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Television The Internet Entertainment

Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV 304

smaxp writes "It's no surprise that few people love their pay TV providers. In May, Variety reported that the American Consumer Satisfaction Index ranked cable television providers last in all consumer categories. Pent up frustration with cable and satellite TV providers fuels a steady buzz that Amazon, Apple, Google and Netflix will disrupt TV. These new entrants promise to offer variability in pricing and greater choice fueling notions that Americans have officially cut their proverbial cords. But true disruption is wishful thinking. Data from the PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) global entertainment and media outlook for 2013-2017 doesn’t support a disruptive market scenario. Incumbent cable and satellite pay TV providers and over-the-top (OTT) challengers such as Amazon and Netflix are both forecasted to grow. OTT TV has only reinvented a single part of the TV business, streaming archival movie and television content over the internet replacing physical DVDs and time-shifted DVR replay of TV programs. To displace incumbents, OTT TV has to continue to change TV business models in ways that appeal to consumers and attract content owners. "
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Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV

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  • no shit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xicor ( 2738029 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:06PM (#44579127)
    the problem is that the ppl who make the television all have deals with specific channels, and those channels have deals with the providers. none of the online sites are willing to deal with this kind of structure, and most are smart enough to realize that everyone who watches shit online already has a site where they watch them for free without ads
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra ( 782887 )

      none of the online sites are willing to deal with this kind of structure

      Erm, Netflix, Youtube and Amazon make deals for content all the time. Kevin Spacey has a deal with Media Rights Capital, that company has a specific (exclusive) distribution deal with Netflix for House of Cards. The web companies are adopting business tactics networks have used for decades, while demanding free access to the cable to your house, while the cable networks have to negotiate with cable providers for access.

      • Re:no shit (Score:5, Funny)

        by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:02PM (#44579407)

        I have an exclusive deal with the Pirate bay that trumps all those deals. Netflix, Youtube and Amazon are NOT the future of video. They are just extensions of the same relics the cable companies are. Internet killed the video star.

        • Re:no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:36PM (#44579583)
          Because TPB has instant streaming, good recommendations, integrates as an instant streaming source for all of my house-hold devices, and has a lovely children's mode? TPB is only a good deal if you don't value your time or you just can't find something you want somewhere else for a decent price or ease of access.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            As fast as show episodes can download, it's close enough to instant to be worthwhile.

            Download a 480p episode of whatever and any device in your household can stream it.

        • by mcrbids ( 148650 )

          I use TPB only rarely, I used to use it much more. It's been said before that Hulu/Netflix are highly effective at combating piracy, and for me at least, it's very true!

          I'm a cord cutter; haven't had cable service in years, even though a few years ago we had the Dish DVR with all the fixin's for $125/month or so. When we moved, I didn't buy cable right away but I did buy Internet right away, and by the time (a few months later) things were settled enough that we could talk about Cable, we'd already latched

          • QBittorrent:
            - Watch torrents within minutes of finding what you want with in-order downloading.
            - Searches span tens of sites & return only results & seed/peer numbers, but no ads. The description page (if you want it) is still only a click away.
            - After 3x seed, torrents auto-pause. (no management necessary)

            The final video file is mine to watch wherever I want. Unlike Netflix, this includes:
            - With the kids during Car trips.
            - On the cheap non-Google Android tablets that are affordable enough to entrus

      • Re:no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:51PM (#44580253)

        The web companies are adopting business tactics networks have used for decades, while demanding free access to the cable to your house,

        You lost us with the lie about demanding free access to the cable to my house. They demand equal access to the cable to my house that *I* pay for. When my ISP sends me a check for all the ads I've viewed, then I'll listen to that lie. Until then, I'll consider an ISP blocking access to content to be fraud and a breach of contract, not a fair move to block the greedy content companies. Who, incidentally, pay for their access to the Internet.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

        Erm, Netflix, Youtube and Amazon make deals for content all the time.

