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Old 12-29-2015, 06:41 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniac77 View Post
I haven't had cable in years due to the outrageous costs and haven't missed it at all. There's nothing outside of certain sporting events that I can't access elsewhere (and usually for free). I'm a sports fan and have found that antenna TV covers enough sporting events to keep me satisfied. While cable TV has started airing some of the big games, most of what I want to see is on network TV. I can still watch NFL, MLB, NBA, college basketball, and college football games. It works for me because I don't have specific teams I must see every game.

The only issue with antenna TV for me has been the poor reception. FOX and NBC usually come in fine while CBS is a toss-up and ABC hardly ever comes in. Of course that's using a cheap $10 antenna. I do think it's ridiculous that it's almost 2016, and I'm still having trouble with TV reception. I had better reception in the 1980s with antennas than I do now. It makes me think the whole point of the switch over to digital was to make the cable and satellite companies richer.

I just bought myself a Roku for Christmas and it seems like you can get pretty much anything you would want to watch on here other than sports. While some of it you have to rent or buy, it seems like most of it can be obtained for free. I have a friend who gave me info for a few of the subscription services (i.e. HBO Go) for free. Also, I noticed many channels, including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, offer free trials. So as long as you watch all you want to watch within the free trial periods and/or have free access to subscription services or can find the show or movie you want to watch elsewhere online (i.e. YouTube), then you shouldn't have to pay to watch most of the TV programs or movies you would find on cable. Roku actually seems to offer more programming and you can tailor it to your specific viewing interests. The ala carte style is much better than a package where subscribers end up paying for a bunch of channels they don't watch.

To me, free antenna TV and a $29 Roku is way better than paying whatever monthly cable costs these days.
That's what I do. A Roku for each tv, and I suscribe to Netflix & Amazon. I don't pay for viewing. I watch only free stuff.

I also have a digital antenna for each tv. Try a different antenna and see if your reception improves. Check out antennaweb.org and tvfool.com to see the channels you should be able to get, and what kind of antenna you need. http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

I had RCA rabbit ears (digital). I got some good stations, clear reception. But it was much improved, and got more stations, when I upgraded to a different type of antenna.

I got: Winegard Flat Wave Amped HD TV Indoor Antenna-FL5500A - The Home Depot. But I think the Leaf is also very good. http://www.amazon.com/Mohu-MH-110583...igital+antenna

I also added a small amplifier to my digital antenna in my bedroom, since reception in that room is more of a problem because of the direction it faces. http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master...ster+amplifier

The antenna REALLY makes a difference. They also look better. I have one in den taped to a window facing back yard, behind the drapes. So it's not visible inside. I have the other taped to the wall near the ceiling by the tv in my bedroom. It's white on a white wall, with a white cord, so it's not that noticeable.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:50 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lottamoxie View Post
My ongoing monthly cost for TV stuff is $10 (the Tivo service charge).

I get the OTA channels from an HD UHF antenna I had installed, I have a Tivo, and now I have a Roku streaming device. I download stuff from the Internet all the time and transfer it automatically over to either the Tivo or the Roku, depending on the format of the content. I only watch free content on my Roku. I do have Amazon Prime and that does happen to come with lots of free media so that I can easily access that through the Roku.

I don't watch sports so that's a non-issue.

I'm looking for a way to cut the Tivo out of the equation, but not sure I'm ready to try and configure my own DVR solution, and Tivo really has a great user interface and tools. I use Tivo Desktop software to transfer content from my computer to the Tivo where I can watch on my large plasma TV.
Not sure what you're transferring from your computer, but Roku 3 (new model) has a "mirror screen" option, which mirrors what is on your computer.

Not sure about all that Tivo stuff, but you can buy DVRs, just like any other device. I have one, but it's not hooked up. No monthly fee. It's like a stereo or any other device you buy.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:01 PM
 
6,166 posts, read 3,249,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
But you have to add in the cost of your Internet service. For TWC standard in my area that's $60 a month, so if your bill is the same, then you're at $100+ monthly.
I have to have internet, anyway. So it's inaccurate to add the cost of my internet to the equation. I didn't add any bandwidth/speed to my internet, when I started streaming.

I had the internet bill, when I had satellite tv. So if you add the cost to streaming, then you have to add it to cable/satellite.

