Coffee Talk #287: Cutting the Cable Cord with Consoles

“Cutting the cord” was a popular phrase among tech nerds in 2010. The practice of cancelling cable or satellite service and relying on streaming television will become even more popular in 2011. There are several reasons for this…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, who should replace Regis Philbin, HP’s upcoming WebOS press event, or if Lance Armstrong is a cheater (or not), Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

“Cutting the cord” was a popular phrase among tech nerds in 2010. The practice of cancelling cable or satellite service and relying on streaming television will become even more popular in 2011. There are several reasons for this. A lot of people are still struggling financially and it’s cheaper to go with streaming. It’s fashionable among hipster douchebags to rely on modern services. And most importantly, streaming movies and TV shows has gotten really, really good.

A person can subscribe to Hulu Plus and Netflix, as well as rent movies on Vudu, for less than the cost of cable service with a premium channel. The offerings have gotten so good that many consumers are able to watch their favorite TV shows and new movies for a fantastic price. I’m super tempted to cut the cord, but that would leave me without live HBO boxing, live WWE Monday Night Raw, and original HBO shows (Entourage, Curb) when they premiere. Streaming services have gotten pretty excellent…but they’re not quite there yet for me. (To be completely honest, I might have to cut the cord whether I want to or not. Ha!)

How about you? Are any of you considering cutting the cord in 2011? Does the combination of Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Vudu provide you with enough entertainment? Why do cable companies suck so hard? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!

Author: RPadTV

74 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #287: Cutting the Cable Cord with Consoles”

      1. We just haven't sat down and did it yet honestly. I told my girl about Hulu+ coming to XBL and I think thats when we will cut the cord.

  1. We lived w/o pay TV service every year when football isn't in season. Once the Superbowl is over I'm going to tell Dish they can cut me off again. is your friend along with Netflix.

    Go BEARS

  2. I'm kind of in the bitter barn today. A lot of my friends are in NY to cover the 3DS event. Nintendo rejected my request because I'm not important enough anymore. I want to be in NY to cover the event, see my family, and eat some NY pizza/bagels/black and white cookies. *sigh* Frickin' PR flaks….

    1. oh man that must blow, especially when you're the one who basically broke the story on the 3DS. i will not read any other site's stories about Nintendo's press conference, as my personal boycott.

      1. I'm trying! But I've learned that it's more challenging than I thought it would be since I'm not getting the publisher support I hoped I would. More on that in Coffee Talk #300!

      2. Coffee Talk #300! sweet! is there going to be different variant covers for that topic?!? (sorry i couldn't resist the comic geek in me took over :( )

  3. I have never tried any online streaming service except for Hulu, and Hulu sucks. You get bits and pieces of good shows but not always full shows. And when you do get the full show Buffering is killer and made worse by the now more frequent commercials. So Orginal Hulu has kept me from trying Hulu Plus

    Tried Vudu but it wouldn't work on my PS3, just said loading……….

    Never cared for Netflix sending me scratched up DVDs or them just not arriving. So I have little faith in their online streaming.

    I still don't understand why someone would want something like Google TV or Apple TV (which I just heard about). It says it searches the internet for clips and shows. Every time I search the internet for clips or shows I get crappy clips people record on a cell phone of their TVs or a 30 second clip of the show I want. I loathe trying to find media online the legal way. Torrents are pretty much the only way I get what I was actually looking for.

    1. That's not the main point of Apple TV. You can buy/rent movies and TV shows through your iTunes account. Google TV also partners that allow you to buy/rent movies. It can also work like a DVR depending on the setup.

      What's your Internet situation, btw? I haven't had any problems with Vudu or Hulu buffering on a Time Warner Cable connection.

      1. I have CableOne with 5mbps down and 500kbps up.

        I have to let Hulu buffer to 4-5 bars then let it play until the buffer runs out and let it buffer again at least twice through an hour long program. Occasionally I have to turn down the quality below 480 to even watch stuff.

      2. Sounds odd. The bandwidth should be more than enough. Perhaps you should run some speed tests to see if you're getting anywhere close to what's being advertised. It really does sound like bandwidth issue.

      3. I tested it the other day and I am getting what I am supposed to be. What I haven't tested lately is Hulu. Gave up on it a while back.

        The Vudu App on my PS3 just seemed frozen and not an internet issue.

        I give everything very little time to impress me and then I move on to something more reliable. I have had 20ish different ROMs on my cell phone in the last month or so. Thats why I have so many video games. I think I have technology A.D.D.

  4. I love the little Hulu picture in the article. It shows about 50 different programs and then repeats all the pictures. That is exactly what I feel Hulu is. lol

  5. Cutting the cord is out of the question for me because I'm a huge sports fan and love ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, and Sports South. Before anyone mentions it, that ESPN3 that's offered on XBL only shows a few low ranked college games that no one wants to see. That channel is worthless, can't see Monday Night Football with that crap. Like Ray said, I wouldn't be able to see Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, and TNA !mpact. I also like watching shows on time and not weeks. My wife also loves the Food Network, and other cooking channels that are not on Hulu or Netflix. I've also heard that Netflix only have old movies. So cutting the cord is out of the question for me.

