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Old 01-05-2015, 07:09 PM   #101
Marc Vaughan
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I've been cableless since just before Christmas and none of my kids have even noticed ...

I'm missing my soccer - but am hoping to work out some sort of streaming solution for that, it'd be easy to do but I'm trying to do it legally (which ironically is far harder than it would be to pick up a pirate stream ).
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:00 PM   #102
Fidatelo
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Originally Posted by Marc Vaughan View Post
I've been cableless since just before Christmas and none of my kids have even noticed ...

I'm missing my soccer - but am hoping to work out some sort of streaming solution for that, it'd be easy to do but I'm trying to do it legally (which ironically is far harder than it would be to pick up a pirate stream ).

This! I'm cutting my cable and it's just sports I want. I can find them all easy illegally, but can't get a lot of them legit (like the juniors on TSN tonight).

I really wish someone would make a completely pay-per-view system, where there is no base fee at all, and everything is available to watch, but you pay for everything you do watch. Set the prices fairly and everyone wins I would imagine. Well, except the garbage programming that no one watches if they realise they're paying for it...
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:08 PM   #103
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That setup looks awesome. Wonder how long it'll take to get to PS4, as I didn't see it in the initial list
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:17 PM   #104
Barkeep49
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Anyone seen a date that this service will start?
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:41 AM   #105
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I doubt any such consumer lawsuit would succeed. After all, why shouldn't someone pay for the bandwidth they use (the data caps aren't going to be shut outs, I bet - just a pay as you go above something like 300 GB a month)?

The argument would be that that change is being imposed by companies who own both the ISP and the cable provider, coincidentally just as a competitor is offering a product that threatens the cable business.

Vertical integration, after a fashion. I'm not saying that such a lawsuit would definitely win - I don't trust the courts enough to side with the consumer given the current makeup of SCOTUS - but there would definitely be lawsuits.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:19 AM   #106
flere-imsaho
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In an actual free market, there would be enough competition whereby some company would offer a data cap-free plan, and then consumers would have a meaningful choice to pay for a plan with a cap, or not.

But since in almost all parts of the country there's no actual meaningful competition, this isn't a likely option. Which means companies will be imposing caps simply because they can, as opposed to any other reason.

And no, I'm not buying the bandwidth saturation argument because a) the companies who complain about it won't show actual data showing actual saturation and b) we the taxpayer have given them hundreds of billions in grants, tax breaks, and public works money to expand their infrastructure.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:20 AM   #107
ISiddiqui
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Originally Posted by Fidatelo View Post
I really wish someone would make a completely pay-per-view system, where there is no base fee at all, and everything is available to watch, but you pay for everything you do watch. Set the prices fairly and everyone wins I would imagine. Well, except the garbage programming that no one watches if they realise they're paying for it...

I guess that Amazon is already doing something like this with regards to scripted television. You pay for the episodes of shows you want to watch.

Sports internet pay-per-view is something I'm sure will come, but a lot of the stuff involving internet TV is still somewhat in its infancy. I bet that in 10 years, you'll be able to do more of what you speak. Though, the counter to this is that a lot of streaming options are available IF you subscribe to the cable channel as well - this way a company like NBC can try to keep people from cutting the cord.

There is also, as JIMG continues to remind us, still growth in cable subscriptions and cord cutting is still very, very distinctly a minority position. So asking to cater specifically to us is likely asking a bit too much right now.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:23 AM   #108
ISiddiqui
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Originally Posted by flere-imsaho View Post
we the taxpayer have given them hundreds of billions in grants, tax breaks, and public works money to expand their infrastructure.

IIRC, the last time you made this argument all you supplied was info for grants for fiber optic cables, which is the big competitor to cable, but no info on grants or tax breaks for cable infrastructure expansion.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #109
ISiddiqui
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The argument would be that that change is being imposed by companies who own both the ISP and the cable provider, coincidentally just as a competitor is offering a product that threatens the cable business.

Vertical integration, after a fashion. I'm not saying that such a lawsuit would definitely win - I don't trust the courts enough to side with the consumer given the current makeup of SCOTUS - but there would definitely be lawsuits.

