Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Television Movies The Internet

Streaming TV is Beginning To Look a Lot Like Cable (theverge.com) 209

The advent of streaming TV services and over the top devices that support them has come at a cost. They used to work on a simple, unwritten principle: being different from normal cable services. You didn't have to pay for large, non-configurable bundles of channels that played shows in linear fashion and required you to use a digital video recorder built into the box (often for an extra fee) if you wanted to create your own collection of programming to watch on your own schedule. But that's not the case anymore, argues veteran technology columnist Walt Mossberg. He writes: The general idea is that each of these TV services will appeal to cord-cutters and cord-nevers who merely consider old-style cable and satellite TV too costly. To overcome that, each offers what are called "skinny bundles" of channels, with fewer choices, at various prices. On Sling, for instance, you start at about 30 channels for $20 a month. On DirecTV Now, it's 60 channels for $35 a month. Both offer other, costlier plans, with more channels, or add-on plans for HBO, or for specialized programming such as sports, or kids' shows. Both are working on DVR offerings. In other words, while the bundles may be cheaper and skinnier, they're still bundles, not unlike the tiers of programming offered by traditional cable and satellite services. And you can't assemble your own custom bundle. Also, unlike in the Netflix / Hulu model, the emphasis here is on networks, not shows.

Streaming TV is Beginning To Look a Lot Like Cable

Comments Filter:
  • by thechemic ( 1329333 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:04PM (#53648967)
    Streaming from the Dark Corners of the Web is also looking a lot like my new TV service.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:26PM (#53649093)

      Sadly I've been really disappointed at just how much 'streaming' shows is just like 'normal' television. Netflix and HBO Now both let me watch what I want when I want, sadly I can't get that with most of the other streaming services.

      I really just want to watch what I want on my schedule. I don't care about other people's schedules or how 'magical' some evenings are. I want to sit and watch as many episodes of a series as I choose to on a night that I'm doing TV.

      • Well, Netflix and Amazon Prime, etc...are what they are. On demand content.

        I've got those, and along with that, my cord cutting streaming app of preference for my "cable channels" I'd miss without Uverse or other cable service, is Playstation VUE. I run this along with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, etc on Amazon Fire TV boxes on each h TV (the stick just is NOT powerful enough).

        I like the choices I get with Playstation VUE for $35/mo....and it has DVR capability built in. Those were key for me.

        For my mon

      • Like nearly any movement. When it start out with simple goals it grows and becomes popular. However to sustain the growth the complexity in solving the details comes into play, which often turn you into the entity you were fighting.

        Ok you won, now to create your Utopia. Now your followers have these minor needs, that force you to compromise on your grand schemes, A little by litter until you are back to where you started.

        So you made a station that allows you to cut the cord. Then you have some people who

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      It may not be a dark corner of the web, but I'm finding that I'm getting a lot of value from my YouTube Red subscription. No, you don't get the professionalism of a true cable show, but there are a lot of interesting things to go watch. Amazon Prime Video is another one.

      Since Hollywood is supposedly threatening to strike, maybe they should take a few years off. That way, we can see some more indie content that isn't following the same cookie-cutter format in lockstep.

  • So don't buy it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's cable all over again. So, people who don't want cable won't buy it. End of story.

    • Re:So don't buy it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:16PM (#53649029) Journal

      Exactly. Services like Netflix suit me just fine. I don't watch sports, have little interest in most network TV offerings, so cable, in whatever form they try to deliver it, simply is of no interest to me.

      • And sports (huge, huge interest from population) are starting to get it.

        NHL - $150 for year of streaming all games
        MLB - $110 for year of streaming all games
        NBA - $170 for year of streaming all games (but requires other provider)
        NFL - $250 for year of streaming all games (but requires DirectTV subscription for now)

        • Re:So don't buy it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by slinches ( 1540051 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @02:36PM (#53649571)

          Those are great options as long as you don't want to watch your local team's games live, which happens to be the only reason I would want such a service.

          Until they quit blacking out local sports, those services are useless to me.

          • See my other reply.

            Use DNS services like yonder.tv to remove localized issues.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            The streaming packages I've looked at don't blackout the local games. So you can watch the local games live. What sport package are you looking at that blocks local games?
            • I don't have cable so NBA and NFL aren't an option, but I do know that MLB.tv has blackouts of any live local games during the season.

        • There is no amount you can spend to see local NHL games legally on any streaming service or on demand.

