I Want My TiVO! Cutting the Cable on Cable Cutting

Tech industry investment money has generated what it wanted – a perception within the TV biz that “old TV” is dying as people cut the cable. And they’ve titled this trend “cable cutting”. (Statistics show it’s still a relatively limited trend so far.)

And with all this hype over the past decade I’ve been bothered by a fundamental logical flaw:

  • Enormous amounts of money are required to develop programming people want to watch (there are a few exceptions – but they don’t translate into a reliable low cost approach).
  • Yet the enthusiasts for cable cutting have made it all about low cost (usually nearly free) subsistence viewing.
  • If no one can afford to develop the programming to satisfy consumers, consumers won’t be satisfied.

In streaming we now see financial reality rear it’s ugly head.

Program streaming has become pretty widely available. But this streaming programming now includes huge (2 to 4 minute) advertising pods that you can’t skip, can’t fast forward, and which stop if you switch windows. (See Colbert’s Late Shows streams for a good example.)

This is particularly frustrating since on small devices I have a rule of halves:  A video of 15 seconds on a small device feels like a 30 second video on a full size HD TV. So 2 to 4 minute commercial pods are an eternity…

So you know where I’d rather watch my programs? On Comcast programming DVR’d with a TiVO.

And that’s not what people predicted – that I’d rather subscribe to Comcast’s evil empire than seek out my viewing in streams.

Pretty effin’ amazing. It takes a lot of work to make Comcast the good guy. But the digital folks are doing it.

Copyright 2015 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved

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