        He said "with this kind of structure". He was not arguing that Netflix et al don't want to make deals of any kind, just those kinds of deals.

    • ESPN is the key (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:00PM (#44579393) Homepage Journal

      I think the biggest player that keeps people locked into subscription TV is ESPN, and they know it. Everything else can be found via acceptable delays whether it's Netflix/Hulu/whatever, DVD release, or even torrents. But most fans still strongly prefer to watch sports live.

      Most people I know who still subscribe would gladly ditch cable/satellite if they could stream ESPN even if it cost $20/month, which is far more than ESPN gets from the cable companies and would allow them to offer features they can't run through non-interactive media. The number of people who have cut the cord (or know how to) hasn't reached critical mass yet, but once it does, ESPN is either going to be able to start dictating higher fees from cable companies or will take a shot at streaming (or both). I expect a strong drop in the cable/satellite subscriber base in the first year after this happens, which will be devastating to their share prices because jacking up rates to make up for lost revenues and profits will just encourage more people to leave.

      • Yep, as long as you aren't into sports - It's ok to cut the cord.

        Over 6 years now - That's $7,000 saved (minus netflix charges).

        Never,EVER going back to paying for commercials.

      • Not so much (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:05PM (#44579745)
        if you've got kids, particularly girls, you're stuck. They all want to watch the same shows and the same night. I'm too broke for cable right now (When it hit $170/mo for Internet+tv I had to bail) and it drives my kid nuts. Sure, the shows might show up on Netflix, but it takes months. I can get them on iTunes, but it's so expensive I might as well buy cable (and I'm sure that's by design).

        I know a lot of people will rant about Television being brain rot and all that, but for most normal people (hint: Not the /. crowd) TV is a social thing. It genuinely puts my kid at a social disadvantage that she doesn't have it.
      • I don't watch sports. How about I get a refund for all the espn I've been forced to watch...or can I split my cable bill and slingbox espn to someone who cares ? eff the tos.
      • Re:ESPN is the key (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Friday August 16, 2013 @12:09AM (#44580329)

        Disclosure: I work for Comcast

        You have no idea how much of your cable bill goes to pay ESPN, if you did, you would be sick. Let's just say that a $20/month streaming bill wouldn't actually be 'far more than what they get from the cable company'.

        Sports channels are easily the biggest cost, and the biggest driver of increased costs.

        • whoa... does the fire and brimstone smell get you down or are you used to it? B)

          Wasn't ESPN just part of the basic cable package? If sports channels are the biggest cost, why aren't there more unbundled packages that don't include them? Or at least get htem out of hte basic cable package. There must be a sizable market that could care less about ESPN et al who would appreciate the lower bill? you don't even ahve to lower it by as much as ESPN is getting.

          (I moved out of country several years ago so mayb

      • by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:31AM (#44580885)

        In the Netherlands, the main sports people watch on television is soccer. Nothing more. The national soccer bond has their own live streaming of the 2 leagues and all the international games service which you can subscribe on. National television usually broadcasts the national team if they play a match and there is public television that is streamed by the station itself for "other sports". We have a crowd of people watching Formula 1 on any of two or three channels that usually provide the feed on television, but it's the only sport that can be found "free" on cable that isn't streamed "free" on the internet that has a significant of people watch.

        It's being done, it's proven commercially viable because we have enough density of high speed internet to satisfy "the fans". The reason it won't work in the USA yet, is because there aren't enough people able to watch these streams. Once broadband gets enough penetration, Cable and satellite TV will be dead as disco, unless they will start providing a-la-carte channels instead of bundles.

        Don't forget that Netflix has their own exclusive series now. You can't get those on cable or satellite and this means that people will eventually be going to want both services. Given the netflix pricing schedule, it will be relatively cheap for people to have both and only pay for the netflix stuff they can't get on cable, or not when they want it. Paying cable for expensive upgrades like a DVR feature will happen less and less because of this.

