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MGM HD Channel


LawrenceA
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I noticed this afternoon that the MGM HD Channel has disappeared from my cable listings. I've had the channel for many years now, and I recorded off of it often. They showed an eclectic mix of 40's-through-early-00's films from the MGM/UA library.

Has this channel disappeared from anyone else's listings? Is this part of the WarnerMedia group's new ownership changing things up, preparing for the streaming push?

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Here on my end I am seeing the feeds, both on my Directv system's on-screen guide, and on Schedules Direct's feed.  SD gets its info directly from Gracenotes/Tribune Media, large-scale schedule provider to cable services and other vendors.  (SD is a consumer-level pipeline from Gracenotes/Tribune Media.)  I also just checked SD for our local cable provider, Spectrum (no longer a property of Time Warner), and MGMHD is still there too.

Hopefully just a glitch or a mistake.

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4 minutes ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

Here on my end I am seeing the feeds, both on my Directv system's on-screen guide, and on Schedules Direct's feed.  SD gets its info directly from Gracenotes/Tribune Media, large-scale schedule provider to cable services and other vendors.  (SD is a consumer-level pipeline from Gracenotes/Tribune Media.)  I also just checked SD for our local cable provider, Spectrum (no longer a property of Time Warner), and MGMHD is still there too.

Hopefully just a glitch or a mistake.

I did a little looking around after posting and found this on Wikipedia:

[MGM HD] is available via AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Mediacom, Optimum TV and Frontier FiOS in the United States. MGM HD was removed from the Comcast channel lineup in February 2019.

That linked to another article:

https://tvanswerman.com/2019/02/02/comcast-drops-mgm-hd-finally/

 

Comcast Drops MGM HD — Finally

Q. I wanted to watch MGM HD today on Comcast, but it was gone. What happened? — Bev, Baltimore.

Bev, believe it or not, Comcast announced more than six months ago that it would drop MGM HD, but didn’t actually remove it until this week.

What?!

Let me explain.

A Comcast spokeswoman in May 2018 said her company would drop MGM on June 1. Asked why, she declined to give a reason other than to say its carriage contract with MGM HD was expiring and “we don’t plan to continue to carry it.”

But June 1 came and went, and MGM HD stayed on.

Comcast has not given a reason for why it kept the channel on for seven months after its supposed cancellation. But it’s likely for one of two reasons.

1. MGM’s contract with Comcast actually didn’t expire until now. (Possible, but not likely. Why would Comcast say it expired on June 1.)
2. Comcast and MGM tried to work out a new carriage agreement so Comcast kept the channel on while negotiations continued. Then, when it became obvious they couldn’t reach terms, Comcast pulled the plug once and for all. (More likely scenario.)

MGM HD, which launched in 2007, had been available on Comcast systems since 2008. The channel, which is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), features older movies from the MGM library such as Coming Home (pictured above), The Pink Panther, A Shot In the Dark, The Manchurian Candidate,, The Stranger, Mulholland Falls, and Something Wild.

MGM HD is currently available on DIRECTV, U-verse, Verizon, and several smaller cable systems. But Comcast’s decision to drop MGM could make it more difficult to survive in the increasingly competitive category of niche channels.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I noticed this afternoon that the MGM HD Channel has disappeared from my cable listings. I've had the channel for many years now, and I recorded off of it often. They showed an eclectic mix of 40's-through-early-00's films from the MGM/UA library.

Has this channel disappeared from anyone else's listings? Is this part of the WarnerMedia group's new ownership changing things up, preparing for the streaming push?

Our system didn't carry it, but seemed a bit out of date to begin with:

Like "4K streaming!", "HD channels" were a big thing back in '08-'10, when everybody bought their slick new HDTV flatscreen (as per FCC regulations), but nobody could find any programming for it, unless you lived nearby a big-city PBS free-broadcast station*.  Upper-tier channels started "HD networks", some of them just badly upscaled, but by '10-'11, just about everything on broadcast and cable was HD, and whether MGM HD could stay in business was a matter of whether it could corporately compete with HBO and Showtime now going HD.  Most of MGM's content sinking into semi-public-domain probably give some idea of the channel's fortunes too.

It's probably lingered around the big Comcast and satellite services as a zombie channel all this time, and Warner's reshuffle happened to fall in line with the contract renewal.

