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Tag: cut the cord

YouTube TV Made Me Cut the Cord

If you’ve yearned to cut the cord with your cable provider, but feared the complexities of hobbling together your own streaming TV solution, Google has an offer I believe you can’t refuse…

I’d been waiting for this moment for years… The day I would actually “cut the cord.” And I’m here to report that… I’ve finally done it. I returned my hulking cable box and remote to the cable company and drove away. When I got home, there was a big, gaping hole in my television cabinet.

And I felt something of an unexpected hole inside of me…

I’ve Changed
It’s odd…
I’ve been a part of the cable TV universe for so long that it had become an integrated piece of my life.
(Talk about ongoing brand loyalty)

Leaving it all behind definitely felt like a significant break up.

I know that makes absolutely no sense, but when a relationship (even a business one) is ingrained into your daily patterns, and you suddenly excise it.. that change will likely be emotionally startling.
(Imagine if you suddenly stopped frequenting your favorite coffee house.)

It’s a Streaming World Now
The irony is my live cable viewing habits have shifted significantly over the past few years. The same goes for my on-demand cable consumption. More and more… I’ve followed the Netflix and Apple TV streaming trend.

The only times I’d certainly turn to my cable box was for live programming… news… Super Bowl… Academy Awards.

I was paying more for my cable service than I knew I really needed to.

I really… really… wanted another option…
(And I know that I’m not alone here.)

Hello, YouTube TV
Then, two moments intersected to create my path forward…

First, I looked at my calendar and realized that my monthly cable pricing plan was about to go up… again.
(A promotion from last year was expiring.)

And yes, I called to see if Cablevision would extend the deal… No luck.

Then, I happened to be visiting a friend, and he proudly showed me his new wall-mounted HDTV. I asked him where the cable box was, and he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye.

He proclaimed that he had cancelled his cable service.
Instead, he now had…
YouTube TV.

“YouTube TV? What’s that?!”

Cable Killer
Quite simply, it’s a TV steaming app that serves up your local broadcast stations and over 60 of the main cable TV channels. Such as…

  • CNN and FOX News
  • ESPN and ESPN 2
  • FOX Sports
  • SYFI
  • TBS
  • And yes… even Cartoon Network (My 8-year-old loves LEGO Ninjago.)

No, this one-size-only package may not have all of the same channels as Cablevision offers, but for me, it’s perfect.

There are also premium channel options like Showtime and STARZ.

$40 a month. That’s it.

  • No contract
  • And no cable box, DVR and remote rental

Whoa.
Forty bucks.
(I was paying over $100!)

Plus, one membership gives you six accounts and up to three simultaneous streams.

That’s a cable killer.

And so I made my decision right there to cancel my cable service from Cablevision and switch to Google.

My Breakup Call with the Cable Company
I drove home and rushed to join YouTube TV online. Then, I loaded the YouTube TV app on my Apple TV.

I took a look around my new TV universe, and all of my channels were ready for action.
(Sweet!)

My next step was to make the breakup call…

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised that there wasn’t some attempt on the other end of the line to reverse my resolve. And unfortunately my new monthly Optimum bill with my remaining phone and internet service wasn’t going to fully recoup the cancelled cable price tag.
(My multiproduct ‘Triple Play’ discount would also be ending.)

But I was still saving money.

The Value of YouTube TV
Ultimately though, this wasn’t really about saving a specific amount of cash.
It’s about value.

Anyone can complain about a price point. But if you believe you’re getting value for the cost, then it’s usually okay.

If you’re not, then you should make a change…

  • YouTube TV
  • $40/month
  • Done!

As a subscriber to YouTube TV, I also have access to an unlimited DVR in the Cloud. Plus, I can watch YouTube TV on multiple platforms including my iPhone an iPad from anywhere in the United States.
(So useful!)

Still Watching
No… I haven’t entirely cut the cord with Cablevision. I still need my Optimum service for Internet and phone.
(But I think we’ll be talking about my home phone line again in the near future.)

And no, I haven’t really divorced myself from the cable TV experience.
I’ve just changed cable television providers.
(My emotional reaction to perceived loss was short lived.)

Yet Another Google Disruption
YouTube TV is just another example of technology, progress, innovation, disruption… and someone else figuring out how to take a piece of the pie.

It was just a matter of time.
(YouTube TV launched in 2017.)

I’d been waiting… It just took a friend to point me in the right direction.
(Plus, it didn’t hurt to see a live demonstration.)

The Google switch was easy…

Is YouTube TV a lethal blow to traditional cable companies? I know their past evolution to ‘broadband’ foretold this eventuality.