        Advertising income from channels will be lower because fewer people will be watching, even if the potential viewer number doesn't change. That means that the channels offering the content and the producers of the content will look for different ways of making money. They could charge the cable companies more, making cable more unattractive for more and more people, or they could go on the internet. They could do both. Regardless which they choose, the cable companies will have to choose to either get more expensive, or cut costs somewhere internally in their organization. The end result will be that they will have to spend more money on marketing to compensate for the lower quality and/or the higher price, again resulting in a less satisfied customer.

        It doesn't take much more than what is already happening to trip the balance for the cable and satellite companies. It's already happening and it will be a matter of time until they will start to change their pricing model and offer you to pay per channel. It may take some bankruptcies for this to happen, but it will happen soon enough. That won't be the end, but they'll be around as long as enough people can't get high speed internet in their homes. Cable TV will probably die sooner than Satellite, but in the end, we'll all be watching IP-based streams, or whatever the prevailing technology is by then.

        • by Lennie ( 16154 )

          But the cable providers will still remain:

          Ziggo in the Netherlands just like in the US the cable provider (Comcast) is the or one of the biggest Internet providers and most of the Netherlands and US watches digital TV which is also IP-based streaming.

          Their network is completely fiber except for the 'last mile' and DOCSIS 3 provided up to over 300 Mbit/s downstream and 120 Mbit/s upstream.

    • I might be wrong since I'm only going by what I'm reading and have yet to use a Roku box myself but I'm continually surprised that you can't stream the channels that you can pick up over the air for free, especially with the HD conversion. It seem counterintuitive that free channels don't go as many avenues as possible. If that were to occur, I would think that + netflix would be enough for a good plurality of people.

      • by jfengel ( 409917 )

        I think it works like this: if the broadcast networks were to offer their content for free via streaming, they would be competing with their own clients: the local affiliates. They receive the stuff and broadcast it locally over the airwaves, with local ads (inserted in addition to the national ads that come with the content). They also broadcast it over the local cable providers.

        I don't know what, if any, revenue-sharing deals the networks make with the affiliates for competing with them via Hulu.

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:07PM (#44579131) Homepage

    Admittedly, I have no idea who got voted off the island, but I'm coping pretty well. I can watch all the shows I care about on streaming, when I want, with no ads. Sure, people will continue to pay for cable for years to come, out of habit, but it's a business model that's failing to deliver value to new customers, so the population that consumes it will age out over time even if the streaming services don't change anything.

    Meanwhile, big cable is doing everything they legally can to prevent the streaming providers from delivering good service. And yet streaming providers are attracting plenty of customers, and plenty of people are cutting the cable. Why the hurry?

    BTW, can we please stop calling it "over the top?" That implies something about the business model that's total nonsense: the idea that IP service is a side business, and cable is the real business. Where did this term come from, anyway?

    • I haven't had cable or satellite TV in over ten years. I watch the occassional movie on Netflix, and I watch a few channels on Youtube on a regular basis (The Young Turks, Angry Video Game Nerd, Black Nerd Comedy, Ray William Johnson, and a smattering of unsigned artists). But by and large my downtime is spent either playing games, mostly online, or reading. Plain old television simply hasn't had a place in my life for over a decade.
    • so the population that [subscribes to multichannel pay television] will age out over time even if the streaming services don't change anything.

      Will people really "age out" of following the major professional and collegiate sport leagues over time? I was under the impression that sport fandom tended to be something that was passed down from generation to generation.

      • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:07PM (#44579439)

        Interesting question. I am going to guess no. Sports are surprisingly tied to modern culture.

        While it is clearly not 'high culture' in the way that Opera, art galleries, ballet, and such manage to, sports are surprisingly important to modern culture. Humans are competitive with one another. Sports are one of the few acceptable physical outlets for that. Competition in sports allow humans to compete with one another, either individually or in groups, without resorting to violence. Humans are tribal, and sports teams push several psychological buttons for people (belong to a group, and lets kick the ass of those other guys from across the river).