Currently I pay $34/mo. for dsl (no data cap). I will lose that option when I move, and will have to pay probably $60/mo. for cable internet (with a data cap).
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,432 posts, read 24,204,419 times
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The only thing I really miss is the news. I always had it on while I was cooking or doing stuff around the house. Even though I had a couple hundred channels there was seldom anything on I really wanted to see. And it seemed like more than half those channels did nothing but try to sell me stuff. I felt like I was paying for infomercials.

My SO really misses baseball so at one point we did subscribe to the MLB channel on roku. I even bought the expensive package that included minor leagues, college, and championships/World Series. Then they pulled a fast one on me and decided not to stream the championships/World Series. And they refused to refund my money. So forget them. He watches now on the computer for free. Not as good as the MLB channel but at least they don't lie to you about which games you get to see!

I was paying $100 a month just for cable. I kept my internet access, got roku, and subscribed to Netflix and Amazon. So I replaced that cable bill with @ $18 per month for the 2 streaming services. Haven't had cable since 2011. I love picking a series to watch and seeing one episode after another till it's done!
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:12 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,159,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
Are you saying that Internet rates will rise or that Netflix will cost more than $10 a month (and Hulu will quit offering free streaming)? It'd have to rise quite a bit to rival cable, and even then cable is less useful.
The raises will come incrementally, of course. Comcast just announced a 4.5% increase in Internet service rates for some markets, and of course that's paired with the introduction of bandwidth caps and surcharges for excessive usage, making the effective increase even higher.

Comcast cannot keep raising the rates of their television service higher indefinitely in response to cord-cutting and the expectation of shareholders for steady returns on investment, so they are clearly being forced to monetize the additional value their Internet service is providing. They will invariably continue to do so, and as such the impact will be a buffering of the impact of cord-cutting: It will become less prevalent as the additional value cord-cutters derive from their Internet service turns into corresponding price increases for the Internet service, which in turn will make cord-cutting less financially advantageous.

And Google Fiber won't be a savior, any more than Verizon FiOS was claimed to be years ago: They'll just set their prices based on the value of the service delivered, i.e., factoring in the additional value cord-cutters derive from their service. There will be a set amount of impact from added competition, as one would expect. though, to be fair, that impact when Verizon FiOS came to town was eventually just a substantially superior service for a marginally higher price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
And I have no idea, you'd have to ask them.
We don't even need to do that: We can watch the behavior of the companies that are invariably asking them and finding out the answer. The easiest way for random nobodies on the Internet, like us, to learn about the inclinations of a specific customer base is by reverse-engineering the response-actions taken by those who spend millions of dollars to learn such things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
The only guy I knew who busted Comcast's cap was torrenting like there was no tomorrow, and this was before Netflix caught on.
I went over the cap one month without streaming, simply due to having to re-backup one hard drive filled with purchased music and home videos/photos to Carbonite. Regardless, let's be sure we're talking about apples-to-apples comparisons.

Anyone can stay under the cap watching television on a 5" tablet screen at 360p resolution. Even after the MPEG-4 conversion, Comcast's television service delivers HD video at a rate of roughly 1.5 GB - 2 GB per hour. The average American watches 2.8 hours of television each day. [Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.] Let's put aside the reality that people don't all live alone and that households with children are likely to have little overlap between what the children watch and what the adults watch. Still: That's 150 GB, half the allocation - just from television-watching - just for one person households.

That 2.8 hours a day is only the time Americans spend watching live and recorded television. According to the methodology, cord-cutters are factored into that metric as 0 hours per day. That activity is apparently lumped together with all other Internet use. Therefore, the actual average amount of time Americans watch video entertainment is higher.

Let's also be clear that other streaming, such as folks with full cable television packages watching YouTube videos or enjoying videos during second-screen experiences, is not counted in that 2.8 hours, either. It is also apparently lumped together with all other Internet use.

I think you can see very clearly how a family of four, especially if one child is a teen and the other child is a youth, can readily sail right past the 300 GB limit, just on television-watching alone, and especially when considering all the other uses of Internet service the family may engage in.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:42 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,159,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
I do think streaming will become the dominant distribution for tv. Cable will still exist, but will be less dominant.
By the time such a radical change occurs, the words "streaming" and "linear distribution" will have merged together. The point is that cord-cutting will not have the impact that cord-cutters are hoping for, i.e., cheap entertainment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
One of the big reasons streaming will grow like that is that it is a la carte viewing.
The cable service providers call it On Demand and offer it today. So if you have a choice of gaining access to it through the pipeline or paying a separate company to feed it to you, resulting in finger-pointing in cases where there is a service disruption, which would you choose? It'll come down to price, so we're back to a scenario where folks will trade off some aggravation for a marginal price advantage. That's not a recipe for becoming the "dominant distribution".

