Thursday, October 16, 2014

Standalone HBO streaming is a good thing

HBO announced yesterday that their streaming service, HBOGo, would be available as an a la carte service for anyone who wants to pony up the subscription fee (estimated to be around $20/month) could do so without having any cable television subscription. That is the first step in cable television channels giving viewers the power to choose the most important channels and paying for only what they want to watch.

The bad part is that most of the people who would want to subscribe to a standalone HBOGo service would still need to be strapped to a cable television company to receive streaming content because cable internet is the norm for a large percentage of internet customers.

In the end the cable companies still get your money and you are still dependent on them because people have few, if any, options. The only other viable option is to sever all ties to cable companies. I did this just over a year ago and went with DSL (just a fast and actually cheaper) but opted to subscribe to DISH TV service because my cable company (Mediacom) moved to metered internet service and my Netflix habits would have burned through that data cap in no time at all.

And it's those very data caps / metered internet access that cable companies will impose on their customers to keep them from cutting the cord to television service completely. This borderline monopoly is the kind of practice that keeps the cable companies insanely profitable and keeps customers tied to their television service.

The only hope is municipal fiber internet service or for a company like Google to become ultra aggressive in their deployment of fiber internet service. True competition is the only thing which will force cable television companies to be competitive -- both in price and speed -- with their internet service.

No comments: