How could I get rid of cable TV?

My earlier post on using Netflix on my cable TV has gotten me thinking. Realistically, how could I realistically ditch my Cable TV bill and use just Internet streaming, over-the-air TV signals, and DVD rentals? A move that could easily save me $60 a month.

After some careful consideration, I think the following would need to happen:

  1. Access to live streaming video of sporting events. There is some moment in this direction with ESPN360.com, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter Live, etc. In fact, outside of NFL Network broadcasts, I do not think any NFL games are available online. In order to cut the cable bill, I would need to be able to access live streaming of my team’s games, no matter where I am located. I am willing to pay for it too.
  2. A well designed and reasonably priced HD device that allows for streaming feeds from multiple providers while also allowing me to use my local content. What I envision is a meld between a Roku player, Boxee, and AppleTV.
  3. Live news feeds when needed. Obviously watching the 24-hour news networks is like asking for your brain to turn to mush, but for live breaking stories or even as general background noise for an hour, they cannot be beat. While some occasionally offer live feeds on their sites, I do not see any permanent live feeds available…yet.

How are we doing so far?

#2 you can argue is pretty close to being accomplished. If Apple were to come out with AppleTV version 4 with “app” support that allowed Netflix, Pandora, MLB.TV, etc. to create apps that run on the AppleTV, that would clinch that part for me.

That would also open the door for #3 to occur and potentially, #1 once a big enough market can be generated for someone (my money is on MLB.TV) to remove blackout restrictions. In fact, MLB appears to be moving in that direction already with deals with the Yankees and Padres to stream in-market games.