Also, not if you include YouTube and all those on-demand videos and channels in Apple TV. In fact, the only real benefit to Apple TV 4K is 4K HDR streaming and that’s where cable TV wins the race.
Content Is King
My cable TV plan gets me over 300 channels and much of that video fare isn’t easily duplicated on Apple TV, 4K or older, despite all those streaming options and apps as channels. Don’t get me wrong. I would be happy to dump my cable TV service. Again.
I see three major problems that must be solved before I cut the cord.
First, price. For now, I pay a little over $100 a month, but a chunk of that is internet service. Cable TV companies package internet with various cable plans but when you unbundle the internet price often goes up. That $100 a month does not include the monthly fees to Amazon for Prime Video viewing or Netflix for a few thousand movies I’ve never heard of and won’t watch. And, it does not include iTunes video rentals– movies and TV– which add to the ongoing monthly fee just to be entertained.
Second, video selection. The combo of cable TV and Apple TV 4K can’t be beat because the latter includes apps for streaming video packages and Netflix, but the monthly costs are ongoing anyway. Cable TV offers local television channels and some networks that are not available on Apple TV applications. Some local TV channels can be had by antenna, but I live in the city and antenna reception is all about location, location, location.
Third, navigation and convenience. Alright, the Apple TV 4K remote sucks, but it’s easier than using the cable TV remote with 139 buttons, but nobody actually uses all those buttons but at least they are named. When it comes to navigating through apps as channels I prefer the cable TV remote. Seriously. With Apple TV not only do you have to navigate the screen to find the apps, then you have to navigate the application itself, whereas on the cable TV remote I just press a channel number and it’s done.
Streaming on demand has its place and overcomes live TV except for news and sports, but in my world the DVR is the most advanced technology platform ever. The only thing we watch live are local news and sports which are Apple TV’s achilles heal. Everything else is DVR and that means we can always stream whatever video we saved.
That’s hard to beat. Google YouTube TV is available here in San Francisco, of course, and it’s compelling but limited. The DVR function works great, but channels are highly limited by comparison. I like the view anywhere option on any device, though.
The whole idea for cutting the cord is to get out from under the cable TV company’s iron thumb. Price. But the combo of internet bundled with TV fare is compelling, and using Apple TV as the TV’s second input choice broadens both appeal and channel selection.
Apple TV 4K just isn’t compelling enough to cut the cable TV cord. Yet.