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Old 01-19-2011, 08:02 AM   #21
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I think if I were able to pick the channels I want... I could cut my bill in half....
But if there is a shift to a new pricing system, everyone is going to want at least as much money from the new system as they get now. If you pay half as much, where is their money going to come from?
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:39 AM   #22
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But if there is a shift to a new pricing system, everyone is going to want at least as much money from the new system as they get now. If you pay half as much, where is their money going to come from?
I think that some of the channels would die... because nobody want to watch them...

I can guarantee that I do not want any infomercial/shopping channel.. so QVC et. al. are gone... (but I doubt that we pay anything for them)...

The food channels go... the spanish... gone... the black.. so long... the women... bye bye... religious... poof... (this might sound a bit racist, but I am not... but I do not watch any of these and do not want them.. I am sure someone else does... so they should pay for them)

Also.. gone are all those PPV channels that I would have to wade through if I did not have a favorite list...

My wife would like to see ONE more channel... Animal Planet... but to get it we need a higher level which costs a lot... al la carte... we would just pay the $1 per month...
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
...al la carte... we would just pay the $1 per month...
Sez you.

You are missing Greg's point. The Cable/Satellite supplier is charging per customer (not per program) because they have to offer all those choices. Who would sign up if they could only watch what you want? And even if the Suppliers would/could limit the selections, the business model would require that their suppliers and/or customers would simply have to pay way more.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:02 PM   #24
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Exclusive: Roku Lands Its First Cable Channel

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For $2.99 per month, Roku users will be able to access both a replication of the 24/7 linear feed WealthTV offers to cable subscribers, as well as a VOD selection of its programs.

The loophole that WealthTV is slipping through is that it doesn’t have affiliate deals with either of the two biggest operators, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC). They typically insist for an independent channel seeking linear carriage to sign a contractual clause known as an alternative distribution methods (ADM) clause and/or sometimes even sell some equity in the venture to the operator.
And that is attractive?
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #25
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It is attractive in that it definitely increases the wealth of the owners of the channel.

The demise of cable will come when ESPN and FOX News go the streaming route.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:22 PM   #26
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Sez you.

You are missing Greg's point. The Cable/Satellite supplier is charging per customer (not per program) because they have to offer all those choices. Who would sign up if they could only watch what you want? And even if the Suppliers would/could limit the selections, the business model would require that their suppliers and/or customers would simply have to pay way more.
I do see his point... not missing it at all...

The cable supplier does not have to offer all those programs... where is it written that you MUST offer this package or that package... it is easier for them... they built it this way... the only thing that prevents it being changed is that nobody wants to do it as it will cost them money... billing is expensive and keeping track of everybodys al la carte programs would be even worse...

So, the cable company collects from us in a package deal.. they then pay the content providers..... now, this was based on info a long time ago, but I had heard that some channels got 25 cents per subscriber.. some 50 cents etc... so, Channel A is in the package you buy... then you are 'paying' Channel A that 25 cents even if you never watch... this is how ESPN etc. got so big.. they received money from everybody... that adds up to a lot of $$$s even if you have 5 people looking at your channel...


I will give an example... I have Dish... we used to get Disney HD in my HD package... it is now gone... I have tried to get an explanation... but all I have heard is 'we do not have it'... I am sure there was a price increase from Disney they did not want to pass along... now, our package price did not decrease with it going away... so Dish makes more money...
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:16 AM   #27
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I don't know what you are talking about, can you expand on what do these items do? Do they only work with over the air tv?
Hopefully we could get back to the original idea behind the OP's post....paleeessee!

We can't be the only ones here who are tired of paying too much for cable, etc!

Not only would I love a TV alternative, but I'd appreciate an inexpensive option for good internet access!

My local cable provider (Cox) currently has a "special" bundled price of $99.99 for TV, cable and phone WITH a $300 rebate! Sounded good to me....so being a current customer (10+ years) I emailed to see if I could qualify for it....or at least something!

To my surprise, I actually rec'd an email reply directing me to call the Loyalty Department..... sham wow!....or so I thought....

"We're sorry sir, but the current special is for new subscribers ONLY."

"So my last decade of prepaying my monthly charges each month don't count for anything?.....no appreciation for your current customers?"

Silence.....then...."let's take a look at your account and see what we can do....."

Please allow me to make a long story shorter....NADA....NOTHING....ZIP....unless I wanted to eliminate something from my current package....

So here I sit.....trying to investigate my alternatives...and I am all ears!

FREE TV....'splain it in PLAIN english please....

Cheap wireless.....is there even such a thing for reliable fast access....BTW I am categorically not interested in any type of dial-up.....or is it better than it was 15 years ago??

