Cutting the cord: a view from outside the bubble
by minimalist - 8/23/10 10:41 AM
Heres an interesting article that might make you rethink the prevailing wisdom inside the tech bubble. In my opinion, that wisdom is really more a knee-jerk assumption that we are quickly moving towards a future where cable providers will be dumb pipes and we will have all programming available to us 24/7/365 across the net via the channel of our choosing.
But as this article points this mass migration just isnt happening in any significant numbers. Ive seen this kind of frustration for years amongst most of my friends and family who have tried to do this same thing. They love the idea of giving up cable but the reality has serious drawbacks and the content producers know how to work those drawbacks to their advantage. You can cobble together something but its such a hassle. Even I, sometimes wonder if all the jerry rigging you need to go through to live the cable free lifestyle is worth it and we haven;t had cable TV in our household for 4 years.
One of the things that I think often goes overlooked when these things get discussed is the role of age and mobility in willingness to cut the cord. Its easy for a 25 year old who moves several times a year to be satisfied with watching TV on a laptop. And its easy to confuse that with a sea change for all people'ed viewing habits. But come back when that 25 year old is 35, has a spouse, kids, more expendable income, a home with room for a large TV and you have a very different situation. I remember living with roommates and being perfectly satisfied with a cheap 24 tube TV and VCR for renting movies. I couldn't imagine wanting to go back to that setup now.