There is an abundance of choices to counter a cable subscription in today's world.

Digital BroadcastingEdit

Several things have happened over recent years to open the door for cable to lose customers to broadcast and streaming.  One of these was the transition to digital broadcasting as the industry standard.  According to the Federal Communications Commission’s website, “Congress has mandated that after February 17, 2009, television stations across the country must transmit only in digital signals, and may no longer transmit analog signals” ( 2014).   Although customers had the choice to switch to cable set top boxes (which would convert the broadcast for any television), customers without cable would now be able to purchase a digital antenna to receive cable-clear over-the-air broadcasts.

High Speed InternetEdit

A second change that contributed to the shift was the increasing availability of high speed internet.  This allowed in home streaming of content to become more prevalent.   With high speed internet, streaming media could be as clear as broadcast and cable video.  TV channels like MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN could now host video on their own websites to bring in more eyes to their content.  Subscription companies like Netflix and Hulu, as well as on-demand services like iTunes and Amazon could now open up their streaming catalogues to paid customers.  Sites like YouTube became extremely popular and valuable.

Internet-ready devicesEdit

The streaming video increase almost single-handedly led to the final big paradigm shift in home entertainment: internet integration into entertainment systems.  Laptops, gaming consoles (like Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3), and digital media players (Roku, Apple TV and Blu-Ray players ) could bring streaming media to TV sets via the aforementioned subscription services and websites.  Newer ‘smart’ TVs are internet-ready without the need for an additional player.  These new technologies slowly began to replace cable boxes around the U.S.  According to Consumer Reports, 11% of streaming video service subscribers moved to a lower priced pay-TV tier with fewer channels.  An additional 15% of them dropped some or all premium TV channels (2014).

Pages In the WikiEdit


Alternatives to Cable

Why Drop Cable?

Legal, Ethical, Security and Social Issues