Vertical integration isn't illegal. Having a monopoly isn't illegal. I'm sure lawsuits would argue that data caps are anti-competitive, but if cable internet isn't a public utility, I doubt you could make any argument that charging for data usage isn't something that the cable companies should be allowed to do.

Ironically, the expansion of Google Fiber (which is also spurring AT&T UVerse to get off its ass a bit) probably strengthens the arguments of the cable companies about competition.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:16 PM   #110
flere-imsaho
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IIRC, the last time you made this argument all you supplied was info for grants for fiber optic cables, which is the big competitor to cable, but no info on grants or tax breaks for cable infrastructure expansion.

You're thinking of RainMaker: So long Net Neutrality! - Page 4 - Front Office Football Central
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:04 PM   #111
flere-imsaho
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Having said that, while two of RM's links pointed to actual Fiber services, the Cringley one makes reference to tax breaks, grants, etc... for Fiber backbone upgrades, which would be applicable to whatever "last mile" technology we're talking about.

In addition, as RM notes, the 1996 telecommunications act, and the Universal Service Fund both give money to telecoms to extend access, both from a backbone and "last mile" perspective. And then there's the whole AT&T sanctioned monopoly for the 20th century, which built (while reaping massive goverment-approved profits) a large chunk of the infrastructure (the rest was built with direct - as opposed to indirect - tax dollars through government agencies, mainly DoD).

The bottom-line is that I don't think the telecoms have a compelling case to argue that they build most of the infrastructure with their own money. The taxpayer did, through multiple avenues. Which is why taking taxpayer money to build something, and then making the taxpayer pay additionally for access is the "have your cake and eat it too" problem. In my opinion.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #112
ISiddiqui
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Ooops, I guess I was thinking of RM. Everyone just all blends in as the years go by .

Anyways, you are making the same problematic arguments that RM did. Cable companies are not the same as the telecoms. The last mile stuff are not fiber backbone upgrades for cable companies - it's usually just cable. The main reason that the government has been helping the telecoms is..... to provide competition for the cable companies. I'm sure they'd be fine if you went after the telecoms, as it'd just strengthen the cable companies.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:11 AM   #113
flere-imsaho
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Ooops, I guess I was thinking of RM. Everyone just all blends in as the years go by .

We're getting old....

Quote:
Anyways, you are making the same problematic arguments that RM did. Cable companies are not the same as the telecoms. The last mile stuff are not fiber backbone upgrades for cable companies - it's usually just cable. The main reason that the government has been helping the telecoms is..... to provide competition for the cable companies. I'm sure they'd be fine if you went after the telecoms, as it'd just strengthen the cable companies.

Except when cable companies (and or TV/Internet providers) are, of course.

But that's parsing the argument too closely. Regardless of who they are, the industry receives plenty of support, from tax breaks to subsidies for infrastructure development to using an infrastructure originally built with taxpayer dollars. Barring an actual, demonstrable saturation problem, I don't think there's a defensible argument for data caps outside of "hey, we'd like to make more money".

If the argument is "our networks can't handle the demand" then the proper rejoinder is "well, what happened to the $billions we gave you to increase capacity? and "most other industries with healthy profits react to increased demand by increasing supply, why aren't you?"


But, again, we have given this industry, from the backbone to the last mile, plenty of support as taxpayers. And we continue to do so. If we're going to allow these companies to meter and filter internet traffic, then by all means let it be a free market, cut off the flow of taxpayer money, and let them invest their healthy profits in supporting their enterprise. But if they want this money, it's simply not right to take the money, and then soak the taxpayer on the other end. While the average Joe may never see it this way, if that's the direction we're going, we might as well get a better bang for our buck by turning it into a public utility (administered via bid by private companies would be my preference, but there you go).
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:52 AM   #114
ISiddiqui
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Engadget has posted a video from CES of the Sling TV:

A closer look at Dish's Sling TV service

I realize that they likely have super fast interwebs there, but this is FANTASTIC in terms of speed and quality. The interface is pretty nice as well. I'm on board.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:56 AM   #115
ISiddiqui
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Originally Posted by flere-imsaho View Post
But that's parsing the argument too closely. Regardless of who they are, the industry receives plenty of support, from tax breaks to subsidies for infrastructure development to using an infrastructure originally built with taxpayer dollars. Barring an actual, demonstrable saturation problem, I don't think there's a defensible argument for data caps outside of "hey, we'd like to make more money".

