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Old 05-10-2008, 10:31 AM   #1501
bicker
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I'd check the regulation again vstone. Those tenets are specific.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:24 PM   #1502
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'Not only that, but "they" will no doubt have a spectrum of pricing. Providers in some cities may offer them very cheaply while providers in other cities may charge an arm and a leg. Some may allow the customer to pick it up and self-install, while others may insist on a truck roll and charge for it.
Some few might not charge anything for them at all. Some providers don't charge for the use CableCARDs.
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Oh, I certainly would balk. If they want to charge more than $4 a month, they can forget it. Because of the kludged design, I'm going to have to get 3, and I'll be damned if I'm going to pay more than $12 a month.
I forget about you true TiVo freaks who own 3 or 4 or more HD TiVos . I wouldn't be happy with paying more than $4/month for one, even for my single TiVo, given that I'd expect all of that to become pure gravy for the cable providers in significantly short of a year. They shouldn't lease for anything more than 1/12th of the per-unit quantity pricing. Hopefully it costs no more than a CableCARD and they allow self-install with mail-delivery .
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:18 PM   #1503
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For Cable, Hardware is a major profit center ...

... and SDV is just another opportunity.

Quote:
Originally posted by mikeyts :
While I believe that they may charge something for use of the Tuning Adapter (and they'll certainly charge for truck-rolls to install it) it shouldn't be much. For one thing, it's a simple device, no more expensive to produce than a DOCSIS cable modem (probably less), and those can be purchased new at retail and e-tail for as little as $30.
I think the history of monopolies in general, cable companies specifically, and in particular my cable provider, Cablevision, is that what they charge for a service or device bears little in relation to their marginal cost and much closer to exercising monopoly profit. I can agree with you completely that the Tuning Adapter might represent to cable a low cost alternative to some high cost product standardization and development, and yet their history has made me worry that this reasonable internal strategic decision to develop the Adaptor is not indicative of a change of heart of how they view profiting on forced hardware leasing and what they think of their existing customers.

Does anyone really know what the digital STBs cost in bulk? CableCARDS? Guess at these new Tuning Adaptors ($30)? I think they pull in an annual 30 to 50% ROA (Return on Assets), before you consider the effects of the leverage they can use (which increases their internal ROI (Return on Investment). That is they are heavily Debt financed, and they can probably take advantage of some sort of lease financing arrangements from the Cisco's of the world (and their other providers) for their hardware needs. We can be sure they aren't going to let me buy any of these items seperately and lose their collective revenue streams.

While the content I subscribe to has increased in both volume (more stations) and quality (digital, 5.1 audio, HiDef), the cost of it has risen far faster. I've gone from about $17/month to $73/month in about 11 years as a customer. Yes, their content costs more to them, but I'm pretty sure they've more than passed those increases to me.

And I'm already paying about $12-$13/month just so my 2 TiVo's can access then content that I already pay for by leasing Cable's hardware! And if you saw how their STB (SciAtl 4250) slows down my Series 2 TiVo, you'd understand that they can and do interfere with the quality of the TiVo user experience.

So, I remain concerned about anywhere from 1 to 3 Tuning Adapter's costs to me just so I can continue to access the content I already pay for.

All this is before we consider the marketing opportunity of persuading customers to shift to the more expensive digital service tier at the same time, or persuading others to lease more hardware for the same service.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:07 PM   #1504
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danschn --

Again, I don't think that they'll charge much for the Tuning Adapter for reasons that I've already stated, being not that they wouldn't want to reap great profits on a small investment--every business would like to--but because their entire reason for introducing the TA is political and introducing it and charging a lot for it will defeat that purpose completely. Since nothing in your post addresses that point, which is most of my case for believing that the TA will be inexpensive, I don't have anything further to argue, but I'll recap my position anyway.

