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Podcast 120: Television of the Future

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Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Flexo turns the tables and interviews the podcast host Bryan J Busch about his so-called “Television of the Future.”

Bryan developed a moral objection to paying for cable, because it also includes advertising, and you can’t pay for just the channels that you want, so a little over a year ago he canceled the cable, but still manages to watch all the shows that he likes through the Internet, on a normal TV screen (video of his set-up). Most of them are even through legitimate channels.

Flexo talks to Bryan about how the decision changed his viewing habits, what he misses and what he doesn’t miss, and whether television is just a huge time-drain away from more productive activities.

Consumerism Commentary Podcast #120
Television of the Future: S05E16 / 145


Table of contents

[00:00] Introduction from Flexo
[00:34] Interview with Bryan J Busch
[00:55] Is watching television just a drain on your resources?
[03:19] What’s the role of entertainment in modern life?
[05:24] Changes to the TV of the Future hardware in the last year
[07:34] What about shows that you can’t find (legitimately) through the Internet?
[09:44] How has the software changed in the last year?
[11:09] Finding new shows without a TV guide or ads for shows
[12:03] Are you still saving $70 a month, and does the eight-day delay force spoilers on you?
[14:05] Special features and true high-definition are mostly still limited to DVDs and Blu-Ray
[16:53] Multiple reactions to the Netflix price hikes
[19:34] Leaving cable TV on all the time might influence spending behavior
[21:22] Will the ability to skip normal ads lead to more product placements?
[23:06] Is the TV industry making the same mistakes that record companies made ten years ago?
[24:04] What do you do with the extra free time?
[27:18] End

We always welcome feedback from listeners. If you have any comments for this episode or for any other, or if you have suggestions for future episodes, please leave us comments here or email us at podcast at this domain name.

Theme music by Mindcube.

Updated August 10, 2011 and originally published August 7, 2011.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

I am fundamentally opposed to cable companies. if it weren’t for all the children’s programming that my kids love, I would drop it. I can’t stand how much I pay. i am so busy, that most of the programs I want to watch I have to catch on the Internet anyway.

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avatar 2 lynn

I have been struggling with this for a year now. I feel the same way. What holds me back is I live in a rural area and winters are rough. This podcast is helping to push me in the right direction.

Programs are a way for us to zone out and refill our strength.

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avatar 3 wylerassociate

good podcast. I don’t think television is a drain on resources depending on your interests. I’m a subscriber to HBO because I enjoy their documentaries, series, & movies. I’m a subscriber to netflix because of their selection. What I don’t like about the current trend in television is that there is way too many garbage reality tv programs yet brilliantly written and acted dramas like NYPD BLUE, LA LAW, Murder One are no longer on tv.

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avatar 4 skylog

boy, this is one i have been battling for some time now. it is going to come to a head in a month when my promotional deal expires. i so want to rid myself of the cable bill, and to be honest, i do not think i would miss too much. i do not watch many “shows,” and i would be able to get nearly everything i want through other sources, but documentaries, history, science..etc…that i would miss and well, sports, sports is a killer.

i would love to be able to pick maybe 10-15 channels, the al-a-carte dream that we all share, but i know it will never happen.

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avatar 5 qixx

Most of the kids shows have clips all over youtube. hulu covers almost all my other shows. plus tv stations seems to cancel most of the good shows after 1 or 2 seasons anyway. so if i miss a show completely then in 2 years it would be gone anyway.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I’m surprised you didn’t mention the free alternative to cable – Digital-Over-The-Air TV. These aren’t your grandma’s bunny ears – you can get high quality local TV for free (with an antenna and converter box). Often it is higher-definition than digital cable.

Netflix/Hulu/etc. is a great option too. I haven’t had cable in years, and I don’t miss it! I especially like being able to wait until a season is over then binge-watching the entire thing without cliffhangers.

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