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Television

The Economist On Television Over Broadband 220

Posted by kdawson
from the running-scared dept.
zxjio recommends a pair of articles in The Economist discussing television over broadband, and the effects of DVR use. "Cable-television companies make money by selling packages of channels. The average American household pays $700 a year for over 100 channels of cable television but watches no more than 15. Most would welcome the chance to buy only those channels they want to watch, rather than pay for expensive packages of programming they are largely not interested in. They would prefer greater variety, too — something the internet offers in abundance. A surprising amount of video is available free from websites like Hulu and YouTube, or for a modest fee from iTunes, Netflix Watch Instantly and Amazon Video on Demand. ... Consumers' new-found freedom to choose has struck fear into the hearts of the cable companies. They have been trying to slow internet televisions steady march into the living room by rolling out DOCSIS 3 at a snails pace and then stinging customers for its services. Another favorite trick has been to cap the amount of data that can be downloaded, or to charge extortionately by the megabyte. Yet the measures to suffocate internet television being taken by the cable companies may already be too late. A torrent of innovative start-ups, not seen since the dot-com mania of a decade ago, is flooding the market with technology for supplying internet television to the living room." And from the second article on DVR usage patterns: "Families with DVRs seem to spend 15-20% of their viewing time watching pre-recorded shows, and skip only about half of all advertisements. This means only about 5% of television is time-shifted and less than 3% of all advertisements are skipped. Mitigating that loss, people with DVRs watch more television. ... Early adopters of DVRs used them a lot — not surprisingly, since they paid so much for them. Later adopters use them much less (about two-thirds less, according to a recent study)."

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