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Alternatives to cable


Kid Dabb

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  • 3 weeks later...
The Motley Fool

 

By Michael Nielsen 

July 28, 2014

 

2 Factors Leading to the Demise of Cable TV

 

People have been predicting cable TV's demise for decades now. However, despite all of the gloomy projections, many companies in the cable TV industry still experience substantial revenue growth year after year. This has caused many to believe the upcoming cord-cutting revolution is just hype. But we must remember that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Just because revenues haven't dropped yet, doesn't mean they won't drop in the future. That being said, let's look at how technology and demographics may affect cable TV providers such as Comcast, mass media companies such as CBS Corporation, and media network companies such as Walt Disney. READ MORE..

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why of course the predicted decades-long demise of cable has always been hype.

 

for this reason...

 

it was predicated on the short-sighted assumption that someday everyone would be willing to bankrupt themselves by spending thousands and then hundreds of dollars on buying a satellite dish.

 

 

cable converter boxes are quite a bit smaller and mean less fuss.

 

bulk and weight is what killed the CRT TV.

 

cable was also well-established when the satellite dish came along plus I think many concluded that satellite dish technology woulda made more sense as an avenue to programming without any fees

 

cable was already here so what was the point?

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cable was also well-established when the satellite dish came along plus I think many concluded that satellite dish technology woulda made more sense as an avenue to programming without any fees

 

cable was already here so what was the point?

 

The reason I've never seriously considered switching from cable to satellite is because I've heard too many stories about satellite reception going out in inclement weather. Plus, it costs pretty much the same as cable, if not more.

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I believe that a significant factor is that most alternatives to cable television rely on streaming over Internet. Most cable companies are now also Internet providers. It is in this way that what customers they lose on one side become customers for other side.

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Eh, if all those cable/satellite channels were better quality, no one would balk at PAYING for TV. I think 90% of subscribers only watch a few choice channels of their liking.

Once those channels are dropped or change content (like the Discovery channels) and people's income drops, they rethink the "value" factor of what they're receiving for that amount of money.

 

Internet streaming and Netflix type "renting" is the closest thing to "a la carte" viewing which is what everyone says they want these days to separate the wheat from the chaff. Yes, many of the same "providers" but they have to increase the quality and keep the costs reasonable to bring those who "cut the cord" over.

 

I've not had cable for over 2 years and am more informed and entertained now then when I had it.

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  • 4 months later...
Now, there will be HBO NOW; through Apple devices. Availability for other platforms is expected.

 

HBO has cut the cable cord by teaming up with Apple. For approximately $15 / mo , you can stream HBO on your Apple device with absolutely no connection to a cable service provider.

 

This system, when adopted by other content providers, will be rather pricey to those who must have more than a few channels - maybe they'll get it down to $10 / channel / mo.

 

I hope TCM jumps on this wagon.

 


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Now, there will be HBO NOW

 

Yup, when I heard this on the news I thought, "The ball is rolling..." I think it's the beginning of channel a la carte arriving. More and more people are dissatisfied with cable channels dreck along with high prices.

 

Hopefully the tides will change ushering in a new "competitive market" where services & prices don't make you feel as if you're held hostage. Internet providers should follow-it's a crime what Americans pay for internet service providers.

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  • 1 month later...

Thread could be "Alternatives to cable bundling" -- cable a la carte would be fine with me.

 

I cut Comcast and I'm really missing TCM.  Cozi (which is broadcast in the DC area) is not a satisfactory alternative.

 

However ... the following enheartens me, if it's a straw in the wind --

 

https://willmckinley.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/tcm-takes-first-step-to-cutting-the-cable-cord/

 

I still can't understand why Sprint TV seemed to add every Turner channel except ...

 

One word of advice for cable-cutters:  I've read that there is no such thing as a "digital antenna."  More precisely, there is, but it's a marketing device.  Any old antenna will do; more important is location, location, location (in your house).  The old "analog antenna" I was lucky enough to still have on my roof works jes' fine (too bad I'd thrown away the rotator).

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Welcome, Launce.

 

Yes, the airwaves still contain free broadcasting which, as you mention, can still be pulled in via the old rabbit ears or rooftop antennas.