If the argument is "our networks can't handle the demand" then the proper rejoinder is "well, what happened to the $billions we gave you to increase capacity? and "most other industries with healthy profits react to increased demand by increasing supply, why aren't you?"

But, again, we have given this industry, from the backbone to the last mile, plenty of support as taxpayers. And we continue to do so. If we're going to allow these companies to meter and filter internet traffic, then by all means let it be a free market, cut off the flow of taxpayer money, and let them invest their healthy profits in supporting their enterprise. But if they want this money, it's simply not right to take the money, and then soak the taxpayer on the other end. While the average Joe may never see it this way, if that's the direction we're going, we might as well get a better bang for our buck by turning it into a public utility (administered via bid by private companies would be my preference, but there you go).

I keep hearing this, but whenever I've asked for some proof of how much cable companies have been given by taxpayer, I get absolutely nothing, just "we've given them money". So pardon me for being a bit wary of what I see are just bald assertions.

It appears we may turn broadband into a public utility at some point, but in seeing what occurs with my utilities (in Atlanta, for one, the water bill just randomly shot up for no reason two years ago and then randomly dropped last year), I'm not sure that's the way to go. In addition, the vast majority of utilities I've seen meter out their usage (water, sewage, gas, electricity) .

I'm amused that the answer to being scared of cable broadband putting data caps is to turn them into a utility, when every utility bill I've ever gotten has charged me based on my specific usage. Furthermore, I've never had a choice of my utility company. So if I were to treat Comcast as a utility for internet, based on how other utilities work, it'd seem to be that I'd only have one choice for broadband (Comcast) and they'd charge me like $25 for every 100GB of usage or something... isn't that how utilities work in your neck of the woods?
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:48 PM   #116
flere-imsaho
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
I realize that they likely have super fast interwebs there, but this is FANTASTIC in terms of speed and quality. The interface is pretty nice as well. I'm on board.

Same here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
I keep hearing this, but whenever I've asked for some proof of how much cable companies have been given by taxpayer, I get absolutely nothing, just "we've given them money". So pardon me for being a bit wary of what I see are just bald assertions.

Fine. I don't have time to do a forensic analysis of all the ways taxpayer money has made its way to cable and/or telecom companies. I'll stop arguing the point, but I'm not going to concede it, as it seems more believable to me that these companies have been the beneficiaries of significant taxpayer dollars (direct, indirect, whatever) than not, given the way this works in many of our "free market" industries.

Quote:
It appears we may turn broadband into a public utility at some point, but in seeing what occurs with my utilities (in Atlanta, for one, the water bill just randomly shot up for no reason two years ago and then randomly dropped last year), I'm not sure that's the way to go. In addition, the vast majority of utilities I've seen meter out their usage (water, sewage, gas, electricity) .

I'm not saying it would be a great solution. It might not even be a better solution. But it might be a less offensive solution.

Quote:
I'm amused that the answer to being scared of cable broadband putting data caps is to turn them into a utility, when every utility bill I've ever gotten has charged me based on my specific usage. Furthermore, I've never had a choice of my utility company. So if I were to treat Comcast as a utility for internet, based on how other utilities work, it'd seem to be that I'd only have one choice for broadband (Comcast) and they'd charge me like $25 for every 100GB of usage or something... isn't that how utilities work in your neck of the woods?

I would actually be happier with a charge by usage, especially if said charges & usage were relatively transparent and predictable (as they are, generally, for utilities). The problem with the current implementation of caps is that they aren't either, typically. And, more importantly, these companies have no incentive to improve transparency and predictability (of usage/billing), unlike utilities (whose incentive is based on regulations, but still exists).
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:58 PM   #117
ISiddiqui
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Well, technically no company has put caps on yet, AFAIK (I know there were going to be tests?). I know that if I go to the Comcast site, I can see the amount of data usage I use. I'm not sure how much more they can go transparency wise, as that is the same thing I get from Verizon (who does charge by GB - but I'm grandfathered into unlimited).