          • The only reason for that is that people keep buying it the way the want to sell it. If no one buys the old model and team revenue suffers sooner or later they will change their licensing to match.

  • by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:11PM (#53649015)

    You still need an ISP to provide the internet connection so you can stream...

    • by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:28PM (#53649113)

      You still need an ISP to provide the internet connection so you can stream...

      That and they don't want net neutrality so they can charge/deprioritize various providers to their hearts content. It'll be great when those Comcast customers get NBC at 1080p, but Netflix at 480i.

    • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:37PM (#53649183)

      Yes, and the same company that had a monopoly on cable TV are also the same companies that have the monopoly on broadband ISP.

      When I first cancelled my cable TV subscription, I was paying so much less overnight. The problem is, as other people have followed suit and "cut the chord" TWC has started charging more for internet service to make up for losing TV subscribers.

      Now I'm paying the same amount for Internet that I used to pay for cable TV and internet... and then I have Netflix on top of that.

      As long as cable companies are allowed to run local monopolies, they're going to get you one way or another. My cable company just happens to be the only broadband capable of streaming TV in my area. Unless Google decides to move into town, I'm screwed paying high prices if I want to watch anything other than over-the-air shows.

      Allowing cable company monopolies was one of the most anti-consumer things the government did in regards to entertainment.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Obfuscant ( 592200 )

        As long as cable companies are allowed to run local monopolies, they're going to get you one way or another.

        Here's how you solve this problem. Get together a billion dollars or so, go through the franchise process for some large city, pour a billion dollars or so into building infrastructure, and then find out that you are in a naturally limited market and are now fighting with the incumbent for the fixed subscriber base.

        Cable companies are not "allowed" to be a monopoly. The ability of a government to grant exclusive franchises to cable systems went away a long time ago. They are a monopoly because nobody is st

      • And the local governments encouraged.

        In many ways they're more corrupt than the federal government

        • And the local governments encouraged.

          Of course local governments encouraged an exclusive franchise system. But it wasn't because they were corrupt. It was because they could use that system to force cable companies to provide free internet connections to the schools and government offices, production facilities in various places (like schools, so schools could teach TV production classes), multiple PEG channels.

          And on top of that, the local government could have local regulatory control over the cable company service, including customer suppo

      • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
        TWC increased my monthly payment for internet by $15/month this last month (10 for the plan, 5 for renting the modem). Coincidentally enough, their former CEO received around an $80mil golden parachute for his 2 years of work (does not include his $10mil/yr salary).
        • TWC increased my monthly payment for internet by $15/month this last month (10 for the plan, 5 for renting the modem).

          Just checking, but did this happen at some "anniversary date" after you signed up for service? It seems almost all the big cable companies now do this thing where EVERY subscription price is a "12-month deal" or something.

          So, you sign up for some service that costs $29.99 one year, and then the next year after that "new subscriber period" it goes up to $44.99. Then the next year it creeps up to $49.99. Then the next year it creeps up to $54.99. Etc.

          As someone who dealt with TWC in the past, I once t

      • When I first cancelled my cable TV subscription, I was paying so much less overnight. The problem is, as other people have followed suit and "cut the chord" TWC has started charging more for internet service to make up for losing TV subscribers.

        This practice isn't anything new. Back when I was a Comcast customer in the early 2000s, it was actually cheaper to have cable internet plus "basic cable" than to have just cable internet by itself. At the time, I think I was told it had to do with local licensing or something, or some extra legal "rights" it gave Comcast when it was a TV provider rather than just an internet provider.

        Anyhow, I don't know the exact reason, but for quite a few years I actually paid $5-10 LESS per month to have "basic cab

    • The cost of that ISP's connection may also need to be factored into the cost. Comcast has a monthly data use limit of 1,000 GBytes for many if not most household subscription users. If one moves from using the Internet from email, surfing and light streaming to a situation of heavy streaming as a cord cutter, that may bump you over this limit and incur substantial overage charges or you can buy "unlimited" data use for an extra $50 per calendar month. Other ISPs may have 250 GBytes per month limits and even
      • The cost of that ISP's connection may also need to be factored into the cost. Comcast has a monthly data use limit of 1,000 GBytes for many if not most household subscription users.

        Do what I did.....

        Get a business internet ISP connection.

        I got the basic one from Cox cable in New Orleans for $69/mo...comes with low level SLA (and they are fast if you have problems to get out and on the pole for you)....and no data limits, and no ports blocked, so I can run all the servers I want.