 

I grew up in the D.C. metro area and cable was never anything to brag about.

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Now, there will be HBO NOW; through Apple devices. Availability for other platforms is expected.
 
HBO has cut the cable cord by teaming up with Apple. For approximately $15 / mo , you can stream HBO on your Apple device with absolutely no connection to a cable service provider.
 
This system, when adopted by other content providers, will be rather pricey to those who must have more than a few channels - maybe they'll get it down to $10 / channel / mo.
 
I hope TCM jumps on this wagon.
 

 

 

I wonder what monthly price people would be willing to pay just to get TCM.    I watch around 10 or so stations so if I had to pay $8 each I would be paying more than what I pay today for 50 or so stations.

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I wonder what monthly price people would be willing to pay just to get TCM.    I watch around 10 or so stations so if I had to pay $8 each I would be paying more than what I pay today for 50 or so stations.

If all you ever watched was TCM, and cared nothing for any other channel, a la carte pricing of $30 to $40 per month  might possibly be perceived as a good deal. This is no different than paying $30 to $40 per month for 100 channels and only (really) watching 1 or 2.

 

Divide your cable bill (not internet, if included) by the number of stations you DO watch. This will be your true cost in "value". If you're strict with yourself (and we all are not very good at this) and only DO watch those twelve or so stations, your cost - in "value" - for your cable bundle is much higher. This may put it at or above the arbitrary a la carte pricing of $8 per station.
 
Using arbitrary figures, paying $100 for 50 stations is $2 per station. Only watching 12 of those, your true cost is $8 to $9 per station.
 
The only thing here is the cable providers are hitting us up for $10 (or more) per a la carte stations they are experimenting with - so the difference might be swallowed by us just for the convenience of being able to have one or two higher tiered stations we'd have paid $30 more for as the next tier package today. Now that would balance everything out nicely.
 
That's how I view it, anyway.
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My question is-does it REALLY cost as much to provide cable as is charged?

 

Isn't the cable infrastructure already in place? They have regular lower waged employees, lower waged technicians, a stable of equipped vehicles.....they have to buy cable stations, yes, plus lots of mail/TV/radio advertising....

...but $80 per month per household? For millions of customers?

 

Still seems kind of a high price for the cost of business.

 

I always thought commercial ADVERTISING paid for TV stations, and even that has become so high priced even politicians need superpacks to pay for it. I know I can't afford TV or even radio advertising spots. Weird we have to pay for TV that contains commercials. Sounds like they have money coming in from both sides.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The cheapest alternative to cable is to call a friend who has cable and ask him to turn on his TV and tune it to TCM, then ask him to aim his cell phone camera toward his TV screen and turn up the sound and hold his camera steady. Then you can watch TCM for free on your own computer or cell phone. :)

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  • 3 months later...

I cut the cord a while back and the only thing I miss is TCM! I have awesome Internet access and watch everything streaming. Yes, I subscribe to HBO Now, but I've also recently subscribed to SlingTV and the only content missing that I really want is TCM!

 

Please TCM! Make your programming available to those of us who don't want to be held hostage by CableTV with its high prices, poor quality, and crummy customer service.

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I believe TCM makes it's Watch TCM streaming available to all cable providers, the provider just has to agree to carry it and complete an agreement with TCM to seal the deal.

 

My provider doesn't carry TCM's streaming service, so I emailed them asking if and when they might. They told me they had no plans to add this service in the near future.

 

File this under: Burns, busts, bummers and ripoffs.

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  • 6 months later...
Bright House Networks, my cable-internet provider, is continuing to slash away at it's basic cable services. Recently, we lost 3 more channels to "digital". These channels are still there using the same channel numbers, but to receive these, among the many other basic channels that were switched from analog to digital, we must rent a digital converter at a small monthly fee. Either that or further upgrade our plans to the next level which includes the DVR & remote, which will decode the digital channels.

 

This applies to all subscribers to Free or Basic services regardless of which TV is used (CRT or LED/LCD flatscreen-monitor).