Whatchagot?
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:58 AM   #28
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The demise of cable will come when ESPN and FOX News go the streaming route.
Ha ha ha. Let's see. Where I am about 20 miles outside of a huge metro area, my broadband options to be able to stream video are cell with a 5gb cap & not fast enuf to do it and a satellite dish - very expensive & not real great either. That's it in 2011. There are a lot of people in my boat. We just don't get any press. Dial up is not any better than it ever was, just cheaper.

I can't get cable & they never planned to route it here. I don't want dish & the high recurring expenses for a whole lot of programming I don't want.

My free TV is over the air & in the last few months it has gotten a lot better. Apparently, several underpowered channels got a clue & increased it. I set up my computer as a DVR & it worked great for a long time (no commercials) but now the computer tuner has poor reception while the TV tuner is very good. It's ironic that the very modern digital TV now has me watching the old fashioned way - when it is broadcast & with the ads.

I want to fix my DVR problem but not sure how. It seems the PC option is no longer very popular so it is hard to find what I need to upgrade what I have.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:16 AM   #29
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Piling on the roku bandwagon. We also got one this holiday season and if you go that route, get the top model with wireless capability. It was easy to set up and you can stream not only netflix and roku content but hulu and a few others as well. DH had some shoulder surgery a couple of weeks ago and has been happily rotting his mind using it extensively while still in a sling. Even the remote is simple and well laid out
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #30
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I set up my computer as a DVR & it worked great for a long time (no commercials) but now the computer tuner has poor reception while the TV tuner is very good
First, how did you configure your PC to become a DVR? Added equipment, software, etc.?

Secondly, if they are both using the same antennae, the signal strength would be the same (assuming similar cable length). perhaps the Tuner attached to your PC is, somehow, defective. A replacement seems cheap enough: usb tuner - Google Search

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I want to fix my DVR problem but not sure how. It seems the PC option is no longer very popular so it is hard to find what I need to upgrade what I have.
In the spin-off (from here) thread -- Sage TV -- donheff pointed out this Link - Comparison of PVR software packages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I don't see any fall-off in popularity.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
.
So, the cable company collects from us in a package deal.. they then pay the content providers..... now, this was based on info a long time ago, but I had heard that some channels got 25 cents per subscriber.. some 50 cents etc... so, Channel A is in the package you buy... then you are 'paying' Channel A that 25 cents even if you never watch... this is how ESPN etc. got so big.. they received money from everybody... that adds up to a lot of $$$s even if you have 5 people looking at your channel...
You are correct. I used to work in the business. In the cable TV channels I worked for 50% of revenue was from ads and 50% was from sub fees. Program suppliers would not want al la cart pricing because they would loose a lot of revenue. They would lose sub fee revenue and sub fee revenue because of lower distribution.


Al la carte can be done technically. There are boxes that could handle the operation.

You could figure out what you would pay by month by using the following estimates per month
News channels .5
Entertainment channels . 5 to.75
ESPN 2.50
Local new channels .30
Premium channels - look at your bill
Then add taxes, surcharges etc - look at your bill and a cable provider fee
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:40 AM   #32
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We also got one this holiday season and if you go that route, get the top model with wireless capability.
Am I missing something ? The models available on the Roku website (all of them) have wireless streaming. Even the base RokuHD at $59 offered it.

The next model up (Roku XD) has extended range wireless -N (b/g/n compatible). Whatever that is.

The Top model (Roku XD/S) offers dual band wireless streaming.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #33
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Seems to me that this thread needs to be split in two. One for the OP, about alternative types of TV and internet connectivity, and another one solving the problems of cable content delivery and cost. I'm not going to be much help with either, although I'm a lot more interested in the former than the latter. Is this something the mods can help with? Or am I stepping on the constitutional right to hijack threads?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:14 PM   #34
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First, how did you configure your PC to become a DVR? Added equipment, software, etc.?
Mine came with a tuner as a media PC. I replaced the analog tuner with a Hauppage digital. was supposed to be good.
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Secondly, if they are both using the same antennae, the signal strength would be the same (assuming similar cable length). perhaps the Tuner attached to your PC is, somehow, defective. A replacement seems cheap enough: usb tuner - Google Search
One would think. ergo my blaming the tuner.

Did you look at the age of the returns on that search? Not to mention most of the items are analog - useless in our all digital world. I also don't want buy a replacement that is no better than what I have. That gets spendy in a hurry. A 2006 review of the quality is useless in my mind - 5 years. Very hard to get any idea of tuner quality in the reviews. That's why it seems to be fairly passe in the techy world. Solutions are bending toward streaming over broadband. Not a viable option for me.

I'm startingto think getting DVDs from the library is a better way to go.

Quote:
In the spin-off (from here) thread -- Sage TV -- donheff pointed out this Link - Comparison of PVR software packages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I don't see any fall-off in popularity.
Getting the epg is more of a problem than it used to so I've just been using media center. Don't think the software is the problem.

