Last year my wife and I packed up our cats (and other less important belongings) and moved out east to the strange land of New England. It was a mystical time, filled with promises to not eat as much junk food and organize our new abode much more efficiently than we had the old. If I’m being honest, most of those commitments didn’t last long past the move (especially the junk food).
One that did, however, was the promise of a life without cable. As children of the South, my wife and I had been Comcast customers for a few years up to that point, so we’d dealt with the notorious customer service problems, unexplained outages and odd billing procedures. By the time we were ready to move East, we’d had enough of the whole thing and had made up our minds to opt-in only for internet service with our next Cable Service Provider.
And so we ventured forth with our primary television equipped with Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go. Honestly, the first month or so was a little rough. As it turns out, getting used to not channel surfing takes some time. But, before long, we had adapted and realized we were watching just as much television as we ever had, but much more efficiently. We were seeking out programming that we had a fair hunch would be worthwhile, instead of just looking for something mind-numbing to help flush the hours away.
We also noticed that we were not alone. A lot of our friends and colleagues were doing the exact same thing at the exact same time. Before long, we were discussing new Netflix properties like we once had cable programming. It seemed the days of relying on Cable Service Providers to supply the proverbial cord were forever gone.
But, if Comcast has its way, that cord may have just been temporarily disconnected. Recently, they announced a new content-delivery system that they’re hoping will target people exactly like my wife and I. The service, called “Stream,” lets users enjoy content from HBO and non-cable studios (NBC, Fox, and the like) for $15 per month.
In theory, I guess this sounds fine. But, honestly, I’d never pay for it. Really the only thing you’re getting that you can’t get legally free online is HBO, which already has their own standalone offering for the same price. On top of that, Stream would only allow customers to view this content in their own homes as it’s linked to your unique IP address.
I’m not entirely sure what the point is here. If you already cut the cord, you know that better, more tested services are already out there or coming soon. And if you’re considering cutting it, chances are you’re planning on limiting connections to Cable Service Providers as much as possible. So, who exactly is Comcast planning to convince to buy into this service?
TV Without Cable: Guide to Free Internet TV and Over-the-Air Free TV by Ronald Peter (Toppings Publishing, 2015)
If you’re looking to get off the cable grid, this book might just be the key to your salvation. The author offers a comprehensive comparison of available services as well as helpful information on tech setup and pricing. In short, this book will help you get more for less from your television content.