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Live TV Over the Internet Is Coming: Would You Ever Drop Cable for It?

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Through various means, network TV is coming to the Internet in the form of live streams. In this brief but lively discussion, our experts ponder the eternal question: What will it take to get you to watch live TV online?

What about you, readers? Do live streams of network content appeal to you? Or are services like Hulu already better than live streaming anyway? What would it take for you to completely ditch cable and move to online-only viewing? Tell us in the comment section below!


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32 comments
dealnews-Lindsay
@hutuka It's up there, at the very least!
hutuka
Wow, most discussed topic on dealnews ever/
Dom2please
Weather I would utilize streaming only TV is really secondary. Being a good Capitalist, competition breeds options and demands efficiency. Currently most of us have two choices, this would give us three, and as seems to always happen with online applications more and more variations will become available.
The idea that I can program my computer (or some other storage device)to exactly what I want, and pay, via commercials or fees would have me very interested.
spferdil
Streaming is only part of the story, you must have a broadband internet connection to stream anything. And for me, that means cable, the only reliable internet provider available in my area. I don't subscribe to TV on cable, only internet. I do stream from Netflix through my cable internet but even for that I have to watch my datacap as it can be exceeded fairly easily which adds more cost. The first thing we need in this country is universal availability of broadband internet no matter where you live.
bhennon
All major networks should be streaming live 24x7. I would watch online vs cable if it were offered. I think there are too many companies worried that they might miss the opportunity to rake in a few more pennies per person with each new technology so they are slow to act and take a wait and see approach.
Skillitt
I have already dropped the cable, I bumped up my internet speed, bought a couple of Roku's, Apple TV along with Netflix I have plenty of content. Really the only thing that I noticed is if you are a sports fan you may have issues unless you can find the live stream. I was able to stream the final four from Ipad app through the Apple TV and made everyone happy. Not a big deal in our house since we dont watch much sports.
imjustagirl
Can they make it any faster than this? My %^$#@! cable has just double, and dish is not working well at my place. Can not wait to kick Comcast to the curb. Not even 10 stations that we are watching regularly, then having to pay for craps that we are not watching. Government is in pocket of special interest.
climbingrandy
Since when is it the government's job to babysit businesses? Wah! Wah!
Never had cable or satellite, couldn't afford it raising five children by my self. I like only the facts and I will make my own opinion. I do not need someone to interpret (the facts) for me.
Would I watch tv online, Yes, if there were something worth watching.
coachcal
We've already dumped cable. We had it briefly the last year, only because my mother-in-law paid for expanded cable with a seniors discount while she lived with us. Now that she has moved, we dropped cable and are watching our shows online or through streams on the laptop or our ipads. We also watch TV through our ipad with an apple to RCA cable. No more $100 bills per month for TV. Looking forward to network TV online.
odat1989
Pardon my age (or don't), but I can remember when cable first started up, and at that time the BIG selling point was that cable came without commercials because your payment was the company's revenue stream, replacing income from commercials. Now we pay for cable and we are swamped with commercials too. Cable companies have what amounts to a monopoly, they don't compete against each other, and they can, and do, feel free to exploit their customers. I live in an apartment building with 70 apartments and the horror stories about TWC's abuse of customers here are overwhelming. Prices for the same services vary throughout the building by as much as $100. My own service, without notice, just went up by $20. I'm moving away from cable in any way I can, if for no other reason than as a form of protest. Maybe you should too.
sammy806
So far, I have not seen any streaming option that can match the HD qualtiy of live sports (most MLB, college football and college basketball). Don't understand why you can't order cable TV networks a la carte. I would gladly pay for ESPN and the major networks if I had the option to NOT pay for 5 shopping channels, 4 Spanish language channels, Lifetime, Music Channels and numerous others that NO ONE in my family ever watches.
GeckoFish
Great idea! However, the live TV streaming services such as Aereo need further development for me to switch. Developing an add-on for Windows Media Center and/or software allowing the user to record to their personal DVR will be needed before I switch!
TheOracle
I dropped cable TV a few years ago. I never watched much other than having some reruns on as background noise. There were never many age appropriate cartoons on for my daughter to watch, so she was watching DVDs all the time. So, we got Netflix instead. My daughter can run this herself (she is 7 now). We have a Smart TV with digital antenna. Picture is as clear as cable, but free! And I still get to watch Bones when it comes on.
rich9nyy
Hey Dealnews, I'd rather have your old podcast instead of your 2 cents!
livewire300
I have a large outdoor antenna, so if it is free or cheep, Bring it on... I already watch Netflix online, and the picture quality is great too...
I don't subscribe to cable, or a dish co, because I don't believe in paying for cable TV that the commercials have already paid for. I feel that if I pay for it, I don't want to see commercials. Cable Co's are DOUBLE DIPPING!!!
Well NOT from me...
msombrio
1. It has to work.
2. It has to offer the channels/networks thay I watch.
3. It has to be less exensive than my cable package is now.
Given thse three things I would drop cable like a used condom.
teofil
I wondered what the picture quality is like on streaming TV services. I've been considering it but my
husband is always talking about good picture quality, HD, etc.
hd94556
I have given up my subscription to Dish Network. My Roku box streams Hulu and netflix, I also plan on subscribing to Amazon prime shortly. I have plex installed on my roku box and get additional content through my plex media server. Local channels are meant to be free over the air channels. If we cannot receive this over the air beacuse of location or other problems it should be available to stream free or at a very low cost since advertising is what pays the rent for the networks. Advertisers will get wise and will not have to be blackmailed to paying hefty rates since people are cutting the cord. Everything is changing and the networks are losing their power unless they allow the consumer to enjoy the content like it was supposed to be. Pay tv channels should allow subscribers direct access without going though the cable company since you are obligated to sign up for a package that obligates you to subscribe to stuff you do not require. Cut the cord and change will come.
dealnews-Louis
Question for everyone -- what do you guys use for news? An indoor antenna can help me get local news, but what does everyone do for national/international news. When a major event occurs -- I've found that a 24/7 cable news channel can come in handy.
CruzMark
I already ditched cable. I decided that $1080/year was too much to pay for BBC, Discovery, HGTV, Travel, and the few other things I watched.
Maxdaddy
You should only switch to internet if you prefer to pay little to no money at all. If money is no object to you, keep your cable. Bottom line. Internet is for people who want to save money and still watch what they like.
snovick
Cable has the lock on connivence and that is enough for most lay people. Unless you are really into gadgets and into switching between all the various apps (netflix, hulu, hbogo, aereo etc) cable will still exist and we'll pay through the nose. I know there are smarter people than I that I hope are working on an app that can lump all of them in one app. I have cable, but also netflix and others on my xbox. I love the xbox and if it loses some clutter can really be a "be all device."
The_Lost_Dutchman
We are avid RV'ers and would love to ditch our satellite service for an internet based subscription service. Live streaming isn't that appealing per se - unless there is a mechanism for time-shift recording of our shows, maybe a DVR-like devide. I would like to see an ala-carte system where I could subscribe to only those "channels" I like to watch, and take my "locals" networks everywhere I go instead of getting local feeds from whatever my current location might be. Also, if my favorite programming were to be made available via the internet, I could dump an expensive satellite service and maybe bundle "streaming" with my internet provider and/or cell-data services, making everything more cost effective.
old_alex
XBMC on a $35 Raspberry PI, I stream ABC, NBC CBS, USA, PBS, HULU, History, Syfy......

