The Days of Being Gouged by Cable TV Companies Are Over…

…well almost.

Two services, reported by the Wall Street Journal this morning, look very promising FilmOn.com and Ivi. TV.  Both of these services address my biggest complaint about cable television — cost.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I really dislike paying my cable company for channels I will never watch. The idea of locking into a long term contract for this “privilege” is equally irksome.

Both FilmOn.com and Ivi .TV will allow you to watch broadcast TV directly on your PC or mobile device.  I just tried FilmOn.com on my iPhone and it worked quite nicely.  No software was required, just browse to the website.

Ivi TV appears to be more feature rich, but charges a paltry $4.99 per month with a 30 day free trial.  Setting up this service was simple and fast.  The screen shot (above) is from my local, New York City, broadcast of the Dr. Oz Show.  I even learned from Doc Oz, while writing this Blog post, that Chamomile tea is better for you that a glass of red wine to help you sleep at night.

I wrote “well almost” because neither service provides the ability for you to watch TV on your regular television (at least not yet).  I enjoy television the most when I’m sharing the experience with family and friends or relaxing in bed before falling off to sleep.

In order to watch Internet delivered programming on my regular TV, I recently purchased the $99 AppleTV device.  It works wonderfully, allowing me to watch or listen to anything in my iTunes folder, Netflix, YouTube and a few other service I don’t currently use on my regular TV.  However, if you want to watch a live broadcast programming, like your local sports team, AppleTV is not the answer.

The bottom line is that virtually anything anyone would want to watch is available, via some web based source, for delivery to one’s desktop PC or mobile device.  However getting this stuff to your “real television” is still a kludgy, hit or miss, proposition for tech savvy early adopters.

Troy

Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.

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  • GeeK

    I hope alki David wins this battle. But why are websites like Justin.tv allowed to broadcast DMCA material for free? Soccer games especially. So many movies, television shows are broadcasting 24/7 and you never hear them being sued.

    • GeeK, the networks just may not have gotten around to sites like Justin.tv (which seems pretty cool by the way). Eventually the business models will need to be worked out.

  • There was an interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times that talks about Orb TV, a product that solves the problem I described of getting broadcast TV from your computer to your “real television http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/technology/personaltech/02pogue.html

  • BTW did I say that the Apple TV device is “ALL THAT!” I installed Apple’s Remote software on my iPhone. I can control what is playing on my TV from my iPhone it is like having the best remote control ever made.

    Right now I’m watching a Janelle Monae video I downloaded sometime ago. I never watched the video on my phone I wanted to watch it on my “real TV”. The video and audio quality are excellent (the artistic quality of the video is pretty good too).

    You can even control if you want the sound to come out of you PC or TV speakers. My TV is connected to external speakers so I opted to use those. Here is a link to buy the Apple TV device I doubt you’ll be disappointed — especially if you are an iPhone user.

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