Ditch cable, save for a flat-screen TV?
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)