Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Networking Television Entertainment

Cable Companies Want Bigger Share of Online TV Market 175

Posted by Soulskill
from the boobtube-in-the-intertubes dept.
commodore64_love writes with news that a number of cable companies, such as Time-Warner, Comcast, and Cox, are trying to establish themselves as content providers on the web in addition to television. They are currently negotiating with HBO, TNT, CNN, and a number of other channels to bring their programming online exclusively for cable TV subscribers. They say they're not trying to develop "some enormous new revenue opportunity," but rather trying to compete with sites like Hulu, which provide shows for free. "They pay networks a per-subscriber fee each month for the right to carry channels. But the cable companies have groused that they are paying for content that programmers are giving away for free on the Web. ... People aren't yet cutting the cord en masse - the Leichtman survey found that people who watch recent TV shows online every week are not more likely to give up TV service than other people. But the industry is heading off what could end up as a troubling trend. After all, the availability of free content online has befuddled other media industries, from music to newspapers. ... The cable companies and others involved in the talks for a TV service said their goal isn't to kill the online video goose, but to work out a plan that keeps everyone's business intact."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cable Companies Want Bigger Share of Online TV Market

Comments Filter:
  • by Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:23PM (#27018987)
    How about we eliminate the middle party fees and go right to the source. everyone wins!
    • by goofy183 (451746)

      My thoughts exactly. The internet is the middle man, we're seeing it with record companies already who are having to retool a bit back into more production and less distribution. The internet is going to make telcos who want to double as media providers obsolete. We still need the telco side but the media provider side can be done directly be the content creator/owner.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      I've been waiting for some time now to see a company offering "season sets" or subscriptions to web broadcasts. It's only logical in such a scenario to go straight to the studio for the downloads or streams, rather than going through a "middle man" cable company.

      In fact I don't see how the cable companies think they're owed the opportunity to take on web broadcasting. That should be done by the producing studio, not by some arbitrary winner of exclusive rights.

  • And... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte AT drunksnipers DOT com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:23PM (#27018989) Homepage

    A bigger share of the pie.

    (with pie being money)

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:33PM (#27019053)

    During LOST on ABC this week my cable cut out five times....in the first fifteen minutes of the show.

    I instead just waited for the show to be over, then downloaded the HD scene release from one of those internet sets that let's you do that, instead of watching the choppy version from my digital cable box that I pay a lot for per month.

    Time Warner customer service is terrible also. They had no idea what was wrong with my box. Replaced it. And the same thing happened this morning when I watching the news....so I just listened to news radio this morning instead of local TV news.

    If Time Warner and these other companies expand into the online realm of audio video media entertainment are they going to carry the baggage and problems that they have on cable already? Are we going to have to pay for 1,000 internet channels when we only watch at most ten of them? Is the digital cable guide never going to be available? When will they start upping the subscription rates and not telling anyone? Will they force the user to purchase a CD from Time Warner with the software installed to watch the online videos so that they can charge an installation fee?

    I pay for cable but I almost download everything I watch now besides live sports events, and even then with the reliability of my cable box, I've been turning to radio more often than ever.

    Maybe people have other experiences with different cable and satellite TV providers, but Time Warner is tremendously horrible. And why do I keep Time Warner? They are the only cable and internet provider around me, for real. Ugh.

    • by Medgur (172679) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:42PM (#27019121) Homepage

      Solution: Stop paying for cable.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How was this modded insightful? OP clearly addressed this point in his closing sentence!

        And why do I keep Time Warner? They are the only cable and internet provider around me, for real. Ugh.

        If it were possible for him, OP clearly states that he would prefer to view shows on his television, rather than having to resort to downloading them. He merely says that downloading has become his only option to view them at all, not his preference.

        As for the second part of OP's statement, that you conveniently ignored, he explains the other reason why he still sends them money every month: he has no other ISP. If he w

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by photomonkey (987563)

        Worked for me. In the last few months, I cut my cable bill quite dramatically.

        By dropping the television and phone service, my bill went from $180 to $50.

        I don't miss TV at all. What little I watch tends to be baseball, and I can get every MLB game legally on my computer through a paid service offered by the league.

        Additionally, Netflix's streaming and DVD-by-mail service fill in the remainder of what time I have to watch TV.

        I can't believe that I was paying $1560 per year for cable TV. What a waste.

    • by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:54PM (#27019201)

      Are they going to make you pay for 1000 channels, when you only watch 10... and STILL show adverts?

      And I presume it'll all be DRM'd up to the hilt and only playable on Windows?

      Or will they release it in a various formats (flv,mpeg etc.) without DRM and all downloadable on a per-show basis without any adverts, like BBC iPlayer does?

      Only time will tell

      • by cjb658 (1235986)

        I think this is the RIAA all over again. The cable companies see new technology as a threat to their existing business model, and are trying to block competitors by inking exclusive deals with content providers.

        I also believe this is why they are going crazy about Bittorrent and the bandwidth "problem."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordKaT (619540)

      One of the biggest problems with TWC - at least in the NYC area - is line degradation. Customer service will insist that the box is malfunctioning, but if you do some basic line noise tests you'll probably notice a significant noise problem.

      TWC won't do a damn thing about it. They'll claim to the heavens that it's Scientific Atlanta's problem, or that your house wiring needs to be replaced. You have to twist a managers arms for months before they admit that they don't see the need to replace/maintain the co

    • by Stele (9443)

      But I thought cable was so much better than satellite! At least that's what all those commercials proclaim!

      (I watched it without commercials on my DirecTV DVR, with no cut-outs)

    • by antdude (79039)

      Can you get over the air (OTA) or are you stuck? It is more reliable IMO.

    • by Tacvek (948259)

      Interestingly if you have a supported OS, and a sufficiently fast internet connection, it may be worth trying ABC's streaming service for Lost.

      I was shocked to find that if you choose the HD stream and have a sufficent bandwidth the quality is really at true DVD level. Sure thats not really HD, but for web streaming services that is unheard of. The quality definitely exceeds the 350 MB per episode divx torrents, and I find is still better than the 700 MB divx torrents.

      It is not always at quite DVD quality,

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Interestingly if you have a supported OS, and a sufficiently fast internet connection, it may be worth trying ABC's streaming service for Lost.

        This is a broadcast network show!

        Why bother with their "streaming service"?

        Just put a bloody antenna up and buy a $30 ATSC usb stick, or splurge and by a HDHomeRun.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:33PM (#27019057)
    ... has historically worked hard to keep content carriers (ISPs) and content providers (television show, movie & music makers) completely separate. IMO, allowing cable companies to become content providers as well as ISPs violates that principle. It carries too much danger of a few companies controlling all content. One of the historical fears is that not only does this have the effect of monopolizing content, it allows too few companies to control the news.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:16PM (#27019375) Homepage

      I agree. The vertical integration of Time Warner is a bit disturbing. They own the studio that makes the show. They own the TV channel that carries the show. They own the cable network that carries the channel. They own the ISP that competes with that cable network as a method of distribution. They own the infrastructure that carries both the ISP and the cable network to your home. Am I missing anything?

      Personally, I think that the split should be between the people who provide infrastructure and everything else. If you're the company that actually runs the cable to people's homes, then you shouldn't be allowed to provide any kind of service over that network. It presents too many conflicts of interest.

      • Am I missing anything?

        They (probably) don't yet own the utilities that provide the power to their equipment!

      • Exactly what I came in here to say. If you make money from providing the medium, you shouldn't also be in the message business -- and vice versa.

        (Way past) Time to start enforcing anti-trust legislation again.

