We are heading into a Golden Age of TV, though you probably would never guess that judging by how much bad TV is on. While there is still a plague of awful TV on most cable stations, there are more and more places that want good content and are being competitive in trying to get it. Much of this is due to the Internet and the new watching habits of the general public. Cable TV isn’t the only way to watch the best shows anymore. Streaming content on the Internet is the new frontier and it’s not reliant on advertiser dollars, but rather what people want to pay to see. The audience gets to decide what they watch, not the advertisers and networks. Welcome to democracy in entertainment.
Amazon, the juggernaut company that allows you to buy just about anything from the comfort of wherever there is a decent Internet connection, launched 14 online-only shows on its service known as Amazon Prime, according to TheDailyBeast.com. Amazon is becoming more aggressive at licensing shows, according to the Wall Street Journal, and developing its own original series. The subscription fee for the whole service is around $80 a year, but this gives you all the shows that are unique to Amazon and a lot of other shipping perks. You help decide which shows stay on and which shows don’t. While it has 14 shows launched and are just tipping its toes into the whole TV distribution business, it’s exciting to see happening.
Photo of Amazon options by joe.ross via Flickr
Meanwhile, Netflix has changed the industry in one fell swoop earlier this year with the launch of its high-end political series “House of Cards,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Netflix recently launched a feature that allows users to stream up to four videos simultaneously. For a streaming subscription of about $8 a month (making it $96 per year) you can have all your Netflix-original and rented content streamed directly through your Wii, Xbox or Playstation 3 console to your TV. This turns your console into the only cable box you will ever need. However, Xbox charges a yearly subscription fee of $60 or so, bringing the overall cost to more than $100 per year, if you want to watch Netflix on your TV. Using the Wii and Playstation consoles are free. You could also always run it directly from your computer to your TV.
Photo of Netflix streaming by swanksalot via Flickr
More money can be saved and you can watch whatever you want. According to www.direct-ticket.netâ€‹, most satellite packages cost around $30 per month, which will cover most of your standard cable needs and a lot of on demand streaming capabilities of the newest shows out there. With the growing on-demand viewing with companies such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix, cable companies are making it easier for people to customize packages with things such as DVRs, channel selections and pausing features.
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