Wired has a new article on using only broadband for television needs. Is it possible to live in a world without cable? Here’s a clip of the results and observations:
I downloaded a few programs, signed up for a 16-episode pack of Jon Stewart, and on Nov. 3, the experiment began.
What happened after that was a bit surprising.
Weird. That’s the only way to describe the feeling of the first few days. While the social benefits of TV watching are debatable, the experience does bring the family into the same room — at least physically.
Suddenly, our family was not sitting together in the living room watching television — except for the occasional DVD movie — but instead scattered around the house. My wife and I watched our shows on our office computers, and our kids watched theirs on a laptop in the kitchen. Within a few days, the diaspora driven by digital content already made the house seem, well, less homey.
This was all the more surprising because television has never been the center of our family life. Before the experiment began, my wife and I were already watching far less TV than the average household, which analyst firm Nielsen Media Research pegged at over 8 hours per day during the 2005-2006 television season. We’d already begun talking about canceling our cable TV subscription, when Wired News asked me to play guinea pig.
But it became clear that watching content on the same devices on which we did our jobs and home finances robbed us of some intangible benefit. By wanting to watch videos in a central location, I was not in the minority, either, said Joseph Laszlo, research director for Jupiter Research. “The big issue that prevents more people from going completely to the internet is being able to watch their shows on the preferred device — the TV.”