That said…

  • Cable networks are competitively served up elsewhere.
  • Home landline phones are quickly becoming a vestige of another century.
  • So, that just leaves Internet service….

I expect we’re still a ways away from the closing credits to this story.

For now, I’m a happy subscriber to cable television… again.

Thank you, Google!

I Don’t Own a TV

Is the dream of a TV-free life still a dream? Not according to your 296 million neighbors.

Is the dream of a TV-free life still a dream? Not according to your 296 million neighbors.

If you’re about to chuck your TV into the recycling bin to be more like the rest of the crowd, I’d think twice…

Earlier this month, Nielsen reported there are 116.3 million TV homes in the United States.
That’s up .4% from last year.
And 296 million people reside in these homes.
(excluding babies)

So, it seems like everyone still isn’t that far away from a television set.
(even the babies)
This 20th century construct is still firmly embedded in our homes.

With all the talk of mobile media viewing and cord-cutting and second screens…
TVs are still alive and well in our former society of the future.

The Boob Tube
But remember not so long ago when people used to proudly proclaim they didn’t even own a TV?

They were so… defiant.
So… advanced.

It was a badge of honor for them.

They listened to NPR.
They read the newspaper.
That’s all they needed.

They had absolutely no use for the boob tube.
(And there was no Internet to complain about.)

They really annoyed me, because I knew… deep down they didn’t truly believe in a television-free life.

I would angrily ask, “How can you stay informed about world events without ‘seeing’ them on television?

They’d retort, “Don’t need it! A photograph on a newspaper page does the trick just fine, thank you very much.”

“Uh huh, Sir Galileo.”

But if I’d push long enough, they’d eventually say something like,
“Well, I do have a friend with a TV, who…”

Ah Hah!!!

But they never seemed phased by the loophole.
They remained defiantly true to their claim of a TV-free life.

And then suddenly one day, all these luddites sporting a higher consciousness… they disappeared.
Maybe it was the day all their friends found a higher calling and started buying iPhones…

Because that was way cooler than not owning a TV.

Can’t Cut the Cord
Today, when people say they don’t have a television, of course, it points to an entirely different trend.

What they mean to say is they don’t ‘need’ a television.

What is a TV these days other than a screen that’s so big, you can’t take it with you…
How inconvenient is that?!

With so much media available online, there isn’t much on television you can’t watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

And if you’re used to paying for the exclusive content of cable programming you can try joining the growing army of cable cutters out there and pay for content a la carte online.

This movement isn’t driven by a lifestyle choice.
It’s simply about practicality and power of technical innovation.

I admire these folks.

Because I’d like to get rid of my TV too.

But I find it’s still too difficult to do without the conveniences of its old-school distribution model.
(and apparently so do 296 million other Americans)

Disconnected by Choice
So I’ve still got my television.
The younger generations don’t need one anymore.
And everyone’s got a smart device to remain ‘informed.’

And what happens if you don’t have access to a connected device to the all-knowing
web?
Well, then you’re really cut off.

Or are you?
Let’s run through our little exercise again…

NPR is going strong, broadcast TV can be captured for free with an antenna, and there are still a few reputable rags out there, last time I checked.

Still, without access to a ‘connected’ computer, I think you’ve inevitably got to fall behind the awareness curve. The Internet provides so much access to immediate and ‘relevant’ information ranging from the global arena to every thought from your Facebook friends.

It’s the same argument I had against the ‘I don’t own a TV’ crowd.
If you’re not connected, you’re not connected.

And maybe for some, that’s okay.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 12.2% of households today don’t have access to the Internet, because they don’t want it.

Said another way, more than 10% percent of disconnected homes are web free by choice.

Really?

To me, this disconnect would eventually create a significant difference in how people live their lives as responsible and involved U.S. citizens.

Clearly, I’m not seeing the big picture for these folks.

Or maybe, I’m not as connected as I think.

Or perhaps you don’t really have to be as connected as everyone else to hold your own in today’s technology-infused world.

The Earth is Flat
At the end of the day, I still think it’s got to be challenging for the
‘Disconnect by Choice’ folks to tread water in today’s technology pool of infinite access to all information.

But not impossible.

I’m not sure if the Disconnected by Choice team is the same group as the ‘I Don’t Own a TV’ naysayers from yesteryear.

As long as disconnected… doesn’t mean disconnected,
I guess that’s okay.

I will draw the line by simply saying people need to stay informed.
(Choose your poison…)

I think we can all agree that on that.
…can’t we?

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