also hooks up to your router or modem with an RJ45 cable. Connects directly to your TV via composite or HDMI. I've had mine with my $15/mo Netflix subscription for over a year now. Roku also carries MLB (Major League Baseball) and Amazon's Video on Demand (rip off prices, but they do carry more recent DVDs and TV programs than does Netflix's Watch Instantly offering).

      The stuff from Netflix is free (no extra charge) with your standard, snail-mail subscription (as low as $9/mo). NO COMMERCIALS. You can even watch current-season TV programs (they are automatically added to your Netflix instant queue every week on the day after they air via cable TV). I watched CSI, Numb3rs and Dexter like that last year. And, what you put in your queue (by selecting them on-line at the Netflix site) STAYS in your queue until YOU delete it. Even the TV episodes. You select the Amazon and MLB stuff directly via the Roku box (you rent the Amazon stuff for a limited time, another reason to avoid them -- don't know about MLB since I've never used it). You can watch the Netflix content over and over again. Did I mention NO COMMERCIALS.

      The Roku box is rock solid and its software is maintained and upgraded automatically over the 'net. Excellent customer service (although you probably won't ever need to use it 'cause the unit is so reliable and easy to set up). Simple remote control and a coverflow-like queue viewer (with descriptions of each DVD or TV episode). Top notch engineering and UI design all the way around. You will completely forget you are watching streaming video. It's really that good.

      I changed my $100/mo cable TV/Internet subscription to just Internet over two years ago (RoadRunner was the only ISP offering 15Mbps down around here). I'm Pandora (also no commercials) and Netflix/Roku equipped now. Life is good.
  • The inspiron uses a dual-core AMD chip.

    Which means no Intel AMT security risks.

    (Somebody wake me if AMD also does something as stupid as building "IT management" hooks into their chips to let your machine be remote-pwned without the OS having a say in it.)

    • The inspiron uses a dual-core AMD chip.

      Make that "Inspiron Zino HD". Other boxes in the Inspiron line DO use Intel chips, some with AMT hooks (though it's not clear to me whether they have enough additional AMT support to make that a risk).

    • Where's the Ubuntu option, though? Only options I saw were Vista or 7...

      • Where's the Ubuntu option, though? Only options I saw were Vista or 7...

        Dell used to (still does?) keep thier Ubuntu machines on a different path at the site, something like - it's not done as one would expect/prefer, as an OS option, as that would be enabling consumers to easily choose something other than Windows. I really don't consider Dell all that Linux-friendly, considering this, and the fact that they don't offer the same hardware options (even when it has NOTHING to do with Linux co

  • The cable co will just set low caps. also live sports are fully on line.

    you need cable or sat to see most of your NHL, MLB and NBA teams games. Same thing for BIG 10, some nascar. At least all your team NFL games* are on OTA for free. *if they sell out games played in your area.

    • Not so true anymore. MLB, NHL and NBA offer online viewing, for a price. If you're only casually into sports, it's not worth it. But if you only have cable in order to watch sports, it's a no-brainer. Their price is cheaper than a cable package, and offers more games.

      And I, for one, welcome our new TV overlords. I already ditched cable 'cause I was sick and tired of paying for 100+ channels, when all I wanted were the 3 sports channels. I haven't signed up yet, but when March Madness comes around, I probab
  • iPlayer, youtube, DLNA, all you need. Stream your ... eh ... legitimately acquired media from any old linux (w. mediatomb) or windows vista or 7 (w. media player) machine.

    Plus you get to play games.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Plus [with a PS3] you get to play games.

      Only PS3 and PS1 games, not the bigger selection of PC games, and definitely not Free games.

      • by abigor ( 540274 )

        I don't think by "games" he meant all games. He just meant some games made for the appropriate console, including a bunch of very high-quality ones. It's nice that your $299 media centre also kicks ass at video games.

        The PS3 just rocks. Best mid-range purchase I've made in years. Guess I'll fire up Modern Warfare 2 now.

