Cablevision Systems Corp. is yet another traditional pay TV operator responding to the needs of “cord-cutters” — even naming a new product for those TV consumers. But it’s not cable-related. It’s adigital antenna to get over-the-air TV stations, high-speed internet access, and, for one package, WiFi phone service.
So it seems Cable providers are slowly giving us almost what we want and they are going to make us pay a pretty price to do it. We have wanted “a la carte” television selection as we don’t watch but maybe 15 different channels on average. Instead, they are offering packages where they pick the channels for us and charge us the same if not more than we would have paid for these channels via a cable package. And these packages often only have live streaming of channels so there is no pause (so we can run to the bathroom, do something for the kids, eat dinner, or grab the pizza that just arrived) or fast forwarding past commercials so we can get back valuable minutes of our day. Additionally we still have the conundrum of local channels. Every once in a while we want the local version of the weather or the story about the latest car wreck. Not often mind you, but occasionally. After all, we do have a weather app, Google Now is telling us what the current temperature and if it is raining or snowing, and the local stations have an app or a Twitter feed to tell us the big stories and we can determine in 140 words or less if we need to know any more about them.
In a perfect TV viewing world, we have a Tivo like box that can record our favorite streaming shows so we can time shift our viewing times. Local channels are free as they are free over the air if we had an HD antenna where local channels are free. (Strangely CBS has their $5.99 subscription and app when again, it is free “over the air”.) We can pause, fast forward, and rewind our stored programs. And best of all this same box lets us do Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and maybe even HBO Go. Sure, there are ways to do this now, but they require technical skill that your average person wouldn’t want to fool with. So a simple TV appliance that can do all of this now would be the ticket.
But now that providers know what we want and they know we love the subscription model for buying things, they are slowly charging us the same if not more than we pay with the cord. So in the end, to get what we think we want, we will pay more, but it will be nickeled and dimed from us in $7.99, $8.99, $19.99, and $79.99 chunks so that it doesn’t seem all that expensive until we really think about it.
Careful what you wish for, you might get it and greedy companies will figure out a way for us to overpay for it.