There is little doubt that the Internet has changed the entertainment industry on a global scale. Downloading music is one of the more popular methods of keeping up with the artists of today, but the next big entry the Internet brings to entertainment could be a game changer for everyone: television. While Phsorg.com reports that vanishing cable subscribers are being offset by gains in Internet subscribers for the same companies. The report also highlights what could be the biggest problem facing video streaming, which is that content makers, or programming producers, are locked up in lucrative contracts.
Consumers looking to save some cash on the monthly cable bill or cut the cord entirely are often faced with seriously evaluating programming needs. The balance of finding the right mix of programming without paying too much in monthly subscriptions to video streaming services, like Netflix or Hulu Plus, and the price of downloading or streaming content from iTunes or Amazon Video on Demand.
While a high quality amplified antenna can generally fill the void for local programming and the big four networks, adding a digital video recorder can add a lot of money to the initial investment. Devices like TiVo are great for broadcast, but the service also carries a monthly service fee that starts around $20 per month. While cheaper video streaming options like Hulu Plus and Netflix are under $10 per month, gaps on certain shows do existence on those services.
Using products like a Roku or Apple TV can mitigate missing shows. Apple TV allows the user to view iTunes purchased content on the big screen television; however, all those $1.99 TV episodes can add up over time, but they can also be expanded from the iPad, iPod, and iPhone to the living room. In addition, the Roku features Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Video on Demand, which means paired with a Kindle Fire, the Roku will allow Amazon customers to take full advantage of their digital library.
Of course, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have begun to turn the dial up on original content, which could mean even more options for users to experience. The video streaming revolution is in full swing, and of course, The Hollywood Reporter even believes that Google is getting ready to unveil a pay TV channel. If television options seem to be growing at a fast pace, that is because they are.
A combination of antenna based programming and video streaming could totally replace the cable experience for some viewers. Of course, before the cord is completely cut consumers need to remember that the price of Internet connection also needs to be included in any streaming plans.