      1. hmmmm. i thought you mentioned about being able to see full episodes of RAW and their other shows on their youtube channel?

  6. @slicky
    Sounds like your ISP throttles streaming video. I have craptastic Charter and find that streaming on my devices or AppleTV is pretty good.

    I agree on the XBL offering.

    Oh and Creme Friché

    1. Sad thing is they advertise it like "hey, we have ESPN on XBL". The uneducated consumer thinks they can see Monday Night Football and the NBA Playoffs on their Xbox and end up disappointed. I don't even think ESPN3 is available for everybody either.

  7. I can't cut the cord because I have young kids and having 24 hour cartoon channels is a blessing for all parents. I can only imagine their outrage if I took away Phineas and Ferb.

    Then there's my wife… we have all the movie channels… for her.

    Me… I could get away with it. I'd DL the stuff I wanted that wasn't on Hulu or Netflix (eventually). The only sports I really care about are Steeler games, and it's hard enough seeing those in CA as it is.

    Honestly, before I had kids I didn't even care about cable. I can live without it (proven statement). Games on the other hand… I couldn't do. I can't go without internet anymore either.

    1. I actually think you could get away with it. Loads of movies to satisfy your wife. Loads of cartoons for your kids. They'd just have to adjust to how they watched TV.

      1. Believe me, I have Netflix in every room in my house with a TV in it (including both of my kids' bedrooms). They know Netflix well… and it still won't cut it.

        I've tried, but it's no use. (@ Parents… back me up)

        What my wife likes about the movie channels is that she ends up watching movies that she ends up liking that she wouldn't pick from a list. Being that the movie is on the channel, she watches it regardless. If she saw it on Netflix, she'd skim right past it and look for something else.

        For example, that Percy Jackson movie. She never would have watched it given any other choice. She watched it on HBO when it came on, and likes it.

        She really likes Glee as well (I can't stand the show by the way). Yet another thing she never would of watched if she read a synopsis.

      2. I can back you up as a parent. My 4 year old loves a lot of the Nickelodeon cartoons. My wife also loves Glee(I also hate it).

      3. Yep. N8’s right on this one. Changing a 4 year old’s routine is akin to setting off a nuclear bomb. My son’s in love with everything on Nick Jr and the Disney Channel. I don’t want to screw with that, or give him the option of picking what he wants, otherwise I’ll get 24 hours a day of fucking Team UmiZoomi.

        Then there’s all the sports I watch….. yeah, I’d love to cut out DirecTV, but until I can watch the NFL over my XBOX or PS3 the way I can watch MLB on my PS3, it ain’t happening.

      4. Team UmiZoomi is my 4 year old's favorite. "I can build anything, with my shapes. Oval! Triangle! Super shapes!" I know all of the cartoons songs today. LOL.

      5. It was the moment that I realized that the voice of Bot is Joe from Blue's Clues that I finally understood why I hated that show so much. Fuck Joe. Steve FTW!!

      6. You people aren't giving me much to look forward to.

        Oh and please shut up about Glee… my wife doesn't know about the show and I intend to keep it that way.


      1. Yes, those are the 4 games I own for PS3. In order of inquiry:

        MGS4: Really only installed it and played a few minutes before I was too tired to continue. Will get into the zone with it on a later date.

        DCUO: Love it. Addicting as hell. I have 2 level 10 heroes and will make a villain soon. I’m thinking my villain will wield the power of water and Ice and be known as the sinister “Dr. Douche”.

        Heavy Rain:… Holy fu**in’ WOW! Never has there been a game like that. My wife thought I was watching a movie when she first saw me playing it. It’s impressive as all hell and the control scheme is completely original. It’s my vote for GOTY for sure.

        Uncharted 2: That game is very difficult to put down. It’s extremely fun and the pacing is perfect. I had to put it down though because I want to get through some of my other games before being eclipsed by it which I’m sure will happen.

        Question for you:

        Have you heard Cee Lo Green’s album? I’m currently enthralled by it by it. Here’s a sample:

        He has a later cut on it called “Old Fashioned” that’s like a 60’s soul ballad… which is directly up my alley. I love this dude.

      2. Glad you like those games and I'm really glad that you like Heavy Rain. That game isn't for everybody. You either hate it or love it. Never heard of someone being in the middle. I would strongly recommend you playing Uncharted 1 before picking up Uncharted 2 again though. It will get you connected to the characters of Uncharted 2 and plus it's a great game too, not as good as Uncharted 2 though. I didn't pick up DCUO because the fee scared me off. If you like God of War 1 & 2 on the PS2 then I would highly recommend getting God of War 3 as well. If you're into baseball then you must play MLB The Show. Other than that, you're all set.

        No, I haven't picked up C-Lo's album yet but I definitely will. I love C-Lo.