        • Yeah, to explain a bit more (maybe this is unnecessary, but I'll explain anyway), I think Verizon and TWC, as companies who own/maintain the infrastructure, should be barred from even being ISPs. To people who don't understand what an ISP does, that may seem like a silly idea, but Verizon already allows other ISPs to operate over their infrastructure. Whenever you get DSL (or a T1, T3) in my area, it's going through Verizon.

          So what I would propose is that anyone running cable must allow that sort of acce

  • Infect your subscribers PC with DRM and Spyware. Hey, it worked for Sony.

  • if it's "free"... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krotkruton (967718) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:42PM (#27019123)
    If my cable company would let me sign into some site (which I would get access to because I pay for the cable in my house) and watch tv episodes, I'd watch it on that site over a site like hulu. Of course, that all depends on which has better quality, fewer commercials, etc.

    I travel a lot, so in lieu of a slingbox, I'd appreciate the added feature of being able to watch the service I pay for when I'm on the road.
    • Based on the quality of most Cable STBs, that hypothetical site would probably be an IE6 only ActiveX monstrosity of the highest order and lowest quality.
      • That was what I meant with "etc.", but I agree with ya. After all, isn't it the hassle that's driven most of us to use torrents in the first place? Why would the new kids learn from the mistakes of those who came before them... but there's always a chance.
    • by Fatal67 (244371)

      My understanding is that this is exactly what Comcast is planning on doing.

  • by Anonymous Covard (140827) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:44PM (#27019147)

    ...growing implementation of data-per-month caps has nothing to do with free-and-legal streaming video, right? It's all about those bandwidth-hogging criminals, most assuredly!

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:48PM (#27019175) Journal

    I don't recognize a single word. Nice editing. LOL. :-) - The key point of my submission is that YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO WATCH SHOWS FOR FREE on sites like tnt.com, abcfamily.com, et cetera because the shows will be placed behind a wall, and only cable subscribers will be able to access them. Non-cable homes (such as myself) will no longer be able to watch ad-supported online shows like the Closer, Kyle XY, or Monk.

    The cable companies argue that, because they pay subscriber fees (25-90 cents per home per channel), they should be able to control who does, and does not, have access to online TV shows.

    Aside -

    Frankly, when I read this in my hometown paper, it made me rather angry. It's bad enough Comcast has a monopoly over cable lines, but now they want a monopoly over internet TV watching too? I've been watching Monk and Kyle XY on usanetwork.com and abcfamily.com for awhile now, but it appears I won't be doing that after Fall 2009 arrives. They will be sealed behind subscriber-only access.

    • Don't worry this will fail.
      If done right, they'll just abandon this silly notion and nothig will change.
      If they really fight this, they will stop in a few year after throwing billion of dollars.
      In the mean time just use bitorrent.

      I consider it a form of civil disobediance.
      P prefer not to, but if they are locking my out of content I want to see, I'll use it.

      All I want to do is ahve my machine automatically download the shows I select. I have no problem with them inserting ads, I do understand that's where they get there money.

      In fact, they could insert local ads based on your location, which could be based on your billing address.

      That is the future of television.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcsqueak (1043736)

        In fact, they could insert local ads based on your location, which could be based on your billing address.

        Exactly, they should actually put some thought into creative thinking about where they would like to see the industry go and revenue come from, rather than their usual protectionist actions that deprive users of access to content in order to keep life support going on an outdated business model.

        It's just plain laziness and a very wrong idea about "deserved" revenues. They don't deserve to make any money if they don't keep their customers happy and actually provide people with what they want.

        It actually

      • >>>I have no problem with them inserting ads

        Me neither. Ads pay to allow me to watch the shows for free. I'm happy with that arrangement. But this Comcast/Cox/TW proposal means I'd have to subscribe to Comcast at $65 a month (basic access), in order to watch Kyle XY or Monk online. Otherwise I'll be blocked. Cute.

      • by cjb658 (1235986)

        It would be even better if they could take some advice from Google and show you relevant ads.

