Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

A new report presented by Nielsen indicates that 5 million U.S. residents are no longer flipping through the channels in the "traditional" way, and instead are opting for what is being called "Zero TV."

This is not an indication of course that more people are settling in for a good read, selling off their TVs, or getting off the couch. On the contrary. More and more people are simply consuming television programming by streaming the content from the Internet to their TVs, handhelds and other connected devices.


With many streaming services available at very low prices, and consistently offering more and more exclusive shows and movies, there is a dying need for high satellite and cable bills. In addition, "live" TV is becoming more readily available without the need for an antenna, through the same streaming services.

In fact, many people are choosing overlapping services, and at less than $10/month each, they are saving money by 'cutting the cord.' While there are many devices that can sit in between the Internet connection and the television, many SMART TVs are available with capable hardware and software to stream TV wirelessly.

Cutting the cord, so to speak, and streaming entertainment to the TV set

The process is simple.

- A home owner chooses the best Internet money can buy, preferably with unlimited bandwidth.

- Then, they purchase a higher end wireless router if the modem doesn't already have wireless connectivity.

- After configuring the router for security and connecting it to the Internet, they would then configure the TV to connect to the router wirelessly. Wired options are also available.

- Providing the TV is SMART (many Samsung's have this capability), it now has access to the Internet and local network.

- A collection of content (movies, videos, and photos) can automatically be shared from any device on the network, or connected directly via USB (or MHL, or HDMI).

- Additionally, after a streaming service or two has been purchased (many have free trials), the TV enthusiast can then jump into the "smart hub" of the TV and select from the available channels. Channels in this case aren't numbers. They are icons representing an app or service. This opens up to all of the available content included with the subscription.

Streaming TV content options

Many SMART TVs offer free and paid connection to countless media including: movies and TV shows (YouTube, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video), Sports (MLB.tv, ESPN Next Level), Games (Angry Birds and the new-to-come Angry Birds Toons), Information (News, Weather, Maps) and others (Music, Social like Facebook and Twitter, Photos).

It depends a lot on the TV set (model and brand) of course what apps are available. To get even more options, sometimes a set-top-box is put in between the TV and router.

Roku is a popular example, and is available for less than $100. Plus they have a USB stick to plugin to the TVs to remove the need for their tiny box. Roku recently surpassed 700 different channel options. Some of their channels however, like TWC TV, and Fox Now are only accessible to paid customers of their respective services, i.e. non cable cutters.

Some set top boxes include an antenna for live TV, but a lot of times live TV can be streamed direct to the TV from the Internet without an antenna.

Satellite companies, cable companies, TV broadcast networks and more are making their content available in this manner as they see it is an inevitable path to take.

Many TV watchers are also getting more into the interactive "Social TV" aspect of things and use their tablet or smartphone in conjunction to what is being watched on the TV.
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 05:38 AM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

We do most of our television viewing via the computer or ipad. We just have too many activities during the day/evening to watch it on it's regular scheduled date so watching it a few days delayed via the internet is the most convenient way.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 06:44 AM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

We (my family and I) cut the cable cord many years ago and have never looked back. Today's streaming services are plentiful w/ HD video and 5.1 audio available, even OTA has HD / 5.1 so I don't see us ever going back to high monthly cable bills.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 08:45 AM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

I see this reflected everyday in the installations that I do. I might add that most of my customers are also purchasing BluRay players and in many cases find no need for Smart TVs. As an added bonus, a BluRay player has all the same streaming capablilty and is more easily integrated into the new amplifier/receivers available today.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 10:02 AM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

We cut the cord years ago also and opted for the fastest internet available in our area. We also installed a digital antenna (Clearstream4) for OTA. Never looked back as we get all our programs through OTA and streaming (have Roku's in every room). In order to do this, I had to make sure our Ethernet in the home was totally up to it as wireless usually cannot provide enough throughput for multiple streaming - wired is always best.

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post #6 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 07:01 PM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

Quote:
TNichols wrote: View Post
I see this reflected everyday in the installations that I do. I might add that most of my customers are also purchasing BluRay players and in many cases find no need for Smart TVs. As an added bonus, a BluRay player has all the same streaming capablilty and is more easily integrated into the new amplifier/receivers available today.
Yep, plus you can get Blu-Ray/DVD/CD/SACD to boot. I also added a decent HDTV antenna and Netflix account.

Good thread, keithlock!

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-12-13, 10:00 PM
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As soon as they include all of my sports channels I will also cut the cord. I'm almost embarrassed by our monthly cable bill. 2 movie channels and we pay almost $150/month.
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-13-13, 12:10 AM
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The only reason I keep paying for cable is to justify my TV show downloads. It so much more convenient to download everything and dump it into the server where I can watch it through XBMC anywhere in the house.
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-14-13, 11:32 AM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route


We were paying $130 a month for DirecTV, and that was only for the package just above the basic - i.e., no premium channels. They nickel and dime you to death. Half our bill - half! - was for "add ons" like hi def, DVR service, extra basic receivers in the upstairs bedrooms.

We replace their DVRs with a couple of TIVO DVR units that work with a basic TV antenna and also do streaming. Between the TIVO service and subscriptions to Netflix annd Hulu, we're only paying 1/3 of what we were before. An added bonus is that many of the local TV stations play lots of old shows on their "side channels," so we're getting content we never had access to before.

By the way, if you ever want to cancel DirecTV, they'll blow out all the programming you have saved on your DVR. However, you can easily prevent this by unplugging the phone line and internet connection before the cut-off date. Might not hurt to go ahead and and uplug the antenna cables, too

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post #10 of 22 Old 03-14-13, 12:07 PM
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Re: Some 5 million people in the US are going the 'Zero TV' route

I just ordered a new rooftop antenna so we can dump cable for ever! I am tired of the outrageous charges to watch tv shows. We watch maybe 6 channels and have to pay for all the other channels we could care less about.

tia,
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