Thinking out loud… AppleTV replacing my cable.

I’m spending a lot of time with ad agencies that are scrambling to re-plan major portions of their clients advertising budgets. In short, cutting their TV spend and using that money to do much richer on-line programs than they’ve done in the past. Perfect storm for broadcast and cable TV – Tivo, Dvds, Nintendo Wii, and a writer’s strike. Until yesterday, I never thought of getting rid of my cable. I love a good veg out in the evening after a long day. You won’t catch me telling people to throw out their TV. But could my home be ready for a very different way to get programming from the TV?

I always look at toys like Apple TV as something I add to my “entertainment stack.” I got to thinking about replacing my cable TV subscription with Apple TV. Here’s the math –

My house spends $79 a month on digital cable and we typically rent 2-3 movies on demand for $5 each. Then I pay my cable company $10/month for a DVR.  Say $104 a month.

Is there a better way to spend that money?

– Buy an Apple TV for $229 (Say $20 per month)

– Purchase 1 complete season of some TV series every two months – $18/mo.

– Purchase 2 movies a month – $20/mo

– Rent 3 movies per month – $15/mo

– 10 Episodes of Hannah Montana or similar for my daughter – $20/mo.

– Download video podcasts of news programs – free.

Bottom line – I can’t really figure out how I could spend and watch with Apple TV what I’m paying for cable.

What would I miss? A few news programs, Sports programs – especially the Tour de France in July, and a few programs I can’t get (yet) from itunes.

What would I get? Commercial free video. Remove the possibility of me wasting 60 minutes of my life watching a really crappy TV program where I find myself saying “you’re not getting that hour back”

If I’m like even 10% of the American public, advertisers should be rethinking their spend more rapidly than ever before. And the writers should hold out for much better terms for Internet video rights….

2 Responses to “Thinking out loud… AppleTV replacing my cable.”


  1. 1 Tim Daloisio January 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    It’s interesting. You would still have over air HD of the networks. I suspect you might miss (or at least I couldn’t live without) ESPN.

    But I think the live coverage of events and world news on CNN, etc would be something that you might not initially think of missing, but would jump at you when you consider that there is really no other form of live broadcast that rivals traditional TV and in the news world, CNN owns that space.

    One more thought…how many TV’s do you have cable pumping into in your house? For Apple TV to work ubiquitously for me in my house I would need to outlay hardware for at least 3 rooms.

    A worthy thought though…


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