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Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry 261

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-want-to-watch-it-now dept.
First time accepted submitter ClarkSchultz writes "Harris Interactive confirms that consumers streaming video content prefer the practice of binge viewing.The news isn't a big shocker to streaming concerns such as Netflix, Amazon, and Redbox Instant which have been mining viewer habits data, but it has an important read-through for broadcasters like CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. Though ad rates could fall if more viewers wait until series are available for streaming, the payoffs for quality content are proving lush: 1) CBS says it paid $700K per episode for streaming rights to Under the Dome 2) AMC Networks has pointed to Netflix as contributing to the success of Breaking Bad after initial ratings were soft. If streaming wins, who loses? Front and center is the Pay-TV industry. A wave of merger rumors (Charter/Cox/Time Warner Cable/Comcast/Dish Network) indicates the industry knows the trend of subscriber losses to the cord-cutting phenomenon will continue. An online TV initiative from a tech heavyweight like Sony, Apple, Google, or Intel could also disrupt the industry enough to put cable and satellite companies into an even bigger tailspin."
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Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry

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  • by xobyte (255771)

    140 bucks per month for Dish... I'm really thinking about going to just streaming and getting the Tivo with 4 ota tuners.

    • by DogDude (805747)
      Does that mean that you have 4 people in your household, all watching "TV" at the same time, on a regular basis? Do you run a nursing home, by any chance?
      • Re:costs (Score:5, Funny)

        by larry bagina (561269) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:01AM (#45703605) Journal
        Nah, 4 tvs in one room, tuned to skinemax, spice, weather channel (don't ask) and playboy for an extended jack off session.
      • by SpiceWare (3438) on Monday December 16, 2013 @12:23PM (#45704449)

        I get 113 channels OTA here in Houston. With that many channels it's not uncommon to have 4 shows being recorded at the same time (especially older series that are broadcast just before/after midnight). I've been recording older shows like That '70s Show and watching them in order. Have seen a number of episodes I missed back in the day. Also recording cable series I'd missed in the past, like Burn Notice and Psych, that are now being broadcast OTA.

        I purchase other cable series, like Dexter and The Walking Dead, à la cart from iTunes or on physical media. I've saved $1300 since dropping DirecTV in January (savings = old DirecTV bill - à la cart series).

        I went a little overboard on the Mac mini setup (Drobo raid system, extra RAM, CPU upgrade, etc) so it'll probably be another year before the savings pay off the hardware investment.

        If anybody's interested, I've been documenting my DVR Project in my blog [atariage.com].

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Those four tuners in your DVR are in case there are four programs you want to watch that are all aired at the same time.

    • by TWX (665546) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:42AM (#45703397)
      ...and really don't miss it. We've found that there are so many free options that it doesn't really make sense to pay for TV, especially when there are repositories with large numbers of episodes available, legally, completely free with no ads, and there are other repositories like Crackle with lots of movies and TV shows free with the caveat of having to sit through an ad every little bit.

      Last time we had cable, there were ads that we had to sit through. If I'm going to have to see ads, I don't want to pay out-of-pocket for the content.

      Best part is, it's easier to turn off the damn TV to go outside or to go do something else when one isn't paying for it and isn't so dependent on a set schedule.
      • by Megane (129182)

        We've found that there are so many free options that it doesn't really make sense to pay for TV

        Clearly you don't care about live sports, and neither do I. In my opinion, that's the only real reason to have cable. Sure, I like some of the shows on cable (whenever I visit my mom, I usually end up watching a whole day marathon of something like Pawn Stars), but it's not worth $50+ a month plus some crappy cable box with a slow UI.

        I'm old enough to remember TV in the '70s, where you had an antenna and rotator and still got a crap signal, and how the original point of cable TV was to get a good picture.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Clearly you don't care about live sports

          Honestly, it's one of the most entertaining things on TV. But that bar is pretty low and I can do without sports that they don't put OTA. Baseball works when on the radio, and my kids keep me too busy for football. Hockey and basketball are on so often that I get my fill with just the OTA stuff. During playoffs I can spend that $1200 that I saved by cutting cable out at the bar. :)

          Or, just sign up for the intro cable rate for a few months. Did that for the superbowl once.

