News

A Campus View On Cord-Cutting

10/25/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

The era of paying a cable company a monthly
subscription fee for television
content is coming to an
end. Thanks to devices such
as the Apple TV, currentgeneration
game consoles
and many other gadgets, it
now makes economic and
practical sense to ditch the
cable companies and get
television content on the
Internet.

It used to be that if you
wanted to watch media content
from the Internet on a
TV, you had to hook up a computer and
essentially treat your TV like a large
computer monitor. Most consumers
have an aversion to this because few
are accustomed to keeping a keyboard
and mouse in the living room.

Also, computers are prone to all sorts
of problems, whereas using a TV basically
amounts to a few simple, easy
controls.

All of the name-brand Internet television
devices offer multiple ways for
users to view content, such as buying,
renting and streaming. There are numerous
types of content available for
these devices. Some of the more popular
providers include Netf lix, You-
Tube, MLB.TV and media stores such
as iTunes Store and Amazon
Video On Demand.

The newest, and perhaps
most innovative, Internet
television device is Google
TV. As of now, the product
will be built into TVs and
Blu-ray players from Sony
and available via a set-top
box made by Logitech called
the Revue. Google TV represents
what its company does
best: helping you search for
information.

The service sifts through
a plethora of content to find
just what you are looking for. “The idea is
that you don’t need to know whether the
video originates from Netfl ix, your cable
box, YouTube, or a random website,” as
reported by the technology news website
CNET.com. “Google just finds it.”

Google TV will also have applications,
that will allow users to extend
the device’s functionality and give
them another way to get content.

The shows, movies and other content
on each device depend entirely upon
which content providers sign on to a
particular device or media store — and
luckily for consumers, the list of available
content is growing rapidly for each
of them.

According to CNN, “The average digital
cable customer already pays almost
$75 a month … and many subscribers
pay more than $100.”

Paying a cable company to run a wire
directly to your TV is no longer necessary.
Th e pricing for all these devices
differ, and many cost less than $100.

When the price of an Internet-television
device is less than what many
people pay for one month of digital cable,
cutting the cable has never made
more sense.


David Rabinowitz is a student at the
University of Virginia. This essay originally
appeared in the university’s student
newspaper, The Cavalier Daily.
September