The End of TV?

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The cable TV business had its worst year ever in 2013, and both cable and broadcast TV have seen negative ratings growth since 2011. Why are people shutting off their cable service, and how can you do the same?

A Fuzzy Picture

5 million
People who abandoned their cable and broadband subscriptions between 2010 and 2013; that’s about the same as the combined populations of Chicago and Houston simply no longer watching cable TV
Nearly 1 in 4
Charter Communications subscribers who are broadband-only, indicating that many people are getting their entertainment online or through mobile apps
22.8%
Growth in cable-dropping in 2013

It’s Not Just About Cable — We’re Watching Less TV

Estimated number of active users in the U.S.
294,000,000 TV
200,000,000 Facebook
235,000,000 Google
As you can see, Facebook and Google aren’t far behind TV, and TV had about a 50-year head start.

Why Ditch TV?

Simple: It’s expensive.
77%
Increase in cost of cable services since 1996
$60
Typical monthly bill for most basic service
$7.99
Monthly cost for Netflix streaming

Want to Cut the Cord? Here’s How

If you don’t care about watching any TV programming, you can simply cancel your service. But if you, like millions of others, still want to be able to watch programming, here are some of your options (the legal ones, anyway):
Antenna
Remember the days when you could watch network television for free? Those under 25, ask your parents. Those channels are still available for free if you have an antenna. No, we aren’t talking about the clunky rabbit ears. Antennas have changed in looks and performance. They’re digital now, and they pick up a lot more stations than they did before in striking clarity.
Set-top box
Another way to get free network TV is to choose your hardware for on-demand programming delivered via your Internet connection. You may already have this capability in an existing device, including Xbox, PlayStation or Wii; or smart TV or Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi.
DVI to HDMI cables
These little cables help sync your computer’s feed to your TV. This way you can access any website you choose and have it played directly on your TV. You can take your pick between any number of streaming sites and all you need is a secure Internet connection. The cables are usually about $6.
Roku
Roku offers more than 300 channels, from Amazon to Angry Birds. The box also streams Internet radio like Pandora, in addition to games, apps and video.

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SOURCES:
http://www.businessinsider.com
http://www.forbes.com
http://abcnews.go.com
http://www.nytimes.com
http://www.thewire.com