Broadband and DVD Usage Rises

Welcome to the new millennium:

Dial-Up Internet Going the Way of Rotary Phones (NYT | RSS)

[Michelle] Phillips is among the seven million Americans expected to drop their slow Internet connections this year for high-speed lines, which are as much as 100 times as fast and are always on. As recently as six months ago, a majority of Americans were using dial-up connections at home. In the first quarter of this year, broadband connections for the first time overtook dial-up.


Last year, 36 million American homes, or 52 percent of all households with Internet access, used dial-up services, according to SG Cowen, the brokerage firm. That percentage is expected to drop to 40 percent at the end of this year. At the same time, cable and phone companies are expected to add 8 million broadband subscribers this year, bringing their total to 38.7 million.


In the first quarter of this year, D.S.L. providers signed up a record 1.38 million subscribers, while cable companies added 1.19 million new broadband customers, according to the Leichtman Research Group.

Price is a significant factor in the shift. According to a survey by Goldman Sachs, when broadband connections are priced below $29 a month – closer to the average cost of dial-up service which is around $20 – twice as many consumers sign up.

Blog readers often take high-speed connections for granted. But many people, like some of my relatives, are just becoming familiar with the technology and finding enough usage for it. Every once in a while, it’s instructive to read about how the internet is still very much catching on, as it were. Meanwhile:

Americans ‘Prefer’ DVDs to Cinema (BBC)

Most Americans would now rather watch films at home than at the cinema, a poll has suggested.

Seventy three per cent of adults said they preferred watching movies at home on DVD, video or pay-per-view to going to a cinema.

The survey of 1,000 adults also found that 47% said films were getting worse.

The results come as the US box office experiences its worst slump in 20 years. The number of cinema-goers has dropped for the last two years running.

Just 22% of people said they would rather see films at the cinema, in the survey for the Associated Press news agency and AOL News.

A quarter of those surveyed said they had not been to a cinema in the past year. On the plus side, a third of people believed movies are getting better.

Eighty per cent said they used a DVD player at home.

(Via IndieWire.) These numbers are precisely what I had in mind when I discussed the limitations of quantifying overall moviegoers’ opinion.

As an aside, I very much enjoyed Batman Begins. Hopefully, people avail themselves of the opportunity to experience it in the theaters, where such a phenomenon deserves to be seen.

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Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. bryan says:

    Even some of us blog readers can’t get high-speed at a decent price at home, so we’re stuck on dial-up.

  2. Scott in CA says:

    I used to enjoy certain big movies in the theater. Now, with a 42″ HD TV with surround sound, Doby whatever-version-I have, etc, I just can’t be bothered. The last several times I went to the theater, the print was bad, the sound was bombastic, 30 minutes of ads, chatty teens on phones, surly ushers who wouldn’t tell them to knock it off, $3 bottle of water, etc. You get the picture, and I am not alone.

  3. Scott in CA says:

    Ooops, and they’re bringing out those HD DVDs soon, and the new HD TVs are compatable.