          • During playoffs I can spend that $1200 that I saved by cutting cable out at the bar.

            Which doesn't work when the finals of NHL ice hockey are shown on cable's NBC Sports Network, and you're not 21 (or you are 21 but your kid wants to watch too).

      • by geek (5680) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:41AM (#45703991) Homepage

        I'm just the opposite. I cut the cord for about two years and am now back to DirecTV. My wife and I were insanely bored with the Netflix/Amazon Prime offerings and I grew incredibly tired of them suddenly removing content we had on our lists. I was also sick of the sudden outages and after Netflix deleted my list for the 3rd time I had enough.

        We can watch the new shows as they come on and can DVR them. I dont have to catch the shows I missed on TPB or Kickass.to and download them. I have access to everything I want AND I still have my Amazon Prime account should I actually want it (hint: we havent touched Prime since we got DirecTV back).

        I'd love to cut the cord but the offerings out there are pathetic still.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Your comment would be relevant if all that was out there was the cheap subscription services. However, a great deal of the relevant new content is also available on multiple PPV streaming services.

          So unless you have a sports fixation, there's likely nothing to miss from turning your back on cable.

          There's a lot of room between $8 per month and $80.

          • by Ravaldy (2621787)

            In Canada there is.

            There also is a huge set back if you can't get reliable internet in your area. Still too much bandwidth sharing going on.

      • by Danathar (267989)

        I have to agree with this.

        I have a Roku, and that in combination with a Plex media server even negates using Hulu plus in many circumstances. In fact, it's BETTER as the PLEX plugins for the major networks (it's a little bit of a chore to find some of them) stream them in HD without any commercials at all.

        In my case (and many I'd guess) is that I live 40 miles from the major affiliates stations, so getting OTA signal is going to require a big honking antenna with a pre-amp.

    • Re:costs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:43AM (#45703401) Homepage

      With a good antenna, OTA is really nice these days. Unfortunately, most new tvs no longer include it, but ota also includes an episode guide.

      Rather than spend money on a tivo, look into the homeworx or iview units. $40 for a digital tuner that acts as a pvr with your own USB drive.

      I also use kat to catch other things. I'd pay for a similar service if it were available, but alas it is not, nor will it ever be.

      • With a good antenna, OTA is really nice these days. Unfortunately, most new tvs no longer include it, but ota also includes an episode guide.

        My complaint with the OTA episode guide is the too brief calendar. When my local stations provide information at all, it's rarely for more than a day or two in advance. Perhaps they've improved in the past year, but I haven't checked lately. In a fit of poor planning, I mounted the TV in a room adjoining a toddler bedroom, so evening TV disturbs her sleep. But my wife is happy watching her stories online on her laptop, so remounting the TV elsewhere and patching the holes in the wall can be deferred indefin

        • You could try getting a PC ATSC tuner and downloading your program guide data off the Internet. Then you not only have guide data longer in advance, but you get DVR functionality too.

      • by Megane (129182)

        Unfortunately, most new tvs no longer include it

        If you want to sell it as a "television" (and not a "monitor") in the US, it is required to have an ATSC digital tuner. It may also be required to have an NTSC analog tuner (which many cable TV systems still use), but I haven't heard of TV sets with ATSC-only tuners, just external tuner boxes.

        but ota also includes an episode guide.

