Act II: The method and madness of 'cutting the cord'

Part two of a two-part series

In the first installment of the series about "cutting the cable cord," I explained that considerations did not require, or hinge on, your internet connection. However, an internet connection, which I often compare to public utility lines coming into your home, is required for the considerations we explore today.

Know your TV viewing habits

Due to the nascent, but very rapidly evolving, landscape of streaming live TV programming through the internet, many channels are still not available as of today. Making a list of the channels you currently enjoy watching regularly may help you make honest assessments as to which channels you must have versus those you can live without when weighed against other parameters such as monthly entertainment cost savings.

Certified smart or make-it smart

Computer-like attributes of connecting to the internet and receiving programming is part of what makes a smart TV “smart.” If you have a perfectly working digital TV that is not “smart,” you can make it so by connecting one of the internet streaming boxes from brands such as Roku, Apple and Amazon. Even smart TVs with aging smart internals, but showing perfect picture otherwise, can benefit from an externally attached internet streaming box due to newer technology.

Dawn of streaming live TV

Until recently most of the programming available to be streamed through the internet, whether free or subscription based (the former is usually ad-supported), were pre-recorded materials such as movies and TV shows. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and Amazon Video dominated this category; live TV was cable/satellite TV providers’ dominance … until recently. Newcomers such as SlingTV, Playstation Vue and the rumored streaming live TV services from Apple coming later this year are shaking up the TV industry.

Old dogs forced to learn new tricks

As the internet, mother of all disruptive innovations, shakes up the TV industry just like it did the music industry, cable/satellite TV providers are incorporating streaming functionalities for subscribers. Rumors abound that they may also be ready to change strategy and offer subscriber-selectable channel packages, semi-a-la-carte, instead of forcing subscribers to buy packages that include channels not being watched.

Holistic picture: To cut or not to cut the cord

Currently the potential monthly savings of cutting the cord – assuming the channels you need to watch are provided for free by over-the-air antenna reception, through the internet via live TV streaming and on-demand subscriptions – may be enticing. As a strategist I predict that this landscape will change where the economics of cutting the cord may be marginalized while focus shifts to the intrinsic value provided by the quality of the experience of content delivered through the internet and onto all devices. As reliance on your internet connection becomes pronounced, the cost of acquiring a faster (translate: bigger) internet connection into your home will also be required.

What we discussed in Acts I and II will need to be tallied, with value additionally assigned to the intangible parameter that I will call “the experience” to see if it is appropriate for you to cut or not to cut the cord. Either way we are living in exciting times!

Part I of this series is available at wbvobserver.com/read/columns/the-digital-world.

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart consulting, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, Schools, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:00 AM, 04.07.2015