This is a guest blog entry from Karin Gerber.
With the news of Netflix streaming ABC television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Lost”, and “Ugly Betty”, could it actually be a threat to the premium cable packages? It might make you think how does the cable industry feel about this? And secondly, should we really be concerned?
I know what matters to me is what I get to keep in my wallet. With the atrocity of high cable television fees, expensive movie channels and premium packages, this news of Netflix streaming even more media makes me want to think twice about paying for cable, especially if on a tight budget. Paying $7.99 a month for unlimited TV shows and movies sounds like a pretty decent deal to me. For many people unable to afford cable, but have Internet access, $7.99 a month might be a good alternative.
ABC already has a roster of shows that can be streamed through Netflix, including some past episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost,” although this is the first time anything from its ABC Family cable network will be available. Netflix will not be allowed to stream current shows earlier than 15 days after initial telecast, under the terms of the agreement. (via Reuters)
Broadcasting companies are looking at partnerships like this and the future seems to be full of more home based entertainment for less. With these changes who knows what is next on the horizon. We already have online video services like Hulu which provides a selection of television shows, movies, clips, and other content free of charge. There’s also a desktop application you can download for free called iTVMediaPlayer which allows you to watch live television programming from your computer or from your television via HDMI. You can also download TV shows and movies from iTunes to watch on your computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or television via Apple TV.
There was a time back in the mid-90’s when TV-based Internet consoles were sold allowing you to check e-mail and surf the web from your standard television (i.e., WebTV). That eventually evolved into the services we have today with the Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox 360, allowing us to do much of our social networking and interactive game play, as well as chat, view videos, and browse the web. But now, the industry is taking another step forward. Instead of a unit being connected to your TV, your TV itself is now the actual console.
The television industry is selling TVs that are not only Internet friendly but can stream internet content on your TV just as quickly and as fun as if you’re on your personal computer.
An Internet-enabled TV is a set that is factory designed to connect directly to the Web and display content such as YouTube videos, weather reports, and streaming movies or television shows. (via About.com)
I definitely don’t see paying for cable television a thing of the past anytime soon but maybe cable companies could have a run for their money. Technology is moving forward at a blinding pace and changing the way we view personal entertainment. Maybe with Internet subscription service companies like Netflix around, or free online video services like Hulu, it could help reduce the high cable television fees we are subject to pay. Thanks to competition from the Internet, you can get your news, sports scores, weather, television programming, and movies instantly online instead of from a premium cable or satellite television service.