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That's Just A Rumor...

A place to discuss broadband, streaming video, cable, and satellite services (not programming). Bitch about your crappy cable, satellite or streaming video provider here! This is also the place to talk about channel line-ups, packages, and special offers.
Kennelly Heaviside
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That's Just A Rumor...

Post by Kennelly Heaviside » Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:13 am

Back in around 1970, the Cable company where I lived charged $5.00 a month for 12 channels, all VHF and converted from UHF to VHF. The signals were marginal, and the signals to the TV were not as strong as stronger signals received on an antenna. The Cable Company was paranoid about people putting splitters on their drop lines. Our family held out because there wasn't any reason to get cable as we had a good antenna. There was an announcement of an increase from $5.00 to $7.50 a month. I told a neighbor kid and school classmate's mother that there was going to be an increase. She responded, "Oh, that's just a rumor." Where many people are held captive by internet and phone bundling, the price per month now exceeds $200.00 a month. People's mortgages didn't used be that high. I would drop it in minute except for family members who are addicted to cable. Cable TV feels like a parasite, like fleas on a dog. Time for a flea bath, kids.



km1125
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by km1125 » Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:24 pm

They can charge increased rates because people ARE willing to pay the increased rates. What is available via cable now is infinitely better than what was available in the 70's or 80's. (well, quantity, maybe not quality).

Btw, that $7.50 bill in the early 70's would be the equivalent of about $48 today just due to inflation! With the 'new customer' deals that most cable companies have you could get today's version of "basic cable" but you'd end up with a LOT more than just 12 channels and they'd all be digital with several in HD formats.



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Robert Faygo
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by Robert Faygo » Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:48 pm

The evolution away from cable to individual streaming services, each with their own subscription fee, is a head scratcher too.

I mean, the idea of ala carte was intriguing at first. Now to get access to everything, like you used to be able to do with just a premium cable subscription, you have to pay for several different streaming packages -- each with their own monthly bill -- plus a big internet service bill if you actually want to use those services enough to get your money's worth.

Virtually none of the over-the-top streamers offer what used to be considered a full lineup of "basic" channels either. You're going to be missing something -- local TV, sports channels, etc.

A flea bath alone isn't going to get rid of these pests.


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km1125
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by km1125 » Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:07 pm

What's even funnier is that the Internet services that the cable companies provide is their highest-margin business. Dumping "basic cable" but retaining Internet raises their average margins even though revenues drop ever-so-slightly.



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audiophile
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by audiophile » Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:41 am

I don't have any video services and I haven't turned on the TV in months.

Amazing what you can get done!

Turn on the radio and get a glass of water.


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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MWmetalhead
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:53 am

Yup, internet service is where the money is.

I do think delivery of cable TV by coax will disappear at some point; all video signals will eventually be transmitted wirelessly using 5G or 6G technology.

Wired boxes in the home will go away first (other than a wired central modem). A number of years after that, the coaxial cable that feeds into the home - often from a power lie pole - will no longer be necessary. Of course, instead of removing those unsightly coaxial cable lines, the cable companies will just leave 'em in place to avoid expense.

It is worth noting that many (perhaps all?) of the pay streaming providers are guilty of the same sins as the traditional cable TV companies when it comes to jacking up prices or recalibrating channel packages.

Live sports is pretty much the only reason I keep cable TV.


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TC Talks
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by TC Talks » Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:26 am

I dumped cable in 2008. I can only think of one friend who still has it. Marriot hotels now offers, OTA, 7 cable channels plus 6 streaming channels at their properties. Does anyone have a home phone these days?


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km1125
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by km1125 » Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:49 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:53 am
Yup, internet service is where the money is.

I do think delivery of cable TV by coax will disappear at some point; all video signals will eventually be transmitted wirelessly using 5G or 6G technology.

Wired boxes in the home will go away first (other than a wired central modem). A number of years after that, the coaxial cable that feeds into the home - often from a power lie pole - will no longer be necessary. Of course, instead of removing those unsightly coaxial cable lines, the cable companies will just leave 'em in place to avoid expense.

