After years of frustration with Bombast and other less-than-customer-friendly cable companies, my wife and I have decided to cut the cord. Instead we have now installed a Mohu high-definition antenna and a Roku 3 web-streaming player. The HD antenna gives us access to 18 channels, including one of my favorites, ME TV, and our Roku gives us access to a plethora of entertainment and news resources from Netflix to Hulu to PBS to CNBC to YouTube to History to National Geographic to you name it. With the Roku you have the option to pick certain streaming channels, most for free, and others for a monthly subscription fee.
The only weakness in this format is the lack of access to ESPN because it requires a connection thru you cable or a satellite service. Given the skyrocketing rates for cable services, I personally see sports-related networks garnering premium prices as being a bubble that’s ready to pop. Plus, there are plenty of other/better entertainment options available on our HD antenna, through Roku, or amid the pages of an excellent book. Given today’s announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show that Dish will be offering Sling TV web-streaming on Roku and related systems, including ESPN, CNN, TNT, HGTV, and related networks for $20/month, I must not be alone.
So, it’s “see-ya, cable.” You were great while you were customer focused. But now that your industry consists largely of a bunch of ungrateful monoliths, your days are numbered. A-la-carte choices would have been a customer-focused breakthrough, but instead you insist on us scanning the telewaves for lonely gems while being subjected to a tidal wave of crapola. Thankfully, the people at Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google, and now Dish have created an alternative and viable home entertainment platform. My prediction is cable services will be begging for customers to come back by the year 2020. Unfortunately for them, by then, it will be too late for improved vision to save their greedy hides.