        The problem is that the guide data is almost always only for 12 hours ahead, and never that I've seen yet for more than 24. Apparently there were problems when they tried to make it longer, probably due to bugs in rec

      • Thank you for this. I've been planning for our near-inevitable cord cutting for some time. OTA is nice, but without a DVR you just go back to "I need to be at home and not interrupted to watch this show." Tivo is nice, but very expensive - especially when you consider either having to pay a monthly fee or spend $300 on a lifetime subscription. The HomeWorx, though, looks perfect. Inexpensive ($46), no pay-for-guide data (that I can see), and would work on OTA broadcasts. Combine this with our existing

      • by Ksevio (865461)
        My TV (2010 Samsung) has the episode guide and schedule of the channels, but the software is glitchy and the UI get really slow the more it's used (until the TV is rebooted).
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:41AM (#45703373)

    And they also own the politicians who might otherwise support net neutrality. That gives them a lot of power in this fight. Basically, most people (in the U.S. anyway) have to rely on cablecos for internet. The only other option for most of us is DSL (which is much slower, such as in my area where the DSL isn't even fast enough for Netflix HD).

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:50AM (#45703491) Journal

      The only other option for most of us is DSL (which is much slower, such as in my area where the DSL isn't even fast enough for Netflix HD)

      Yet another reason that TPB is so popular. Again, not only is it free, but better. My DSL connection sucks. Trying to stream HD from the iPlayer or 4OD or something is painful in that it comes out blocky, jerky and stops for buffering.

      Or, I can go to TPB and download a nice, high quality file which I can view without all the problems. And yes, I do actually get stuff off TPB which is available on 4OD (I am a license payer!) since the service is substantially better. For iPlayer I use the get_iplayer script which uses some mild back door to save it to a file. Though I must say finding stuff on TPB is easier than the on the BBC.

      • H.265 and DSL (Score:4, Informative)

        by Danathar (267989) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:44AM (#45704021) Journal

        Although it's going to take a couple of years, you can expect H.265 to help DSL big time. I've read and watched several industry talks on H.265 and by far the two biggest things that H.265 will help is mobile/low bandwidth content delivery (DSL users were specifically mentioned) and of course video conferencing.

        Figure a DSL user has a downstream capacity of 1 to 1.5Mb/s of downstream capacity. H.265 will make decent 720p over those throughput capacities a reality.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:58AM (#45703573)

      While I have a tendency on Slashdot to post conservative posts. (I try not to be crazy conservative though). However I think it the governments responsibility to offer us a high speed Internet Infrastructure, and not the Cable, and Telephone industry who is in essence competing against itself.

      Companies nowadays don't want to get involved in big infrastructural projects, such as laying fiber to every home. Because of a lot of reasons. But much like Power it is becoming a situation that the internet is needed to function in modern society.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:02AM (#45703611)

      That's the position I'm in. I can use Time Warner Cable for my ISP or Verizon DSL. Not only is DSL slower, but Verizon has all but said they want out of the DSL business. They've ignored their DSL lines and outright ditched them where possible. Verizon didn't run FIOS to my neighborhood so that's not an option. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable and the other cable ISPs have financial interests in people not doing a lot of video streaming. That's why they've introduced caps and "per bit billing." They frame it as a "fair billing" or "protect our network from data hogs" practice but really it is a method of killing streaming so that people go back to their (uncapped) VOD solutions.

      • The problem in my area is the total lack of real competition. In my area, I can only get Time Warner. Verizon FIOS isn't available. AT&T U-verse is not available. Another cable provider is not available. Yet most of them clutter my mailbox with flyers and ads about their service that I can't get. In Austin, it looks like AT&T is offering fiber finally (but only because Google is coming). My friend who works in the industry says that AT&T is hedging their bets by offering it in adjacent ar
        • by andyring (100627) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:54AM (#45704125) Homepage

          Yeah, it sucks, but there are other options. Here's one. Start your own ISP. No, I'm not crazy. Here's an excellent example. Here in Lincoln, Neb., a guy with an idea started a company called WideRange Broadband. (standard disclaimer, I have no connection to them other than as a very satisfied customer) They're a wireless ISP. They rent tower space on a few tall radio antenna towers around town, toss some Ubiquity antennas up there, and call it good. Yes, that's over simplifying it, but in the end, I have a little antenna on my roof about the size of my forearm, and I get a solid high speed connection for $30/month. And they're pissing off the local telco (Windstream) and cableCo (TimeWarner) because they can offer as good or better speeds for less money. Yes, there are some line-of-sight issues if you're in an older neighborhood with lots of tall trees, but it's a solid start. Shortly after I cut off TimeWarner, I had one of their people stop by the house trying to get me to resubscribe (at $49/month). I told him who I was using, and he got a nervous look on his face and said "Oh, they're not a real company, that's just someone's hobby" and left. I mentioned that to the WideRange installer a few months later when we bought a house and they were moving my antenna. He chucked and said "Yeah, we hear that a lot."

