Mossberg: Streaming TV is beginning to look a lot like cable. What happened to Netflix-style choice?

“Streaming TV shows, movies, and other types of video over the internet to all manner of devices, once a fringe habit, is now a squarely mainstream practice,” Walt Mossberg writes for The Verge. “Even people still paying for cable or satellite service often also have Netflix or Hulu accounts. Nearly every traditional TV network, sports league, or video service — even those still primarily grounded in cable or satellite — has a channel or app for playing video on everything from set-top boxes and ‘smart’ TVs to mobile phones.”

“Until recently, however, almost all of these streaming apps and services followed what you might call the Netflix / Hulu model. You paid a fairly modest monthly fee for a large library of shows and movies which you could watch anytime, as many times as you wanted, in whatever order and frequency you wanted,” Mossberg writes. “But that’s changing, and it bothers me. Two big new streaming services, both owned by satellite TV services, have made a splash in the last couple of years, and, when you cut through all the hype about them, they are pretty much just old-style, linear TV services delivered via the net.”

“I’m talking about Sling TV, which is owned by Dish Network and came out last year, and a new competitor, DirecTV Now, which is owned by AT&T, also the owner of the DirecTV satellite service,” Mossberg writes. “I’ve been watching both, on an Apple TV and on a laptop, and I feel like they are a giant step backwards by an industry that’s trying to hold onto customers from an outdated system.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “TV” is broken and, if Apple’s efforts are any indication, it’s not getting fixed anytime soon. At this point, we’ll settle for Apple adding our cable system to Apple TV’s single sign-on.


  1. Its more like cable companies are becoming like streaming ones. On Xfinity, you can get plenty of on demand, record shows and even now get Netflix (if you have an account). Watch on any device that is connected to a screen.
    We hardly watch live TV anymore and skip commercials when we can.
    The price is still high but compared to 5 years ago the options are much better.

  2. I was with Xfinity and had had my fill in December 2016 when my service was down more than working from Thanksgiving on. I signed onto DirecTV Now as soon as it came out to get the $60 package for $35 plus I got HBO for $5 where it cost a minimum of $15 on any delivery vehicle. So that’s $40 a month. Then, I discovered it doesn’t have network TV and I still needed internet so I went with a cheap AT&T internet/DirecTV 2-year contract. I already had HULU, Netflix and Prime by virtue of just wanting my stuff delivered quickly without extra cost. One last thing… Apple’s TV app is awesome. The thing is though – it feeds off the individual apps for the individual networks – most of whom don’t support DirecTV Now just yet and the On-Demand offering of DirecTV Now isn’t up to par at all. So I have them all and that’s why. And I also subscribe to Showtime through Hulu for $4 and I have the Starz subscription as well. No shortage of tv at my house. All of that and I mostly have FoxNews running in the background while I’m coding. But I couldn’t miss Walking Dead.

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