Do you stream? Do you steal?

Once you cut the cord what are you willing to pay for programming? Do you pay for programming or do you “stream it” for free? I’m curious. I’m going to BUY the free 7-day trial just to get a feel for what Google/YouTube is proposing. I think the cable wars are in high gear. Apple TV, Alexa, Amazon Prime, Google, Facebook, everyone is in motion and trying to capture your recurring dollars.

The cable cutting wars are on. And who has love lost for the giants? (TimeWarner/Spectrum, Comcast, etc) Because, really, fuck them. TimeWarner has been jacking with rates, with barring competition from local markets, having terrible service records, and basically sticking it to us for $120 or more per month for our high-speed internet and cable service. In my current neighborhood, TimeWarner/Spectrum is the only game. ATT has DSL but that’s a joke.

So fuck the big cable monopoly, right? But who are we going to get programming from for our giant flat-screen tvs? Live sports? (Live sports seems to be the cable tether. You can buy packages from individual networks, but for live tennis, live football, live Olympics, you need your cable. Right? Well, not so fast.

I’m going to jump into the world of alternative entertainment networks. Here’s the landscape as I see it.

  • TimeWarner/Spectrum (the evil empire)
  • Over-the-air solutions (antennae available at Walmart and other fine retailers)
  • Amazon Prime and other similar services (Hulu, Cracked, etc)
  • Premium Network Subscriptions (HBO Go, ESPN, ShowTime, Sundance Channel)
  • AppleTV (who are the alternatives? Amazon FireStick)
  • YouTube TV

Yep, the big daddy of streaming media (YouTube) and the big daddy of online everything (Google) have taken to the interwebs to bring you the next thing in streaming entertainment. (They are the same company, btw.) I mean, if you get everything from Google it simplifies things, doesn’t it? (Unless you think Google is evil, and they just might be.)

What am I missing? What alternatives have you used to get your entertainment fix?

  • Torrents
  • LiveStreaming Pirate TV
  • Other…

The world of getting your $20 – $250 per month business is HOT. And it’s HUGE. All the players are in the game of winning your monthly stipend. If they can get your “tether” as TimeWarner has owned it since the dawn of cable, they are poised to make a boatload of money in the coming years. As our demands for bandwidth increase (4K Netflix anyone) and our hunger for better, edgier, programming grows, so does our willingness to pay, and pay well, for our fun.

  • Do you stream?
  • Do you pirate?
  • Do you subscribe to TimeWarner’s cable empire?
  • Have you tried other alternative services?
  • Are you happy with your entertainment package?
  • What are you going to watch tonight? How do you decide? (What’s on? What’s inexpensive or free based on your services?)

I always give my 85-yo mom a hard time when she says, “Oh, I watched this awful show on TV last night.”

“Really mom?” I ask. “You don’t have to watch shitty movies anymore. I can get you hooked up to Netflix for less than $10 a month…”

She hasn’t made the leap. I’m not sure why. (I guess I need to ask her again.) Have you made the transition away from traditional entertainment, bundled, cable? How is it going?

Be careful out there, and practice safehex.

John McElhenney – let’s connect online
@jmacofearth & Google+ & Facebook & LinkedIn

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*** alternative ***

If you’re going to practice some of the alternative methods of being entertained I recommend you use a VPN. I’m not condoning or providing any links, but I use SPYOFF.

I recall the early days of the internet and downloading, where we came up with the phrase, “Practice safehex.” What that meant back then, if you download something scan it for a virus before opening it. Today it means, if you’re doing something questionable online, perhaps use a bit of tech that obscures your activity. I’m just sayin… Trust no one, and be safe out there. (Yes, I mean myself included. Don’t trust me, just get the information for yourself.)

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