I've spent way to much time researching this for the benefit to my life. A frustrating subject.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:28 PM   #35
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Did you look at the age of the returns on that search? Not to mention most of the items are analog - useless in our all digital world.
?? At the top of the list is this: Mygica A680B USB HDTV Tuner, Windows 7 64bit and 32bit Certified, Clear QAM and ATSC TV, Windows 7 Media Center Remote and Free Antenna, Live HDTV On PC or Laptop with Antenna or Clear QAM from Digital Cable, Live / Scheduled TV Recording

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Mygica A680B USB HDTV Tuner, Windows 7 64bit and 32bit Certified, Clear QAM and ATSC TV, Windows 7 Media Center Remote and Free Antenna, Live HDTV On PC or Laptop with Antenna or Clear QAM from Digital Cable, Live / Scheduled TV Recording
That seems Digital enough for me. And the rest are of the same ilk.


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I'm startingto think getting DVDs from the library is a better way to go.
No argument here.


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Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
Getting the epg is more of a problem than it used to so I've just been using media center. Don't think the software is the problem.
I have absolutely no complaints about Media Center... except how to get the signal to the TV part.

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I've spent way to much time researching this for the benefit to my life. A frustrating subject.
I certainly am a member of that camp.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:38 PM   #36
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This Guide to Building a HD HTPC - Page 523 - AVS Forum might be useful for current computer TV devices.

Whoops! I didn't realize you have to pay to look at this guide. Well, at any rate, the HTPC section of AVS seems fairly active, so it might be a useful source of info: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...sprune=-1&f=26
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #37
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Can you get local channels and cable news channels with Roku? I couldn't find a list of channels anywhere on the site.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #38
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Here's my 2 cents(I have worked in Cable and Satellite for a number of years and discussed this topic on a post a while ago.

First, packaging...the reason behind packages in the past was a technological one and in some jurisdictions (like Canada) a legislated one). Cable companies had to filter bands in/out depending on what packages you wanted. This was expensive as you need to send someone out to ad or remove traps at the pole or pedestal. This is still very much being done, as cable systems are essentially two networks, one analog and one digital. The digital system allows for better control of delivery and eventually this will allow full control if wanted.

The idea of free I do not believe is piratical (if done legally). If you are in a metro area, you could set up multiple antennas and combine the signal for your TV receiver. But not specialty (ESPN, HBO, etc) channels for the most part. Some allow streaming of their channels, but that's a big bandwidth eater and you'll pay for it via you broadband cap.

There are other devices and rogue websites that allow some access and there is also the illegal way via bit torrents to access all kinds of content.

So in the end, you would want to decide how much you want to pay, how much hassle are you willing to put up with and how much you want to educate yourself on the technology and its delivery.

In my household we have cable (phone/TV/Internet bundle). We use a PVR, stream from network webpages (mostly watched on notebooks) and download torrents to a media server and stream to a PS3/HDMI/TV. Unfortunately not in a metro area to pick up off-air signals. My bundle is about $170 with $25 of it for phone. Still expensive
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:24 PM   #39
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Seems to me that this thread needs to be split in two. One for the OP, about alternative types of TV and internet connectivity, and another one solving the problems of cable content delivery and cost. I'm not going to be much help with either, although I'm a lot more interested in the former than the latter. Is this something the mods can help with? Or am I stepping on the constitutional right to hijack threads?
Yeah, good luck with that.

Although if we split this thread into its three component parts then we could threadjack all three of them even more quickly!
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:33 PM   #40
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For my on-the-original topic addition to this thread, I offer the following:

I live overseas and use the AFN satellite receiver - I don't have TIVO (but would love to be able to save shows and watch them when I want) - however, I found a way to use a computer like a TIVO - it's with the Media Center capabilities of the Windows Vista Operating System.

The key to this working is finding a way to get a schedule for the media system to use to turn on and off the recording feature. In addition, a cable was needed to connect the computer to the TV (I bought an HDMI cable for the TV end and RJ45 for the computer end). One can connect the computer to the service receiver (cable box or satellite) and use the website of the scheduling information for the recording times. I don't know if you could manually set up the recording times as well (I used to do that with VCR a lot).

It took me about 4 hours of research on the web to find this information - again, I had some other issues due to being overseas.

However, I must say borrowing DVDs from the library has been my best money and time saver - when I get back to the states, I will try Hulu and some other site (as well as over the air HD - digital TV) and the media center capability. One of the good things over here is we don't have regular commercials, just feel good or informational spots about the military or US govt. Everytime I go back to the states, it's culture shock with the onslaught of commercials - I certainly don't miss that part of watching TV.
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