They don't have to introduce the Tuning Adapter, but if they weren't doing something like this the FCC would almost certainly order them to implement the consumer electronic industry's proposed DCR+ solution, which they don't want to do for a multitude of reasons (one of those being that it will cost them far more than giving away Tuning Adapters to their subs who need them). They could have made their Tuning Adapter counter-proposal to DCR+ and waited for the FCC to choose, but they didn't--they went ahead and developed it and are going to make it available to their subscribers (with at least TiVo adapting a product to use it) before the FCC renders their decision on the matter. To this point, it seems like a generous and surprisingly cooperative gesture, which would be ruined by any attempt to charge some unreasonably large amount for TAs. If they overcharge, both consumers and the electronics industry will cry bloody murder and the FCC will listen. Offering this thing and trying to charge any significant part of the cost of leasing a box for it fails to address the problem caused by SDV.

You're obviously free to disregard my thinking and believe what you want. There's nothing you and I or anyone else can do about it, in any case, at least until after they start offering the device (when we could possibly organize to protest the cost, if indeed it's unreasonable). If you want to sit around and spend your time impotently worrying about being charged a large amount for Tuning Adapters, don't let me stand in your way. Enjoy.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #1505
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If you want to sit around and spend your time impotently worrying about being charged a large amount for Tuning Adapters, don't let me stand in your way. Enjoy.
Well said. Really, if things are so horrible with the cable provider, switch to DirecTV or Dish Network, or switch to renting DVDs from Netflix or Blockbuster. Not to mention RCN, FiOS, U-verse, etc. where available. There are so many options available that competition alone, effective in every municipality in the United States, precludes an inappropriately high charge for anything cable television offers.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:40 PM   #1506
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There are so many options available that competition alone, effective in every major metropolitan area in the United States
Fixed your statement to be more accurate. See bolded area. Often there is no non-cable option other than satellite, and unless I'm missing something TiVo S3/HD cannot be used with DirecTV, nor with Dish, though for some reason they're specifically now advertising their own DVR as "Better than TiVo!" No joke.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #1507
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Fixed your statement to be more accurate. See bolded area.
No, you distorted my statement into an erroneous one, and STILL attributed it to me. Please go back and fix the quote, either making it say what I wrote, or changing the attribution so it shows that you said it.

There is competition for video service providers in every municipality in the United States, without exception.

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unless I'm missing something TiVo S3/HD cannot be used with DirecTV, nor with Dish
Which has nothing to do with the competitive marketplace. If you choose to limit yourself to using a TiVo that is your personal choice.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #1508
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No, you distorted my statement into an erroneous one, and STILL attributed it to me. Please go back and fix the quote, either making it say what I wrote, or changing the attribution so it shows that you said it.

There is competition for video service providers in every municipality in the United States, without exception.

Which has nothing to do with the competitive marketplace. If you choose to limit yourself to using a TiVo that is your personal choice.
Given that this is an SDV FAQ, and the cable STB/DVR can get SDV signals, I believe that it is a valid point to consider Tivo DVRs for this purpose.

Your original quote said that " . .competition alone, effective in every municipality in the United States, precludes an inappropriately high charge for anything cable television offers."

Really, EVERY municipality?

I think that's a bit of a stretch.

I remember my parents living in a certain area of Colorado could only get cable (due to the geographic location satellite was out unless you happened to live in a very specific area that was up high enough to clear the mountains). Their BASIC "lifeline" cable was $50/month!
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:08 PM   #1509
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Given that this is an SDV FAQ, and the cable STB/DVR can get SDV signals, I believe that it is a valid point to consider Tivo DVRs for this purpose.
Only with regard to the TiVo interoperability, not with regard to competition that affects service pricing.