        Individual sports may increase or decrease in importance over time, but I expect that some form of sports will continue to be culturally relevant and important as long as humans are both competitive with one another and want to impress women by showing off how dominant they are.


        • What a load of crap. Sports might be important to many men, but most women don't give a shit about them.

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          sports are surprisingly important to modern culture

          Sports are the circuses in "bread and circuses". Meaningless artificial importance meant to keep us distracted from things that really matter. It's primative tribalistic behavior, we can do better than that.

      • Will people really "age out" of following the major professional and collegiate sport leagues over time?

        I sure hope so.

      • so the population that [subscribes to multichannel pay television] will age out over time even if the streaming services don't change anything.

        Will people really "age out" of following the major professional and collegiate sport leagues over time? I was under the impression that sport fandom tended to be something that was passed down from generation to generation.

        That's a good question, and one my wife is struggling with now. She's a sports fanatic and loss of cable (and before that, satellite) means she struggles to find ways to watch her games. Part of the solution is to go back to the antenna, part is to watch games on her laptop. I understand that the roku has some kind of sports package, but I don't think she's ready to spend money on that yet. I think the answer will eventually be that sports will be streamed from sources specializing in sports. But it's

    • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:58PM (#44579379)

      I have no idea who got voted off the island. But I am very satisfied with what I get from having Cable tv.

        - New episodes of good tv shows like Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Dexter, and Breaking bad show up on broadcast first. Streaming is absolutely more convenient. But running up against spoilers is too damn easy to do by accident if you use any kind of social media sites.

        - New tv shows like 'The Amerikans' on FX show up on broadcast long before going to streaming sites, unless they are Netflix Originals.
        - Live sports matter. Turns out I like watching people fight in a cage for money. The UFC puts out a surprising amount of events on free TV; 9 events on 'Free TV' (each being 6 hours (prelims and main card) plus an additional 9 events with prelim fights, and another event on Fox Sports 1 tomorrow. Watching these events legally through the official streaming service is much more expensive. Watching illegally is a pain in the ass. On top of that is more content from Bellator on Spike and regional promotions on Fight Network. MMA is not for everyone, but it is for me. And for others, its the NFL, or NBA, or NHL, or MLB.

        - Also, as far as social media + spoilers, as much as it can hurt the experience of seeing a show to know the ending, it fucking kills any kind of sporting event.

        - Not all content that you may wish to watch is going to be streamed easily. My wife is a fan of the Food Network. Not much demand for streams of those shows.

      Personally, I love that Netflix and others are doing their own content now, but we are still pretty far off from being able to cherry pick only the shows I want to see and then pay only for that content.


      • Browsing is good too. I find programs that I like because I bumped into them. With streaming there's less of the browse factor, you grab exactly what you want and nothing else. Streaming may be like premium cable too in many ways, all your friends will gush about a great program you must watch but it's not on the channels you get so you skip it.

        Sometimes it's just a major hassle. I want to see new Arrested Development, one of my favorite shows. But I don't want to watch it on my computer, I don't want

      • by mellon ( 7048 )

        I hate to break this to you, but many people who want to avoid Dexter spoilers just pirate it. But I haven't really had a problem with that, personally. What, he killed somebody? Shocked! I'm shocked! It helps that none of my friends on social media waste my time talking about TV shows.