        For $69/mo I'm happy wi

      • Yep, that's the point. And as more people "cut the cord" (well sort of), what do you bet happens to the cost of an internet connection from the cable company, sans a TV package? They already charge a ton for internet without TV and/or phone, then add what you mentioned, data limits and overage charges.... The cable companies will still get customers anyway, even if it's just for the ISP side, and they'll make up the loss of TV service subscribers there...

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:17PM (#53649031)

    Has the author not noticed that Netflix, with its strong move away from third party content and towards its own self-produced stuff, is basically turning itself into another network?

    Hulu was created by the old-school networks as well... although, surprisingly, it's probably the least "network like" of all the major services.

    Perhaps the author should've said "unlike the Crunchyroll model"?

    • This right here. I'm finally at the point where I'm considering dropping my Netflix account. It was good while it lasted but the content is now garbage, there is very little popular content, and we seem to be inundated with crappy Netflix only shows with B list actors and even worse acting / directing.

      • This right here. I'm finally at the point where I'm considering dropping my Netflix account. It was good while it lasted but the content is now garbage, there is very little popular content, and we seem to be inundated with crappy Netflix only shows with B list actors and even worse acting / directing.

        Same here.

        It seems the only way you can get mostly quality moves to watch these days from Netflix, is to rent their blurays, which I do in addition to the streaming.

        I mean sure, some of their own content is

  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:18PM (#53649037)
    We don't want "channels" any more. We don't want to watch some program on your schedule. We want to stream specific things when we want to stream them. This is why netflix is cleaning house - it's on demand and doesn't force anyone to conform to their schedule.

    Cord cutting is a revolt against three things - unreasonable cost, fixed schedules, and commercials.
    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:34PM (#53649153)

      This is why netflix is cleaning house - it's on demand and doesn't force anyone to conform to their schedule.

      Except that they don't offer much than I'm interested in watching. I've been a subscriber twice and dropped the service twice. I very much like what they offer in principle - ala carte all you can eat programming on my schedule. That's great. But the problem is that they don't have much that I actually want to watch. Their movie catalog was mostly old or B movies that I wasn't interested in. Few recent releases or stuff that I hadn't already seen. I don't care at all about their original programming though that's not a commentary on its quality - just doesn't suit my tastes. And navigating Netflix to find anything worth watching was a painful experience. I'd spend upwards of an hour looking through a crappy interface and end up finding nothing I wanted to watch.

      I'm not interested in Sling because they don't offer DVR features worthy of bothering and it's not truly ala carte with the channel selection. I'm not going to waste my time sitting through a bunch of commercials so if I cannot skip them or fast forward through them I'm just not going to watch.

      Youtube has come closest with the commercials in a manner that is almost acceptable. I might sit through a 5 second commercial but nothing longer and only one. Honestly if you cannot tell me about your product in 5 seconds you need to work on your pitch. I'm not going to sit through anything longer. It's just not worth it.

      I have little interest in subscribing to a bunch of different streaming services. First one to get it right gets my money.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        I've only sat through one commercial on Youtube when there was an option to skip - some sort of circuit / electronics design application that looked pretty neat, unfortunately for them I'm totally not their target audience since I don't design circuits. What amazes me is how bad the commercial choices are, I watch some videos about sports cars, that doesn't mean I have any interest in commercials about trucks, minivans, suvs and crossovers, in fact one might say I probably have less interest than the averag
      • Except that they don't offer much than I'm interested in watching.

        Netflix has been putting most of their effort into exclusive content. Which really makes them just another premium channel like HBO. They aren't even close to competing with cable. There still isn't an option to watch whatever you want, when you want.

      • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

        First one to get it right gets my money.

        Given you don't particularly like the Netflix content, it sounds like you are saying the first one to provide content that you prefer gets your money. That's probably true for everyone. Personally, I love the Netflix streaming selection. Their original programming is exactly what I'm looking for. I agree the movies are sub-par, so I use the DVD service for that, but I'll rejoice when the movie production companies lift the lock on that and I can get tier one new relea

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        So then subscribe to one of several services that offer new content on a paid basis. Even that is still cheaper than most cable packages.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <[mojo] [at] [world3.net]> on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:55PM (#53649297) Homepage

      The other major improvement with Netflix is that you can subscribe for a month. No 12 month minimum contracts with set-up fees. When they run out of content you want, you can cancel immediately and without penalty, and start up again when they release some new stuff.

    • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

      And I'm not paying to watch their fucking commercials.

      So sick of ads. I /////PAY//// for the service. I do not want your ads.

      The only appropriate time to advertise your products is when I'm looking for things to buy. Like if I'm searching on google, or amazon. Local flyers are fine as well.

      • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

        P.S Ads on TV would be akin to insurance companies / car companies requiring you to watch a 30 second ad before starting your car.

        You wouldn't put up with it. You paid for it, it's yours and it's on your time.

    • We don't want "channels" any more. We don't want to watch some program on your schedule. We want to stream specific things when we want to stream them.

      This is the key issue. Traditional companies either do not grasp this concept, or else they do, but refuse to take action. As is usual with this kind of thing, the panoramic wil change once the dinosaurs that run such companies are gone.

  • View on Demand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Macdude ( 23507 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:19PM (#53649041)

    If I can't pick the show I want to watch and watch it when I want, then it's just cable with another name.

  • Sure, streaming options provided by cable companies look a lot like cable. News at 11.

    However, Netflix, unlike cable providers offers single-fee, on demand, no advertising programming. This is what cord-cutters want.
    • However, Netflix, unlike cable providers offers single-fee, on demand, no advertising programming. This is what cord-cutters want.

      It's close. But Netflix doesn't have a lot of what I want to watch and finding stuff to watch on Netflix in my experience has been a painful process. I don't really care about their original programming and their catalogs of other programming is less than amazing, especially for recent releases.

      • Lately, I've been watching more on Hulu than on Netflix. If I had to cut one of those right now, NF would be gone.

  • by Thruen ( 753567 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:22PM (#53649063)

    This article focuses entirely on Sling and Direct TV, neither of which was ever intended to be like Netflix. Those services are both designed to function like a regular cable service, just over the internet instead of a dedicated cable line or satellite dish. Streaming services that aren't trying to be like cable are still nothing like cable.

    Clickbait maybe? I don't know. Just a bullshit non-story that shouldn't be on the front page.

    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      I don't want to subscribe to a damned streaming service. I don't want to subscribe to Amazon Prime. I don't want to subscribe to Netflix. I don't want to subscribe to HBO. I want to subscribe to specific shows. Everyone has always been interested in shows, not channels, not networks. If I want to watch Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, and Mozart in the Jungle, I have to pay expensive monthly subscriptions to HBO, Amazon, and Netflix. Just for those three shows. Or I can pirate.

      This has always been

      • by rikkards ( 98006 )

        Canadian content providers have started implementing alacarte channels.
        Guess what, you get less channels for the same amount of money

      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        What are you going on about?

        You can stream Mozart in the Jungle for as little as $1.99 per episode [amzn.to], no Prime membership needed. Similarly with Game of Thrones [amzn.to] and Orange is the New Black [amzn.to], though those cost a little more.

        It seems very expensive to me, but if that's what you want to do, you can do it.

        • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

          There's a relevant The Oatmeal cartoon for Game of Throne [theoatmeal.com].

          If you wanted to keep up with GoT for water cooler talk with your friends/coworkers, you didn't have an option to purchase a single episode. You could pay the $14.99 for streaming HBO for 3 months when it originally aired, or you pirate. They became available on Amazon August 1st, which is always exciting to talk about a new episode 3 months after everyone else has seen/pirated/forgotten about it.

      • I don't want to subscribe to a damned streaming service. I don't want to subscribe to Amazon Prime. I don't want to subscribe to Netflix. I don't want to subscribe to HBO. I want to subscribe to specific shows.

        I believe Amazon offers something like what you describe, namely a TV Season Pass [amazon.com], where you can purchase an entire season of a TV show, even one that's still on the air. For many series, new episodes will become available soon after airing. I believe some other online services offer such an option too.

        I'm sure one complaint you'll probably have with this model is that many shows seem to have a relatively high price. If you want streaming access to all seasons of several big-name shows, you might end u

    • Those services are both designed to function like a regular cable service,

      Every time I see the Sling ad I wonder why the FTC hasn't stepped in. Their claim that "if you don't want to pay for a channel you don't have to" (or words to that effect, I can't do a verbatim quote) is just patent bullshit. You have to "buy the package". If all you want is SyFy (for some reason only God knows) you have to buy the "Sling Blue" package of "40+" channels. Paying for 39 channels you don't want just to get the one you do.