        I have no use for Viagra, tampons, a new car after I just bought one, or almost anything else that's advertised on TV.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by olsmeister (1488789)
      Doesn't seem too different from this. http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/06/1444258 [slashdot.org]
      • No that's a little different:

        - ESPN360.com and Disneyconnection.com are charging Verizon ISP to pay for the websites. It's a business-to-business deal.

        - This proposal is charging customers directly. They will move streaming TV shows on tnt.tv, abcfamily.com, usanetwork.com, etcetera, and lock them behind a wall. Only people who subscribe to Comcast or Cox or Time-Warner will be allowed past the wall. People who don't have cable get nothing.

    • The cable companies argue that, because they pay subscriber fees (25-90 cents per home per channel), they should be able to control who does, and does not, have access to online TV shows.

      I'm not sure that you'll see this sort of "exclusive" licensing, where you won't be able to see Monk anywhere except on Comcast's website. That would be really silly for the producers of Monk. I'm sure they'd be more than willing to license it to any website that wants to pay what they the producers are asking.

      The issue, of course, is that Comcast already pays USA Network 25-90 cents for each home that gets USA Network. So if Comcast offers this to their customers, they shouldn't have to pay any more mon

      • RTFA. It explains that, yes, they will exclusively license the shows to the cable companies because the cable conglomerates are the ones paying the bill (subscriber fees) that support the shows.

        As for USA Network, they are already giving away their shows online. You just have to be willing to watch the ads. USA is happy with that deal since it's profitable for them, but Comcast/Cox/Time-warner is not happy because they're afraid people will say, "Why pay for cable when I can get the shows free on the net

    • by Mr2001 (90979)

      Non-cable homes (such as myself) will no longer be able to watch ad-supported online shows like the Closer, Kyle XY, or Monk.

      I guess you'll just have to get a torrent and watch them without ads. What a shame!

  • People have wants that aren't being met. Cable companies have the power to grant those wants. Why aren't they doing something about it!?

    Here's #1: People want to watch their favorite shows on their own schedule. Sure, DVRs are a partial solution, but they only work if the customer remembers to set it up properly. Cable companies have had 'on demand' for years now, but instead of using it to keep their customers happy, they throw a few crappy programs on it and charge. Why!? That would totally stop a

    • >>>If they would make CableTV fun and reliable, I would probably stop watching online and start paying for a cable line again.

      Go read the article. You will no longer be able to watch your favorite cable shows online, because Comcast/Cox/et cetera will be sealing them behind a subscriber-only website. So if for example your favorite show is the Closer, instead of watching it for free at tnt.tv, you'll have to pay Comcast to gain access to the show.

        Fun eh?

    • Part of that re-vamp to make it more reliable could be a cableco push for a minimum quality for a TV feed to be considered "HD".

      right now it's only pixel width and height.

      I can take a postage stamp sized ASF file from the 2001 filesharing networks, change a few tags on it, and it would be considered "HD" despite being nothing but 15 huge macroblocks with some sound.

      Half the channels on comcast's network look exactly like my hypothetical description.

      When there's no difference between your tv and youtube, peo

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Traditionally video is measured in how many lines (|||||) can be seen, counting left to right, inside a square. The sharper the image, the more lines you see. So you have:

        VHS - approximately 250 ||||| lines
        analog TV-330 ||||| lines
        S-VHS- 420 ||||| lines
        DVD - 480 ||||| lines
        720p- 700 ||||| lines
        1080i-1000 ||||| lines

        All values are approximate, since the measurement is performed using analog means (the human eye). A heavily-compressed HD channel might deteriorate to only 500 lines horizontal resolution - n

        • by Atragon (711454)

          I'm sorry, but you're wildly off base with your resolution figures.

          What you're quoting as horizontal resolution is, in fact, the vertical resolution, and even then, only approximations.

          Real numbers (from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-VHS [wikipedia.org])

          * 350Ã--240 (250 lines): Video CD
          * 330Ã--480 (250 lines): Umatic, Betamax, VHS, Video8
          * 400Ã--480 (300 lines): Super Betamax, Betacam (professional)

          • I wish to sincerely thank you for quoting me.

