Cutting the Umbilical Cord to Broadcast TV

A technology writer took up the challenge from his editor. Cut the TV cable. Put the TiVo box in the closet. Marching orders: see if his family could meet their entertainment needs from the Internet alone. And it all worked according to article posted at Wired News on Monday.

A brand new Mac mini was purchased and connected to the HDTV. An iTunes account was set up, and the self described guinea pig and his wife set about seeing if they could live without broadcast TV for a month.

When iTunes charges built up and sports were hard to come by, the writer turned to some free video services and his Xbox to supplement his viewing. He found plenty of free video programming, but sports events were another story. He noted: "It turns out, watching a New England Patriotsi game online is impossible."

Having admitted that he steered clear of the iPod because of its DRM, the author went on to, ironically, tell of his woes with Microsoftis video rental system which Microsoft said were "the realities of the content industry."

The bottom line in the experiment was that it took a Mac mini, the iTunes Store, an Xbox, and a little more money than his family had been spending on cable. But in the end, the cable line stayed cut.

He concluded, "In the end, getting videos from the internet is not the same as live television programming. However, in a few years, I believe it will be better."