  • Goddamn. Now I'm gonna have this fucking tune in my head for the rest of the day.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:42AM (#45703395)
    Will they finish airing the season? Will they air episodes in the correct order? Will they move schedules around so you have no idea where to find a program? Ahhh... obsolete broadcast model.
    • by boristdog (133725)

      I can't get TV (even cable) where I live, and my bandwidth sucks, so we just use Netflix and purchased DVDs.

      Usually the wife or I will hear about a show from a friend or the internets then we get the first season from Netflix. If we like it, we buy the whole series on DVD and watch as we please, when we feel like it. No commercials and much easier than depending on the networks.

    • The situation's worse when watching American shows outside of the USA.

      That, and the increasingly pervasive advertisement in the form of pop-overs, commercial breaks that seem to appear more often and last longer, made me turn away from TV and to streaming / downloading. I dunno, with increased competition from other advertising channels, did the stations decide to drop their price and make it up on increased volume? TV stations pretty much crapped the bed they sleep in, I do have subscriptions to HBO
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        I had forgotten about popovers. God I hated those.

        "TV stations pretty much crapped the bed they sleep in,"

        Pretty much...

    • There are so many TV shows that I just don't watch because I've been burned so often that I don't want to get into another show only to have it cancelled in the first season or on a cliffhanger.

  • I know many people who still have cable television simply because it was cheaper to have a cable + Internet bundle than it was cable alone, or it was only $5 extra if they rolled in a phone line to their DSL connection, and so on.

    The problem is that they let the quality of service as an ISP suffer compared to the pampering they give their primary business. Last week while we were at a friend's house streaming off Netflix, the cable Internet cut out at least three times. Yet the cable TV in the living r
    • I know many people who still have cable television simply because it was cheaper to have a cable + Internet bundle than it was cable alone

      You mean "cheaper than Internet alone," right? That's the situation I'm stuck with (neither DSL nor even Wi-Max works at my house), and words cannot express how much I resent Comcast for it.

    • In my case, we still have cable only because they gave us a good deal on cable TV + Internet. The amount we'd save just going to Internet-only would be chipped away at by needing to purchase programs that we can't get from Netflix or Amazon Prime streaming. (For example, new episodes of Mythbusters and Doctor Who.) There were enough of these that it just didn't pay to cut the cable. However, my cable company (Time Warner Cable) has indicated that they're not cutting deals of this sort anymore. If they

    • The problem is that they let the quality of service as an ISP suffer compared to the pampering they give their primary business. Last week while we were at a friend's house streaming off Netflix, the cable Internet cut out at least three times. Yet the cable TV in the living room rolled along with no problems.

      Not to question your ability here but are you sure it was the internet that failed?

      I have two streaming boxes in my house (Apple TV and a Samsung smart BluRay player) and both of them seem to have b
      • The PS3 was giving DNS errors. (I had to explain to a non tech person what DNS was.) It's entirely possible that the problem was on Sony's end, not Charter's end, but resetting the modem resolved it each time.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        I would not rule out the possibility of your ISP intentionally degrading your Netflix experience.

        I would blame Amazon or Netflix for the occasional problem. If it's something more pervasive, I would be inclined to blame the network provider. Sabotaging the competition...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:47AM (#45703443)

    1. Show your programs as scheduled.
    2. After the show ends, post the episode for purchase within 24 hours.
    3. After the season ends, post the entire season at a discount over individual episodes.

