Weekend Open Forum: Time to cut the cable TV cord?

By Jos · 57 replies
Mar 18, 2011
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  1. These days people are getting more and more options when it comes to downloading or streaming movies and TV shows -- especially those in the U.S. From Netflix to Amazon to Hulu Plus and several others, the growing availability of online content, coupled with an increasing number of set-top boxes and other connected devices, has pushed the idea of dropping traditional cable TV subscription packages in favor of online video sources.

    Read the whole story
  2. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    Gave up cable several years ago... 7 million channels and nothing is on!
  3. I actually gave up cable this year. Only person watching cable was my sister. Now we just live off of websites that post TV shows legally and/or illegally.
  4. Raswan

    Raswan TS Enthusiast Posts: 279

    Just gave it up about two weeks ago. Still getting used to not just plopping down in front of the tv, but it's worth it to save a hundred a month.
  5. Not quite ready to pull the plug completely until sporting events are available.
  6. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Epic pic.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,412

    I was never really a TV watcher. Only things I use to watch were battlestar galactica, stargate, and star trek. I would say that I "gave up" TV about 5 years ago. If I want to watch something I go to netflix. If they don't have it then I go do something productive.
  8. impcfast

    impcfast TS Rookie

    You'll be going back to Cable or a dish network soon enough. Net neutrality was killed. Bandwidth throttling, caps, and overage charges are definitely coming.

    SuddenLink recently sent out this email to its users:

    "Much like electric usage is measured in kilowatts, and water usage is measured in gallons, Internet usage is measured in gigabytes (GB). If you used 25 GB in a given month, you would be able to send or receive more than 1.5 million emails, or download more than 6,500 songs, or watch more than 150 hours of YouTube videos.

    Different customers use a different number of GB each month. For typical usage ranges, visit suddenlink.com/usage/faq.

    If your account is using substantially more than the typical range, it could mean several things. For instance: a virus or "spyware" application might have infected your computer and started generating high levels of Internet traffic, or someone else might be using your Internet connection without your knowledge. We provide an online resource to help you guard against such things.

    If you haven't already done so, register your account at suddenlink.net. When finished, click the link for "My Internet Usage Summary." If you're already registered at suddenlink.net, log on, go to "My Account," and then click the link for "My Internet Usage Summary."

    At any given point in a monthly cycle, you will be able to see how many GB you have used, and compare that usage to the typical range for your package. You will not be able to see how many GB other customers are using, nor will they be able to see how many GB you are using. Each customer will only be able to see his/her usage versus the typical monthly range.

    Toward the end of the monthly cycle, if you see that your usage is within or slightly above the typical range, you probably do not need to take any action. However, if you see that your usage is well above the typical range, you may want to check out the series of suggested steps we provide at suddenlink.com/usage/hints-tips, to help make sure your computer and Internet account are protected and secure.

    More information is available at suddenlink.com/usage.
    Thank you for choosing Suddenlink as your Internet service provider."
    25Gb in a month. If you purchase games through Steam or another download service, you could hit that mark pretty quick. Updating your games, your operating system, and watching movies on Netflix will certainly bring you to that limit.

    Comcast has a 250Gb limit on their premiere service. At least, that's more acceptable. It would be hard for any normal user to hit that. www.comcast.net/terms/network/amendment/

    Anyway, just keep an eye on your Terms of Service for whichever cable company/telephone company you use for internet access.
  9. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    it doesn't mean you can't get the same content in other ways just because companies started capping bandwidth. i god fed up with increasing cable bills years ago and canceled it. ever since i've been watching live HD tv, blu-ray, netflix, hulu, all on my HTPC. everything in one box. over the air HD broadcast get me all the basic channels, while netflix and hulu cover the rest. blu-ray is just an enjoyment. all without paying a dime to cable TV. i can record, rewind, and schedule for recordings through my HTPC. all this innovation because consumers finally got fed up with increasing cable bills.
  10. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    I haven't had cable in 5 years and the only thing I miss are some of the shows on the Food Network. I've been able to download and buy boxsets of most of the shows I want to watch.

    I've been subscribed to netflix since they started offering it in Canada. It's a great service and I look forward to them continuing to expand their content.

    I've already been informed by my isp that in an event that they have to institute a bandwidth cap, that they'll offer be 200GB a month for only $5 more. If the price of internet access truly gets out of hand, I'll go back to reading books and watching the 300+ Dvd's I own.
  11. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Wish I could, but since I'm an avid sports fan that won't happen anytime soon =/. However I still watch quite a bit of online video regularly.