And I'm sure that cable companies have gotten some tax breaks somewhere along the line, just like any other company in the country, but I'm not sure if the tax breaks make up (cost wise) for the vast improvement in broadband infrastructure. And, it has been shown that the government has given far greater tax breaks and grants directly to cable's competitors in the broadband race - fiber optic - so cable companies may have a slight beef there when it comes to arguing the point.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:49 PM   #118
ISiddiqui
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This is really exciting, re: Sling TV. They did an AMA on Reddit:

Sling TV AMA with CEO Roger Lynch : cordcutters

And this was shared:
Quote:
[–]keithbpatrick 62 points 4 hours ago
Will having ESPN through SlingTV allow a user access to WatchESPN programming and functionality?
permalink
[–]SlingTV[S] 63 points 4 hours ago
Yes!!!

So Sling TV will allow you to have access to WatchESPN, which is fantastic news (also is somewhat of a way to get around the one stream at a time requirement)!
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:52 PM   #119
ISiddiqui
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This was interesting too:

Quote:
[–]J-L-E-E 35 points 4 hours ago
Can't wait for this service - how about hooking everyone in this thread up with an early invite?
permalink
[–]SlingTV[S] 22 points 4 hours ago
Sure. Just go to Sling.com to get your invite. We're rolling these out later this month before the general public.

I've gotten my invite, but does this mean it's coming out THIS month?! That is much sooner than I thought!
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:19 AM   #120
ISiddiqui
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Well, this is surprising... it is coming out "soon" (when we've been conditioned for it to mean months):

‚ÄčSling TV Review: Holy Crap, We've Figured Out Internet Television
Quote:
When can you get it? Soon: Sling TV will be sending out invitations to pre-registered customers later this week, and plans to open general registration early next month. If you have a supported device (you know, any iOS or Android device, a Roku, an Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, an Xbox One or an LG or Samsung Smart TV) you can try it free for a week. Just like any good drug, your first hit is free.
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Old 03-09-2015, 01:43 PM   #121
ISiddiqui
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You bastards! You fucking bastards!

HBO NOW is an Apple exclusive for now (starting in April, when the next season of Game of Thrones comes out) for Apple TV, iPads, and iPhones. Who knows when Roku, Amazon Fire, and Android will get it.

$15 a month (not bad pricing).

I wonder if the app will have Chromecast support (as HBO Go does). If so, that makes it more palatable. I don't want an Apple TV, but an iPad Mini wouldn't be a bad investments as my 2014 Nexus 7 is somewhat struggling with Lollipop (maybe I need to do a factory reset - but it is more likely the slowness is caused due to desperately running out of space).
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:34 PM   #122
stevew
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Apple TV is now $69.99.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:42 PM   #123
Lathum
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I love my Apple TV, even more now that I got rid of all the movie channels.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:46 PM   #124
ISiddiqui
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I already have a Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick (free with pre-paying 3 months of Sling TV). I don't need another streaming device. Especially for just one channel - and based on 3 year old hardware.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:51 PM   #125
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In addition, I feel that the Apple of the past would have taken the HBO deal opportunity to realize a new Apple TV that would be just as powerful as an Amazon Fire TV, but look fancier.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:55 PM   #126
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We decided to cut the cord two weeks ago. Have an Apple TV and so far so good! We only watch Gotham, Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones. With our Hulu+ subscription and today's Apple TV HBO announcement, we are good to go.

My only worry is missing my Padres games. I was hoping that MLB.TV would solve the problem, but since I live in San Diego, all home and away games are blacked out. Guess it's the radio/bars/restaurants for me, unless anyone has any other pointers. I have no desire to hook up an external antenna. I'd rather tune in a radio than go through that hassle.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:00 PM   #127
ISiddiqui
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Oh, external TV antennas are actually insanely easy to set up. Things like Mohu Curve can easily be placed on a component shelf and pull in plenty of stations.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #128
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In addition, I feel that the Apple of the past would have taken the HBO deal opportunity to realize a new Apple TV that would be just as powerful as an Amazon Fire TV, but look fancier.

