The Talk of the Nation program on NPR earlier this week discussed “cordcutting”, or cancelling cable and getting your entertainment from other sources. The host, Tony Cox, along with guests Farhad Manjoo, Slate magazine’s technology correspondent, and Pam Allison, a digital media and marketing strategist, discussed and took calls from listeners to cover the options some are taking to live a life without a cable bill. Of course, cordcutting is a bit of a misnomer since it usually involves trading a coaxial cable for an ethernet cable so it doesn’t actually reduce any cables or cord covers from the walkway.
You can read the transcript of the show.
The show covered a lot of the basics and remained in the shallow end of the pool for a lot of the topics. Cutting the cord saves you money but it usually means making sacrifices like not getting to see shows as soon as they air, paying for things like Netflix or Hulu Plus instead, using your computer monitor more than your TV, or having to head to a sports bar to watch your local sports team live. Some of these sacrifices can be avoided by getting the right equipment like an HTPC or DTV antenna or knowing where to look online for streaming options. Still, companies are beginning to fear the cordcutter as a loss of profit. Several introduce a long delay before the episode becomes available through streaming while others (HBO/Cinemax, Showtime, CNN, and Fox) require you to be a paying cable customer with a partner cable company as a sort of video paywall.
A good resource with people that have actually cut the cord and know all about the different options is the cordcutters subreddit on Reddit which tries to do everything legally instead of saying “Torrent everything”, which even Talk of the Nation mentioned.