on May 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM
Chris O'Brien at SiliconBeat recently wrote an article about his cord-cutting experiment, which brought in a flood of tips, questions and other valuable information from his readers we thought we would pass along. Thanks, Chris, and keep the 411 coming!
- Several of his readers reported still getting basic cable programming by connecting the cable directly to the television set, even after they cut the cord, as long as they still had broadband service from the same provider. My guess is that once Comcast catches wind of this, they'll find a way to get rid of that little benefit
- If you have more than one choice in broadband providers, you might want to switch. For instance, I have the choice between Comcast & AT&T. While Comcast has a bigger cap (250 GB), I find that AT&T's cap (150 GB) works fine for me, and it's cheaper. Should I creep over the cap, AT&T gladly tacks on additional 50 GB to your plan for $10. Still more cost effective than Comcast, and safer - Comcast has booted people off their subscriptions for up to a year for creeping above the 250 GB cap.
- Don't forget rental services like Amazon, iTunes or Vudu (which we frequently mention) as an option to fill in the holes that streaming subscriptions sometimes have in their libraries.
- AirParrot - an app for MAC computers - enables you to stream *anything* from your computer screen to your Apple TV. While this feature is expected to be available when Apple updates their OS, it would be worth the $10 to be able to stream anything to your TV set, rather than just content purchased or rented from iTunes.
- Tivo (at $14.99 a month plus initial device purchase) enables you to have DVR capabilities. Couple this with an antenna and you have the same thing that a basic pay TV service rolls in.
- Don't want to pay for a Tivo, and DVR functionality not important to you? Use an old laptop connected to your TV set. This also gives you browser capabilities.
- Use content aggregator software like Satellite Direct or Playon TV. For one low price you get television channels from around the world. For $40 - $50 one-time free, you can't go wrong. I haven't tried this one, even though I review it on my website, so hoping Chris will and report back.
- Readers say that when you cut the cord, your amount of television viewing will go down as well. This is not a bad thing, people! We have lives to live, and often we waste it through the escape of television.
- ESPN3 subscription can give you some MLB and NCAA games.
- Use CNN's audio link, or NPR, to listen to the news.
- Chris' readers also mentioned how important antennas are when you cut the cord in order to access local stations. Chris did try an indoor HD antenna, but decided he might need an amplified outdoor antenna to make the experiment work better.
- They were also very vocal about how cord-cutting puts a big hole in entertainment for sports fans and cable news junkies. Yep, Chris concurs. Very few events are live streamed online.
- Last year NFL Sunday Ticket could be purchased stand-alone streamed through Playstation 3. Commenter wasn't sure if DirecTV would do the same this year.
Whlle this point wasn't listed on Chris' article, many sources have also reported on how the personal cloud would soon be eclipsing the PC in terms of being consumers digital entertainment hub very soon, enabling all of our content, which is stored, shared, streamed and seamlessly synced wherever we are at. Many vendors are offering this at a limited level for consumers, e.g. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Consumers currently are confused about the personal cloud, but to the company that nails it in defining and making it relevant to us, kudos and profits! The personal cloud will be very important in the long-run for cord-cutters.
We have lots of resources for potential cord-cutters, or if you just wish to enhance your entertainment options. Check out more at Streaming 411.
Sources: Chris O'Brien at SiliconBeat.com
Author Anne Madison