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Most people have access to broadcast TV. Cutting the cord doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy broadcast TV. Simply get an inexpensive TV antenna and tune in to your local TV stations. All TV stations offer digital broadcasts and most are in HD.
Some may say, why not just do something else? You can read a book, take a walk or play a game. For me, TV time is about relaxing after a long day. I don’t want to read anything, as I have been reading and writing all day long. For many people, reading a book or doing something else is a great alternative.
Is Apple TV Unreliable?
Readers may wonder if Apple TV is unreliable. Streaming video is a little bleeding edge, but cable and satellite aren’t perfect either. In fact, I cancelled digital cable because it proved to be unreliable. Satellite subscribers often have outages during heavy weather. DVD and Blu-Ray rentals are sometimes scratched and unplayable. Even broadcast TV can be affected by bad weather or power outages.
I use my Apple TV every day, and I find it to be very reliable. My Internet service is usually the problem. Apple TV will only be as reliable as your Internet connection. I thought my Internet service was great, until I relied on streaming video as my main source of entertainment. Content providers are also very reliable. Netflix outages are extremely rare. There’s a lot of redundancy in data centers.
Some Internet service providers will throttle heavy data users. The threshold for throttling is surprisingly low. I had to switch between many ISPs until I found one that doesn’t throttle users, only because they were sued for doing so and lost.
When an ISP offers an unlimited plan, read the fine print. You will usually see a limit. After you hit the limit, they will slow your Internet connection speed. People who mainly watch cable or satellite TV probably won’t experience throttling when they use Apple TV on occasion. When you cut the cord, you may find your Internet service isn’t as unlimited or reliable as you thought.
There is a conflict of interest. Most ISPs also provide cable television service. I had a lot of problems when I cancelled cable TV, but kept cable Internet service. It would appear that some ISPs will throttle Internet-only users in order to thwart streaming video. Your data usage will go up when Apple TV is your primary source of video entertainment. This will put most users in jeopardy of being throttled.
I think there will be an upcoming conflict between streaming media providers and Internet service providers. I also expect Internet providers to increase their rates and eliminate unlimited plans.
The main impediment to streaming video is corporate greed. Since most ISPs sell cable TV subscriptions, don’t expect them to support customers who only subscribe to Internet service and use a streaming device. I have experienced this first hand. These aren’t technical limitations. Most people have had broadband capable of streaming HD video for a decade. ISPs often fool users into great deals, lock them into a contract, and then throttle them if they prefer streaming video over cable TV.