Americans cut cable TV subscriptions at a hefty clip of 1.8 million

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Kevin Collins, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    C-Band is the bomb...

    You are correct though...it is damn near abandoned. You could probably find a new dish, instead of fixing that one. Find a DirecTV independent installer in your area. If he gets his stuff from a company* where he can buy CE(TV and audio), he can provide you C-Band.

    *There are only two companies that provide DirecTV to independents. One sells CE, the other one only does DirecTV. (in other words, if the first one you call is clueless on C-Band, call the next one. But DirecTV independents are the only C-Banders left)
     
  2. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I watch very little satellite anymore but yet I continue to pay for it. I watch Hee Haw on RFD-TV on Sundays (and I eventually transfer those to DVD-R) and Cardinals baseball during the spring and summer. My mother will watch Fox News sometimes and I might every great now and then find a western I want to watch. Other than that it's all streaming classic TV on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I'm getting ready to move and I'm thinking this here might be the best time for me to just say goodbye. Local news I can watch online. Many of the sports are now online. The only thing I'm going to miss is TCM but I'd say 80% of my viewing comes from this station and the rest I can see on Hulu or some other streaming service. I'm going to try and figure out what I can do to keep TCM but I'd be willing to pay $20-$30 a month for this station and ESPN. Of course, it's probably going to take $50+ to get everything plus another $30-$40 for internet. I've got about a week to figure this out.
     
  4. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Well, I went to the Time Warner site to see what my cheapest television package was and here's what it includes:

    ABC* CBS* CSPAN CSPAN 2 CSPAN 3 QVC*
    Fox* Galavision HSN* NBC* PBS*
    SHOP NBC TBN Telemundo* Univision* CW*


    Obviously a worthless package with any decent channel going to cost you a lot more. I'm not sure if they'd add ESPN and TCM to this package with me just paying extra for these two. More than likely I'd have to upgrade the entire package.
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Well, I moved and decided to just go with the internet so I didn't have any sort of cable connected. After three days Time Warner contacted me and offered me 200 channels and a HDDVR for $59.95 a month. I came so close to jumping on the deal but decided to pass. If they call back and chop off $10 I might bite but for now I've been in my apartment since Sunday with no cable. I finally got my internet hooked up today so I'm going to search around and try to find some sports station that I can watch games on.
     
  6. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    In all the years I had Dish, I never had any problems with it. I switched to Time Warner to get wifi, a move I have regretted ever since. All I have had with Time Warner are problems, they can't even get a bill to me on time at the right address. I expect that sooner rather than later I will just get rid of all of it, and get wifi someplace else. I hardly even watch tv as it is.
     
  7. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    This's the third person I've talked to in the last month or so who think they HAVE to get expensive cable deals to get wi-fi--
    Wi-fi's become one of the biggest cable-swindles of the naive and gullible since home security--Wireless is independent from cable or Internet, the provider is just sweetening a deal to charge you an extra fee for their box.
    (And is the main avenue by which most are cutting the cable with their game consoles/smart-TV's.)

    Routers don't charge or meter Internet use, they simply plug in to the existing Internet-subscription modem and should be available at any computer store or Staples for those with a little geek-DIY. I have a Mac, so just plugging a simple Apple Airport into the wall, running an Ethernet cable to the modem and initializing the software gets Bluetooth going all over the house, but I'm not up on what's out there for Windows.
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I ordered an Amazon Basics Antenna and just got done hooking up. Even though I'm under a rather weak signal and on the first floor of an apartment, I was still able to get 27 stations and the HD locals are just as good if not better than what I was getting with Time Warner. I paid around $22 for the antenna so I'm perfectly happy now (still miss TCM but it's okay).
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm running the other way. After a lifetime mostly without cable, I subscribed to Fios triple-play in 2012 (new job, new state, new home). I'd had indoor antenna for OTA HDTV the previous few years, but the new location has terrible reception.


    And the one requirement in this household is the TV must show Survivor and Amazing Race live.

    That means cable. Without needing reality TV shows, I could possibly go without subscription TV. But that would then require buying lots of shows on Blu-ray (since streaming TV in prime-time is like stepping back to 1995 fuzzy analog TV). It would also likely require a beefy HTPC and time spent ripping discs, since dealing with a blu-ray player feels barbaric after living with a Tivo.

    And I do like watching new shows in first run. The Americans, Defiance, The Good Wife. I'd rather watch those new than wait a year to maybe find them on Netflix or whatever. Although, there's so much unwatched TV, I could drop all live shows, and live five years in the past catching up. I still haven't seen Game of Thrones, Damages, Breaking Bad, and etc. One of these days I hope to watch full series of The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, and The Shield.


    The other aspect is that my finances currently allow for the luxury of digital cable. That hasn't always been so. But for now, it's a nice luxury. If things change, I'll switch to super-basic cable or Netflix, accept the quality loss, and make the best of the trade-offs.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    HERE'S a nice piece published in this past Sunday's NY Daily News.

    TV-osaurus rex: Online viewing options could make cable and dish TV extinct

    More and more customers are leaving for cheaper options like Netflix and Amazon Prime
     
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  11. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I'm about two months in and so far so good. Almost broke down during the NCAA tournament but I held strong. Time Warner keeps calling me weekly to get me to come back but I keep saying no. This might change when football season comes around but I really hope ESPN offers something up shortly to where I can just pay them monthly to watch their programs.