      And if you want Turner Classic Movies only, you have to buy a base level

      • Look into Playstation VUE. For $35/mo..they pretty much have everything you want to watch from "cable channels"....and they have built in DVR too.
        • Look into Playstation VUE. For $35/mo..they pretty much have everything you want to watch from "cable channels"....and they have built in DVR too.

          I don't know why you think I should look into a streaming service when I don't intend on subscribing to one anytime soon, but ok. When I do, I see the same thing as Sling -- packaged cable channels that mean I have to pay for a lot of channels I don't want to watch just to get one that I do. It's tied into a Playstation, which I don't have. And to get "the latest movies", it's an additional $27/month for HBO and Showtime on top of the $30 for cable channels I don't want.

          What is supposed to be better/differ

  • With cable TV, the company which owns the pipes (your cable) also provides the service. There is no competition for TV service, so the cable company can charge you whatever they want. This is especially true in the U.S. where most of the cable TV companies have a monopoly granted by the local government.

    With streaming TV, the company which owns the pipes (your ISP) does not provide the service. Consequently, there is no service monopoly - any TV streaming service on the Internet could conceivably prov
    • This is especially true in the U.S. where most of the cable TV companies have a monopoly granted by the local government.

      Please stop. The US federal government has prohibited exclusive franchises for cable TV for such a long time that there are no longer any exclusive franchises in operation. The local governments have been prohibited from granting monopolies, it is now a case of defacto monopoly status based on economics and not dejure monopolies granted by the government.

      You'll still get ripped off on Internet service since that's a government-granted monopoly in most of the U.S.,

      There is even less of an excuse to claim government-granted monopoly status for ISPs or internet service, since there has never been an exclusive franchise

  • I recently tried Sony Playstaton Vue for a few weeks, and the experience was almost exactly like that being described by Walt....different channel packages at different price levels. I think the base package was $30 a month for about two dozen channels. I even had to sit through commercials, which is one of the primary reasons I ditched cable way back when.

    I cancelled it after a few days. If you don't offer me anything at that price that I can't already get with cable, I'm not interested.

    • For live broadcasts this is true, but Playstation Vue has built in DVR functions and allows you to search and sort by shows and "catch up" and skip through all the commercials, effectively blurring the line between a channel-based service and a show-based service IMHO. I've had a few weeks and find it a pretty good balance for me as I get most live sports (non-blacked out NHL!) and shows I like DVRd like Netflix. Worth it to me but not for everyone of course.

  • With more blackouts and not even real OTA feeds. No they have the cut down watch feeds.

    Also some like Layer3 TV force you rent there hardware ($10 an outlet) and it counts ageist your download cap as well.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:24PM (#53649087)
    It's the content providers, not the content deliverers, that push the fat bundles. Try licensing ABC broadcast network without also licensing the expensive ESPN. So long as the content providers are able to hold the content deliverers hostage via forced bundling, the fat bundles situation won't change
    • by nateman1352 ( 971364 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @02:03PM (#53649361)
      The reason why is because The Walt Disney Company owns both ABC and ESPN. So they force you to buy all the channels they own, or none. Nothing in between. Disney isn't the only one that does that of course, every company that owns multiple networks does. The only way that will change is if the US Government forces them to offer a la carte. The government would also have to force them to not set pricing such that the a la carte cost for 1 channel is the same as the cost of the bundle (maybe a legally mandated 10% max bundle discount or something.)
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Usually its the other way around, popular channels like ESPN are used to force them to also sell bad niche channels that no one wants. Thats why you end up with 200 channels.
      • Mod parent up.

        The only reason a lot of people, like myself, have cable is so we can watch live sports on ESPN. I don't need ABC/NBC/CBS and all the other crap. I wish I could get ESPN a la carte like I do with HBO GO and Netflix.

        • The only reason a lot of people, like myself, have cable is so we can watch live sports on ESPN....

          You're in a minority. If ESPN were to go a la carte, they'd have to charge upwards of $20 to make up for all the subscribers lost due to the unbundling. So be careful what you wish for.

      • ...popular channels like ESPN...

        More than half the people [outkickthecoverage.com] currently subscribing to ESPN would drop it if they had the option. Only 6% would pay the necessary $20 per month to keep ESPN if ESPN were made optional.

  • the emphasis here is on networks, not shows.

    The emphasis isn't really on networks with Sling, it is on cheating the customer. If you look at the $20 "orange" offering from Sling you might not find anything that you want to watch at all (that was the case for me). The $25 "blue" package is a little better, it claims to offer more channels including FXX and National Geographic Wild. But these two channels (and perhaps others) are not really there, they only offer you a handful of archived show episodes

  • by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @01:45PM (#53649231)
    I think there is room for both "packages" and ala carte shows.

