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Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by mr_smits, Oct 19, 2012.
That's surprising. Completetly off topic though.
Many that got squeezed into dropping non essential expenses are not going back to CATV once the situation improves. They learn that the OTA solution works great and little reason to pay $100 a month for what they now get for free. CATV subs are shrinking and long term they will need to reinvent themselves. Alacarte would seem to be a way. I know I would sub for a small number of channels to add content to my OTA setup if available at reasonable cost. The flip side is, once they open alacarte, many cable channels will die.
I have thought allot about what "Ala-carte" "cable" would mean.
If one sticks with a cable or satellite company model of delivering "channels" it would mean a base fee with an add on fee for each channel you wanted to add. I actually find this highly unlikely to happen as the owners of the channels want guaranteed per cable subscriber income and do not want to get into having to market for individual subscribers.
If you go one step back and talk about ala-carte content instead of ala-carte channels it is already here now (Amazon, Vudu, etc. per view rental) and as you said can cost allot as it mostly isn't advertiser supported.
However I see no reason ala-carte delivered content (video on demand/live streaming) couldn't become as profitable as channel delivered content and be comparable in cost to the consumer. We have examples of various delivery systems now some advertiser supported, some consumer only supported, and some a combination of both.
Seems like someone is going to figure this out sooner or later and that we will have a shift from content being delivered primarily through a "channel" model to being delivered primarily through a video on demand/live streaming model.
So yes I do see allot of "channels" going away however I don't expect the amount of content to decrease and I expect the over all availability of content at any one point in time to increase radically. Effectively instead of having to choose between what is on 100+ channels or what we thought to record, we will have to pick from almost anything every produced.
Different way of thinking about the situation. I think you are right, the 'channels' model going away entirely and the ala-carte becoming what we see as per show rentals now.
I am actually good with that increase in granularity. Perhaps eventually programming being released directly to that distribution model rather than to subscribed channels at all.
Still, need to separate 'real time streaming' from show rental. I am NOT a fan of streaming. Its a bandwidth hog, has poor functionality and I will not put up with the lower video quality and network glitches that are currently the norm. Buffer the entire show on my local store and then I will watch it. Of course, network speeds need to increase several times what is mainstream now for that to happen for 'instant' viewing.
The problem I have with Ala-carte" "cable" is IE I had one of those channels I never watched for 10 years, than my friend said that a good program was going to start, so recorded the new program and liked it, I would have never called the cable co to turn on this channel for X$ /month just to watch this one program, everybody said Homeland is a great program on Showtime but i don't get Showtime so i will try Homeland with Netflix. Full Ala-carte cable could drive you nuts, PPV and Premium channels (like HBO etc) is bad enough for me to have to choose, and of course one can have a choice of different cable packages, some with just the networks and a few other channels for much less money.
I guess from the point of view of someone who has cable/satellite packages would seems easier. But from the point of view of people (like me) who have already decided the current offering don't provide enough value to get anything being able to pay for a few low cost channels like Syfy, USA, TNT seems real tempting. I think Ala-carte or unscheduled access is why Google is so interested as it makes search absolutely necessary. Also social media is driving people to content. We are in a gradual period of change now - I have no idea 10 years from now how the majority of people will be accessing content, but I am guessing it will not primarily be through per-programed "channels" like it is now.
I personally have no problem with this idea. Even if they have BOTH the current model, and that form of "pseudo a la carte", I would figure out what I watch, what I want to pay for, and do the cost comparison. I'm considering it "pseudo", since unless you make the "base fee" low enough, I really suspect it would be really something like:
Base fee: $10 (includes 5 channels from "list of semi-interesting expanded basic channels" + local rebroadcast channels)
then this other echelon of channels is $X apiece. Premium channels are still $10-15 each.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I would pay EXACTLY what I'm paying now for the ability to TURN OFF the channels I don't actually watch. Yes, this theoretically makes me pay more per channel that I do care about, but it also lets me give DIRECT feedback about what I care about. Also, after doing the cost comparison, I would likely still turn off the ones that MAKE the cable company money, e.g. religious and shopping channels.
I would be all for some sort of actual pay per SHOW if the total price wasn't HUGELY above what I pay now.
I'd love to be able to not have TiVos (if the replacement had at least as good of a UI), and have everything, including new shows, on something analogous to Netflix streaming. But paying for each individual show would be ridiculously expensive, the way they're charging nowadays.
I think Hulu Plus would be WELL worth it, if it were commercial free and were a superset of regular Hulu.
You know you can do that now. Just go into your channel list and remove the channels that you don't care about.
True dat, same reason that tru2way went nowhere. Cable always whines that they want to get out of the STB biz, but they want to control the user experience (which means forcing ads and channels you don't get in the guide on you). They don't want an open IP auth and decrypt standard no matter how much they claim they don't make anything on box rentals.
The FCC long ago should have made cable a dumb pipe provider open to all comers (both for TV and HSI), but they blew it and now it's too late. Not to mention that sat and U-Verse get a free pass to do whatever they want without having to open up anything. The broadband issue is going to get worse and worse since cable will be an effective monopoly for everyone over time - wireless HSI is never going to be as good as wired.
Yes, but that doesn't give the negative/positive feedback to the cable company and channel producers about what I actually care about.
However, the simple ability to turn off *on the Tivo* is one of the many advantages over a regular cable box.
Unfortunately, true cable a-la-cart is not gonna see the light of day anytime soon. Steve Jobs was unable to crack that nut for years (for Apple) and the cable industry is desperately trying to hold on to their current cash cow business model. Networks sell their channels to cable companies in "packages". i.e if you want CNN, you have to also buy TNT, TBS, Cartoon and TCM. Why break up that huge revenue stream and only get a fraction of it with piddly a-la-cart options. A-la-cart is a no-win for both the networks and the cable companies.
Cable industry also doesn't want to wind up being like the music industry either (where the internet KILLED them) so while it may be out of date on some level, they are gripping to it this way for as long as they can.
I personally have a basic digital cable package with high speed internet for about $90/month. I can stomach this for now, but am considering dropping cable and going OTA. I also subscribe to Netflix, but then share it with family members in return for access to their Hulu Plus and HBO GO accounts in my home. SHARE the wealth. Combine this with "other" methods (including any live sports) & it works rather well. I theoretically could get my cable bill down to about $70/month and be able to get ANY show (basic and premium) I want. Works for me
In the end, I probably don't even really need a TiVo to be honest and everything is either streamable or downloadable & played via a media streamer of some kind (xbox, WDTV, PS3, etc.)