    • by kesuki ( 321456 )

      "Meanwhile, big cable is doing everything they legally can to prevent the streaming providers from delivering good service."

      i stream video over wifi and so does my phone with no service bloackage even my ps3 doesn't have an issue. now verizon they ARE throttling over cellular towers. i have tried to stream netflix over 4g lte networks and it is trash. google plus app for android also refuses to run over 4g lte even if you disable wifi. normally the android phone does everything over wifi and sends nothing o

      • by mellon ( 7048 )

        That hasn't been my experience on Verizon. But the main thing they are doing is stifling competition, and colluding to avoid raising bandwidth or lowering prices. End result to you: no improvements in network performance, and, as you say, bandwidth caps. I haven't had an issue with this because I don't have much time to watch TV; if you're spending four or five hours a day in front of Netflix, you'll probably run into trouble. Of course it doesn't hurt that things like Dexter and True Blood are only

    • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:52PM (#44579659) Journal

      I resemble that. We have a roku box in one room and a blu-ray player that includes netflix in the other room, and an ANTENNA (remember those?) on the roof so wife can watch football, and we've been cable-free for almost three years now.

      Probably the biggest part of this is no longer caring if we see a show when it first comes out. We've talked about this in other threads, but waiting until a series accumulates a season or so, and then watching it in a few marathons allows one to pick up nuances that would be missed at one episode per week. I'm way WAY ok with not having seen whatever the guy across from me at work saw last night. We can still talk about series, but we talk about them like other people talk about movies. I saw this, it was pretty good, you should try it.

      I don't recall the last time I saw a commercial. It might have been the last superbowl. (I don't watch football but I attend the parties because there's beer.) Moreover, the response to "what do you want to see tonight?" is never never NEVER "I dunno, what's on?" Because the networks no longer control what we can watch. (Or choose not to watch.)

      > BTW, can we please stop calling it "over the top?" That implies something about the business model that's total nonsense: the idea that IP service is a side business, and cable is the real business. Where did this term come from, anyway?

      Completely agree. The term comes from an erroneous assumption.

      • by mellon ( 7048 )

        Ha! My wife does the same thing. And yes, binge-watching is one of the big pluses of no cable. Waiting all season to find out how it ends? Who wants to do that?

    • I wouldn't mind, but my internet won't handle it steaming very well, and I'd have to do some rewiring around the house if I want to watch on a tv and sofa instead of hunched over my computer (wifi too slow and insecure). The infrastructure just really isn't here to make this take off on a wide scale, so it's going to continue to be seen only in higher income urban areas, so the same areas that won't mind cable costs anyway. Right now you can essentially _only_ get decent speed broadband with cable provide

      • by mellon ( 7048 )

        Huh, I live in a town with a population of 10k, and my internet connection supports streaming just fine. If you don't have even comcast-grade internet where you are, start organizing and complaining. My mom set up a wireless Internet service in her town; with any luck they'll be getting fiber in a year or two, and that's a town even smaller than mine.

  • by pigiron ( 104729 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:07PM (#44579137) Homepage

    doesn't like internet TV. It's customers are the big Network and TV cable companies!

  • by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:09PM (#44579147)

    I haven't paid for TV in years. I just pirate everything that I can't find on Netflix. Not because I don't want to pay for something, or because I'm some kind of cheap ass looking to save a few bucks. I simply don't like paying $100+ a month to watch a few TV shows a week, which of course are laden with commercials. Unfortunately, this will always be an underground "war" until either the knowledge on how to safely pirate shows is commonplace, or there becomes actual competition in cable providers.

    I'm content with things the way they are now, however. I watch what I want, when I want, and how I want, for either free or cheap. The ball is in their court now.

    • by Xicor ( 2738029 )
      well, it is currently not against the law to watch streamed copies of movies and tv shows online(at least in the US)...but most average people dont know this.
    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      I look on torrents as an online DVR, to be watched when I want and without the annoying commercials stretching a 45 minute show to last an hour.

      I haven't paid for TV in ten years -- I can't afford it on disability. I don't even *watch* an hour's worth a week -- I just archive everything in *case* I want to watch it at some point in the future. A bit of a pack rat addiction to downloading. :)

      Last time I paid cable, the bill was over $70 a month. I've no doubt it would have increased to $100 a month b

    • Me too. 10 years now.

