Does DirecTV and Dish Network have reason to lose sleep? Maybe. With so many of us living our lives through our computers these days, it’s not unrealistic to notice the woman next to you at the airport catching up on the latest season of “CSI: Miami” via the ‘Watch Now” feature on Netflix. What could be better than to see Cary Grant on your terms and when it’s most convenient? Classic movies such as “People Will Talk”, Paul Newman’s classic, “Sweet Bird of Youth” and even “Niagra”, one movie many say could have launched Marilyn Monroe as a serious actress can now all be seen on Netflix.
But it gets better. Fancast, Hulu and Joost are all increasing their member bases with those folks who’ve grown tired of expensive satellite and cable bills and are now opting to watch free or with a very low membership fee their favorite television shows and movies. Want to catch the entire last season of “Friends”? No problem. It can be found easily on Fancast. Hulu is an excellent source for Fox Network’s hits, including “House” and USA Network’s “Royal Pains”. But the question is, do these alternative sources measure up to what we’ve grown accustomed to via our traditional TV sets?
When I discovered myself opting for Netflix’s On Demand feature over satellite television, I wondered if it would be a viable option. No doubt I’d save over $100 a month, but would I have withdrawal symptoms if I killed the satellite service? I figured, “Why not?” I could always reinstate the service if I wanted and who knows, it just might be that I don’t miss reaching for the DirecTV remote at all. So, a month after having terminated my service and countless phone calls from my provider, encouraging me to take advantage of whatever specials they had going on in their efforts to gain me as a customer again, I’ve not missed it one bit. Not even a little.
For $9 a month, I get unlimited Netflix. I don’t even order the DVDs, mostly because it feels like too much of a chore, and besides, the On Demand feature has more than I could ever want to see and as it turns out, I’m discovering I’d rather watch those old classics anyway. The many seasons of Law & Order are available (always my weakness) and I get so many breaking news emails, I’m sure I’m as current on the day’s news as even our political leaders.
Between the aforementioned online services, along with ABC, TVLand, Fox, NBC and a few others, as it turns out, I have more access to more shows than my satellite provider could ever even hope to offer…and the best part? I get to keep that $100+ each month.