            *I* was the one who wrote that article (that portion anyhow). :-)

            And no I was not wildly off. There's no significant difference between saying DVD has 520 versus 480 lines resolution. We're talking about an analog measurement here (done by a technician's human eye), and it varies depending upon a number of factors, such as the quality of the source material, the amount of compression used, and so on. Also I used the word "approximately" in my posting. And I

  • by gd2shoe (747932) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:51PM (#27019187) Journal

    The cable companies' business model is to charge for a connection to content. In the up-and-coming age of Internet streaming, that isn't going to happen. They need a paradigm shift if they're going to survive. The CBS and NBC sites are good examples of what can survive (although they're done quite poorly, IMO).

    At this rate, cable co.s are going to become ISPs, and nothing more. If they can set up their own streaming sites, (with competitive offerings and commercials) some of them can survive as content providers. The Internet has a tendency to cut out the middlemen. The middlemen must now add value to persist.

    Besides, the cable model is inherently unfair anyway. One both pays the cable co. and must sit through commercials. Most people won't admit that they're getting double billed, but they can feel it. They will migrate to better models as they become available.

    • by mcsqueak (1043736)

      Besides, the cable model is inherently unfair anyway. One both pays the cable co. and must sit through commercials. Most people won't admit that they're getting double billed, but they can feel it. They will migrate to better models as they become available.

      Yes, and they still charge an arm and a leg for their premium offerings... I know people who pay between $150 - $200 a month for cable - that is insane!

      I don't mind sitting through commercials when I watch online because it's mostly free (besides the cost of internet), but commercials on cable TV are aggravating. Its little wonder DVRs are so popular.

      The only reason I can see where the cost of cable is worth it is to be provided with your shows in hi-def if you own a nice LCD or Plasma display, which yo

    • Netflix (Score:3, Informative)

      I don't use Netflix just for streaming, but I moved my plan up a notch just to have access to it.

      I can't say I'm burning up the tubes streaming stuff, but I like it when I do.

      I feel the price I pay is a fair price, so I can see a business model that does charge for a connection to content.

      What isn't going to happen is someone paying 69.95 a month for low quality video just to stream it to a laptop.

      This is where they will miss the boat. It doesn't have to be free. People will pay for things if the price is r

  • by wyldeone (785673) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:53PM (#27019195) Homepage Journal
    It's amazing how adept the media companies are at shooting themselves in the feet. They've come a long way with sites like hulu such that it is now more convenient to watch shows legally than illegally. If they change that by acceding to the cable companies' demands, the only result will be more piracy and less revenue. Cable companies are going to have to realize at some point that their primary function of providing access to a lot of content that most of their customers aren't interested in isn't going to last much longer, and that they are going to become just another pipe into the home. Attempts like this to forestall the inevitable are going to fail in the long run.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      It's also amazing how broke some of this shit is. Hulu's movie selection is abysmal at best and they rarely add new things. Television shows are rotated, so you could see, say, Monk Season 4 episodes 5, 6, and 7. If you wanted to watch 8, 9, and 10, you'd have to wait for them to rotate them in.

      Are we in some sort of bandwidth or storage crisis that they can't put the whole series online? No. Someone in the background is pulling strings and saying shit like, "If you put the whole series online people won't

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:59PM (#27019237)

    Cable retained users by offering more channels with fewer commercial interruptions.

    As adoption skyrocketed, cable companies began tossing more and more commercials into the mix.

    In 1986 the average cable show had 2 commercials in it; today popular shows have 6 minutes of commercials for every 5 minutes of content.

    Do that in today's market and leaner, meaner companies with less legacy issues to tie them down will come eat your lunch!

    Cable providers have already shown they don't have the spine to risk losing that programming, so they can't threaten to shut these studios out. They'll have to take a huge cut in profits by either paying them higher fees for exclusivity or lowering their commercials on live and offering more dependable, consumer friendly service.