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
One of the biggest complaints about cable/satellite was that the companies sold packages, requiring a customer to purchase a lot of channels that it doesn't want or watch.
All indications are that the cost of customer acquisition and retention is such a large portion of the overall cost that the cost of distribution of individual "channels" (as if that word means anything anymore, in a streaming-only context) will be afflicted by overhead. Back when C-Band was still prevalent, beyond six channels the package deals were more cost-effective for consumers.

So - no question - folks who set their tuner for one channel and then throw away the remote control will benefit from a streaming approach. Think about this for the next month: Every time you watch a television channel make note of the network in your mind, and then at the end of the month count how many you watch. For most of you, I'm betting, it'll be more than six. But let's be clear: For those of you for whom it is less than six, no question, streaming will be your preference. But you won't be in the majority of Americans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
but I watched only 5
Again, I challenge you to actually focus on that this coming month and give yourself the advantage of an honest and accurate accounting of that. Again: It could be that you're among those few who watch so few channels, but perhaps not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
on a regular basis.
And let yourself be honest about what you mean by this, because if "regular" means "daily" rather than "monthly" then your count is not accurate, and it means that switching to the approach for which you're advocating will mean making significant compromises with regard to the choices you get to make - new limits on the options from which you get to make selections for programming to enjoy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Cable cos. resisted the a la carte demands, and went the opposite direction instead: bundling.
This is one of the biggest and most long-lasting misapprehensions in this industry, probably perpetuated by cable networks as a means of duping customers into support them in their business dealings with (really: against) cable companies. What you've said here is simply not true.

It is the networks themselves that resist a la carte, not the cable companies. The cable companies can readily mark-up a la carte to make it a big money-maker for them, but for the networks it was an anathema. ESPN is the best example of this: It is so expensive that the ability to remove it from bundles represent a major hit to the bottom line (currently, the Disney bottom line). So - for years and year - the network threatened to withhold the network from the cable company, entirely, and perhaps also withhold other networks in the same family, if ESPN wasn't on the basic tier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Now that I've experienced streaming, I can't go back to cable.
And rest assured that they know that. Part of introduction of any new service is a time during which you hook folks into your offer with sweetheart deals, aiming to turn it into a cash cow later. Prepare to be milked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Another thing: Cable cos. have always (and I didn't know this) given us only SOME of the local stations.
You're using the word "always" in a ridiculously nonsensical manner. The channels you are referring to didn't even exist before the beginning of the DTV transition. Prior to that, cable companies were required to carry, and carried, the primary signal for any -TV and later -DT licensed channels that wished to be carried (a la the "Must Carry" provisions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
I pay for Netflix ($8.65/mo.) and Amazon Prime Video ($9/mo.), have a Roku for each tv (purchase cost of $50 on sale; no further costs), two good digital antennas ($40 ea. I think). For $200/yr I have access to more excellent viewing choices than I could possibly watch.
And magically Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and the Roku work, without paying for Internet service? How remarkable! /sarc

Leaving out the cost of Internet service is a very common way that streaming is rationalized. Again, let's be clear: No one is saying that there isn't some money to be saved as an early adopter. The point is simply that that advantage will be fleeting, and eventually things will settle out in a manner for which most cord-cutters today will be not just disappointed but will go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before finally reaching acceptance.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
248 posts, read 150,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
The raises will come incrementally, of course. Comcast just announced a 4.5% increase in Internet service rates for some markets, and of course that's paired with the introduction of bandwidth caps and surcharges for excessive usage, making the effective increase even higher.

Comcast cannot keep raising the rates of their television service higher indefinitely in response to cord-cutting and the expectation of shareholders for steady returns on investment, so they are clearly being forced to monetize the additional value their Internet service is providing. They will invariably continue to do so, and as such the impact will be a buffering of the impact of cord-cutting: It will become less prevalent as the additional value cord-cutters derive from their Internet service turns into corresponding price increases for the Internet service, which in turn will make cord-cutting less financially advantageous.

