Last Updated 11 Feb 2021

Internet Streaming: Replacing Cable and Dish

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Internet streaming: Replacing cable and dish

People are mistaken who believe internet video streaming is a fringe market. Watching television programming through subscription services like cable and dish is becoming increasingly expensive while online video streaming is free or becoming cheaper with more content being added daily.

Streaming is “the process of providing a steady flow of audio or video data so that an Internet user is able to access it as it is transmitted. (Daintith, 2004) In time internet video streaming will replace cable, dish, and over the air broadcasts as the main source of televised programming. It is easy to see that internet streaming is the wave of the future. With more and more people getting online with broadband connections to homes and mobile devices, there is an increasing realization that many are paying too much for cable and dish services when the same programming can be accessed for free or more inexpensively. Snider, 2011) They are also realizing that with video streaming there is no restriction on the time and place they can view the desired programming as long as it is after the original broadcast or in the case of cinematic films, after they are released from theatrical venues; in other words, video on demand.

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The convenience of “on demand” programming will allow a busy population to be more productive in other areas of their life when they do not have to schedule a time to watch their favorite shows. Although many shows, particularly live sports are currently being offered free to internet viewers in real time (e. . , ESPN3, NBC Sports, and CBS March Madness on Demand), this just adds to the attraction of video streaming. Clearly then, the entertainment industry is looking closely at the potential of video streaming both as another revenue source and a threat to traditional ad revenues. Hulu Tv is the internet’s leader in providing free premium content to its viewers. “In addition to original backers NBC Universal and Fox, Hulu works with 150 content providers, including all of the major TV production companies with the exception of CBS, which is aggressively developing TV. com. (O’Leary, 2009)

Rating services such as Nielson and comScore are at times at odds with the viewing numbers they are reporting which means gauging the actual numbers of viewers needs revising. Nevertheless, the growth of online viewing is attracting competition for Hulu, and Netflix the leading subscription service providing both films and TV shows. Cable giant Comcast for instance, has launched “Xfinity Streampix, which will give Comcast video subscribers a selection of older movies and prior-season TV shows that they can watch on TVs and Internet-connected devices. (Schechner, 2012)

Admittedly, there are system requirements that need to be met in order to view streaming content on a computer, mobile device, or television set. (Some game consoles, such as Xbox360 and Playstation 3, and some Blu-Ray players can also be used. ) And providers may require certain software to be installed. It can be as little as ensuring the latest Adobe Flash Player and a video out jack are available on the receiving device, to proprietary software; e. g. , Netflix to regulate account access or to view content on Veetle. om- a free public streaming website. Peer to peer streaming and live event streaming are also becoming increasing popular. Individuals, small businesses, and large corporations are taking advantage of direct streaming. There are numerous free streaming sites and companies like Primcast that offer a wide variety of sales and technological services. Consequently, more and more consumers are “cutting the cord” to cable and dish. It only makes sense as budgets remain tight for many families and enterprises, and streaming quality and content continues to improve.

A high definition premium cable package can reach more than $150 per month in contrast to Netflix’s current price of $7. 99 per month. Add the available free programming on Hulu and other sources and the savvy consumer who chooses to cut the cord could save over $1000 a year. That is a powerful inducement for many who are willing and able to embrace this burgeoning technology.


  1. Daintith, J. (2004). "streaming. " A Dictionary of Computing. Retrieved from Encyclopedia. com: http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1O11-streaming. html
  2. O’Leary, N. 2009, May 25). Searching for Life on Hulu. Brandweek. 50 (21) Retrieved from http://www.
  3. Schechner, S. (2012, February 22). Comcast Takes Aim at Netflix. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
  4. Snider, M. (2011, September 12). More Consumers Spurn Cable TV bills. USA Today Retrieved from http://www. usatoday. com/MONEY/usaedition/2011-09-12-Cutcord-0830_CV_U. htm

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