Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 04-20-2014 at 12:11 AM.
Roy Tucker (04-20-2014)
The new "cable free" lifestyle depends on a lot of different things to exist -- namely subscription content services that are provider-independent and high-bandwidth / high-data cap home internet. Neither one of those things are guaranteed to continue existing (especially when content providers start broadcasting in true 1080p HD or 4K) -- and neither one of those things will continue existing once the number of people "cutting the cable" reaches any meaningful level. And remember, so long as cable-households strongly outnumber streaming households significantly, you'll be forever at the mercy of groups like Comcast and DTV threatening to cancel carrier agreements unless content providers agree to streaming restrictions (like requirements that tie streaming capability to your cable account and/or significant delays in stream posting).
So yeah -- it's great to cut the $80-$90 cable bill out of your life. Just be prepared, in the future, to pay an additional $60-$70 fee (on top of your basic internet costs) per month to get the type of bandwidth and data cap you need and then another $10-$20 per month to get the content streamed to you as well.
Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 04-21-2014 at 07:42 AM.
24 Years and Counting...
I think people are making the assumption that "a la carte" would be less expensive.
Not necessarily so.
The cable companies and Direct TV still need to make their money.
I could see a scenario where today, you pay $50/month for 100 channels and only watch 6 of them.
When it goes a la cart, you pay $50 and only get 5 of the channels you really want, and decide to forgo channel #6..
Like right now, every subscriber helps pay for Fox Sports Ohio.. If it goes a la Carte, only the diehard Reds fans (and Crew/Blue Jackets) fans will pay for it.
Some will only pay during the season of the sport they care about.
Well, the cable provider knows that these fans will pay a pretty penny for their games, so why not charge them $20/month or so..
The MLB.tv price will help keep it a little bit reasonable, but Fox Sports alone will probably be pretty expensive.
Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!
Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!
Companies like Time Warner Cable, Comcast and even Fox Sports Ohio will fade into oblivion just like Blockbuster Video and America Online. They are based on a fading, obsolete technology that will no longer be needed. There are already better options available and more are cropping up every day.
Streaming gives you access to 1000x more programming options than cable and satellite TV can provide. Streaming costs less than half of what cable and satellite cost. Streaming allows you to watch your programming not only on your big screen TVs but also on your computers, tablets and smartphones. Streaming allows you to watch your programming not only at your house but anywhere else you happen to be -- at work, at the supermarket, at the doctor's office, in your car, at the airport, on the toilet, while taking a walk, standing in line at the post office, on vacation in another state ---> everywhere!
Compared to cable/satellite TV, streaming offers:
1. More TV shows to watch, including all previous and current episodes. Almost every TV episode ever made is streaming somewhere.
2. More movies, almost any movie ever made.
3. Can be watched on all your devices, not just your TV.
4. Take it with you and watch it anywhere you go, not just at home.
5. Most streaming apps have no commercials, although free ones like Crackle do.
6. It costs much less, and always will.
Listen to what you're saying -- Yes, bandwidth has been increasing every year, but you're starting to see now (with many ISPs) that you're being charged at tiered levels for bandwidth. Your basic 2 Mbps internet might run you $20-$30 per month, but going north to 30 Mbps could run you 2-3x that. As digital content goes to 1080p and 4K (and as more devices start to use your bandwidth supply as "SMART" devices), you'll need increasing bandwidth in order to accommodate the content.
You say that companies like Time Warner, Comcast, etc. are going to fade into oblivion -- just who do you think is providing the high speed internet to people? You're from Cincinnati; how many options do you have for high-speed internet? My guess is that you probably have two: Cincinnati Bell and Time Warner (Comcast) or Xfinity. You know what all of those companies have in common? They're all cable television providers as well. Do you think they have ANY interest in developing a business model where you forgo Cable television service in order to just get internet service and stream all your content? For one, it robs them of a valuable revenue stream -- namely, your cable business. For two, households that stream content exclusively use way more bandwidth than other households. The more homes streaming digital content, the larger the drag on the entire network.
How will they deal with this problem? We already know the answer because the cell phone industry figured it out a ~5-6 years ago when smartphones started to outpace regular flip-phones and turned everyone into a major wireless data consumers -- they'll set up tiered plans, impose data caps, and throttle speeds on high-volume users. The other method is on-going, namely agreements with content providers that streaming content be linked in with a current cable account.