    • Wanker! I was perfectly happy in my ignorance, but now I not only know what iPlayer is, I also know that Sony doesn't deliver it to the states. Are there stateside work-arounds? I found the old site with a message that it's "in your XMB now" - bah!
  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <> on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:09PM (#30093982) Homepage

    Has the tech caught up to provide us with shows When we want them, Where we want them? Or will (example only) iphone users or wireless users start feeling the crunch as the bandwidth is being hogged by ex-TV viewers? Will it be less information interchange and more of movie watching?

    I don't want the creators of the internet to be rolling in their graves. Oh, wait...

    • Will it be less information interchange and more of movie watching?

      I think that threshold was passed long, long ago. As for the creators of the initial Internet, well, they're not paying the bills for it any more.

      Still, I'm amazed how fast video stormed the Internet. There was widespread skepticism that the Internet could be scaled to do it, until youtube proved them all wrong.

      • Youtube is low resolution low quality videos, which is why they can compress so well. HD videos, or even NTSC resolution without compression artifacts, take up a lot more bandwidth.
    • Well, imagine how much internet bandwidth will be available in the existing cable tv infrastructure once ALL broadcast channels go away, and PPV and etc.
  • I still pass (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:10PM (#30093992) Homepage Journal

    I'm not feeding the copyright cartel until they quit treating me like a criminal and going to insane lengths to monetize every last drop of creative talent. (And that's giving them credit and assuming that they have any.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by popo ( 107611 )

      Not to mention the fact that TV actors are the most overpaid, undertalented idiots I've ever known. Why is it that starving waitresses suddenly make a couple hundred grand when they get a recurring sitcom role? Is there some shortage of actresses that I'm unaware of?

      (And told tell me it's because they're talented)

      • by popo ( 107611 )


      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alvinrod ( 889928 )
        If you look at it from the network's perspective those actors are quite talented. Their talent is getting a few million people to park their butts in front of 15 minutes of commercials while entertaining them with 45 minutes of content. The ad revenues are quite good, so why shouldn't the actors get a decent cut? If your TV show draws 15 million viewers each week, I'd be asking for a decent cut as the network wants to keep that show running for as long as it can do so.

        To reply to the original poster, why
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sowth ( 748135 ) *

        It is because of the actor's union (Screen Actors Guild - The big music companies hire untalented musicians for cheap because they have no union.

        To sum it up for the entertainment industry:

        • Union: untalented employees get paid absurd amounts of money.
        • No union: employees get paid almost nothing. Anyone with a brain would not bother, so they get untalented employees.
        • In both cases, the people buying products produced by these systems get screwed.
  • by piltdownman84 ( 853358 ) <piltdownman84@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:12PM (#30094010)
    For me I will never give up cable until I can get sports with the ease and quality that I can on my TV. Sports really need to be watched live, and unless streaming makes leaps and bounds the internet is not going to catch up with HD TV anytime soon. I always find that on the internet the term HD is used very loosely. HD movies on Youtube don't compare to cable, neither does a single TV show downloaded with bittorrent that is labelled "HD". I have seen some "HD web streams" and they are ... if your lucky ...the same quality as digital cable.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate my cable provider with a passion, but I can't give them up.
    • by inKubus ( 199753 ) [] is like a streaming version of youtube. Most people are using VLC and it works pretty well. I watched the NBA playoffs on that (since I don't have cable, so no TNT). Dubious on the legality front, of course, and streams do get shut down on occasion.

    • most of the bit torrent stuff you are refering to is labeled HDTV, meaning is was recorded from hdtv, not nessacarily that's it's hd quality. but none the less you are totally wrong, I can record free to air tv in hd and transmit it via a torrent if i wanted, it'd be hd quality.
  • Boxee + [] + pytv + 25 Mbs Fios = better then cable.

  • Just one problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:15PM (#30094032)

    My internet connection is via the cable company...