      The thing is, My ISP and the cable tv company are the same company. I'm still paying them, and only a few dollars less than internet plus basic cable. When enough people dump the cable TV, they'll can just hike the price of internet to make up for it.
  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:24PM (#44579207)

    OTA digital subchannels are what saved me from cable. Between and DIY and educational shows on 3 PBS channels, and the old reruns on various commercial "retro" subchannels, I'm now getting much better programming than the "reality" crap played 24/7 on the burned out carcasses of what used to be decent cable channels. Best of all, it's free.

  • Comcast caps it's HSI so people don't cut out the TV side and go on line only also they own parts of some local RSN's and other sports channels.

    • I've been on Cmcast for years. Never been hit by a cap (despite going well over the old threshold amount several months in a row). Now I have 100mbps with no cap. And no cable TV. :-)
    • That is the stone cold truth. Comcast caps and Warner bro's filters. If you don't have a bundle deal that rapes you for the maximum dollar your service starts getting blocked, or dropped, or lagy'er than pr0n server on a 14.4 modem.

    • Comcast doesn't have a cap at the moment.

    • You are incorrect. I am a network engineer for Comcast, so I have direct knowledge of this.

      Comcast previously did have a cap of 250 GB transfer a month. Last year, the caps were suspended and have yet to be reinstated, if they ever will. If you're a customer, your usage per month will still show on your account page when you login, but the references to caps have been removed.

      Now, I'm not going to say caps will never come back. That decision is far, far above my pay grade.

  • Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Highland Deck Box ( 2786087 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:31PM (#44579241)
    I pirate because the uploaders provide an infinitely better service than the cable companies or even Hulu/Netflix etc. I get DRM/region free ad-free files that work on any device, at great resolutions and quality, barely minutes after the episode has aired. Why the hell would I go back to their terrible services when that option is open to me? Now yes i'm not paying for the content, but often that's not an option anyway, (see The Oatmeal's comic on trying to buy Game of Thrones online). As has been voiced a million times, if these companies fired all their old idiot suits and brought out a 'Steam for movies/tv' that had all the added value that Steam brings it would take off like a rocket.
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      time warner has a special $64.99 package of internet, basic broadcast channels and HBO including HBO GO so you can watch GoT when it airs and on demand

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        Yes, but does it run on Linux?

        (When was the last time someone on /. wrote that in a serious manner?)

    • Old idiot suits is right!

      They could be making lots of money just by showing their stations online for a world wide audience and showing advertisements.

      But they choose not to do it because they aren't informed enough. HULU makes money, and every broadcasting station should have their own site or use HULU.

      Look how bad NBC screwed up with the Olympics. They could have shown every event live, and kept a recorded version for people who don't see it live. They'd have solved the olympic television problem
  • Most people get it from a cable company. And those companies will do whatever it takes to throw a wrench into the works of their competition. Apple and Netflix haven't raised the ire of the last mile monopoly yet. However Google has. And I'm starting to see anything 'Google, including some of their analytics mysteriously being throttled by the incumbents. Until the stranglehold on the last mile can be broken and broadband providers are classified as common carriers, nobody does business in the turf they con

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      i have a la carte internet from time warner. no pay TV. netflix is great, almost blu ray quality. MLB TV is also HD quality. i pay $50 for 20/1
      of course a lot of content is locally hosted via CDN's so its not like i'm going to the internet to stream netflix. google from what i know lives inside google data centers so you have to use the ISP's limited internet data pipe

      i have some streaming issues with some porn and sometimes youtube, but it will only be selected videos

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

        netflix is great, almost blu ray quality

        My wife is not that picky when it comes to quality, but a side-by-side of a regular 720p dvd to Netflix HD puts Netflix to shame, yet alone BluRay's 1080p. I have not have the privilege of Netflix' Super HD.

    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      And I'm starting to see anything 'Google, including some of their analytics mysteriously being throttled by the incumbents.

      My cable ISP sure isn't throttling youtube-dl.