 

I'm holding on to my Free Basic Service to the end. This still includes TCM. When they switch that from analog to digital, I'm outta there. Upgrading to the next tier is a worthless proposition for me. My Free Basic service already contains 99% garbage I never watch - the next tier would only give me maybe 98%, with a price increase to boot - not worth it. I'd have to dump cable altogether and go internet only, replacing TCM with... nothing (there's no local service which provides a streaming app for TCM).

 

The writing is on the wall. 

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Sorry to hear that, Kid. Comcast in my area keeps inching up and up in price. To get TCM I have to subscribe to the first, second and third tier. I also have HD and DVR service, and subscribe to HBO. I have the main dvr hd box in the living room, but I have to use a small rented box for the bedroom tv as well to receive just the basic tier. I complained about 18 months ago about the latest price increase, and threatened to drop them altogether, so Comcast gave me a $50 discount for around 16 months. That ran out, so my bill is back up to nearly $170 a month, my single largest monthly bill. Of the roughly 250 channels I get, I watch maybe 25 of them on any semi-regular basis. Each month, it gets harder to justify that price.

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  • 2 weeks later...
AT&T to sell DirecTV online—no satellite dish or set-top box required

 

Still TBD: Which channels are available and whether the service will be zero-rated.

 

by Jon Brodkin - ars technica

Mar 2, 2016 10:44am EST

 

AT&T said on Tuesday that it plans to make DirecTV available over the Internet in the fourth quarter of this year, saying the new offerings "will not require annual contracts, satellite dishes, or set-top boxes."

 

The service won't be a full replacement for traditional cable or satellite TV, though, because AT&T has to negotiate new programming contracts for the online-only service. AT&T has "signed some deals" but still has "work to do," a company spokesperson said, according to The Wall Street Journal. The service will work on smartphones, tablets, Internet-connected TVs, "streaming media hardware," and PCs, AT&T said.

 

AT&T has owned DirecTV since buying the satellite TV company in July.

 

AT&T's press release said the online packages will include "on-demand and live programming from many networks, plus premium add-on options," but it did not name any major networks. The only specific programming the announcement mentioned was AT&T's own Audience Network and Otter Media, a joint venture run by AT&T and The Chernin Group. No prices or specific packages were announced, either. But AT&T said there will be three tiers: one with full access for use on either wired or wireless Internet services, a cheaper one geared toward smartphones, and a free, ad-supported service with a selection of DirecTV video.

 

One remaining question is whether AT&T will "zero-rate" the service so that it doesn't count against data caps for customers who are also AT&T Internet subscribers. An AT&T spokesperson declined to answer that question, telling Ars, "We will discuss more product specifics when the offers launch."

 

AT&T could be waiting for the outcome of the Federal Communications Commission's examination of zero-rating. The FCC's net neutrality rules don't specifically outlaw zero-rating, but the commission is trying to determine whether certain types of zero-rating implementations give unfair advantages to Internet service providers or content providers that are granted data cap exemptions, sometimes in exchange for payment.

 

AT&T already has a Sponsored Data program that charges third parties, such as advertisers, for the right to deliver data without counting against consumers' mobile data caps. Verizon, meanwhile, launched its own mobile video service that doesn't count against its subscribers' data caps, even as content from Netflix, YouTube, and other online streaming providers do use up customers' data.

 

For article and reader comments - HERE

 

Related TCM thread - HERE

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Sorry to hear that, Kid. Comcast in my area keeps inching up and up in price. To get TCM I have to subscribe to the first, second and third tier. I also have HD and DVR service, and subscribe to HBO. I have the main dvr hd box in the living room, but I have to use a small rented box for the bedroom tv as well to receive just the basic tier. I complained about 18 months ago about the latest price increase, and threatened to drop them altogether, so Comcast gave me a $50 discount for around 16 months. That ran out, so my bill is back up to nearly $170 a month, my single largest monthly bill. Of the roughly 250 channels I get, I watch maybe 25 of them on any semi-regular basis. Each month, it gets harder to justify that price.

When it goes up, call and complain about pricing.  If not satisfied, ask for a customer retention representative.  Almost every subscriber service now has these "departments."  They are authorized to make deals other reps. can't.

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