  • Telecoms... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recharged95 ( 782975 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:15PM (#30094036) Journal
    "Time To Ditch Cable For Internet TV?"

    Not do-able if you get internet from your cable provider (Fios, or Uverse too).... If they see a shift, guess what: internet bandwidth costs will go up.
    • "Time To Ditch Cable For Internet TV?"

      Not do-able if you get internet from your cable provider (Fios, or Uverse too).... If they see a shift, guess what: internet bandwidth costs will go up.

      That's just it. We get cable, then get Internet over that, then get our TV over the Internet over the cable. The next logical progression is to have our Internet data transcoded into what we're watching via some stenography trick. Then we can have Internet over cable over Internet over cable.

      But really, what the question is trying to ask is "Time to turn all data-providers into Internet providers only and get our services and content that way?" The summary title is pithier. Now I don't know if I'll get

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        The question is simpler: 'Time to separate network and content provision?' If you want a competitive market place, you need to prevent the people who control the pipes bundling the services. Mobile phone companies should offer network connectivity and termination as separate items. Cable companies should offer network connectivity and content as separate items. Then you'll see real competition.
    • I just posted that I gave up cable service a long long time ago, and I guess that's not true, I do get basic (14 channel) cable bundled with my broadband connection, it costs an extra $3/month - we haven't turned it on more than 3 times in the last year... Thinking of it that way, it's not really worth $12 per hour of use to me, maybe I should cancel it after all.
  • I cancelled mine not too long ago. We just weren't using it all that much (me and the gf). We have a home server with Mediatomb, and she's got, and our homemade antenna [].

    I spent just over 30 minutes "cancelling" the cable service. I was on hold for about 28 of those minutes. Don't tell me they don't do that on purpose... grrrr

  • Won't last forever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0d3g33k ( 102699 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @09:29PM (#30094122)
    Cancel your cable if you want to save a little money and what you are interested in is available online. Free shows and movies online won't last forever, though. Free everything is just not sustainable, and right now they are just trying to capture eyeballs and prove the concept. At some point, expect paywalls to appear, at least for 'premium content' or selected episodes of a season or whatever. Don't say I didn't warn you.
    • Maybe we can start paying for the shows we like instead of being coerced into $70/month plans to get a channel that carries a decent show once in awhile.
    • by AusIV ( 950840 )
      I pay $8.99 a month for a subscription to Netflix, which gets me 1 DVD at a time and unlimited access to Netflix watch instantly. When I started using Hulu, I looked to see if there was some way I could pay a monthly fee to get rid of ads and was stunned that there wasn't (though it sounds like there may be soon). I'm happy to pay a small monthly fee for the shows I want to watch rather than paying $40 a month for the same shows plus several dozen channels I'm never going to watch.
  • I made the switch about 2 months ago, once FiOS become available in my neighborhood. With the 20Mbps pipe to the house, and full HD digital TV signal available OTA, we had no further use for cable. The vast majority of shows we watch are either broadcast TV or available online (legally).

    We have an AppleTV and an HD TiVo connected to the TV, so between those we can watch TV and movies using:
    Netflix Instant Queue
    Amazon Unbox
    Boxee (for Hulu, Comedy Central, etc)

    The variety of options makes up for the s

  • The article made no mention of it this, but Hulu desktop has revolutionized the TV-watching habits of my girlfriend and I since we got it on our Macs; paired with the Apple Remote control it's better than my Comcast and much more responsive and easy to use that onDemand. Also, we have a Netflix when we're in the mood for a movie.

    I still don't think I could get her to kick the Cable just yet though...
  • by Fizzol ( 598030 )
    And not likely to any time soon. The internet isn't nearly good enough to replace cable. Unless you're will to steal content there's not enough decent stuff to watch. Maybe in ten years, maybe.
  • Hulu shows are locked to U.S.A I.P addresses.

    I'm thinking of ditching Cable for BitTorrent if I genuinely can't buy what I want legitimately...

