By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 11:59 am
I keep talking about dumping Comcast, but I’m beginning to think it’s more inevitable than death or taxes. (I recently tried to cancel my Comcast phone line, and they told me that doing so would raise my monthly bill by $4. Checkmate!)
If I stick around with Comcast, I might as well enjoy it–and I’m guardedly optimistic about On Demand Online, the Web-based service which the company is cooking up. It’s signed up a respectable list of content providers: Time Warner, A&E, Starz, and others–and, most recently, CBS. They’ll provide programming for a Hulu-like site that’s supposed to start testing this month.
Unlike the free, ad-supported Hulu, Comcast’s service is apparently going to be available to paying Comcast subscribers only. I hope that means it’ll be ad-free and have access to some shows that Hulu can’t get–in other words, that it’ll be a true Web-based version of Comcast’s On Demand video-on-demand service. (Which, incidentally, I can’t get–it’s not compatible with my TiVo HD box.)
I persist in being perfectly willing to consider paying for content on the Web when opportunities arise–in part because vast amounts of content are simply going to disappear unless the people who own them figure out how to convince consumers to pay up. So even though I continue to flirt with the idea of canceling Comcast and subsisting on a diet of Hulu and iTunes, I’m actually rooting for On Demand Online to be really good. So good, in fact, that I stop talking about kissing Comcast goodbye.