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Your original quote said that " . .competition alone, effective in every municipality in the United States, precludes an inappropriately high charge for anything cable television offers." Really, EVERY municipality?
Yes. Otherwise, the government would treat cable companies differently, with regard to services other than lifeline cable.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #1510
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though for some reason they're specifically now advertising their own DVR as "Better than TiVo!" No joke.
There's an asterisk on those advertisements--it's a reference to CNET's Dish Network ViP622 HD DVR review which states:
Quote:
Editors' Note: Since this review was originally published, we've lived with the Dish ViP622 for 21 months. During that time, it has operated very smoothly, and after comparing it to the DirecTV HR20 and the TiVo HD, we've awarded the Dish ViP622 our Editors' Choice among HD DVRs.
They do go on further to say:
Quote:
Note that we're reviewing the hardware only; our choice is not affected by programming differences between Dish, DirecTV, and/or cable, although prospective buyers should certainly consider programming as well.

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Old 05-13-2008, 09:20 PM   #1511
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Only with regard to the TiVo interoperability, not with regard to competition that affects service pricing.

Yes. Otherwise, the government would treat cable companies differently, with regard to services other than lifeline cable.
Your original quote was: There are so many options available that competition alone, effective in every municipality in the United States, precludes an inappropriately high charge for anything cable television offers.

This is inaccurate. I live in a market that essentially has one option for local programming -- Comcast. I can move to Dish or DirecTv, which I had for a couple of years, but I will still need to subscribe to Comcast for all locals except CBS (which is the only local we receive reliably OTA). Since we're number 159 on the DMA chart, neither Dish nor DirecTv will be offering locals via satellite. FIOS isn't available, nor will it be in the foreseeable future according to Verizon. I doubt that Wheeling, WV is the only market like this; much like an earlier poster, I find your assertion to be misinformed and just plain wrong. While the situation may meet whatever trumped up political definition of de jure competition is being used, de facto cable tv monopolies do in fact exist to the detriment of the consumer.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:02 AM   #1512
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If you choose to limit yourself to using a TiVo that is your personal choice.
You're totally right. I need to find a TiVo forum instead of polluting this forum for...what is it again?
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:35 AM   #1513
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Your original quote was: There are so many options available that competition alone, effective in every municipality in the United States, precludes an inappropriately high charge for anything cable television offers. This is inaccurate.
No, it is completely accurate.

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I live in a market that essentially has one option for local programming -- Comcast.
Give me your zip code before you continue. I want to know exactly how much it would cost you to get lifeline cable, there, before we argue about the particulars.

Here, incidentally, it is $8.50 per month, total.

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While the situation may meet whatever trumped up political definition of de jure competition is being used
We live in a society of laws, and the fact that we don't like the ramifications of our legal and judicial systems doesn't mean they're anything less than the reality.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:36 AM   #1514
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You're totally right. I need to find a TiVo forum instead of polluting this forum for...what is it again?
This is a TiVo forum. However, the issue was cost of service, and the cost of service is not just affected by people who have TiVo. Indeed, TiVo has very little impact on the cost of service, because there are so few people with TiVo. The US Constitution does not grant a right to TiVo. TiVo must always be considered in the context of the total environment. Blinders don't help you see the reality any more clearly.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:21 AM   #1515
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The US Constitution does not grant a right to TiVo.
Now that right there is an argument, I tell ya what!

The silliness of some of the participants in this thread is hilarious to behold.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:08 PM   #1516
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You can get ESPN2 HD with a cablecard here in Austin. Guess that list has one discrepancy.
Not at my house you can't. It's the HD channel I miss most.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:41 PM   #1517
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Not at my house you can't. It's the HD channel I miss most.
You should send me your contact # and I can get that fixed. It is definitely available to cablecards.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:54 PM   #1518
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You should send me your contact # and I can get that fixed. It is definitely available to cablecards.
That that is the beauty of a community!
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:55 PM   #1519
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No, it is completely accurate.

Give me your zip code before you continue. I want to know exactly how much it would cost you to get lifeline cable, there, before we argue about the particulars.
The zip is 26003. As of a couple of years ago, it was $14.00/mo for lifeline; according to Comcast's website, it's now $15 /month for basic cable. To receive locals in HD with guide data, which needs to be factored in to make this apples to apples, it is an additional $5 per box.


