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AppleTV vs. Cable – Why I’m dumping Cable in February

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product-product.jpgCable is expensive…and it’s getting more expensive all the time. With Apple TV coming in February, I’m going to be dropping my cable provider, and switching my television over to Apple’s new set top box.
Will it be cheaper to buy my content through iTunes than to subscribe to my local company’s digital cable package with DVR? Well…let’s look at that and see…

I get a good deal with my cable company. I only pay $58 bucks a month (before taxes) and I get digital cable with about 300 channels, HD-DVR, and the additional HD channels like TNT. I don’t have any movie channels like HBO or STARS.

But here’s the thing…I only watch about 10 of those cable channels regularly…if that many…and most of the time I’m watching Simpsons, King of the Hill or Star Trek re-runs. I watch a lot of the networks shows like The Office, 30 Rock, Boston Legal, and so forth too. Plus, I watch the Daily Show and a few other Comedy Central shows…and that’s it.

So I’m paying $58 dollars a month for that. Everything else is tacked on and I’m not using it.

At $1.99 an episode, I can get 29 TV Shows off of iTunes a month and pay the same price. So basically, if there are 4 new episodes a month, I can watch 7 shows for that same price.

At first, that doesn’t sound like such a great deal…but there is one BIG reason why it makes more sense for me to download my shows from iTunes…

I get to keep them.

With cable, I’m renting my television. Every month my $58 dollars disappears and I have nothing left over to show for it, but having watched television – I can’t watch the episodes I’ve already seen again…if I want to do that, I have to go buy the DVDs.

But not with AppleTV. With AppleTV I only have to buy the shows ONCE, then I can download them to my iPod, or watch them on my television whenever I want.

Plus, AppleTV can give me something that cable can’t…it can give me TechTV back. Diggnation, TWiT, DL.TV, Cranky Geeks, inDigital, and Geekbrief TV are all filled with hosts from, or inspired by my favorite former cable network…and I’ll finally be able to watch them on my television…where I’ve wanted to watch them all along. The plethora of podcast content alone is worth the purchase of an AppleTV to me…and it’s just one more reason I don’t need cable anymore.

Using AppleTV is going to be like going from renting to owning your home. You’re going to get more for your money, and I, for one, can’t wait.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

13 thoughts on “AppleTV vs. Cable – Why I’m dumping Cable in February

  1. where are you gonna store ALL that content? If you add the cost of storage and databsing of the content, you will be well over the $60/month 😉

  2. Sam and Jeff

    You make a good point, but when you factor in the fact that I would buy this stuff on DVD too, it balances out…heck it might be cheaper. I bought a 320 GB hard drive this weekend for $129 bucks.

  3. First off, I think the AppleTV is pretty slick. Secondly, I agree with Sam, where are you going to be storing all these shows? Eventually, you’re going to need a lot of hard drive space to contain your growing collection. And, how often are you going to watch some of the episodes too, I know I’ve toyed with that thought and still haven’t bought TV shows thru the iTunes Music Store.

  4. Doesn’t ITV require broadband? I use a cable modem and VoIP. If I dump cable I would have to get a DSL line that is slower than cable. I don’t see the logic of completly dumping cable. Hmmm…. what to do?

  5. First, don’t forget to factor in the $300 you’re going to have to drop on the AppleTV itself. It might take you some time to make that chunk of change back up.

    Conversely, don’t forget that a lot of networks are streaming their shows online…which could end up saving you some $ on the shows you don’t want to spend $25 on to purchase the whole season.

    This, along with Xbox Live’s TV and Movie section is really revolutionizing the media industry…very exciting.

  6. You’ve forgot the $299 for the Apple TV box. Amortized over two years, that going to cost you an additional $12 — or about six TV episodes — a month.

    Apple can do this math, though, and they know they will be a legitimate threat to cable and satellite when the times comes.

    I expect Apple to:

    * Continue adding current and catalog TV titles.

    * Get agreements for streaming, real-time broadcasts with the major sports leagues, award shows, news channels and other vendors of live entertainment and news.

    * Come up with a subscription plan that’s not complicated and is priced to compete with cable and satellite.

    * Continue to add movie studios and add PPV pricing for movies.

    Apple TV — as it exists right now — is a technological foot in the door, but I think Apple is several steps away from convincing me to drop Comcast, but I think they’re going to get there within the next 18 months.

    The real question is whether Apple can do anything BETTER than cable and satellite. The availability of catalog TV titles would be huge, but I can’t come up with a cable-killer feature other than the fact that Apple UI and ease of use will put Comcast et al to shame.

  7. Drew and Porchland –

    You’re right, the $300 should be a factor. I didn’t think about it, because I would be purchasing one anyway…cable or no cable…I want my TechTV back dammit!!!

    Drew –

    you’re right, for shows that I’m iffy about, I can either watch them over broadcast tv, or watch them online.

    Porchland –

    I agree, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I’m ready to jump in with both feet.

  8. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report alone would put you over the total. 20 new episodes of each show per month gives you very little wiggle room to work with.

    Just wait until the iTunes TV shows are free to download with advertising.

  9. You left out the biggest problem with Comcast.
    They are crooks, billing always wrong, sales people who sell the moon, delivery nothing.
    Comcast has ZERO Customer Service.
    Comcast Time Wasted every month calling the Crooks costs hours of time and frustration cost years of your life.

    AAPL Welcome!!!

  10. So I pay like $160.00 a month for cable tv, home phone and internet. If I got rid of everything but internet I would pay $45.00 a month. We also pay $8.99 a month for Netflix.

    I was 2 smart tvs and one non.

    If I got the apple tv, I would have to buy one for each tv, correct?

    Could I supplement abc, nbc, fax, etc with free apps from them for free?

    Dont mind loosing the home phone, but want to be sure I am not loosing to much in the cable switch to apple tv.

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