We flirted with shutting off our satellite system last year. I turned the system back on after a month due almost exclusively to Battlestar Galactica. Well that and college basketball I guess. Anyway…Time has passed and I am back to considering shutting down the pay television service.
Things have changed over the last year to make this an easier adjustment to get used to. We are heavy XBOX 360 users at my home and Netflix streaming is a big part of the usages. Netflix streaming alone gives us more choices for entertainment than we can ever watch so just in shear volume Netflix can replace much of the stuff I watch on satellite today. The problem, however, comes in trying to watch first run shows and sports. Although I am not a rabid sports fan I certainly enjoy particular events with the aforementioned college basketball being my primary interest. The good news is that ESPN is bringing their ESPN 3 service to the XBOX later this year. While details are still sketchy, it looks like this service may be able to replace much of the sports content I watch on satellite.
The final piece of the puzzle may debut in early 2011. Hulu is in the process of launching Hulu Plus. This service is supposed to offer full seasons of current shows, movies, and all kinds of other content. While the service is available for things like the PC, iPad, and PS3 today, the “custom” XBOX version will not be available until next year. The service is currently priced at $10.00 a month. I have taken a wait and see attitude about Hulu Plus but signs are encouraging. I could cancel my $60.00 satellite service and replace it with a $10.00 service. I already pay for Netflix so the cost is already covered.
All of these services plus over-the-air, OTA, high definition local television make a pretty compelling argument against paying for cable/satellite. There are other issues to be considered including DVR service and viewing in multiple rooms but this can be dealt with through different technological solutions. I am excited about the move toward ubiquitous streaming and it won’t be long until we can access anything, anywhere, anytime.
The only real question left is “Should we be watching any of it?”