War for TV

There have been wars and revolutions in the past. Think of how radio changed the way that people got their news. And how television changed the way that people got their entertainment. And now, how Internet has changed the way that people do everything. Television watching included.

It seems that everyone and their brother is trying to come up with their own innovated way of watching TV. Apple has introduced their Apple TV, a small $99 box that viewers can use to watch movies and TV shows purchased from iTunes right on their TV. Walmart owns VUDU, a Video on Demand website. Google owns YouTube, Best Buy owns CinemaNow, and Amazon owns Amazon Prime Instant Video. But Netflix seems to be the biggest and the baddest of them all.

The current war that seems to be going on is the war between cable and Internet TV. There are many different Internet TV websites for viewers to choose from that will fit their exact television watching needs. However, there are less than a handful of cable providers and the Comcast-Time Warner merger will provide one less. For cable, you can choose from Comcast, U-verse, and Knology, or you always have DirecTV or DISH if you want to take the satellite route. These cable companies want you to continue to subscribe to cable. They want your business more than anything and they will do whatever they can to make you think that they are working especially for you. Comcast has its own OnDemand features as well as their new Netflix-like interface, X1 Platform. Its merger with Time Warner is designed specifically to try to push Internet TV websites like Netflix back. And they may have succeeded for a short time, but that does not mean that this war is over. Far from it.

Cable and satellite have long dominated our televisions, but now it’s time for a change. With so many cable subscribers striving to free themselves from the sticky hands of their cable providers, cord cutting has become an increasingly popular idea. This is the idea that we actually can live without our cable providers—an idea that cable and satellite companies do not want us to realize. It’s the idea that we don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something that we’re not fully utilizing. It’s the idea that there are cheaper substitutions that fit our lifestyle much better. It’s the idea that paying $8 each month is much more appealing than $100 every month.

The war for television will not be a quick war. Cord cutting is slow to catch on and there are some of us that are reluctant to let go of cable or satellite. But as more and more ways to watch TV online become available, cable will soon be out of luck. Internet TV is going to take over and cable and satellite will no longer be on top. No matter how long it takes, websites such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and VUDU will be ready and waiting for their chance at the top.