-----

* - I remember being an early '09 HD-flatscreen adopter, back when there was almost nothing in true HD outside of what local PBS stations were producing, or importing from overseas--If a San Diego station produced a flyover-scenery special, or a Virginia station did a documentary on Pocahontas, we'd see it in Boston.  For almost an entire year, every single night, at the 2am end of broadcast day, our area PBS HD-affiliate aired the half-hour promotional HDTV demo film with Bob "Triumph of the Nerds" Cringely explaining the history of how color TV changed broadcasting, and interviewing Julia Child and Mister Rogers about the technological possibilities of four-channel digital streams.  For early adopters, if you were up at 2am, it became a Rocky Horror-like holy RITUAL to gather and keep the faith.  

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Here's a bit on Directv's add-on package which includes MGMHD (not that this would help you in any way).  Oddly enough it is a bit difficult to find on Directv's own website, which seems to be targeted towards those with attention deficit disorder or short attention spans, rather than providing information.  In any case, Directv has provided it at an additional cost for some time, which may clue us in a bit as to why Comcast cancelled it.
https://www.satellite-reviews.net/direct-tv/hd-extra-pack

Here is Directv's page on it.
https://www.directv.com/premiums/moviesextrapack

And finally I did find their pricing, at the bottom of this page, though not exactly specific to this package:
https://www.usdirect.com/channels/premium-channels

It should really be listed somewhere on this page:
https://www.usdirect.com/packages

I still don't know what it actually costs today.  At the start, it was $5/mo. - and that was...back when?

nice...

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Meh.  I'd let sleeping dogs lie.  That is, if he is happy with his cable service on a technical level. 

Directv is great, but depending on locale the rain fade may be a potential downgrade.  For me it was a massive upgrade, on a technical level.  My local cable really sucked.

Quality of service of both cable and satellite can vary wildly for either.   Location (for satellite), or infrastructure expansion and maintainence (for cable).

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I have no complaints about my cable service, other than the price, naturally. Dish services are poor for my neighborhood, due to weather and obstruction issues. I tried it out once about 15 years ago, and while I'm sure the tech has improved since then, I'm happy enough with my current service. The MGM channel loss isn't a big deal. I still have access to more than I could ever watch in my remaining lifetime. I just don't like seeing channels go that I occasionally watched. Now about the 75 sports channels that I never watch yet have no choice but to pay for...

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I only have cable. No streaming services. Just the opposite LawrenceA. There isn't enough on my cable to keep me entertained. Just last night, I was recording In The Heat Of The Night, because it played at 5 PM out here. Wanted the news. ABC, CBS, FOX. SPORTS! Only NBC had news for me to watch.

Guess I incorrectly assumed the MGM channel was important. I would hope MGM would start to stream, in an effort to make up for lost revenue from Comcast.

I don't like the hardware from Comcast. Miss the old days when the coax attached directly to the TV. For me, that was just over 10 years ago. TCM was nowhere to be found at that time.

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I have Dish.  MGM is still in the listings.  I honestly didn't know I had this channel until a second ago when I looked for it.  Overall I like satellite.  The only con I've found so far is that when we have bad weather (not just normal rain) it can be spotty.  It's not usually a big deal because I have enough movies on DVD and DVR that it doesn't affect anything. 

The con to satellite is they sometimes won't carry all the channels that are available on cable.  I was so excited a few months ago when they managed to make a deal to carry Me-Tv. It's the closest thing to my beloved 1990s-era Nick at Nite that I can find--short of creating my own makeshift Nick at Nite with a combination of DVDs, Hulu and YouTube (to show old Nick at Nite promos). 

I just wish I could get rid of the 500 religious and shopping channels that I have.  I also would get rid of most of the news channels only because I despise watching the "news" when it's a bunch of windbags talking over one another. 

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I looked up Forest Grove, Oregon on TV Fool. There are 18 channels claiming LOS (line of sight) for your town. Except for KOPB, which requests an attic mounted antenna, the other channels could happen for you with an indoor antenna. The TV channel that use to carry MeTV in my area, stopped doing so. As a result, it isn't on cable either. Channels like MeTV are typically broadcast as over-the-air sub-channels. Cable seems more reliable than satellite to put these channels in their line-up.

