Streaming Flourishes, but Cable Still Handcuffs Consumers

The new Apple TV remote adds increased functionality.

The new Apple TV remote adds increased functionality.

As the teeter totter of streaming and cable begins to even out, more and more devices are breaking through to make streaming easier for your television. Recently Apple just released the fourth generation Apple TV, with features everyone is talking about.

The big one is the integration of siri functionality. Such as allowing Netflix users to search for movies and control features easier than ever before.

Also, Apple TV introduces some new gaming features that incorporate the remote, doubling as a party-style game console. The games will run on a new operating system titled tvOS, the first time Apple TV will have native games.

But it hasn’t been all positive reaction for Apple. Big criticism has come around for the manual search function on the Apple TV which is simply just a single, alphabetic bar at the top. Possibly a method to prong users to use Siri? If so, a bold strategy.

Also, the new Apple TV isn’t just changing how users experience it, but app developers too. The new product makes it so designers must rely on retrieving data from iCloud for use. Polygon goes into much more detail, including the breakdown of app “slicing.”

What really sets Apple TV apart from its competition is the way it is making TV dependent on Apps the same way our phones have become. It’s made others take notice. In fact, Amazon is now no longer carrying Apple TV or Google Chromecast on their store.

Apple TV is just one of the many options that consumers have to stream on their TV. Roku, and “streaming sticks” like Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick make it easy. But what about options that cut out the middle man and integrate the technology within the TV? SmartTVs.

Samsung, Vizio and TCL are among just a few companies that provide an interface that allows you to stream without any other services, aside from an internet connection. Most of the Internet-ready TVs hover around the affordable range of $200 to $500.

With TVs themselves making it this easy to stream, is the very device that was once two peas in a pod with cable contributing to its imminent extinction?

Huge prices, unnecessary packages and commercials are just a few of the reasons viewers are ditching traditional TV viewing. But what about live TV? Without cable authentication, it can still be a challenge.

WatchESPN requires a cable or Sling TV subscription. And CNN viewers who wish to watch coverage on an Apple TV also need a cable commitment.

It’s the awkward middle ground many media find themselves, the struggle of not falling behind with streaming technology but not losing buckets worth of revenue because of it. For those who want as many options found having cable, subscribing to Apple TV, Netflix, Sling, HBO Go and other subscriptions may add up to similar costs.

But the new technology is allowing consumers to pick and choose their TV portfolio to fit their precise desires.

Channel based hybrid programs like Sling TV may stick for a while, with the recent announcement that Chromecast can now stream Sling. But as TVs and devices continue to trend towards using the internet, the days of cable as we once knew are numbered.

Author: Nick Beaulieu

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