The future of Cable TV…. We better become the best ISP.

Steve White LouisvilleAs the Internet has permeated every aspect of the connected planet, it’s obviously safe to say the Internet is a big deal to video, phone and home entertainment. When we converse strictly about the Cable Companies, it’s clear the triple, quad plays are coming to a close and as such is leading the “cable” industry back to a single service provider. Get ready cable, you need to shape it up fast on all things IP and get in front of the technology.


As we all know, the traditional wired home phone is on the way out, all that remains for future “wired” phone is bulk line delivery for smaller business.


Cable TV video is next to see the same sharp decline. As every new TV will include Internet feeds for video, radio/music, games. It wont be long before you see living room TV’s with web cams built in too, I would guess Christmas this year in High end and next year in just about all of them. Roku will be snuck into the TVs along with apple… if they can get along with others…


Obviously every person in High school and younger will never have the historical “Home Phone”… They wont have “Cable TV” as we know it, either.


As Social Media generates hours of entertainment for the “younger crowd” each night, there need for video entertainment is much lower than the generations before demand. Streaming shows over the Internet will suffice for the majority of the future customer base and as Internet TV improves the current costumers will also get in line and drop conventional cable video delivery.


Issues with lag and speed issues will be resolved, better network connections AND background video “pre-buffers” built into the applications will help. The video pre-buffer will “trickle charge” the first few minutes of the most popular streams in the background of the application or internet enabled TV. Allowing “instant” show starting for the viewer, sounds nice right? The Internet video channel changing experience will improve dramatically the experience will resemble that of today’s conventional TV channel up/down.  Once thats in place, video over the Internet will be accepted by the less technical friendly. Therefore finishing any growth of standard TV delivery, only to see the same growth patterns home phone has experienced.


Think for a moment about the cell phone experience…  It’s in your pocket, it’s wherever you are and it’s easy to use. similarly Netflix, Hulu, Google, Apple and the new NFL Sunday Ticket To-Go, works on the smart phone, tab, computer, TV, Home and even at work. Internet content is wherever you are too.


Now think about cable tv. It works great at home.  Only at home. Sure we are adding HBO and others, but that’s a stop gap.


So the way I see it, someone (Comcast, DirectTv, Dish Network or Time Warner) is going to either pay all the content creators the additional fees to provide the shows via IP TV to everyone, any place, regardless of location or market (Like Netflix, Hulu, Apple, etc)  or the content creators will provide it À la carte via apps, consoles, Tablets, html5 and the internet enabled TV’s.


EITHER way it goes, it will require the cable companies to become the BEST ISP or die on the vine.


A few additional actions we need to investigate and help pioneer will be caching servers for the very internet video feeds that starved out the video service. Making the IP TV feeds from Netflix, Hulu, Google, Apple, ABC, CBS, NBC whoever… smooth, fast and pleasurable. This will draw customers to our Internet service and allow Cable to drop the TV moniker and grow into “Cable Internet


BTW. We better just pony up and make the best cable TV device and add in the Internet video content. We can’t hide it from the customers.


Email me with comments.


Next week I’ll talk about how Cable Internet can go where Wireless/Cellular and Satellite providers can’t.