I hate paying a ridiculous amount of money to my ISP for what I consider to be sub-par service. The reality of the situation is that the ISPs know their business model is antiquated and are struggling to find ways to retain customers. Bundled services, add-ons of channel packages are a thing of the past, and anyone can see that Cable television as it was branded in the 80s and 90s is quickly being replaced by Internet-based content providers such as Netflix and Hulu. Providers are getting into content creation as well, like Yahoo funding the continuation of Community, and Netflix with the hit series House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and more.
I am very fortunate to live in a major metropolitan area between two cities (Philadelphia and Baltimore) that offer a wide array of HD programming for the channels I currently receive, and more. As proven by a friend, he created an HD antenna using a 2x4 board, wire, and a coax connector. He has no issues with receiving a clear signal, with the exception of a major weather event. Connecting directly to a coax cable that connects to his TV, he was able to successfully cut the cord, and pay for only Internet from his ISP.
With that all being said, I am trying my best to cut the cord. I have slashed the number of channels that we currently receive, because most of our viewing has been transferred to these content creators. One of the biggest challenges for my family has been that we are not always home to enjoy some of the shows on standard channels such as ABC, NBC, and CBS. My ISP currently offers an “On Demand” option for us to catch back up on these shows a day after they are aired. Some shows have this available on their respective websites, but most make you wait at least a week after it is aired to watch an episode of your favorite show. This has currently been holding me back from completely ditching television and those giant HD boxes under my consoles.
Microsoft has now solved this issue for me, with one simple device and a software update to the XBOX One system. Currently, there is a Coaxial TV Tuner produced by Hauppauge, which allows you to directly connect your cable input and stream television through your XBOX One. The Microsoft XBOX One team presented at the GamesCom conference that in addition to this functionality, the ability to record live television will be a free service service enabled in 2016. One of the really cool functions is having the ability to utilize the XBOX SmartGlass app on my iPhone, to schedule recordings of shows when I am away from my console.
I feel that although this feature may not be for everyone, Microsoft should market it this feature to the best of their ability to work towards fulfilling their goal of making the XBOX One the all-in-one media console that homeowners want to own. Make it seem like this is the answer to replace outdated devices and business models, and that most of the content people would like to view is on their system only. For now, I look forward to saying goodbye to my television package in 2016.