Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Here are two ideas that sound better than they are.

1) Cord cutting: Yeah, I know I sound old. I mean, why should I keep shelling out money for U-verse when I can get Hulu LLC on my laptop, iTunes on my Apple TV, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) on my Wii and Roku Inc. on my -- wait! -- Which device uses Roku, again? And what about Amazon.com Prime? Doesn't that already come embedded in my TV or do I have to get a Google TV? And Google TV, that's got YouTube, on it, right? With the keyboard?

Anyway, I know I can watch just about any show I want anytime I want. The problem is I can't find anything ever, including the remotes. Especially the remotes.

Don't get me wrong: I think Boxee and related services are brilliant and I wish them well. But during the NBA Finals they're not brilliant at all. They're useless.

2) Consumer Cloud Services: I love the idea of taking all my songs, uploading them to a service "in the cloud" and then having them available for me to play on any device, anywhere. Here's the thing: I don't have time. My broadband service is pretty typical of a telco broadband experience. By that I mean it has no upload capability whatsoever.

I can share files at about 256Kbit/s upstream on a good day. So if I wanted to use the allotted space in, say, Amazon.com's Cloud Drive (5GB), I'd have to spend somewhere around 87 hours just doing the upload. That would require several good days. And let's not forget I need to spend time deciding what I want to send up and what I want to keep here on Earth.

I'm eager to see what Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) can do with its iCloud service because the iTunes Match component suggests that I would only need to upload a fraction of my music collection, not the whole thing. That could be cool. We'll see. For now, I'd rather put my CDs in a box and mail them to Amazon.com instead of spending weeks managing a giant cloud-seeding project.

Like cord-cutting, consumer cloud services sound great on paper. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to keep doing things the way I always have. For now.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Leininge1 12/5/2012 | 5:02:38 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Phil, do you really own CDs???

Leininge1 12/5/2012 | 5:02:37 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Rip 'em!

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:37 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Sadly, yes. But each year I get rid of more and more of them as they become available on iTunes or somewhere else.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:36 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

you bring up an interesting point: I wonder if we had the ability to purchase channel bundles that made more sense if more people would shrug off all these OTT competitors.

Full disclosure: I love my Apple TV but it is it's own island. I'd love to live without it and I'd love for my set-top and DVR to exist in the cloud.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:36 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

I do, as needed. I don't have time to build and maintain a digital library, so I just prune the discs as I go. At this rate I'll be analog free in 2030.

ravanelli 12/5/2012 | 5:02:36 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Couldn't agree more on cord cutting, I can't imagine having friends over to watch a big game and putting my faith in some streaming service.

Also, I think it's a zero sum game in the end for the consumer...Hulu's ads are becoming more and more intrusive, in fact with my DVR I watch fewer ads in an episode of 30 Rock than I would watching Hulu.  

I don't like cable/sat TV bundles but the reliability and convenience are still worth paying for.

ethertype 12/5/2012 | 5:02:35 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

Maybe you don't have time for Amazon's cloud, but doesn't this objection disappear with iCloud?  As I understand it, if you check a box or two, everything you have in iTunes gets synced to iCloud automatically.  Might take a few hours/days given your crappy broadband, but you don't have to sit around and watch it happen.

Objection eliminated.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:35 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

It could indeed. Like I said, we'll see. I do like the idea of matching vs. uploading.

That's really my main point -- clouds will really work in consumer's lives if they require very little set-up and no up-front work.

So, yes, iCloud sounds good. But we haven't seen it yet so we'll see.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:34 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds

True, I am naturally reluctant to burn more calories at a computer than I have to.

Another thing: I don't know what or how much of my music is DRM protected. Didn't consider that might be a problem.

Interesting to hear that Amazon's service works well with the G1. We assume it works great with PCs and Macs. So all that's left are iOS devices. Have you had a chance to test those yet?


paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:02:34 PM
re: Cord Cutting & Consumer Clouds


The only IOS device I had was an iPad touch.  I did not look yet to see if it has an app, but the browser streaming was NOT supported over that version of Safari (it did work on my Mac's version of Safari - just tried that).

I will have to poke around on my iPad Touch tonight to see if I can find a workable browser or an Amazon App.



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