Cord Cutting

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This is random…

As I sit here and watch the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Semifinals on the WatchESPN app on my Nexus Player (running Android TV), I’ve realized that I’ve just hit the point of no return as a cord cutter.  I originally got rid of cable television almost 2.5 years ago because I got fed up with the garbage user experience and the price.  By price, I don’t mean the final price, but I mean the terrible fees for HD, modem rentals, set top box rentals, taxes, etc that cable and telephone companies nickel and dime you with.  When I cancelled, I was paying AT&T $140 for UVerse TV & Internet (18Mbps) on one television.  I considered $20-$30 of this bill to be BS.  AT&T charged you $5 for high definition television, $7-8 for the set top box, $5-7 for the AT&T Gateway and then miscellaneous taxes.

So I quit television cold turkey and quickly signed up for Netflix and Hulu.  I used a Sony Google TV as my set top box.  Google TV was a terrible experience at the time, but I wasn’t being nickel & dimed.  Fast forward to today.  I pay for Netflix ($8), Hulu ($10), HBO Now ($16), and Sling TV ($20).  I watch all of my TV on my Nexus Players (2) and over the air (via an OTA TV antenna)  I pay Time Warner Cable $65 for 300Mbps/25Mbps internet service (I own my own all the hardware).  I pay $119 every month for all of this stuff, but my experience is significantly better.  Not only do I have incredibly fast internet, but I can watch any show from any of my subscribed services on any of my devices using apps that aren’t bad…in fact some of em, like the HBO Now app are excellent.  A big bonus is the ability to cut one or more of these services without making a single phone call.

I’ve essentially reached a point of no return.   I’m no longer considering subscribing to cable for NFL football because I can watch football either OTA or on ESPN.  I’m a NY Jets fan and I will miss out of network NY Jets games, but a normal cable subscription doesn’t provide this anyway.  So I don’t miss what I’ve never had.  Luckily, I’ll be able to weirdly watch Thursday Night Football games on Twitter.

I say all that to say this, cord cutting is not about pricing.  Cord cutting is about the user experience.  It is my belief that television and other video content will move from the cable model to apps integrated onto existing platforms like Android TV, Apple’s tvOS, Android, iOS, and Roku because the experience is significantly better.