    People want content and they want it right away. If you wait too long they will pirate it, or they'll just stop caring. Get the money while you can and stop worrying about breaking your business model, because TV is dying anyway. Adapt or die a quick death.

    • That would work on a national level, but it would kill the lucrative overseas market for series. Stations here in Europe tend to wait a little and see how a series does in the USA (or wherever it airs first), then pick it up if successful. And they pay a deal less for content that has already been distributed by some other means (streaming / DVD).

      Of course, revenue from streaming to overseas customers might make up for lost sales to TV stations there. Plenty of viewers here seem willing to pay to watc
    • I believe Amazon VOD does this already. Programs (mostly) seem to appear the day after it airs on TV. In addition, you can buy a season pass and get the episodes for a reduced rate.

  • by xtal (49134) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:02AM (#45703609)

    There's billions at stake, created out of virtually nothing (replicating a digital signal). This supports thousands and thousands of rent-seeking monopolists. The holy grail of capitalism.

    The RIAA/MPAA fights are just kindergarden name calling compared to the fight that's getting ready to be fought.

    From society's perspective, we should be well into the fiber optic cabling of the entire planet. These people will fight that, because it obsoletes their model. Once you have fiber to your door - and I do, in small down Canada - it's over. It's just a matter of time and everyone knows it.

    Google's fiber projects are just a small piece of what's to come. The dirty little secret is rolling these networks out isn't hard. It's all legislation and poltics stopping. The tech is ready.

    Get some popcorn. It'll be fun. I haven't had a TV subscription in 7 or 8 years now.. saving me $100/mo or so. That's a lot of money, especially when it starts paying dividends.. but I sure don't own any broadcasters. :)

    • This supports thousands and thousands of rent-seeking monopolists. The holy grail of capitalism.

      The dirty little secret is rolling these networks out isn't hard. It's all legislation and poltics stopping.

      There, I put those two together for you. Otherwise you might not see the damn connection.

      Good, now that we have that cleared up. Stop bashing capitalism for something solely created by the truest monopoly there is, government.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        I'm not sure you could have anything except a very local monopoly without the aid of government. Could Carnegie have built his empire without the aid of a government charter for his limited liability corporations? This is without even invoking the other huge interference of government in the free market: intellectual property.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      it is already over, it is just how it is going to happen and if the tv and cable networks will get completely left out of the money.
  • All of these media "giants" became giants because they offered alternatives. Yet, they all think that their business model will be eternal. The studios fought against cassette tape recorders, VCRs, video rentals, streaming TV, MP3s, torrents, iTunes, time shifting. In other words, anything that made it more convenient for viewers to -- you know -- view their content was seen as something horrible. If they had their way, we would adjust our schedules around the 6PM Tuesday timeslot to watch some sitcom. Why

    • If they know everyone is adjusting their schedules to watch the 6PM sitcom, then they can charge advertisers twice as much for that slot.
    • All of these media "giants" became giants because they offered alternatives. Yet, they all think that their business model will be eternal. The studios fought against cassette tape recorders, VCRs, video rentals, streaming TV, MP3s, torrents, iTunes, time shifting. In other words, anything that made it more convenient for viewers to -- you know -- view their content was seen as something horrible. If they had their way, we would adjust our schedules around the 6PM Tuesday timeslot to watch some sitcom. Why do they fight technology so fiercely when they should be embracing it? Find out what people like to do and offer a solution... Or, develop a new way and people will flock to it.

      It's not fighting the technology that is the issue, it's about fighting the distribution method that is their business plan. If they could quickly monetize the new distribution methods, they would embrace the change. The problem is that large corporations are not agile enough to adapt quickly enough to the ever changing technological shifts that take place today. They invest billions (along with tax payer funding at times) in an infrastructure that is meant to provide a stream of income to profit from, only

    • You pretty much answered your own question. In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted video entertainment, you went to the "giants." If you wanted to see a show that was on at 6PM on Tuesday, you sat in front of the TV at 6PM on Tuesday. They controlled what you watched and when.