And Google Fiber won't be a savior, any more than Verizon FiOS was claimed to be years ago: They'll just set their prices based on the value of the service delivered, i.e., factoring in the additional value cord-cutters derive from their service. There will be a set amount of impact from added competition, as one would expect. though, to be fair, that impact when Verizon FiOS came to town was eventually just a substantially superior service for a marginally higher price.
Well, if you happen to be right about all that gloom & doom then I'll just have to go back to DSL once cable companies raise the cost of broadband too much. That'll be when I quit watching college football or any sports as well ($70 a month for 1/2 the year is about the upper limit of what I'm willing to pay to watch sports).

Quote:
And magically Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and the Roku work, without paying for Internet service? How remarkable! /sarc

Leaving out the cost of Internet service is a very common way that streaming is rationalized. Again, let's be clear: No one is saying that there isn't some money to be saved as an early adopter. The point is simply that that advantage will be fleeting, and eventually things will settle out in a manner for which most cord-cutters today will be not just disappointed but will go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before finally reaching acceptance.
You've got to remember that many of us have had Internet since the dial up days, and would have Internet regardless of whether Netflix exists. That's why what you're trying to say continues to baffle me. It's like you're comparing the cost of cable TV to Internet + Netflix, when to many of us Internet is a sunk cost we'd have regardless* so to us it's cable TV ($50 - 70 a month) vs Netflix and/or Hulu (Netflix being $10 and Hulu being free with commercials, which cable TV runs anyway).

*not necessarily through the cable company though. I don't doubt that the reason they haven't already jacked the price of cable Internet is that DSL keeps them halfway honest.

Last edited by happygeek; 12-30-2015 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:13 AM
 
9,064 posts, read 9,217,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
The only thing I really miss is the news. I always had it on while I was cooking or doing stuff around the house.
News seems like it is widely available on the internet, and is a very poor reason to keep Cable TV.

Frankly, I am a little surprised we as a nation spent so much time and effort to upgrade broadcast.

On the basis of bandwidth efficiency, no matter what the technical mechanism broadcasting will always be the most efficient way to deliver popular linear content because if millions of people watch the same content at the same time it is efficient to deliver it to their homes by broadcast, serving millions of streams individually is possible but less efficient.

However the consideration becomes different when you ask if it is right to have linear channels or if you are going to have an entirely non-linear system. If all content is non-linear then you just ask about popularity and how you manage demand.

The UK House of Lords recommended ending broadcast television and re-allocating for mobile data usage the spectrum currently used to transmit digital TV signals. Rather than take up vital electromagnetic spectrum, TV should be delivered exclusively over the internet, the House of Lords' Communications Committee concluded.
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:45 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,699 posts, read 8,159,083 times
Reputation: 7958
Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
Well, if you happen to be right about all that gloom & doom then I'll just have to go back to DSL once cable companies raise the cost of broadband too much.
With its quality compromises, it will indeed save some money. Unless they come up with some kind of improved DSL-like technology that makes it just as a good as cable broadband, in which case it'll end up costing just as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happygeek View Post
... to many of us Internet is a sunk cost ...
Internet will not be a sunk cost - it will be a sunk cost plus an incremental, which you'll be able to control. Heck, if all you need is email then go back to 56K dial-up. You can do that today. As I said, cable broadband prices just were increased. Expect them to be increased again and again as the value of the service increases in response to additional reliance on streaming. Eventually, there will be a way to ensure light users aren't subsidizing heavy users, and then you'll face an even more direct cost vs. value proposition.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:54 AM
 
1,496 posts, read 1,455,187 times
Reputation: 3375
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
Most posters who "cut the cord" say they will never go back. Are there a lot of people who felt their options were limited without cable TV? They are in their 40's.
I haven't had cable in about 20 years. We have Netflix (streaming plus two DVDs at a time) as our only subscription service, though we do occasionally but a movie or series from iTunes.

I certainly don't miss TV news. What a crapshow that is.

NFL games are about the only thing that ever makes me want broadcast TV, but for those I just get together with family or go to a bar. Plus, Verizon has an app that lets me watch them on my phone for free, as long as I'm in the broadcast area. It's a little flawed but works in a pinch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weezerfan84 View Post
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc can stay cheap, because they're generally offering you stale tv shows. Very little of the content available is new within the last 6 months.
In my book "new to me" is as good as "new."
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