Happy New Year. I didn't make any particular resolutions for 2013, but I did place a bet — and I'm not a gambling type of person. I don't even play when the Lottery gets to 50 Bazillion. No, my bet was of a different sort — my bet was on an AppleTV break through in 2013.
On Monday evening our DirecTV receiver died. My family was spending nearly $90/month for the service and we don't watch TV that much. During the day the set is off and at night we'll watch either sports, news or one of our recorded shows. On the weekends we typically rent a movie through AppleTV.
Instead of calling the repair dude from DirecTV, my wife and I made a decision to quit the habit — we canceled our DirecTV subscription. We were hassled by the rep, "Why, why, what can we do to keep you?" My answer was 1/2 price, but that went no where.
So now what?
Well last night we really started looking at AppleTV and spent an hour and a half either watching free shows through the device or using AirPlay to watch other internet content not available through AppleTV. Now I won't kid you, sports and news are going to be a bit more difficult. However for live news I'm thinking of getting a Sirius/XM satellite radio for the house. We'll be like the 1940's and huddle around the radio instead of the TV. I'm fine with that. I think the monthly subscription is only $15/month. I have this in my car and just love it. A lot of news stations simulcast their TV broadcasts through Sirius/XM. For sports, my brother (you know him as Mark Reschke) showed me a website that has a ton of live, streaming sports. They don't transmit in HD but oh well. I'll live. For the rest of our programming needs, we'll order ala cart through AppleTV (about six shows in all).
While this is going to mean a change to our lifestyle, the end result will probably mean less TV watching (which is a good thing). In addition, the monthly cost for getting content this way will be more than half compared to what we're spending now. $50/month is $600 a year and over 10 years that's $6,000. That's a lot of coin to keep in my pockets.
However, my real bet is that this year AppleTV is going to break out and start offering a significant amount of ala-cart programming, including live sports and news. I noticed the Wall Street Journal has an AppleTV channel. While not live, it's good content to keep abreast of what's going on around the world. I don't see how CNN, Fox News and other cable outlets can stay away. They might even try offering live streaming through AppleTV for a monthly fee.
Finally, I polled four friends who are all in their 40's. Two of them had never subscribed to satellite or cable and had been using the internet for their TV Watching (through iTunes or Amazon), while the other two just canceled their cable/satellite service. I don't know if this is a trend or not, but if so, watch your head, because I think satellites are going to start falling from the sky.