  • Unlike cable companies which pretty much hold a monopoly, we may find ourselves with a multitude of internet TV companies. Now we will see true competition keeping the prices down.. PS Got rid of the TV and cable services more than a year ago. Have saved over a grand which went on the credit cards. PSS Unless these internet TV services offer full captioning, I will probably stick to torrents.. hearing loss..
  • Is it time to ditch Hulu for

    The PVR functionality of Clicker makes it a no brainer for me (as I'm sure it will many others). But there's a larger issue here, and that's that the nature of online services is changing quickly towards more of a quasi-ownership model of the media -- which reduces the amount of control the networks have even more. []

  • Youtube? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @10:03PM (#30094298)
    they (buffering) have trouble (buffering) offering (buffering) (waiting) standard video.

    I don't think starting a movie 45 minutes after it starts streaming a good idea :)
  • Currently netflix doesn't stream in 5.1. Only stereo. Not a problem if you watch movies on your home computer, but my TV is connected up to my 5.1 receiver.

    How many of these streaming services provide live feeds? For free.

    Most sporting events you need to pay to watch online. Unless broadband provide gives you access to say ESPN360.
    I don't recall too many news sites that stream the 6:00 news and many times I don't want to sit around and read news articles, because maybe I'm eating dinner, washing the dishe

  • Actually, I've never paid for cable TV (got my own place in 1992 and just installed an antenna), so maybe I'm not their target demographic anyway.

    Last night I watched a 35 minute lecture by Robert Sapolsky on YouTube [] the night before, a random TED [] talk. The night before that, hulu [], and Netflix has been cheaper than premium cable forever. My parents-in-law gave up their TV in about 2001 and we gave them a cheap PC and Netflix subscription instead, they love it.

    Yeah, cable service has been as dead to
  • by physburn ( 1095481 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @10:09PM (#30094336) Homepage Journal
    I don't think this is ready for prime time yet, while digital terestrially TV offers real time high definition TV for your set or wall screen, the computer (if the home has one), still sits in the bedroom and office. Bandwidth is usually low enough that you have to predownload programs before you watch them. When the BBC rolled out they Iplayer a custom player for all BBC programmes, ISP went nuts, complaining about the huge bandwidth increase. In fact the Iplayer repeat programmes while popular weren't so popular as to deluge broadband connections. I doubt Internet TV will be popular for quite a while, maybe creaping up in popularity slowly and being mainstream in the 2020s, but thats just my guess.


    Interactive Television [] @ Feed Distiller []

  • I own a TIVO HD and it's setup to grab all of my favorite shows. I use KMTTG to pull the video off, VideoRedo to to strip commercials, and I am working on figuring out ways to best compress this down from HD to a good looking SD. Trying for the 350meg an hour size I can get from torrents.

    Here's the killer. Video comes off my TIVO at about 1meg a second and 8Gig files take time. Then I get to encode, this takes a little while but I'm using an overclocked I7 @4.2ghz - it FLIES. I haven't quite automated this

  • I ditched TV entirely in 2002, when I noticed that I could switch trough all the channels on a random evening, and find nothing even remotely worth watching. Besides, it's not as if I got any real news from there anyway.

    I switched to the obvious: eDonkey and BitTorrent (with mldonkey) for TV shows.
    And RSS websites for news. (Well, going to news sites, as RSS was not used much yet.) Nowadays many of those are called "blogs". :)

    I must say that while I miss some "old media only" news/"scandals", etc, which I'm

  • People are just thinking about this now? I've been without tv for months. It's beautiful. Now it'll take a bit to get adjusted I grant you. The complete Simpsons is a big file. But once you get that on your system it's smooth sailing from there. Plus there are other forms of entertainment that're better than tv. Like books. I know you've seen them around. But seriously they're like big DVD box sets. You just sit there and read them, and it's entertaining. You're like 'I wonder what Elric of Melnibone's gonn
  • Surely I'm not the only one here who twitches whenever they see that phrase?

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.