That new 12" MacBook looks intriguing.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:00 PM   #129
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My only worry is missing my Padres games. I was hoping that MLB.TV would solve the problem, but since I live in San Diego, all home and away games are blacked out. Guess it's the radio/bars/restaurants for me, unless anyone has any other pointers. I have no desire to hook up an external antenna. I'd rather tune in a radio than go through that hassle.

My advice for MLB.TV is if you can avoid the news channels and just stay one day behind "real-time" you can watch any games you want without blackouts.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:13 PM   #130
NobodyHere
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So indoor antennas are out of the question?

Mine works fine and I live about 10-15 miles from the broadcast towers and I get the major networks (plus NBC).


PS

This is what I have
http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-U...ds=tv+antennae
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:00 PM   #131
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According to the press release, you will be able to watch HBO NOW on a PC too.

HBO to Launch Standalone Premium Streaming Service in April | Time Warner Inc.

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HBO continues to be in discussions with its existing network of distributors and new digital partners to offer HBO NOW. At launch, HBO NOW will be available on iOS devices and on PCs.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #132
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You still have to have some sort of Apple device to sign up, it appears.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:07 PM   #133
stevew
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Streaming exclusivity is the new cord.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:08 PM   #134
PadresFan104
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So indoor antennas are out of the question?

Mine works fine and I live about 10-15 miles from the broadcast towers and I get the major networks (plus NBC).

Oh snap... I was assuming I'd have to connect something on the roof!! I'm such a dumbass. But on the other hand, the Padres are shown on Fox Sports West so I still think I'm out of luck as far as the games go... As Peregrine stated, I can watch the games 24 hours later if I want....
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:35 PM   #135
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You still have to have some sort of Apple device to sign up, it appears.

Yeah, that kind of makes the watch on a PC thing a bit strange. Though I wonder if you can sign up on someone else's iPhone .

And, of course, HBO Go has Chromecast support. I wonder if Apple is going to prevent Chromecast support for 3 months on HBO NOW. If not, that makes it a bit more accessible.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:18 AM   #136
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Oh snap... I was assuming I'd have to connect something on the roof!! I'm such a dumbass. But on the other hand, the Padres are shown on Fox Sports West so I still think I'm out of luck as far as the games go... As Peregrine stated, I can watch the games 24 hours later if I want....

That's the problem I have with the NHL's streaming service: the Hurricanes games are "broadcast" on Fox Sports South, which requires one of the higher cable subscription packages. So NHL streaming is out for me. Their loss, I just spend my time elsewhere.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:39 AM   #137
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Yeah, that kind of makes the watch on a PC thing a bit strange. Though I wonder if you can sign up on someone else's iPhone .

And, of course, HBO Go has Chromecast support. I wonder if Apple is going to prevent Chromecast support for 3 months on HBO NOW. If not, that makes it a bit more accessible.

Yea.. my girlfriend has an iphone so I guess she will be the one signing up, but that is odd.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:48 PM   #138
Coffee Warlord
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Hell, I wonder if you can just download iTunes and sign up for it that way.

Though that still means you have to have fucking iTunes infesting your computer.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:55 PM   #139
ISiddiqui
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Though, if the service can be watched from the web (rather than through iTunes), you could just delete iTunes after signing up.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:59 PM   #140
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Any word on Showtime? I know they announced intention to provide a similar service to HBO but I don't see any updated information.
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:02 PM   #141
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HBO CEO Richard Plepler's proclamation that, "All you need to get HBO Now is a broadband connection and an Apple device," is exactly true -- you will need both of those things to sign up. As it stands today, even though viewing is supported on PC or Mac via a web browser pointed at HBONOW.com, the only way to actually set up an account will be through Apple's HBO Now app. HBO tells Engadget that Apple has a three-month exclusive as a digital provider of HBO Now, so it will be at least that long until someone like Google, Amazon or even HBO itself could sell access.

