Sunday, August 17, 2014

TV Is Not Free.

TV is not free. I cut the cord to cable in as much as anyone can back in 2009 once I saw my monthly bill approach the one hundred dollar mark. Now the cost of cable television services are so expensive that one hundred dollars a month may sound like a bargain. However cable remains the best way not so much to watch television, but to be attached to the internet, which like the telephone before it, has long since moved from being a luxury to being a necessity and especially in areas where there is no competition for high speed internet service providers, you either go with cable or DSL. The catch of course is that DSL simply cannot provide the reliability and speed of services that cable can and the catch with cable is if you want to stream anything with some degree of reliability then you will have to move beyond the starter package and at least go with an entry level high speed rate at an introductory price, but with the agreement that after the first year your rate for service will go up to approximately fifty dollars or more a month. That is what cable service cost about a decade ago. So even if you cut the cord, maintain your high speed internet access, and buy a streaming player like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, or Apple TV among others, you are still paying a large sum just to legally stream what was once free TV. 

If you want to watch CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, My Network, The CW or PBS and stream these networks live you need to be signed up with a local TV subscription service like cable or satellite.  The only way you can watch any content for free over the air is to use an indoor or outdoor antenna. This is not a bad option. It was how I watched TV growing up, but for whatever the reason, odds are while you may pull in forty or so local broadcast channels and half of them will seem more like intercepts from a satellite in a spy movie because with digital broadcasts you either get it or you don't and no antenna I have tried will clearly and reliably allow the user to watch all the channels broadcasting in their area. So even there over the air has become at best, a get what you can get service.

The final insult though comes from the local broadcast networks themselves online. Try logging in to any station with a live local streaming feed through the internet and you will be asked to provide the name of your local cable TV service. In effect, outside of bad over the air local broadcast television, you cannot even go to the network websites themselves to watch a live stream online unless you are a cable TV subscriber. 

The catch twenty two that television has become is nothing short of a cabal of greedy networks directly or indirectly working with pay TV subscription services to force viewers to pay for a service they used to get for free and still force users to sit through advertisements as well.

It is disgusting and since any computer can easily be traced and tracked so Big Brother can know where you are exactly and what you are doing without oversight or consent and you cannot even stream a low res picture in picture size box of your live local broadcasts on TV because you are not a pay television service subscriber and therefore TV is not free.

(C) Copyright 2014 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.