Open Thread Thursday: Will Netflix kill cable?

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Netflix shook up the video rental industry. Now your movies can be delivered to your mailbox or streamed instantly online. The company has used elements of the open source way--a subscription-based model, support, and a thriving community that rates movies and make recommendations. Does your cable company do that? Probably not.

Is it these elements of the open source way that keeps you hooked? Will it lead you to cut off the cable for Netflix and similar on-demand options backed by communities?

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Tad Dickson's picture

When Cable and Direct /Dish came about there was the promise of bringing you only those shows you want to see and pay for.

I recently unplugged the cable, bought a nice "made in the USA" antenna for $35.00 and am enjoying about 40 of the 52 channels of free news, movies and sports.

The $75.00 a month cable/ Dish bill is now added to the money I save or spend at my choosing.

If I were to buy cable ever again, I would want specific channels. Discovery, History, NEWS channels, local and a few comic relief.... They can keep the 10 channels that sell hot dog machines or jewelry. The late night exercise equipment ads from the 80's supermodels. Oh, and all those Spanish stations.. I have 8 of those free now.

I love Net flix and Red box. Both allow me to decide what I watch and when, without paying for the crap I don't want.

jhibbets's picture

Choice is huge. I think the future of entertainment, whether it's via cable, over the Internet, or over our mobile devices is going to be the ability to subscribe to the "channels" or programs that you want. A la carte. I think whichever business figures this out first is going to have major success. Give me an a la carte program option at the lowest price on a subscription basis.

The other part is the communities. There seem to be trends around programming today where user communities are becoming integrated as part of the shows/movies. Whether it's rating a movie, voting, deciding an ending, or playing along, communities are important. There is value in community, and again, the folks that figure that out will capitalize. All-in-all, the end user should be the benefactor here.

jeff92677's picture

All of these innovations and opportunities means more employment, more new ideas, improvements in services, as long as the government doesn't decide to tax all profitable companies (aka those who make products and provide services that people want, and the ones who can hire more employees) and spend that money, and even money we don't even have yet, on social programs and handouts for people who produce nothing we want, and are unfortunately just another drain on the economy.

The best a la carte offerings seem to be internet related. That's the future, it's no wonder that Google is looking into gigabit cable networks.

Once the base is installed, cable companies become just cash cows, let's hope they use that cash to lower their prices, or offer higher speed networks to support our desire for more choices.

I just got a Sony TV with internet connectivity, it's great.

PS: The quality of personal channels created through Roku, for example, are much higher quality than youtube content. At least for now.

Seth 's picture

I think, scratch that, I hope that jason is right about the future of television. i think that the future will be choice and 10 channels rather than 75$/mo and 150 channels. Give me comedy central and the networks and I'm happy. until that time, I'm going to stick to my computer and netflix. I would like to see more pay-per-view for things like the Superbowl. My Super Bowl Tickets will be purchasing the game for some nominal fee to stream to my home theater.