So...what's to stop me from having a friend sign up?
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:17 PM   #142
flere-imsaho
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Three month exclusive neatly covers the next season of GoT, right?
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:18 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by stevew View Post
Streaming exclusivity is the new cord.

We're going to come back to this quote in 5 years and realize exactly how this so clearly manifested itself.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:41 PM   #144
stevew
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Originally Posted by flere-imsaho View Post
We're going to come back to this quote in 5 years and realize exactly how this so clearly manifested itself.

Guy 1- Recommend me 4 of your favorite TV shows. I've got some vacation time.

Guy 2- I like The Americans, Game of Thrones, Fargo, Orange is the New Black.

Guy 1. Cool, I'll check em out on Netflix.

Guy 2. Actually you need a subscription to Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Now and Netflix.

And that doesn't even account for needing 2 or 3 different streaming devices and it gets especially dicey for getting ShowTime anytime
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:48 PM   #145
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I'm trying to figure out what to do with all of this.

I enjoy some of the HBO and Showtime shows, but that subscription is expensive, and they aren't getting the better movies any more to add value to the subscription (either that or I just don't like movies any more). It might be better to wait a year and get the DVDs when they first drop in price.

I watch some broadcast network shows, but I need to DVR them because I won't watch them without fast-forwarding the commercials.

I like AMC. Of the non-broadcast, non-subscription, non-sports networks, it's the only one I can even find without looking at the channel guide. But, again, it might be better to wait a year and get the DVDs.

And then there's sports. Of my non-DVR viewing, 95% is sports. And that's almost all limited to the broadcast networks, ESPN/2/U and the Big Ten Network.

The problem with the DVD approach is that it's difficult to find new shows. There have been HBO shows I looked forward to watching, tried and hated after a couple of episodes. And shows I thought I'd hate, but became addicted to after getting bored one evening and giving them a try (Game of Thrones being one).

I don't have a Plasma or LCD TV, but I do have an old Sony HD. I don't feel the need to upgrade, even though I can't read the scores of games any more because the networks all assume everyone has 50-inch televisions.

The bundles seem to make cable TV cost-effective, but I feel like I'm paying for a metric ton of content I'll never watch.

If it weren't for ESPN/BTN, I'm sure I'd invest in a digital tuner and a good antenna and drop cable altogether.

I'm very intrigued by Sling TV, but concerned about the quality, the cost of unbundling and the absence of BTN.

Any opinions on XFinity would be welcome. I think I've read enough about UVerse to eliminate that option. I currently have Charter.
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:27 PM   #146
Fidatelo
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Yep, in 10 years we'll probably all be begging for the good old days of cable tv.

I know it's never going to happen, but I truly wish for a world of total a la carte. Let me buy shows, including live sports and news and whatever, completely independent of any other payment. I want to watch the news tonight? $1. I want to watch the Jets game tomorrow? $5.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:11 PM   #147
ISiddiqui
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Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
I'm very intrigued by Sling TV, but concerned about the quality, the cost of unbundling and the absence of BTN.

Sling is fantastic. Great quality! Its HD quality.

But yes, no BTN. But there is ESPN, ESPN2, and AMC in the basic tier ($20 a month). But you miss out on DVR (AMC has limited video on demand) because ESPN isn't going to sign on to any streaming service that has DVR - but you have access to Watch ESPN through Sling, so there is that.

I do think that cutting the cord requires a bit more effort on the part of the viewer. It isn't as easy as flipping through cable channels and deciding to watch a show you've heard about and being able to watch new eps right away, after catching up with Blu-rays or Netflix, if you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidatelo View Post
Yep, in 10 years we'll probably all be begging for the good old days of cable tv.

I know it's never going to happen, but I truly wish for a world of total a la carte. Let me buy shows, including live sports and news and whatever, completely independent of any other payment. I want to watch the news tonight? $1. I want to watch the Jets game tomorrow? $5.

