As perplexing as the Internet was when it first showed up on the scene, it continues to revolutionize and re-revolutionize the world. Soon, the television set will also be forced to put the nails in its coffin. Cause of death? The Internet…and every other company capitalizing on it.
The cash cows for nearly everyone these days involve Internet streaming. Your Wii connects to Netflix now. Your iPad has AirPlay for music, video, and photo streaming. Apple TV has created an outlet for all those cable-haters out there. In late 2010, Apple announced that Apple TV sales topped the one million mark. Let’s face it: television’s days are numbered. Soon, our television sets will change function from TV to merely a large, oversized screen. Gone will be the days of cable connections and satellite dishes will be mere shooting targets. Online is the way to go.
This concept can be very polarizing. Sure, many of us love our shows and recognize the gift-from-the-heavens that is DVR capability. We love having instant access to over two hundred channels at any given moment. But realistically, how much of it do we actually watch? Between working full time during the day or being out on campus, most of these 200 channels just go to waste. Insert the magic of the Internet.
Apple TV and similar set ups are going to continue to rise. Not only because as a society we are trying to eliminate waste, but there are good economic reasons to abandon your cable provider. Ideally, all you need is Netflix and a computer (but Apple TV makes a great substitute or addition).
Just picture it: all of your movie-watching needs can be met for as little as ten bucks a month. You can easily have the latest Golden Globe-winning movie arrive in your mailbox in a few short days (goodbye expensive outings to the movie theater). Then, your Internet connection (or Apple TV) works all-too-conveniently with iTunes, Hulu, or some other source for your network programming. If your show’s network doesn’t post shows online for viewing, there is always the iTunes season pass where you can pay for the current season to automatically download.
Considering that most new televisions come complete with the connection hook-ups for your computer, this is a match made in heaven. In fact, 21% of all 2010 television sales were Internet-connected TVs, a figure expected to double by 2014. Further, nearly two-thirds of Internet users already pay for content (music, software, newspapers, etc.) giving reason to believe that they would be more than willing to pay for their television show programs online as well. All you need your cable provider for now is an Internet connection.
Consumers can save over 1,000 bucks a year depending on what cable package they have now. The only down side to this plan is the coveted sporting events, but hey, a sports bar with all of your friends is probably more fun than sitting at home anyway, and ESPN360 makes many sporting events available streaming live online.
Like it or not…there seems to be no force large enough to stop Internet streaming. Whether it’s the appeal of watching a show when you want to, watching it for free, or maybe just seeing minimal commercials, television will permanently go online. It’s all just a matter of time.
What do you think? Do you have Internet on your TV? Or are you sticking with cable for now?