    @impcfast Since Suddenlink considers their service comparable to a utility all of a sudden, you should inform them that you expect their services to be regulated as such then by your local public utility commission ;) .

    But I get your point, with so many television providers also servicing Internet which they fear, more and more will start limiting access to it. Like AT&T just did with articles coming out this week of them planning to impose caps and overages. It's such a farce and I hope the average consumer stands up against these companies like they did with Time Warner or we're in serious trouble going back in time with the way we use the internet.
  12. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +233

    TV in general is mostly obsolete for me. I can get my news and weather online very easily. TV shows... well I'm not a huge TV show person, but for stuff I am interested in, I'm happy to wait until they're all online or on netflix (commercial free for the win). I just finished the last season of Lost at the end of last year... it was epic ;)

    My cables are cut!
  13. cable TV companies will not give up easily, they don't care if they are selling Out Houses and you have in door plumbing. They have lawyers and plenty of money on there side. WE should be way more powerful then they are but they keep us divided by our own greed, ignorance and stupidity.
  14. I gave up on TV long time ago. It is absolutely pointless and definitely in Europe.

    Series I want to watch in original dub (as all movies) so I have the option to buy DVD or download.

    On the other hand only thing I miss is sport... motogp I love, but I am buying full season video passes since 2006.

    I watch Tennis and some other sports in illegal way indeed quality is quite low and bandwith is limited lots of time...

    To be honest a good online sport channel for ~30€/mo would be a fantastic stuff.
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Cable companies already have lobbysists in washington working on letting ISP's limit our internet in what would be considered criminal ways atm. But in a few years you will have to choose between pricey unthrottled internet and ISP filtered limitnet.

    People will likely either have cable+limitnet or pricey internet and get all the tv viewing via the net.
  16. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,671   +988

    My habits for consuming video content (TV shows, movies, etc.) have changed dramatically in the last few years. At least half of it is downloaded/streamed, so I can watch whenever I want.

    I still pay for cable but again almost everything I watch on TV is recorded for later using a DVR. Most of the live TV I watch is either news or sports broadcasts and even on those I prefer to be a bit late, so I can fast forward commercials.
  17. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    I don't and will never subscribe to cable to be fed advertising every five minutes as well as pay a subscription. The only money my cable provider gets from me is for my internet connection.
  18. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +31

    gave up TV long time ago. almost all shows I watched are downloaded, so I can watch anytime, without ads, and with subtitle if i needed.
  19. Ithryl

    Ithryl TS Rookie Posts: 53

    Gave the cable up long time ago. As one of the posters above already said - nothing's on and when there actually is, you spend twice as much time watching than you would without commercials. There's three LCD TV's in my apartment but I'm yet to try streaming any films or series off the Internet. Until then I'm going to use them just to play blu-ray discs, watch live news streams like I do now or - my favourite - use them as a virtual aquarium/fireplace background. =)

    From the reactions I read in here it does look like I should give streaming shows and movies a gander at least.
  20. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,380   +168

    As the article mentions, the US has several alternatives. Other places less so. I don't expect it will be practical to switch here in Israel for quite a few years.
  21. vipor231

    vipor231 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    lets not forget about dial up and how isp's used to charge by the hour on that,that will never happen with broadband because so many people will end up leaving and finding other ways to get content...these caps there putting on right now will eventually either go away or they will offer more bandwith for a price like other posters have said...im on comcast with 250gb a month,i use netflix as my main way of watching things,i diteched cable like 3 or 4 months ago
  22. vipor231

    vipor231 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    ditched cable
  23. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    There is less and less that cable has to offer that interests me. At this moment AMC HD is playing info-mercials, as are National Geographic and Discovery, etc. The entire Discovery network now shares content across most of their channels ... if you like American Chopper then they've got you covered. Sports are the main reason why I still have cable, even that is getting harder to justify.
  24. Saintnsinner

    Saintnsinner TS Rookie Posts: 56   +11

    I just fired Comcast in January. They were getting too expensive and I was watching less and less content. And what little I was interested in I prefer catching the DVD without commercials. I pretty much have all my needs met through Netflix and Redbox. The one show I do like on network TV is House and I just catch it on Hulu a week later. And for the record when I cancels cable comcast raised my internet bill to 72.00 a month. Well their fired for internet service also. I just switched to DSL for 39.95 a month and the speed is about the same. Stick it in your arse Comcast!
  25. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    I recently learned cable costs over a hundred dollars a month. I can't believe anyone is THAT stupid. I think it seems pretty stupid to pay 50 bucks a month for TV. I was raised on OTA and I'm now an avid Hulu user. I worry the internet will become subject to overages and caps and that will be a sad day. I hate corporate greed.

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