The channels themselves have made it impossible to a la carte. Most major channels are in conglomerates themselves. ESPN, for example, is under ABC/Disney's umbrella. So, for instance, with Sling TV, in order to have Disney, you have to have ESPN - both are on the basic tier, because otherwise ABC Disney won't sell you those channels or any other channels they own.

You somewhat have limited a la carte though, through Amazon and iTunes. You can buy a show episode by episode if you'd like, but, of course, some providers don't want to give you that option.

Streaming exclusivity is already the lay of the land, though the ability to purchase some episodes exists, thankfully. However, I think with DVR and binge watching, the era of caring that you have to wait a year in order to buy the DVDs to watch a show will dissipate and will take away one of the most fun things about weekly watching - 'watercooler' discussions. You can already see it with shows like House of Cards. It'll take a while for shows like Game of Thrones, but I think it'll eventually come.

I'd also argue that if we got true a la carte, we'd been begging for cable TV within a year as prices would likely be far higher than we anticipated they would be. Amazon and iTunes can sell programs the next dat for $2.99 an episode, but that's mostly because the providers get money for being on a cable tier. Unmoor that, and I can see AMC deciding that $5.99 an episode for The Walking Dead would be the price.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:21 AM   #148
SteveMax58
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
I'd also argue that if we got true a la carte, we'd been begging for cable TV within a year as prices would likely be far higher than we anticipated they would be. Amazon and iTunes can sell programs the next dat for $2.99 an episode, but that's mostly because the providers get money for being on a cable tier. Unmoor that, and I can see AMC deciding that $5.99 an episode for The Walking Dead would be the price.
Cable operators have been saying this for quite a long time but the message wasn't precise enough for the general public, imho. Mainly due to not wanting to piss off the programming conglomerates, or be accused of favoritism between programmers.

What I see everybody describing is the issue with disparate service offerings. Cable operators (and other MVPDs such as dish & telco operators) all buy content at wholesale rates, aggregate all of that disparate content, and try to present it through a series of genre-based "portals" (or channels if you will). 1 interface, on 1 device, running 1 common platform to get any & all content from. Some look better & some do certain things better...but they are all an incredible value when compared to what you have access to. But great value is not necessarily "cheap", and this is essentially the problem with disparate offerings.

The other things that people sometimes argue in regards for a-la-carte is they just want to buy ESPN but not ESPN2...or HBO but not HBO Signature & the rest...or Comedy Central but not MTV. These are not static "portals" (or use the term channels if you prefer) of content with a single pipeline of fixed resources & pricing. The a-la-carte proposition is the programmer themselves (Disney, HBO, Viacom) and their cost-structures entail all of those genre-based portals in their "bundle". And for the "luxury" of being able to select any one of these programmers...you (the consumer) get to aggregate & design your own system to receive the ones you actually care about (assuming more than just 1).

I don't mean to sound like a shill, really I don't, but the entire online video subscription model is not engineered for you the consumer. Its built for programmers to diversify their customer base away from a handful of MVPDs so that losing any individual customer (e.g. 1 consumer) is less damaging (among a few other monetization strategies) . There is no value proposition in play here, at least not purposely done.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:39 AM   #149
ISiddiqui
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Originally Posted by SteveMax58 View Post
I don't mean to sound like a shill, really I don't, but the entire online video subscription model is not engineered for you the consumer. Its built for programmers to diversify their customer base away from a handful of MVPDs so that losing any individual customer (e.g. 1 consumer) is less damaging (among a few other monetization strategies)

Agreed.

Oh, so I asked one of my friends to borrow their iPad to sign up for HBO NOW when the time comes... so I have that in play .

Now to hope that its something that can played from the web on PC, and isn't some application (casting Chrome tabs actually works very smoothly for me).
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:25 PM   #150
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I seriously debated cutting the cord. My DTV contract is up, and it's up to $102 a month for I think the third tier down, and whole home dvr. My internet through TWC was at $67 for 20mb. I called TWC, they offered my basically the same channels, 50mb internet, and home phone for a total of $130 with no contract. So I'm taking it for now. Not sure how long I'll keep it. I know the DVR won't be up to snuff, but I'd have to bump my internet up if I cut the cord, and that would have cost me about $100.
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