  • at least the home teams are blacked out on MLB and NBA. and they cost a lot. $150 for baseball, $180 for basketball. no football yet on streaming.
    ESPN streams live games but you have to pay for TV

    in the end pay TV is not that bad. time warner and comcast have packages that start at $80 for internet and TV
    time warner is worse because it is supported by less streaming services like Disney Jr, Bravo and Epix

    internet by itself is $50. by the time you pay for netflix, hulu, any a la carte TV shows via itunes, th

    • by kesuki ( 321456 )

      you shouldn't be torrenting with a power hungry desktop or laptop when a small linux run downloading box. there are many was to do this from a pi with NAS or other kit computers using slow chips, that sip power and are not huge hacking targets. http://lifehacker.com/274177/build-a-bittorrent-box [lifehacker.com]
      they reccomend 'old' box but there has been much progress in low power chips these days, and with bittorent network speed is part of the problem, unless you have fiber to the door then it's number of seeds.

      • by kesuki ( 321456 )

        russian hackers expunged the site. i didn't follow links prior to finding this out. so sorry. i also screwed up my grammar but that doesn't bother me much

  • I still use sickbread, I tried cablecard and recording that way far to much was block off unless I went with MS lock in. I still have cable it goes nowhere because the bundle is cheaper that the internet by itself.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:44PM (#44579311) Journal
    My son is staying with us for a few months and has set up Netflix on our main dvd player, so I've recently had a chance to try it out for a while, but almost any time that I think of an old movie I'd really like to see that I don't have the DVD for already, I find it's never actually available on Netflix anyways. If Netflix carried stuff that I actually cared about, I'd probably get it myself when my son moves out, but it doesn't. So.... nope.
    • Previously, Netflix had a much wider streaming selection, but they had a falling out with several content creators. (Who promptly created/bought their own, rival, streaming services.)

      This caused netflix to lose their ability to stream that content to customers.

      Complaining that "netflix is shit", and then running to the same abusive people who are responsible for cable being over priced to begin with, because they have all the content you want, really doesn't accomplish much.

      Rather, you should complain that

      • Rather, you should complain that the content producers refuse to license to netflix

        But that'd still be complaining. Rather, you can consider making your own content, with blackjack and hookers.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        Who said I'm running to the cable company? All of the TV shows that I watch are available online, streamed from the network's website only one day after airing, and available online for about 2 weeks. I haven't had cable for almost 5 years.

        As for how wide Netflix selection used to be, I have no comparison.... since I only just started using it a few weeks ago. I can easily see it as more convenient than going to a video rental store, which is what I see Netflix replacing, but if they don't actually h

        • that's still supporting the abusive people, through the ad revinue, without supporting any alternative distributors.

          I was, however, referring to services like Hulu Plus, Blockbuster streaming service, and pals. EG, the streaming services operated by the content creators, explicitly to kill netflix, and other non-vested and disruptive distributors.

          Once all the contenders are gone, the rates will go back up. There is no reason for them not to.

  • Cable what? OTA + Netflix gives me pretty much everything I want.

    Too bad the cable company is my only halfway decent choice for an ISP.
  • Looking over the wide range of responses, one thing stands out -- one's opinion on whether "cable is dead" has a lot to do with how much importance one puts on TV in general. If you have a need to make sure you don't miss anything, you still need cable and you tend to believe it'll be there for the foreseeable future.. If you only watch TV occasionally, and your head won't explode if a certain series doesn't happen to be on Netflix right now, (because other series worth watching still are) then you tend t

  • They are looking at it completely bass ackwards.They are assuming that we are all just waiting to watch Here comes Honey Booboo, and Duck Dynasty and American loggers on the internet. Ain't necessarily so. People like myself aren't interested in that swill, and I'm just as happy to watch things I click on on Youtube here on the internet

    Cable TV is starting to have very little of interest. Network television is the pits of hell. The very limited time I spend watching cable Television is when my SO is watch

  • by ScottCooperDotNet ( 929575 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:52PM (#44579961)

    The largest reason I don't have cable TV, except for the cost, is that I cannot choose what channels I pay for. By only having tiered packages available, I cannot avoid having my money going to things I don't watch or find repugnant. I simply don't want my money going to Fox News, MSNBC, MTV, or the flavors of ESPN.

