With today’s $99 Apple TV, if you haven’t cut the cord on cable TV, you should

“I’m a Cablevision Systems customer in rural Connecticut, and I subscribed to the company’s ‘triple-play’ Internet, TV and phone service for years,” Nat Worden writes for MarketWatch. “I’m a busy professional and a parent of small children, so I have little time for watching TV these days, and this service was expensive relative to my actual usage — except for the Internet service, which I need for all sorts of things.”

“After purchasing Apple TV, it became clear that I no longer needed cable TV service, and I rarely used a wireline phone. When I called Cablevision to cancel those items,” Worden writes. “When I finally got through, their representatives offered me several rounds of discounted promotional offerings to keep their TV service, which kept getting cheaper as I rejected them one after another. Then they gave up, and I returned my monstrous, electricity-draining cable box with it’s god-awful user interface and remote control that never worked (yes, I tried changing the batteries). That may have been the most satisfying errand I have ever run as a consumer.”

“Now, I pay about $60 a month for Cablevision’s broadband service — almost $100 less than I was paying — and I subscribe to Netflix so my kids can watch commercial-free kid shows. I’m also trying Hulu Plus for online access to network TV shows. There’s also online video options for sports fans, like MLB.com, and you can buy all the great TV series a la carte on iTunes if you don’t mind being a little behind the curve — who can stay current on all these shows anyway? I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by Apple TV’s library of free video podcast selections, which are excellent, including some current news shows,” Worden writes. “Oh, and then I can access the entire Internet on my computer, which has some good stuff on it too — including independent news and commentary sources that often better informed and more accurate than our mainstream, corporate news outlets.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Apple TV updated with ABC News, PBS Kids, AOL On, Willow TV and revamped Flickr app – June 24, 2014
Apple TV could finally unlock its full potential this year – June 19, 2014
Amazon Fire TV Review: An awkward user experience; Apple TV a better choice – April 7, 2014

46 Comments

  1. I too cut off my cable tv this month which was $185/mo and now down to & $75 for internet access only. When I calculated how much I was paying per show I actually watched, it came out to about $15 per show. Not at all worth it when you are an adult and you have better things to do than watch tv all day.

    1. Exactly. I would love to subscribe to just the channels I watch (things like Food Network, Smithsonian, History, etc.) instead of the whole magical which is over $200. A patently ridiculous amount of money spent on keeping boatloads of unused channels in business. No thanks. Apple TV is just one iteration away from being the answer for me as it is now for some users.

      1. You do understand the economics of bundling, don’t you? The popular channels with sports and reality shows attract mass audiences that generate most of the revenue.

        Channels with niche audiences like Smithsonian and such are subsidized. If they were only available individually, they would be very expensive. If individual episodes had to be purchased one at a time, they would be even more expensive. Episode prices on iTunes are manageable now because the networks cover most of the overhead.

        Unbundling might not save consumers any money at all. True, they would not pay for what they don’t watch, but those who don’t share mass tastes might pay more than they do now for what they do watch.

        1. You betcha. I’ve often said even unbundled they’ll figure out a way for an ala carte system to cost you the same as before. It may be a simple matter of just saying “Hasta La Vista Baby!” and just move on. In any case cable is pricing itself out of existence in the near future as fewer can afford it. We can afford it but don’t want to spend it.

    2. On top of all that, if you erect a $60 TV antenna and hook its cable to your TV set you can get a couple dozen local TV stations in 100% digital, HD format that include PBS and all the networks, as well as Qubo and several other kid friendly channels. I get my DSL (faster than cable where we live) through an independent ISP, Eskimo North (Eskimo.com), which comes with a Unix shell account, web hosting, mail, domain hosting, etc. for about $500 per year (less than $50 per month).

  2. My current cost is $ 0.25 per hour of TV via Cable. This includes Hulu+ and Netflix and Internet and HBO. However, to reach such a low price your family needs to watch at least 40 hours of TV per week.