      Then came VCRs, DVRs, the Internet and other disruptive technologies. Slowly but surely, their control was pried away from them. They could no longer guarantee that people watching a show would be sitting in front of the TV at

  • We cut the cord about a year ago when our Dish subscription was up for renewal. My wife was a little hesitant at first because she watched some primetime shows, but with a combination of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" network (hey, don't flame me, we enjoy watching him and there's nothing wrong with that), we ended up saving almost $100 a month. My 8-year-old doesn't care either, he can find whatever he wants on Netflix kids area. I stuck a couple HDTV antennas in the attic as well, so i

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      If you stick Amazon Prime in there as well, you get all the Viacom crap (Nickelodeon) as well as the Disney crap that you get with Netflix. Kids.... sated. Netflix and Prime combined cost only as much as two months of cable, and they work on all of your i-Things.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:32AM (#45703923) Journal

    I can't remember who it was now, but I just read an article about a black stand-up comedian who is making millions off of a business he created where he produces low-budget TV shows. The key to his success? He realized there are many time slots out there on TV stations that need to be filled with content, but especially for the early morning (1AM to 5AM) -- the low number of viewers means they can't justify paying the prices usually demanded for the right to air existing programming. (That's why you see so many ridiculous 30 minute to 1 hour long infomercials in those time slots.)

    So what he does is he cranks out material on an accelerated time-table (shooting a whole episode of a comedy show in a day, where it would normally be done over the span of several days to a week), and using non-union labor. Half of the actors/actresses are friends of his from the stand-up comedy scene and others are "fresh out of college" people who want to catch a break in the business. Then he gives the shows away FREE to the TV stations to air, with the stipulation that they split ad revenue earned while it's airing with his company, 50/50.

    His latest tactic is creating multiple Court TV type shows, except none of it is real. (He said he was able to buy a complete courtroom set for only a $1 when a real courtroom wanted to remodel and get rid of all of the old furniture and decor.) He saves a bunch of money on production since there are no real litigants who need to be flown in, put up in a hotel while filming is taking place, etc. And the real win for him? These types of shows draw in a lucrative advertising crowd of people offering legal services!

    Sure, this guy might just be creating a bunch of garbage quality television ... but I think he's on to something. It speaks to the "big picture" changes, where studios need to come down to earth on the costs of producing programming. Today's actors are where yesterday's rock stars were before the music industry was turned on its head by digital distribution. People, now, are starting to say, "Hey.... I like the entertainment you make, but enough's enough! I'm not going to keep giving you this much of my paycheck for the right to enjoy it! Make me a better deal....."

  • by es330td (964170) on Monday December 16, 2013 @11:41AM (#45704001)
    I don't know where everyone else lives, but I have yet to find a free wireless or wired streaming video capable Internet connection anywhere in the place I live. I use Netflix and Hulu but I still pay a communication utility for Internet access, so while I am not paying that same provider for cable content, it still is not free. All I have done is separate the data access utility from the content provider. Cord cutting is really a misnomer, few (if any) are truly cutting the cord, they just choose to consume content as Internet data rather than TV signal.
  • We need more channel choice.

    also OTA channels need to stop the Retransmission or at least make on cable and sat to say I will use my own OTA hook up to get the channels so don't change me for them.

    ESPN and disney need to be in there own pack

    local RSN's need to be on there own and full choice of buying outer ring ones as well.

    the other channels are not that bad for price and stuff like HBO needs to be on it's own as well.