To top that off, it can stream any content on my network and you have better than ROKU with private channels with WDTV Live like video streaming of local content.

Bluecop addon repository Rules look it up, things break now and then and you have to go out and find a patch but well worth it.

If it is on their website I stream it directly to my TV.

Amazon prime (BROKE Because of FLASH DRM killed off every paying customer with Linux in one step)

It does do Hulu Plus and Netfix (you must have an account).
grumpy
My internet come in over the cable, so no, not entirely.
streamco
I ditched DirecTV in 2008 and have never looked back (with them for 10 years). I have an off air rabbit ear . Roku, Xbox, and TVs with smart apps. Yes, I agree, the media space is fragmented, however, most of the same features (stream feeds) are available across all platforms. I get annoyed when n I pay for my HULU service and they insert commercials into the programming. I can't imagine this is necessary. The only problem I have with my off-air TV is when the signal gets weak. This happens, from time to time in my area, due to an array of weather phenomenons and maybe even sun spots.
Anyway, the future is streaming, cable (Telco) companies will simply provide bandwidth, there is no reason why a network, such as HBO or NBC needs to contract a carry fee. There is no incentive to pay this when distribution is available on alternative streams. Already, in my local market, my NBC affiliate provides live news on their website at 4, 5, and 6pm. Just waiting for this to come to my phone.
dskola
I have just recently cut the cable. The one thing that annoys the crap out of me is the big network streams all require you to have a pay TV service to be able to stream their shows. If I have cable, I wouldn't need to be streaming it. I can almost understand ESPN doing so since that is where they make their living, but NBC? I guess we could have seen that coming when they bought comcast.
Chatterboxweb
I have been on streaming only TV for almost 5 years. As soon as they get all sporting events on a live stream it will be complete and cable/satellite TV will be dead.
frcn
We got caught up in the economy (it tried to run us over), and so we looked for ways to cut back. Then TV went digital and the signal in our rural area is difficult to get. So to save money we got radio-signal based high-speed Internet and dropped Dish network which saved us a good amount of money. We then got Netflicks streaming and had used a Roku for our entertainment, and together this was still less than Netflicks, and we can watch what we want, WHEN we want. . Hulu then supplies a few more shows. So right now we cannot get local TV networks because we live in a rural area and the local networks do not stream their signal which I still think is ridiculous.
seity
I dropped cable at least 6 years ago.
nonchalant
I don't watch "live" TV as it happens anymore just because something always comes up. I record everything on my DVR and watch some on Hulu (free) at my own leisure. I don't want to pay extra for what is available for free. I pay cable for local channels only because my house is too far away from the towers and would require a roof antenna to pick up the signals. I don't know if my homeowner's association would like that.
ski522
Been doing this for quite some time using my Roku and XBMC boxes. Give up on DirecTV and their high prices, and useless channel selections!
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