The Future; Digital Platforms vs. Cable Television

3 min read

Television has always been an important part of our lives. It is one of the main sources of entertainment in most homes worldwide. This allows the television to gain power, as a great resource of publicity and propaganda during its whole history. This is the reason why this platform has been the focus of major technological improvements in the last couple of decades. It has given birth to digital television besides the prior analog television. As a consequence, we are haunted looking forward to finding out what the future holds for both digital platforms and cable television. So, in order to try to understand what the future has for us, we need to understand our present. In other words, we need to know what their differences are and where we stand regarding these two platforms.

Cable Television

image of a person watching the cable television

In the past, we only had air TV which was free but only had some channels. At the beginning of the 50s, cable TV was invented and introduced in some parts of the U.S., and then to the world. Even though cable TV is paid, it has always been the most popular choice since it offered a wider variety of channels and their content. Of course, we are talking about analog cable TV. It provided the users with better definition in their broadcast, alongside premium packages. The premium packages allowed you to access channels with exclusive content like sports transmissions and recently released movies. With all this, TV marketing, publicity and propaganda gained a great power and became an important part of the economy around the world.

Digital Cable TV

image of a digital cable television

Then, digital cable TV was invented during the 90s. The revolution in home entertainment came with the opportunity of having even more options on channels and a lot more premium contents. Not only that, but digital TV also performs two kinds of definitions. These are SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition). Besides having an improved stability in the signal, standard definition also gives us better quality in the images and brighter colors. The quality of high definition TV has been an incredible advance in the digital platform. It provides us with more amazing quality in graphics, granting us astonishing realistic pictures.

Moreover, digital TV gives us the chance of recording the programs that we cannot see. This is because of work or other out-of-home activities in our daily life. You can program your TV set-top-box so it automatically records those programs. By doing this, you can watch the programs later at the most convenient time. You also have a limited number of programs that can be recorded. Another important feature of digital TV is the possibility of paying for a specific exclusive program or movie for a specific time during the day. It really feels like going to the cinema in the comfort of your home. One example of this is the service Pay Per View in DirecTV. It is one of the most popular digital TV companies.

Digital Platforms for the Future

image of digital platforms like Netflix, huluplus

With all the innovative advances and the exploitation of the internet, there are very good reasons to say that we are living the future today. And part of this future, comes with the new digital platform for entertainment. The digital platforms uses internet directly to provide us with a great selection of content. This contents varies from music, series, movies, and to programs of all kinds. Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, are just some of the companies that are gaining more and more fame as we speak. Netflix has already reached more than 130 countries. Trying not to stay behind, Home Box Office (HBO) created its own streaming service in order to keep up with the market.

More Incoming

image of Disney

The digital platforms of entertainment are gaining a wider public. This is the main reason why the most important companies are also trying to get in the business. Disney has announced their new digital platform called “Disney Now”. This new platform provides their users with all the content from their four channels. That is, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Radio Disney. And, they are not the only ones, I am more than sure that we will be hearing very soon from other companies that will follow their path, since this is what the future asks for.

Advantages of Digital Platforms

image showing Netflix app on a digital mobile device

The advantages of these platforms are very specific and are the ones that are making them unstoppable. It is quite difficult to deny their popularity because of the following:

  • You can select the specific content that you want to watch.
  • You can watch the content at the most convenient time for you and in any order you want.
  • This experience does not only limit itself to TV sets. This is because, there are APPs that allow you to enjoy any of this content using the device that you prefer. For example, Android, Apple, PC, Linux, and other smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, computers, etc.
  • Another very important point is that these platforms is actually cheaper than digital cable TV. For example, the price of DirecTV varies between 35$ and 70$ every month. On the other hand, Netflix offers its service for $10.99 to 14.99$ monthly.

The downside of these platforms is that you need an up-to-date television in order to enjoy them. However, you won’t have problems with most television sets nowadays. It is with the old ones that people encounter problems.


It is very evident now why people are talking about the possibility of extinction of the traditional television. Well, to be fair, the success of these digital platforms in the future and their inevitable continual spread throughout the world, does not necessarily means that traditional television will disappear. So, the fight for the future of digital platforms and cable TV is not finished yet. Even if the first has the clear advantage at the moment.

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