    If they try to up their bills satellite will eat their lunch, even if they manage to lock out hulu and netflix, and the higher their bills go -- especially with their bundling with internet service, the more customers they will lose.

    There are those who consider the TV just superfluous and buy only net. if the cable company jacks up the tv portion of their bill they'll switch ISP's

    For those whose primary purpose is TV, people, especially in this economy, might save their pennies for food/gas/mortgage and start giving pirate bay more patronage (and flowers : ] )

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:19PM (#27019413)

      today popular shows have 6 minutes of commercials for every 5 minutes of content.

      That is bullshit. The typical prime-time hour long show has 39-42 minutes of content,leaving only 18-21 minutes for commercials. That is a ratio of 1 minute commercial for every 2 minutes of content. I know this because I edit the commercials out before watching and I use the "time remaining" counter in my video editor as a sanity check that I got all of the commercials.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by GIL_Dude (850471)
        You are absolutely right of course. Interestingly, I time it by DVD releases that I watch while on the treadmill. For example, Star Trek (TOS) from the 1960's episodes are 50 minutes long. So apparently there were 50 minutes of "show" to 10 minutes of commercial. Star Trek TNG from the 1990's is 45 minutes of "show" to 15 minutes of commercial. Psych (2nd season) is 43 minutes of "show" to 17 minutes of commercial. I think the worst I have seen so far is 40 minutes of "show" to 20 minutes of commercial.

        For
      • I know this because I edit the commercials out before watching

        Could you maybe, you know on your last day before layoff or retirement, "forget" to edit the commercials back in. It feels good to break a rule know and again, wouldn't you agree?

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:14PM (#27019353) Homepage Journal

    Now that we are almost all on metered internet, they will offer 'reduced bandwidth rates' for local content, relative to their competition.

  • by v1 (525388)

    to work out a plan that keeps everyone's business intact.

    Well, I'm sure that's close to what he meant to say...

  • BitTorrent. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doug52392 (1094585) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:20PM (#27019419)

    I just download TV episodes from BitTorrent. Much more convenient, I don't have to install some shitty Windows only software filled with security holes, no commercials, and I have full control over the files I download.

    I usually download a ~349Mb TV episode, and copy it to a flash drive. I then bring the flash drive downstairs, plug it into my PlayStation 3, and enjoy watching the shows in HD.

    Or sometimes, if I know I won't have time to watch the show because I know I'll be busy all day, I'll run the video file through a converter and copy it to my MP3/Video player, and watch the TV show when I have a bit of free time.

    And the legitimate, legal customer is limited to watching a video that's interrupted by commercials, confined to a small Flash window, etc etc.

    • by Tacvek (948259)

      I'm confused how you can consider the 350 MB releases HD. The 700 MB releases are the ones usually labeled HD, and even they often don't reach the quality of regular DVDs.

      (I'm assuming of course, that you are talking about standard 42 minute programs, rather than 21 minute programs like sitcoms, and old programming.)

  • Honestly. My cable company just raised my bill per month by $10, so I canceled my cable all together. If they're complaining about internet stealing all their business they should take a look at the sort of terrible programming they're offering. I wanted 3 extra channels on my cable package, but I couldn't just get just those channels, I had to get an additional 200 channels I didn't want and an additional $30 on my bill. The internet's rightly stealing their business because when you go online you can watc

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:53PM (#27019629)

    My wife and I recently bought our first HD flat screen TV. We were about to call Comcast to add HD to our cable plan. Then we stopped and asked ourselves a question, "How much more enjoyment will we get from watching shows we already watch but now in HD?" The answer, for us, turned out to be almost nothing. So now we were stuck with stretched and obviously pixelated non HD programming on our new HD TV.

    So we asked ourselves another question, "How many of the shows that we watch aren't available online as full episodes (many in HD)?" The answer again, for us, turned out to be almost none.