You say that "...in the future" there will be no need for wired cables. You're probably right that, eventually, we'll get to the point where all connections are wireless -- but that day is probably years (if not decades) into the future. Wireless data is huge money for the telecoms, and while the price of data is falling, it's still going to be quite some time before data rates drop to where the cost per GB becomes an effective replacement for streaming all content on 1 device (to say nothing of using multiple devices or having multiple family members accessing multiple devices). It's akin to saying "The grocery store is dead as soon as Amazon.com invents the Star Trek style transporter and they can beam fresh food right to you" -- sounds good, but talk to me when they invent the transporter.
I understand your extolling of streaming and wireless connectivity, but we're in the grey area right now where technology has outclipped the business methods of monetizing it. It's very much where the music industry was in the late-90s or where the gaming industry was about 4 years ago. The music industry turned to things like iTunes and all of a sudden the free ride on Napster was over, the gaming industry embraced microtransactions and pay-to-win and the era of the $1-$3 full-feature mobile game was over. Where will the video/television/entertainment industry head? Don't know -- but I'd be shocked if it continued to be commercial-free content delivered at rock-bottom prices.
Streaming seems like the shangri-la of entertainment -- but, I suspect the future that actually arrives will be much closer in reality to the one we currently know (subscription requirements, commercials, packages and plans) than the ultra-consumer friendly option you're hoping for.
Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 04-21-2014 at 04:22 PM.
24 Years and Counting...
I don't know that a la carte pricing would save money at all. In fact, I wonder if it's really all those extra channels actually defray the costs of the expensive channels. When you think about it, the most expensive shows to produce are live sports (mainly because of the rights) and scripted tv shows (writers and actors can get expensive). The networks that produce such programming are popular, drawing in the most viewers, but at higher cost than other channels. Meanwhile, they often have sister networks that show reruns, cheap-to-make reality shows, and most importantly, more channels to sell ad space on. All those channels exist for a reason.
Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.
The other thing to keep in mind is all the network infrastructure whether it is wireless at the access layer or fiber in the costs huge money to deploy and maintain. Streaming content takes up considerably more infrastructure than broadcast. Somebody is going to have to foot that bill. Unless everybody that streams content is going to build their own network there are going to be conflicts between network owners and streamers. Look no further than the dispute between Netflix and Comcast. The problem is the current all you can eat delivery model, which just like wireless, disappeared once the cost started to really escalate.
Last edited by krm1580; 04-21-2014 at 10:44 PM.
When smartphones were new, there was a brief time where you could get an iPhone with UNLIMITED data for a flat rate of $29 per month. Everyone said it was the end of home internet -- why pay for two things when you could tether and stream off a 3G signal? Then they added data caps & throttling and the party ended.
You act like I'm defending the status quo -- I hate it. I hate paying for cable. I'll just suggest that you're being incredibly naive to think that all of these companies, from the cable and internet providers to the content creators, are going to embrace a business model that drastically reduces the amount of money they receive while also increasing their costs. It's simply not going to happen, especially when the solutions to ensure their continued profitability are so obvious.
24 Years and Counting...
A guy down the street has one of those huge satellite dishes still in his yard. The one you could hijack raw network feeds for free. Every once him a whole I'll see it while walking the dog and think about how far and how fast technology has advanced.
I don't think prices will go down. They'll stay flat or slowly rise. But whoever provides better connectivity and bandwidth to provide better quality content will win, be it cable companies, cell vendors, WISPs or whoever. Be assured lots of propellor heads are working hard on it.
This is the day of the expanding man...
I was an early user of DirecTV. I got my first dish in 1993 and dropped cable (which was CableVision at the time and became Charter and now Suddenlink). So far, I've saved money with DTV and get 200+ channels plus every Reds game. They are so good to me that the recently offered me the Genie system with Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and Nancy other services. Back in the day you could buy football and college games aka carte, but it was expensive. Then they added an option where you could buy the regional sports channels (remember SportsChannel Cincinnati?), but no Reds baseball. Then came the MLB package which was big $$. When MLB decided that this was Reds country, we got the Reds games, so I dropped the MLB package. My point is, I have better service for less money and it has been flawless. But, you can bet this ala carte will be more expensive. Such is life.
"You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."