I didn't mean to snoop, but you show your location, so I checked. I only asked for Forest Grove. Where you actually live may not have the same signal results.

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54 minutes ago, Michael Rennie said:

I looked up Forest Grove, Oregon on TV Fool. There are 18 channels claiming LOS (line of sight) for your town. Except for KOPB, which requests an attic mounted antenna, the other channels could happen for you with an indoor antenna. The TV channel that use to carry MeTV in my area, stopped doing so. As a result, it isn't on cable either. Channels like MeTV are typically broadcast as over-the-air sub-channels. Cable seems more reliable than satellite to put these channels in their line-up.

I didn't mean to snoop, but you show your location, so I checked. I only asked for Forest Grove. Where you actually live may not have the same signal results.

It's more practical for cable to carry subchannels, as each area has its own unique infrastructure.  Satellite (both Directv and Dish) in the US has two types of beams: Spot and Conus (continental US).  TCM would be a Conus beam (a single wide beam - covering the whole country), and local TV channels repeated by satellite would be Spot beams (narrow beams - just covering regional areas - a few states on average or a handful at the most). 

Since the spot beams are able to cover regional areas, the local channels are programmed into your subscription, and are received from the satellite, on a periodic transmission which everybody receives.  In order to receive channels from the next major city or state over instead (but within the same spot beam), one would need to "move", or change the details of their subscription.  Some people actually do this so they can get local sports from other major nearby cities.

The reason satellite (in particular with Directv - as I am familiar with) doesn't repeat the subchannels, is because there aren't enough transponders on the satellite to handle it, with all the different localized spot beams - one set of subchannels for each metropolitan area in the country multiples to a big number.  They could fix this though if they wanted by simply broadcasting only one set of all the more common subchannels (including all the channels people talk about here like METV) using just a single set of conus beams for the whole country.  Make it a subchannel add-on package for $1/mo if that screws up their localized advertising that much.

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57 minutes ago, Michael Rennie said:

I looked up Forest Grove, Oregon on TV Fool. There are 18 channels claiming LOS (line of sight) for your town. Except for KOPB, which requests an attic mounted antenna, the other channels could happen for you with an indoor antenna. The TV channel that use to carry MeTV in my area, stopped doing so. As a result, it isn't on cable either. Channels like MeTV are typically broadcast as over-the-air sub-channels. Cable seems more reliable than satellite to put these channels in their line-up.

I didn't mean to snoop, but you show your location, so I checked. I only asked for Forest Grove. Where you actually live may not have the same signal results.

KOPB is PBS, it's one of the local channels.  I live in the Portland-Metro area so I have pretty good access to all the channels.  ME-TV is a subchannel of KATU (ABC).  It was not available for the longest time, it was added to the line-up last year I believe, maybe late 2017.  I am guessing that perhaps Dish was able to reach an agreement with KATU, perhaps the demand was high enough?? I don't know how it works.  Dish also has an option for an over-the-air antenna (OTA) that you can attach to your hopper.  I was considering purchasing one of these just to get ME-TV, but fortunately I didn't have to, because they added it to the line-up. 

I wouldn't want to rely on antenna-only TV, if only because I wouldn't get TCM and some of the other channels I like, such as Food Channel, Cartoon Network, NFL Network, NFL RedZone and a handful of others.

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5 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I just wish I could get rid of the 500 religious and shopping channels that I have.  I also would get rid of most of the news channels only because I despise watching the "news" when it's a bunch of windbags talking over one another. 

Unfortunately, religious and right-news channels DEPEND on satellites, because, due to the First Amendment, FCC rules only apply to sponsored broadcasting, and not to broadcasters that own their own independent "pirate" hookups.  Which is why a lot of broadcasters that don't want to bother with all that "Fair and balanced" nonsense are so determined to get one.

...That's what you get with the dish, rather than the cable or the stream.

(The Satellite Wars among the televangelists was offered as one interesting theory behind why Jerry Falwell was so quick to join in the public dogpiling on Jim & Tammy Bakker, in Fenton Bailey's The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000) doc.)

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2 minutes ago, jameselliot said:

Comcast in South Florida dumped MGM HD last week (and sadly Decades a few months ago). I liked MGM but I hated their practice of chopping a film in half with commercials. 

We still get Decades on Comcast/Xfinity up here in North Florida, although only in standard definition.

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