The excitement about the potential death of cable TV and the rush of new internet based content over the Internet has ignored one very important cultural factor that many of us old timers enjoy when we have a free afternoon. That is channel surfing. The ability to casually browse through the channels looking for something new or old that you can watch right now. You are not sure what you want to watch, just something comfortable. It could be a murder mystery, or an action film. You will know it when you see it on the program guide.
Aahh yes. The program guide. Unless you have recently purchased a Tablo.tv recording device and have an over the air antenna, THERE IS PROGRAM GUIDE for IPTV. The whole premise of IPTV is that you pick your content provider (Roku channel or website) and pick your content (NCIS, Glee (HuluPlus) or another show or specific movie) and watch it.
You say well I get the little graphic icons I can browse through and pick something that looks interesting. That is true, but have you ever noticed how long it takes to scroll through all those graphics? I have over 100 Roku channels and another dozen Plex channels to browse. Going through a few of them can easily kill 20-30 minutes. A lot longer than the 5-10 minutes you would normally spend with the program guide you currently use.
Not a big deal? It is if you are married and have kids all looking for something different to watch and the remote is in your hands. Try it sometime. It can be challenging to say the least.
The point is the cultural and behavioral changes you will have to make to completely dump cable and not use the Tablo.tv/over the air option could be dramatic.
How do you fix this problem? As far as I know you can’t. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.