  • I don't remember the last time I actually had cable service. Maybe 10 years ago. Back then I rented a lot of DVDs and went out to movies. I'm quite happy these days to watch what's available on netflix and iTunes. I love not having to put up with commercials and for the most part I can watch what I want when I want and even where I want. I haven't done the math but given the number of shows I watch in a year I can't see my investment in iTunes content and my netflix membership adding up to anything close to

  • Last time I checked the largest ISPs in this country were cable companies. Even if you drop cable TV entirely in many regions there is no faster connection available than a cable modem, hence they are still making money off of you.
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Sure, but instead of getting almost $200 in revenue from their capital equipment and maintenance crews they are only getting $70. Same wire. This makes them very nervous. Brian Roberts, the Comcast CEO was on "APM's Marketplace" a few weeks ago. He seems pretty lucid about Comcast's need to improve customer service and make you actually want to use your cable line for things besides internet. Phone was one example he gave, and another was home monitoring and automation. It seemed pretty clear that he knew c

  • I'm not a huge user of Netflix. I mostly have it as a sop to wife and daughter so I don't have to pay for cable. What I've noticed in passing is that the Netflix GUI is set up to encourage binge viewing, much like certain video games are crafted so that the most natural thing to do upon completing a level is to start the next level. When watching a series, the next episode is cued up and takes only a single press to play. It's much more work to find something else to watch. Although this almost certain

  • My wife and I haven't had a connected television for almost a decade, but we are the definition of binge viewers.

    Our phases have gone something like this:

    2000-2002: Stopped watching cable T.V, computer games for entertainment, news via the newspaper and library. DVD movies for viewing entertainment.
    2002-2004: Still gaming, now catching news on internet websites. Movies still via DVD; starting to acquire show DVD seasons (Southpark Season 1, etc)
    2004-2006: Still gaming, shift to Netflix due to cost of DVD

  • by ZipK (1051658) on Monday December 16, 2013 @12:31PM (#45704541)
    Comcast and its brethren are disrupting themselves with high prices, packaged offerings cluttered with unwanted channels, and the truly awful customer service.
  • Next month the contract with the cable company expires. We're discussing because work has offered to pay for a business class internet connection into our house as I work from home most days. Between Netflix and Hulu Plus we're seriously considering cutting the cord. We rarely watch anything live anyway and usually do watch the DVRed episodes within a week.

  • It's nice to see a lot of people have rediscovered antenna TV. Since the digital changeover (and the recession), I've seen a good number of aerials sprout up in my neighborhood, something basically dead in the 90s.

    The question is, how long can that last? The network affiliates are ever more addicted to their retransmission consent money from the pay-providers. Hell, Comcast owns NBC and the other main networks have heavy ties into the paid TV world. Several of the network executives have already threate

  • I really have come to despise watching TV on most channels because of the overwhelming advertising content, so generally I wait until shows are available for streaming. And then BINGE.

    The last binge I went on was Breaking Bad. Watched the entire 5 year series over 3 days. It was a great experience.

    The first binge I did was watching LOST over a 4 day period. That was really cool too.

    The exceptions are mostly shows that are on HBO or PBS - which are aired without commercials. These I can tolerate.

    Eventually I

  • by Lumpy (12016)

    I hope they die a horrible horrible death. Honestly I am now on year 5 of no cable TV and love it. Sadly I will be dropping Hulu Plus as they are shovelling in even more ad's now and I'll gladly pay a premium for ad-free content so it is back to buying episodes on Apple TV. They need to understand that some of us will gladly pay $18.95 a month for no advertising in the middle of the show. And I would not complain if I had a way to skip the ad's like I did before I cut off cable TV and I used a TiVo

  • themselves to blame.

    Ridiculous prices, nickle-and-diming their customers to death, still no al a carte package choices.

    Comcast is one of the worst. Their service was great and rarely had any interruptions, and the Internet connection was fast, but got tired of the rate hikes, and the nickle and diming and went back to AT&T. At least by switching back to AT&T we got a great rate for the next two years, plus we don;t have to pay extra to get ALL the channels we're paying for in all rooms we have a r

  • I'm so old, I remember that when cable first came in, the selling point was that you would never have to watch commercials again.

    Really.

    And you didn't, in the eighties, into the nineties on some channels.

    Fact: back in the sixties, the hard limit from the FCC was something like five minutes of commercials PER HOUR. Last time I recorded an allegedly hour long show off cable, it was 22 min of commercials.

    mark

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