    The major content creators (Viacom, Disney, Fox, etc) force cable companies to bundle their offerings, so if you want something popular (say, Nickelodeon) you also end up with the second rate crap or worse (Nick at Nite, CMT, etc). It's very anti-consumer, but no politician wants to get on the bad side of media.

    One even more morally disgusting thing is that the NFL can blackout games in taxpayer-funded stadiums. I'm curious if this happens in other countries with football/soccer or other sports?

    • The major content creators (Viacom, Disney, Fox, etc) force cable companies to bundle their offerings, so if you want something popular (say, Nickelodeon) you also end up with the second rate crap or worse (Nick at Nite, CMT, etc). It's very anti-consumer, but no politician wants to get on the bad side of media.

      If each provider wants to package its own channels, then why can't people subscribe to, say, just the Turner package (TBS, TNT, TCM, CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network) or just the Disney package (ABC Family, Disney, Disney Junior, ESPN, ESPN2)?

  • Wrong spreadsheet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:36PM (#44580181)
    If you have 11 guys bidding on your 10 camels then you will get a great price. If 2 of the guys buy cars so you now have 9 guys bidding for your 10 camels then you are going to get hosed. This is the same situation combined with the fact that people are angry at being abused for a long time. Being forced to pay outrageous prices for crappy programming. Then spreading out the desired channels in to 4 different packages so that we have to buy all 4 to get the 5 channels that we only wanted. Plus commercials that drive us up the wall. Moving programs around based on this weeks insider political clout of the producer. Then cancelling shows when the political clout of the producer dropped below some imaginary threshold.

    Then you get the ultimate competitor, piracy. Piracy set the bar as to what the consumer can have. Basically commercial free, on demand, and with no bizarre strings such as time-limits, device limits, or weirdo delays for countries that aren't the US. All this plus it was almost free. The two gate charges were that you had to mess with torrents, and you once in a while get a dud. But Netflix showed that there is a business model that can compete with piracy. Month after month they get money from people who are now getting nearly all the benefits of piracy with none of the downsides.

    Is Netflix the be all and end all? Probably not. One great quote I heard went like this, "Will Netflix become more like HBO faster than HBO will become like Netflix."

    There are exceptions. Nightly news. Live sports. And highly topical TV such as Big Brother. Those don't quite fit the download netflix model.

    Now where this whole thing breaks down is that I suspect that the big producers are all going to think, "Hey we can build out our own netflix with our giant library." They are wrong. If you open up your overpriced hotdog stand next to McDonald's that just went all-you-can-eat you will do 1/1000th of the business. These other companies have little hope of becoming even Pepsi to Netflix's Coke. People aren't going to drop cable to discover the wonders of Netflix at under $10 month only to start tagging on Disney, Warner, Sony, etc bringing them back up to their old obscene cable TV bill. Maybe people will subscribe to 2 services but with their all-you-can-eat libraries growing and getting better why would you need 3+ services?

    The one I can't figure out is iTunes. Why would anyone buy anything that you can get on Netflix for the price of many months of Netflix? The prices on iTunes are bonkers.
  • by hesaigo999ca ( 786966 ) on Friday August 16, 2013 @10:45AM (#44583587) Homepage Journal

    Are you seriously wanting us to think that the internet TV is not ready.
    1) Get netflix ready component ps3, xbox, wdtvlive, wii
    2) Get netflix account for 8$ a month (replacing costly pvrs and decoders from ur fav. consumer company)
    3) Watch the limitless tv shows WITHOUT THE ADS OR COMMERCIALS.

    How is this "not ready yet"?

    Whoever this smaxpis, please ....do us a favor and hang up your journalistic pen.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.