Beyond Netflix: Where Your Shows Are Hiding

Roku offers an overwhelming 179 TV, movie and sports channels.Roku offers an overwhelming 179 TV, movie and sports channels.The phrase "cord cutting" is more about what people get rid of — cable or satellite TV — than what they replace it with. There is no perfect replacement, so cord cutting requires juggling a bunch of different video services.

Netflix is popular: Its streaming service gained 3 million customers just in the first quarter of 2013. Hulu is a lot smaller, but it grew to 10 percent of all TV streaming in the same time period.

And still cord cutters don't have anything close to cable. Netflix doesn't have current episodes of network shows. Only some CBS programs are on Hulu (much to the chagrin of some Time-Warner-Cable customers who have lost access to CBS). And neither outlet has sports, which requires specialized services such as for baseball.

MORE: Cord Cutting Dilemma: Should You Keep Cable TV?

Due to licensing deals and costs, there will never be an all-in-one place to go, said Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit, a company that makes the online video search service NextGuide. "Content isn't cheap. Companies forge long-term deals, and nobody can afford to buy everything," said Toeman in an email.

This is baffling for viewers, said Dan Rayburn, analyst with "The average consumer doesn't know where to get what kind of content in what quality and in what business model," he told Tom's Guide.

To see how messy online video gets, look at Roku, an Internet-streaming box that originally had just one killer app — Netflix. Now it has 127 apps for movies and TV, and another 52 for sports (with yet more for music, games and other entertainment).

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  • bambiboom

    As an experiment in sanity I've not watched any broadcast television for the last three months, instead relying for news completely on the immense choices of free and low cost streaming services including> five online newspapers, several magazines, journals, blogs, and for entertainment, Netflix streaming with a side order of YouTube for a particular British program and Hulu for two "fake news"programs only. Radio streaming is also a delight, and I listen to classical music radio from both coasts of the US, the UK, and Holland.

    In this way, I was able to almost completely avoid royal babies, discount political posturing, general hyper- fear mongering, and most importantly of all- advertising. Reality has it's positive points- it's surprisingly calm and quiet. My sense of the shift to content streaming is that there is a massive ground swell of opposition to the intensity and limitations of pre-selected, pre-scheduled, hyper-commercialised content.

    In the late 70's, when living in England, I very nearly didn't see any television for more than five years, and when I did it was the BBC / ITV before British television and radio deteriorated into the corruption of advertising and the sensationalism inspired by the desperate rating hunt and the Dollar Grin. Still, it never sank as quickly and to such depths as broadcast media has in the US. It was a lesson in the potential for sanity and media intelligence not forgotten.

    It doesn't even require scratching the surface of popular opinion to understand the vigour of hatred today for the rigid manipulative stupidity of commercial media and given the immensity of choices that can be called up on the Intertubes, I see a future brightened by the prospect that everything that I see appearing on a screen and hearing from speakers is of what, whence, and when I choose.

    The public is voting with their keyboards and traditional media on every level will learn to fear that encouraging democracy.

    For example, at a cost of about $35 /month (Internet service plus Netflix), I am declaring my own network with a viewership of one and with 100% perfect ratings>

    Cheers from the 'BBN",