Experiment indicates cord-cutting not ready for prime time

The computer-like "lean-forward" proclivities of Internet-based video devices are a major drawback for subscribers who abandon a traditional TV viewing experience, a cord cutting experiment conducted by marketing firm Hill Holiday has determined.

As part of the experiment, five families were given one device--Apple TV (Nasdaq: AAPL), Boxee Box, Google TV (Nasdaq: GOOG), Roku or Xbox360--and told to stop using traditional cable TV for a week. The results were mixed enough to indicate that there's work needed to make cord-cutting devices a mainstream reality.

While there were problems with the hardware, the key problems with the experience were the fact that the devices were more Internet than TV-centric. This was especially true when viewers, accustomed to the always-on aspects of TV, were confronted with having to find content to watch.

"The devices demand a lean-forward involvement with what has been traditionally considered a lean-back medium and this requirement proved disconcerting," Hill Holiday said.

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