    More and more streaming channels are becoming available so there's just not much of a need for me to pay for cable. I did get Netflix's mailing option back and added a few more streaming channels but I'm still saving $100 a month at least.
     
  12. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I learned about the AEREO thing yesterday and the news and decided to try their free trial. I'm not sure if this here will stay alive after the court ruling but I think it's clear that this here is the future. I haven't tried the recording portion yet but I enjoyed the brief parts that I tried.
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yeah, Aereo's probably the way to go for locals, if you can't do that w/ an antenna,... except not so sure the quality will be good enough for sports on a big screen. Seems like their bandwidth limit may be a bit too low to keep up w/ fast action w/out notable PQ issues.

    That plus their software currently does not support non-stop viewing of your selected channel, which could be a problem if/when a sporting event runs longer than their schedule expects -- you might have to go back to the program guide and pick the next scheduled program to catch the rest of the event...

    _Man_
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Two days ago I was 95% convinced physical media was dead and only going to be for collectors. I was also convinced that more and more people were growing frustrated with cable. Today, I'm 100% certain that cable is going to be dead before my kid reaches 5th grade.

    I messed around with the Aereo last night and while there are MANY flaws, there's no question that it, or something like it only better, is the future. I recorded about five different shows and there weren't any recording errors. The video quality was SD so obviously this here is something that is going to have to improve. It was still better than Netflix and Amazon when they first started streaming so I'm sure the quality will just get better. The "recorded" list was easy to find, easy to set up and easy to delete once you were done with the show.

    Of course, these are only basic channels right now so it's not going to be a major threat to cable but if ESPN, TCM and other popular channels go this route, and I'm sure they will, it's the end of time for cable. I really loved how the recordings were saved on the actual channel (20 hours or you can pay extra for more) or you could watch it live. I'm not certainly I'll keep this after the free trial because I bought a couple antennas from Amazon that give me HD quality. However, whenever something like this offers the "big" stations it will certainly be the end for Time Warner and so on.
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Michael:

    What device did you use to watch the shows? Your TV/display?

    Let us know more as you continue your experiment.
     
  16. Josh Steinberg

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    It's amazing to me that cable is one of those industries where they don't have to provide any kind of reasonably competent customer service or any kind of quality of service, and most people are still trapped with them anyway.

    In my area, if you want internet access faster than dial-up, cable is your only option. And if you choose to get internet from them without a cable package, they charge you a lot more for just the internet. (Ideally they want you to get their Cable/Internet/fake phone package -- don't get the phone, they charge you more for cable. Don't get the cable, they charge you more for internet.) Even if I wanted to cut the cord on the cable, I'd still need it for the internet. I'm not impressed with the quality of cable television I get from them. I'm not impressed with the DVR box, or how every few months they seem to remove features I use (or make them harder to find) through firmware updates. If you need them to come to your house, they still give you an 8 hour window in which they may or may not show up. Hold times for calling customer service take too long. Simple exchanges at their physical store can take forever. Cable is basically a monopoly, and they know your options are limited or nonexistent, so there's no motivation for them to do any better that I can see.

    Eventually something's gotta give... whether it's cord cutters, or some new way of delivering internet service that doesn't go through the cable companies, or something no one's thought of yet... this can't last. Short term (and for their long term), they've gotten away with being very bad to the customer base. I don't know if it's gonna be five years or more or less, but if cable continues their historical trend of being very unfriendly to their subscribers, I don't know how they can survive longterm.

    I think you can watch ABC and ESPN directly through an AppleTV box without a cable subscription. (I see buttons advertising those channels on my AppleTV menu but have never had reason to click them.)

    I'm not opposed to be paying for good service; as cool as it would be if everything everywhere at all times was free, I know that's not realistic. What I'm trying to say is, my objection with cable isn't the monthly bill -- it's how little value you get for the high prices they charge, and how terrible the actual quality of their service is and how unhelpful their customer service is. It's been my experience as a cable subscriber on Long Island, in Boston and its various suburbs, in different parts of New York City. It's not just one bad experience with one provider, but a consistently bad experience across multiple providers through many years.
     
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  17. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I'm watching from my Roku to the television. I've actually decided to keep it because of the recording option, which is just more valuable than me having to race home whenever there's something I want to watch. Of course, several of the shows I watch are on Hulu the next day but I still like this for the local news and you can set up series recordings so that you don't miss anything.

    It has to just be a matter of time before other stations start offering something like this.
     
  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Why should you have to pay ANYTHING for ESPN when they show so many commercials???
     
  19. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    A guy with 8-tracks in his picture is a-okay with me! :lol:
     
  20. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    It makes no sense at all to pay 100+ bucks a month just to avoiding renting/buying BRs.

    1. The picture on a BR is going to be far superior to a cablecast, and you don't have to worry about HBO morons cropping scope pictures.

    2. When you buy/rent BRs, you're paying for the movies YOU want to watch, not what they choose to show you.

    3. You'll wind up saving a lot of money and/or amass a large collection of movies.
     

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