Here’s more evidence that regular people have zero time for things like Google TV, Boxee, and Roku, if only because they’re too complicated for their own good. Hill Holiday, a “caffeine-fueled ad agency,” asked five Boston-area families to participate in a cord-cutting experiment. For one week each family was asked to forgo traditional cable TV in favor of one of the following devices: Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee Box, Xbox 360, and Roku. These devices, of course, are the premier devices for people looking to break free of their cable company while still being able to enjoy television. And how did it turn out for these five families?
If you’re someone who merely watches TV to unwind before going to bed, the absolute best device you can buy right now is a traditional cable TV box. Call the cable company, have them set it up, and you’ve got access to literally more programming than you could ever consume. Live sports, news, game shows, comedies, drama, reality TV as far as the eye can see—the works. There’s no buffering and there’s no hoping that your Wi-Fi network won’t crash. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
The families also complained that using these devices transformed TV-watching into an active experience. No! They used to call TV the idiot box for a reason: you sit back and let it all come to you. “Oh, look, Seinfeld is on, let’s watch that.” Or, “Wow, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is on, let’s watch that for the hundredth time.”
There’s a difference between A) channel surfing, having something catch your eye, then you committing an hour to watching it, and B) sifting through page after page of listings, nestled 400 menu screens deep, only to find that the movie you finally decided upon—an exhausting endeavor—isn’t even available in HD. Gee, thanks.
The question becomes, exactly how is that better than watching regular TV? Isn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier, and not more frazzled?
Of course, none of this is to say that cord-cutting doesn’t work for some people, because clearly it does, but it does show that not everyone is as keen on the concept as some of its proponents online would have you believe.