It is worth noting that many (perhaps all?) of the pay streaming providers are guilty of the same sins as the traditional cable TV companies when it comes to jacking up prices or recalibrating channel packages.

Live sports is pretty much the only reason I keep cable TV.
While I generally agree with this, I think the timelines people expect are much too optimistic. I still have a copy of a telecommunications standards manual from the late 80's that discouraged the use of coaxial systems because of the limited bandwidth. Yet, here we are over 30 years later and the bulk of Americans get their high-speed Internet just exactly that way. Then there was a push in the late 90's/early 00's to go "wireless" and more speculation that those lines would go away. Remember WiMAX? Then there was 4G and now 5G. The thing with both 4G and 5G is that they need MORE access points than ever before, distributed among the population. The bulk of those now are fed by either fiber of coax on telephone poles. And much of the wireless WiFi roaming capability that customers use is fed by coax into your house because there's a second WiFi modem in most cable modems that's used by the cable companies to provide roaming for their customers.

Oh, and as to the "old lines on telephone poles".... How many of those still-existing Michigan Bell copper lines do you think are actually in use?? ;) You could probably crash the copper 'futures' market if you ever decided to wreck those out and reclaim the copper!



radioandtventhusiast
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by radioandtventhusiast » Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:36 pm

We were about to cut the cord in February, but Dish bent over backwards and gave us a great deal. For streaming, we have subscriptions to Netflix, Disney+ and Discovery+.

Some of the free streaming services are good. Pluto TV is one of my favorites.

Outside of live sports and news, so many other things are available on streaming, and pay-TV is not needed.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:36 am

Oh, and as to the "old lines on telephone poles".... How many of those still-existing Michigan Bell copper lines do you think are actually in use?? ;) You could probably crash the copper 'futures' market if you ever decided to wreck those out and reclaim the copper!
You ain't kidding.

The number of lines running from the nearest power pole - which is quite a distance away - to the back of my house annoys me. There's the main electrical cable and then there are not one, not two, but three (!!!) coaxial lines, only one of which is actually in use (Comcast).

I suspect the two dormant lines were installed either by AT&T or the now defunct company known as Ameritech. One of these days, I'll actually get off my butt and start making phone calls to confirm the owner(s) and to attempt to compel said company or companies to remove 'em.


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BFSEsq
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by BFSEsq » Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:42 am

radioandtventhusiast wrote:
Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:36 pm
Pluto TV is one of my favorites.
Pluto TV is absolutely amazing for being free. It's the kind of thing that everyone needs to know about.

I have YouTube TV, which is one of those kinda fake OTT services that's essentially just a new cable company. I mean, it costs $65/month now. (Trust me, a lot of longtime subscribers are pissed. It was originally $30/month. There ARE quite a few more channels now, though.) I feel like I'm old for not really being able to get rid of "cable" completely. It's just something I feel attached to. I have an Apple TV, but the first app I open to watch something is consistently YouTube TV, not Netflix or anything like that.

The internet service is absolutely where they get you, if you try to drop the cable box but continue having internet through the same provider. Don't get me started on monopolies. Where I used to live in Ypsilanti, there was exactly one cable provider: Comcast. I was paying $80/month for internet alone. EIGHTY. I moved only 20 minutes or so away to Canton, and there is competition here. Wouldn't you know it, I'm now paying Comcast $50/month for a FASTER internet tier than I used to have.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: That's Just A Rumor...

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:52 pm

I've sampled Pluto TV.

Positives:
-good picture quality
-some decent news networks (such as CBSN)
-some decent nature channels
-several "diginets" are available on Pluto (Buzzr and Comet to name a couple)
-some decent movie channels

Negatives:
-most channels are basically "binge" watch channels for shows that few people care about 10, 20, 30 or 40 years after they originally aired
-navigation could be easier
-the sports channels are all garbage

Pluto is available via your X1 cable box (Xfinity), many smart TV native operating systems (such as Samsung's Tizen), and Roku.


Using Robinhood for online equities and options trades is a terrible idea. USE A LEGITIMATE BROKER-DEALER INSTEAD! (Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Edward Jones, etc.)

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