Ditch cable, save for a flat-screen TV?

November 25, 2008

Everyone wants to save money in these troubled economic times. For those of you craving a flat-panel TV, Bernstein Research suggests you might be able to afford a “nice” LCD model if you cancel your cable bill and utilize free Web video sites like Hulu.com for a year.

In the report “The Nouveau Broke – Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Free LCD TV,” analyst Jeff Evenson says IP video will eventually account for at least 80 percent of all video viewed globally as college students, recent graduates, and young adults — equipped with computers and broadband Internet — find cable less necessary.

The economic crisis could accelerate Web video adoption, he writes:

Some consumers may decide to reduce expenses by canceling video subscriptions (e.g., cable) and viewing content over the Internet … we conclude that making the switch could easily pay for a “nice” LCD TV in under a year if consumers utilize advertising-supported content and 3 years with reasonable use of “for fee” downloads.

Using the simplest option of buying a 32″ HD LCD TV using only free IP Video content, the payback period is 6 months and the consumer would save $1,300 over a three year period

With many top-rated network TV shows now available for free online, plus the likes of Netflix, Evenson says the cost of buying an LCD TV, a box to connect it to your computer, and content, is now less than the cost of basic cable packages.

As for where you can find your favorite shows online? Bernstein provides this table:

Keep an eye on

  • Sumner Redstone recently proposed to sell National Amusements’ 1,500-screen theater chain to help pay off debt, but it may not be enough to placate his bankers because there’s no agreement on what the theaters are worth (New York Times)
  • Blockbuster said it will roll out a new digital media player that brings fewer, but more recent titles from the Internet to consumers’ televisions than a six-month old offering from rival Netflix (Reuters)
  • Warner Music Group’s quarterly earnings beat Wall Street estimates but the company said results in early fiscal 2009 may look worse than later in the year due to its music release schedule and the global economy (Reuters)
  • New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, founded by actor Robert De Niro after the Sept 11 attacks, plans to stage a new festival in Qatar next year (Reuters)

(Photo: A worker cleans parts of the Samsung exhibition stand at the International Funkaustellung consumer electronics fair in Berlin, 27 August 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)


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I found a new beta site that offiers nicely organized movies and tv shows and updates them on the HOUR. http://www.ovpulse.com kind like my Yahoo for movies and tv shows, they also sport overlay ‘chat’ while watching a movie or tv show…

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I looked at this, and Hulu appears to use Flash. Both my Computer screen running windows and my TV with Nvidia and Linux have nasty looking periodic horizontal sheering of the image during pans. I don’t think Flash has any de-interlace options. This happens on Youtube as well. A better option is to just record and playback over the air. I am using mythtv and over the air, and it looks much better. This would be OK if I miss a show.

Posted by John Klug | Report as abusive

[…] Ditch cable, save for a flat-screen TV? – Reuters BlogsEveryone wants to save money in these troubled economic times . For those of you craving a flat-panel TV, Bernstein Research suggests you might be able to afford a “nice” LCD model if you cancel your cable bill and utilize free Web video sites […]

Posted by Police: Burglars caught trying to steal 55-inch TV – Lincoln Journal Star | Flat Screen TV Including Plasma TV | Report as abusive