This is a great thread to read..and I say this with all sincerity that we are lucky to have an intelligent group of posters here in this forum. Im impressed at the knowledge and the excellent comments Ive read and have learned a great deal reading info here.
First , let me say that a loss of over 100,000 subscribers is significant. If they were at $70-$100 packages thats 7mil plus in revenues. That should concern any business but it may only represent a small piece of their pie and they are in some respects "too big to fail" with niche markets in apartments, condos and inner cities. They may have gained in their wireless area by selling internet subscriptions so they may have made some of that money back. There is no LOCKNAR device ( yes, got that from Heavy Metal) that you can add to your home and instantly reproduce all the things instantly that tv provides. Im sure everybody knew that. But trends indicate that more is coming and I dont think their market share is coming back regardless of the economy. See Hollywood Video/Blockbuster Video after NETFLIX and see Borders after Kindle and Nook. I think more and more TV stations will look to get streaming going to get stuff on your tablet or smartphone and that puts ROKU in the mix as well.
My cable company seems to provide the best unlimited use net service in my area and they said their primary business is Tv so its cheaper ($8) for me to have their lifeline tv with internet than without. I was ready to cancel it ( looks like mpeg crap)and completely cut the cord but not worth paying a total of $8 more just to say Im a cord-cutter. Yes, you heard me right, they will raise my net service up to $8 more for single service. They seemed to have upgraded it for 2011 and I get 16 channels clearly. Now whether you can get good OTA reception like I can at 30 channels or need to get the lifeline only for about $15 usually...either way..if you are going to cord cut( or cord trim)--for financial reasons or whatever...a good first step is to take the local channels out of the mix. I have an indoor uhf/vhf antenna and a digital-to-analog converter and the whole setup cost less than one monthly bill for pay tv. I get channels that neither DIRECTV or COMCAST has as I am pulling in channels from a network from a neighboring county. Good channels that I watch regularly now and that I didnt know existed. I got their program schedules online. You might as well have the networks, local independants and you wont miss anything of national or local significance.
My computer is old too, but it works and just replaced the monitor with a bigger better display and dont mind looking at it to watch HULU free service and also ok watching ESPN3 even though I would rather be watching on the TV set. I bought the ROKU XD and extremely happy with it and look at that as a great value with plenty of free programming that I will watch. Since Ive had it...all they have done is continue to add more and more channels. I dont think its garbage..I like it a lot and believe I will be entertained. Before you do a cord-cut..I would advise you get your other stuff in place and see what you will have so you know exactly how life will be with more money in your bank account
Now some people out there dont even know what a ROKU is. And some , like I was , probably dont realize the amount of free programming out there that is available. But the word is getting out and the trend can only get bigger. You shouldnt take the 100k number and multiply by 4 and say thats what happens in a year as the numbers should grow exponentially with more options added all the time and people not seeing the value for the money in pay tv. Their (PAY TV)only answer in my opinion is to go to al-a-carte services. I personally dont mind fragmented services since I know Im managing the costs effectively.
I currently have DIRECTV and I have beaten them up bad and got huge monetary discounts and they have almost laid a guilt trip on me for all the offers. I like NCAA basketball and definately want to see the upcoming package for march madness . But in April, they are history.
I will miss Boardwalk Empire,have to buy The Walking Dead series at Amazon VOD, Discovery ID , ESPNs and FOX Sports, TNT and some other tier channel niche programming..but its just not worth the price. I can use that money to buy a real TV!