    As it happens, watching TV is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. But for people with other things to do cutting the cord makes sense.

    Unfortunately, too many if the current apps on AppleTV require a cable subscription to view. Additionally, if your local cable system has not yet made a deal with Apple, even your cable subscription is useless.

    Waiting patiently but what I want in programming will likely NEVER be cheaper than what I pay for cable.

  3. I went old school with a multi direction TV antenna that covers two major cities and 3 smaller ones.

    That is $250 in costs for the rest of my HD TV watching life.

    1. Great for you. Terrible for us. We live on the wrong side of the hill to pick up the digital broadcasts we would like. However, Wave Broadband is at least reasonable on their pricing, for this area. $60/mo for 50Mbps Internet, plus another $60 for extended-basic cable (no pay per view), including all the taxes and fees. Still, We are thinking about cutting the cord, but not until our favorite shows are cable free (WatchTVanywhere requires a cable subscription), we are stuck with the extra $60/mo we don’t want. NBC, CBS, TBS, USA, etc… still require subscription.

  4. Sorry but the Apple TV offers little. You can’t jailbreak it so you don’t get Xbmc. You can’t get amazon prime either.
    For me it’s either the fire TV or the xunity eclipse. With Xbmc you get far more then anything on Apple TV. I loved my Apple TV 2 with Xbmc but it was showing it’s age so I had to unfortunately go with an android box because Apple locks down the atv to much.
    I love apple for other stuff but for the living room they dropped the ball.

    1. You can’t jailbreak it so you don’t get Xbmc

      You can’t (to my knowledge) jailbreak the current model YET. But I certainly jailbroke my old Apple TV. It does XMBC nicely. Although, I have to point out that jailbreaking may raise the complexity of using your Apple TV by an order of magnitude.

      Meanwhile: Yes, I agree that Apple is no on the ball with Apple TV. It has vast potential that has been ignored. I cannot comprehend why.

      1. Gay causes. Flat icons. Dumbed down iLife and pro software. Fashion headphones and the iWatch wardrobe accessory hit of the century to come.

        We are seeing Apple transitioning into a fashion company stocked with fresh celebs, multi-colors, endless tunes and fashionable products to look way too cool. And they will sell a gizillion.

        Little time left for anything else, iGuess …

  5. You can airplay ANYTHING you find on the internet to your Apple TV via iPad, iPhone or MacBook Pro. I use Safari. We have even airplayed college football games from the broadcaster’s website, although for national championship games there was so much traffic on the site that we kept getting dropped. Season games were perfect. My local morning news streams live from their website, in HD, which I stream from my iPad to my Apple TV every morning. I stream video from shopping channels, PBS, and of course, Netflix, Hulu + and YouTube. I stream everything I want except 2 TV series, which I buy season passes directly from Apple, AND which are significantly less than cable. I have a second Apple TV in my bedroom. All of this is less than a couple months of cable and most was a one-time purchase. I cut the cord and haven’t looked back.

  6. You still need a cable subscription to watch some Apple TV apps like watch ESPN. HBO GO. Those apps are really great and I am lucky that the cable subscription comes included in my HOA. Then you can enjoy watching even on the road on your iPad or iPhone. It would be great if They would charge subscriptions right off the Apple TV.

  7. I’d love to cut the cable but I’m not the TV junkie in the house. The only problem(1) with Apple TV as solution is the lack of immediate availability of a show broadcast. If I could get a show started to download a few minutes after it begins airing on TV, then my wife would let me cut the cable. Yes, there are people who want to see and comment on TVs shows as it happens.

    (1) And the CRTC in Canada, home to all those Rogers and Bell execs who will only be dragged in the 21st century kicking and screaming.

  8. Nasty old Time Warner Cable fought me tooth and nail. But I cut the cord. I cut it good. And I felt great leaving their office after the deed was done.

    Now if I can just get free of their leaching me for Internet. Going Verizon is NOT a viable option where I live. They’re just as bad as TWC if not worse. Choose your torturer.

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