    So we dropped all cable TV (cable package, DVR, and on-demand) and only kept internet. We then signed up for Netflix 3 DVDs with Blu-Ray and on-demand for only $17 a month. We then bought an LG Blu-Ray player that hooks into your Netflix account and allows you to stream any Netflix on-demand show to your TV. LG even recently released an upgrade where now we can browse YouTube and watch any video.

    Looking back, we would never go back to cable. We're perfectly happy with the selection of entertainment Netflix and online sites give us and very much enjoy watching TV on our terms with almost no commercials (most network TV websites use commercials... though Netflix doesn't, of course). Plus, we went from almost paying ~$80 for HD cable with a DVR and an on-demand box to only $17 a month (plus the Blu-Ray player we bought) and are much happier with our TV.

    What's poetic justice in all this is that Comcast is providing the bandwidth for us to stream all of their competitor's content. Makes me realize why cable companies are vehemently against net neutrality. I hope they never win that battle.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dwedit (232252)

      It will get more expensive when you hit Comcast's 250 GB/Month cap, then your rates increase $10 for each 15GB you go over the limit.

      • by Dwedit (232252)

        Sorry, should be $15 for each 10GB over the limit, switched the numbers by mistake.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Internet tv wont be a panacea to tv watching customers. You'll be able to have a streaming box like a Roku or a store and play box like a tivo that will get free or nearly free tv shows with re-play or re-download abilities if you dont get the show the first time, but then your cable internet bandwidth will jump through the roof and the cable companies will charge you double for the extra usage.

    So instead of paying comcast $50 for cable tv and $50 for cable internet, you'll end up paying them $100 for high

  • I had one of the bundles with TV, internet, and phone service. I cancelled it all back in August. I was getting ready to take on a project at work that was going to eat most of my time. And I got to looking. I was spending about $140 per month for all of it and really only watch 3 TV's show that I could purchase for $40 per season at iTunes. I had internet at work, and much faster than at home, and I had my cell phone. So I just cut it all off. And I can't say that I've missed it that much.

    I love wat

  • by BCW2 (168187)
    What about those of us that got fed up with the sleezy billing practices of Time Warner and now use DirectTV? I wouldn't pay a cable company a penny for anything.
  • I just wanted to mention that I'm part of the trend.

    I got tired of paying $63 a month for cable when most of the "live TV" I watch are major network shows. I download South Park and a few other cable only shows, and don't even watch them on their normal cable channels.

    So I went to Radio Shack and got a nice VHF/UHF yagi. I put it in the attic pointing in the direction of the antenna farms.

    The result? Beautiful HD picture from all the local stations and national networks. And it costs $0.

    I canceled cable the

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:10AM (#27020575)

    ... work out a plan that keeps everyone's business intact.

    Sound familiar? The problem is, the consumer is not usually a part of such plans. Well, other than as a cash cow to be milked for all it's worth.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:50AM (#27020773) Homepage Journal

    Now they're finally admitting the real reason for the bandwidth caps: they do not want to lose their cable TV monopolies.

  • Why would a content creator/publisher NEED an exclusive internet distributor? Why wouldn't they build out their own delivery channels over the internet and let people subscribe directly?

    So, what is the value prop from the cable companies? I wonder if it is quality of service while trampling other internet traffic like P2P, gaming, VPN, music streaming, etc. These guys are your ISP and they are going to prioritize your traffic to their gain. And to think that cable companies try to play that network shapi
  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:21PM (#27023967)

    They pay networks a per-subscriber fee each month for the right to carry channels. But the cable companies have groused that they are paying for content that programmers are giving away for free on the Web.

    Hey Comcast (and AT&T, Verizon, Cox, etc). Turn around is fair play. You guys have been trying to figure out how to squeeze a few extra bucks out of content providers. But now it looks like you are going to become their bitches. I'm ROTFLMAO.

We can predict everything, except the future.

Working...