    Most people still grew up with a TV that had a big round dial, or at least a remote with a "channel" keypad, and a group of shows associated with that "channel".

    Those people seem somewhat alienated and lost having to search for programs by name, and the cutesy "wall of VCR boxes" - type results interface is a VERY inefficient way to present a simple results list. Think of how hideous and utterly useless Google would be if it showed the Home Page of each of the websites returned in a Query?

    And if you live in a home with a person utterly incapable of typing, like I do, having to search by typing is RIGHT-out. And even with something like AppleTV, which has the Siri Remote, there doesn't seem to be enough crossover content between cable TV content and NetFlix/Hulu content to really be a viable replacement for cable, but it is slowly getting better.

    And, although we all hate commercials, one of the GOOD things about cable (and OTA TV) "channels" is that there are "promos" for upcoming shows. And quite frankly, that is one of the major ways most people learn about content that might be interesting. The "wall of VCR boxes" approach is simply abysmal for that, too. The streaming aggregators haven't figured that one out, and a "teasers channel" doesn't work either; because who wants to sit an watch trailer after trailer, promo after promo?

    But, the person who figures out how to make streaming services "feel" MORE like TV channels has a fortune with their name on it, just waiting for them!
  • First of all, the price of Internet (at least at my home) vs Internet + TV is purposely priced by comcast and others so that you really don't save THAT much money. Secondly, what about data caps? Are you really going to police your 2 teenagers and your significant other to watch their data usage?
  • I haven't logged in or posted a comment in years... What Mossberg and the vast majority of people bitching about cable tv don't understand is the content providers (the channels) are the ones that require bundling and the "linear style" video services. The Viacom and Disney owned channels are perfect examples. For those of you that don't have kids - why are you required to have Nickelodeon and Disney? Do you really thing the cable provider cares what channels subscribed to? For a long time competition wa
  • by JoeWalsh ( 32530 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @02:01PM (#53649339)

    I'll never, ever pay to watch commercials.

    If you must have commercials in your content, make it free to stream.

    If you must ask me to pay for your content, don't put commercials in it.

    This is non-negotiable. I will do without rather than pay for commercials.

    • That.

      Unfortunately I often hear people say the opposite. That ads are cool. Because it allows things to exist. Its necessary. And thus its cool. And they almost like em.
      Personally, fuck ads.

      • Some things shouldn't exist! I might be able to tolerate decent ads, but waay too many ads are not even remotely decent. I don't want to hear a car salesman yelling at me at the top of his lungs, unless I'm watching a show/movie about car salesmen. I don't want to see a commercial break at 7:15, and suddenly realize that it's still going on at 7:22! And I don't want to see the same ad, for a product you couldn't pay me to get, 3 times during a 30 minute show!!

        • And now it is 20 minutes of basic-cable level commercials before the 10 minutes of trailers for movies that are entirely unrelated to the one you are there to see.

  • all of it. cable, satellite, streaming. It's all a scam intended to numb your brain, confuse, control and separate you from the only little bit of power you have...your money.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @02:20PM (#53649461)

    The can keep trying different ways to fleece us, but any cable or cable-like companies that still stubbornly refuse to get a clue that the internet has already blown their entire monopoly-based business model away will simply have to accept going bankrupt.

  • Even if these packages are bundled like cable, and have the same dvr/commercial/linear programming schedule setup, they are still a major upgrade over cable.

    The reason: BYOD

    Vue/Sling/DirecTVNOW all functionally enable a customer to bring their own hardware. with 3 TV's in my house, almost half of my cable/internet bill is spent getting the FiOS media server with the extra streaming boxes to allow cable TV to all 3 sets. With Vue, I can use my own Playstation/Roku/Fire TV to control it, and dont have
  • Okay, I'm being very flippant about it, but I stopped using cable TV about 10 years ago, started using an antenna for broadcast stations, and never looked back once. My DVR always has more sitting on it than I have time to watch. Some shows pile up, and I'll watch those during the 'dry spell' times of the year when things are in reruns anyway. I know my situation isn't available to everyone (I can have an antenna, and I can get every major network plus a range of 2nd-tier ones), but I still say if you can use an antenna effectively to get shows for free, then by all means do it.

6 Curses = 1 Hexahex

Working...