Originally Posted by imagic
Those are valid points, it may well be that when online delivery matches Blu-ray in terms of sound and picture quality, optical media will survive because infrastructure upgrades are not economically viable in rural settings, and also not everyone will want to pay for the higher tiers of service that make it a convenience instead of a hassle. The same will be true for gas vs. electric cars, it will make a lot more sense to go electric living in a city than it will the countryside.
Originally Posted by comfynumb
A week ago on another thread I was totally against 4K. I'm not all the way convinced that I'll actually see a difference in picture quality. But that led to wanting to try the streaming/download thing, which I admit I really haven't done much of. I know what you mean about some areas not having very fast speeds or if they do your going to pay through the nose for it. IMO my 24 Mbps will not be nearly enough to stream/download 4K unless I want to suck up all the bandwidth in my house and wait 4 hours to watch a movie. Which I'll never do. Right now i have enough bandwidth to stream Sirius or IR while my son is playing his Ps3 online with his buddies, and laptops are on and phones and everyone is happy. Would everyone be happy if I'm streaming a movie and they tried? Probably not. But it does look like speeds are coming up and prices are starting to come down, at least in my area. But if we are going to move to the next movie level a lot has to be done, and I'll never pay 2 bills a month for Internet service alone. I probably would spend a buck a month, IF the speeds are real. I'm not up to speed really, just trying to learn myself.
Agreed, 100%. And while I cannot wait until bandwidth increases to the point that downloading is widely feasible as well as streaming and download quality match that of blu ray, it is not there yet. If I didn't need my high dollar internet for work I would not be paying it. Most in my area, and I'd imagine most in other semi-rural to rural areas are in similar situations. For those people (and me if I didn't need it for work), they are paying around 25 bucks for a mediocre, but sufficient (if not doing much streaming) internet. With "high speed"internet (~24Mbps max, ~17Mbs actual) being around 90 dollars here, it would essentially cost an extra 75 dollars a month to get the ability to stream. one netflix account is 8 bucks, if you want to have even 2 tv's watching at once, make it 16, 3 tvs would be 24 etc... Hulu plus appears to be the same cost, 8 dollars per account, so 16 for two accounts, 24 to have 3 tv's watching it. Vudu can be anywhere from 1 dollar for a movie, 2 dollars for a 2 day pass, on up to over 20 dollars for some movies. (Downloading still impractical). So if you choose just one of the above options and want to watch it on two devices at once, it's conservatively going to cost 15 dollars/mo. 15 for the streaming service plus that extra 75 to upgrade your internet to a capable connection= at least 90 dollars per month for streaming.
Dish network ranges from 25 bucks for the first 12 months (50 after that) for their basic package up to 40 bucks for the top tier package (75 after 12 months). Looking at other cable and dish options, prices seem to be pretty comparable to this, if not cheaper. So even after the 12 months, it would still be 15 dollars cheaper to have the top tier dish package compared to the cost of having just one streaming media service. Let's say you have an average package.. out the door you're at 65 bucks, making dish network is 25 bucks a month cheaper then streaming from one service provider. I know that costs vary around country, and many people have access to faster, cheaper internet.. but for a large number of people living in semi-rural to rural areas, I think these are pretty typical numbers.
So for many rural households, an average cable/dish package costs 25 dollars less then the average cost to stream tv. What are the pros and cons? Is it worth it? Yes it's convenient and commercial free. You can also watch what you want, when you want and in many cases have access to movies that you're not going to see on regular tv. But that's where it ends. Until bandwidth catches up, and faster internet becomes more available at lower costs- it certainly isn't cheaper. You are not getting local stations. (Yes you can get an OTA antenna, but in many areas, such as my location on the lower end of a ravine and many other rural areas with hilly landscapes or large trees, not all local stations come, and some that do are of poor quality) With the potential to miss a few local stations, you may not be able to watch your local news or sports or anything else you'd like to see on local tv. What about sports? Assuming you do get all of your local stations, there are still many situations where your local team isn't even on local tv. Being near Green Bay, you'd be surprised how many games are on ESPN or similar stations... not to mention your other sports or college games you want to watch. You don't get that streaming.. at least not legally, in good quality. Yes there are options like the nfl package on ps3 and similar deals, but that 350/yr exta for the nfl package and I don't know what else if you want other sports. My point is - while at first glance, it appears that cutting the cord is a great option.. sacrificing a few things to gain convenience and save money... for a lot of people, that isn't really the case.
For me and and many others- we want it, we're ready for it, but the cost, quality, speed, and availability are just not where it needs to be yet. Personally, since I've already got a faster internet for work- the cost of the faster internet is less of an issue.. but even so- the quality is just not quite where it needs to be for movies AND I'd really like to see more pay-per-view NFL sports or more affordable sport-packages/options offered... it would be great if that NFL package offered on PS3 was available on other devices, or better yet- be offered within netflix/hulu as an "upgrade" option (wishful thinking I know.... Cable companies will never let that happen at affordable prices).
As for the big picture... Bandwidth is improving, faster internet is becoming more available, costs are coming down, streaming services are getting better, capable devices are getting better, and people are ready for it. We're getting there, it's coming, but we're not there yet.