      3. If you pick up Uncharted 1, you will be cursing the jet ski levels. Just a word of warning. otherwise, it's very good.

      4. There was a lot more wrong with those levels than that. In particular the one where you're trying to get up the river and you're basically going nowhere for about 20 minutes…..

      5. I didn't have much trouble getting up the river, I had trouble when you had to stop just to shoot the barrels.

  8. @Slicky

    yes i've watched it and i do love it. oh and i have laughed at it, sometimes even LOL'd.

  9. @RROD
    You'd have to rent a hell of a lot to make it more expensive.

    Example: sitcom/drama has 24 episodes @$2 per. That's $48 for the whole season. Now let's say you pay $65 per month for TV alone. If you multiply that $65 by 12 it comes out close to $800. You could watch an entire season of a new show for 4 different shows and only spend 25%.

    Sports are the killer though. There is rumor that Redzone and or Sunday ticket are coming to AppleTV. I'm sold if so.

  10. I don't care for The Office. it has nothing to do with thinking, I just don't care for it. Then again I don't watch much anyway except sports.

  11. I am so excited for lunch!! Yesterday I found out our food service, Ben E. Keith, carries Sushi. I ordered a case of Spicy Shrimp Rolls and a case of Wasabi paste. It just got in and I am about to head over and try it out. Paid $125 for the 180 pieces of Sushi and $20 for 12 tubes of Wasabi.

      1. That's kinda what I thought. That is why I never thought to ask about it. They apparently but it from Schwann. The package says handmade. It isn't all that bad, but by no means is it a substitute for a real sushi bar. Lesson learned.

  12. yes i am strongly considering cutting the cord….god damn sportscenter…to be honest, i could just download every HBO show i wanted off demonoid, but im an immoral bastard who doesnt care about viacom losing a few bucks, shame on me

    1. More and more people are downloading TV shows illegally because of cost and the fact that cable companies blow. More and more people are downloading movies illegally because of cost and the fact that they don't have to watch minutes of crap before the movie starts.

  13. I love the idea of cutting the cord, but I doubt it will happen this summer when my fiance (then wife) and I get our apartment. It would be a nice way to cut costs, but I know that she likes watching enough other shows that she wouldn’t get to watch if we cut the cord. ESPN is about the only channel I watch consistently when my xbox isn’t on, and I used to never watch ESPN so this is a pretty new phenomenon for me.

      1. anything on Bravo, Style, Food Network, etc. I know some of those shows are on Netflix now, but she likes to watch everything on tv usually. She watches almost all of the Real Housewives shows, Millionaire Matchmaker, and anything involving a wedding (I don't know all of the shows but there are several that she likes).

      2. @rpad

        haha, i tried that with my gf but she's bored with Netflix. I got her hooked on the redbox, too bad she doesn't return them until 2 days after they're due.

      3. She does love Netflix already. I got her hooked when i got it for my 360, and she already has it and uses it on (our) her Wii. She loves dvd's and watching stuff on tv though- not that she doesn't like Netflix and wouldn't love Hulu+ and everything else- she just really loves her dvd's a lot too. She owns doubles of some of her tv series because she has worn out the dvd's.

        I will give her one thing though in defense of keeping hard copies- Netflix will not let me watch more than one episode without hitting a button and movement after each episode whereas her dvd's will play the whole disc without having to hit any more buttons. As someone who loves to go to sleep to the tv or have stuff on in the background while I do something I absolutely hate having to hit a button each and every time I want to watch a new episode. If Netflix had the ability to play an entire season, or even make a playlist or something, it would be a lot better. As small of an issue as all of that seems, it is a pretty big one.

  14. It’s cheaper to rent/buy per episode than a cable bill. for sports news is cheaper as well :)

      1. Dude, WTF?! I pay $125 every month to Comcast for just internet and TV ($67 for TV [includes HD] and $48 for internet). My phone is paid for through my company. Plus, I don't have any premium channels or HBO or anything like that. I just have their "Digital Starter" package. It actually used to be $57 for TV, but they up'ed their price earlier last year to pay for the whole "Xfinity" marketing BS.


    1. "It’s cheaper to rent/buy per episode than a cable bill. "

      Depends on how much you rent/buy.

      " for sports news is cheaper as well"

      True, but reading about Monday Night Football is a far cry from watching it live.

    2. That's exactly the point. For a lot of people — mostly those that aren't heavy into watching sports — getting Hulu Plus and Netflix subscriptions would be cheaper and offer equivalent entertainment.

  15. Questions for everyone.

    Do you watch The Office (US version)? If so do you like it and have you ever actually laughed at it?

    I know lots of people that watch it and love it. I have tried, I just don’t find it entertaining or even slightly amusing.

    1. Yeah I watch it, and yeah I've laughed alot.

      It's pure satire which alot of people don't get because when they look for comedy, they're looking for something zany or slapstick (like Jim Carrey or fart jokes). I relate it to people I know in real life in similar situations.

      Satire is not direct comedy, it takes some forethought and afterthought. Alot of people just don't like that.

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