Quote:
We live in a society of laws, and the fact that we don't like the ramifications of our legal and judicial systems doesn't mean they're anything less than the reality.
Please don't attempt to address me as if I were an elementary school student. I have an MBA and a very firm understanding of the political, legal, and judicial systems.

Reality is what we make it. Right now for this particular matter, reality is being defined by the influence that a very strong lobby has on politicians (including judges) who don't have the technical acumen or desire (both in many cases) to fully understand the issues involved. The reality is that the more power we allow the monopolistic cable companies (yes, they do have de facto monopolies in several areas of the country; if you don't understand what that means, look it up), the less leverage with regard to what we can buy for our entertainment dollars.

Continue to trump how this is just the reality that we need to accept, and stand by to see more of your options go away. Think I am being too much of an alarmist? Look into some of the recent trends of Comcast and TWC experimenting with charging Internet fees based on usage tiers. These companies look for those affected to remain as lemmings; without the people speaking out, these companies will remain the only ones with leverage.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:59 PM   #1520
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Oh, this is going to get good. Buckle up and enjoy the interaction...
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #1521
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Oh, this is going to get good. Buckle up and enjoy the interaction...
Ill start the popcorn....
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:34 PM   #1522
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I'll bring the beer. Sit back and enjoy.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #1523
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It may be fruitless to worry about the cost of the Tuning Adapter as my complaints will fall on deaf ears at CableVision. But for those who think it will be just a nominal charge, I point out that if it were $1/month - which would make it the cheapest thing they lease this side of the remote, and if the speculation is correct that it's about a $30 item retail, that's a huge 40% return on CV's investment, before you account for their bulk purchasing discounts and potential lease financing.

As for my "choices" in switching to other sources of programming, it's not like there's a freely operating market here. There are still huge barriers to entry, and that's being exploited. It's moved from an under-regulated monopoly to a thinly regulated oligopoly. It's why the cost of programming has shot through the roof, and remains there, and it's why we're forced to lease hardware.

I would love to be a happy premium subscriber. Instead, I'm a premium subscriber who's sick of paying through the nose. I pay $105 for cable service per month now, and I'm gradually losing the ability to see what I want where I want without leasing more hardware. I should be enjoying CV and FIOS fighting for my business in the $50/month range, without hardware restrictions. But their oligopoly status combined with an accepted price level that's jacked up beyond reason has prevented that.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:34 PM   #1524
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danschn, no matter what the cable providers profit margin is, it would be difficult to argue that $1/month would be unreasonable lease fee. They will have to pay something to stock, distribute and maintain the damn things and they deserve some compensation should they ask for it. I'm not sure what the highest reasonable price would be, but I'm definitely not going to complain about anything under $2/month. They could have not developed the device at all--the solution that the CE OEMs are asking for, DCR+, is only applicable to future products. It leaves all us current-model CableCARD TiVo owners out in the cold.

Cable has to combat the incursions that satellite is making on their market share with their "up to 150 HD channels" advertising campaigns. SDV was by far the quickest-to-implement, least-expensive way for them to be able to field enough additional HD content to remain competitive, and it screws over only their unidirectional CableCARD using subs, who to date number only a few hundred thousand, nationwide. Of that tiny fraction of all cable subscribers, I'd bet that CableCARD TiVo users comprise greater than 50%, and the TA should immediately solve our problem with SDV.

Sounds as though your only recourse is to drop cable and be satisfied with the programming that you can pick up over-the-air (which TiVo S3 and TiVo HD are also useful for); many people go that route. The oligopoly status quo is an improvement on the de facto monopoly situation of the past and will only continue to improve. Unfortunately, because of the incredibly high cost of building a content distribution network (municipal hybrid fiber/cable network build-out, launching comm satellites, etc), there won't soon be anything like the open market that exists in other areas for multichannel subscription television. What may well happen is that IPTV blossoms, which will allow individual content providers to sell you access to individual channels over a broadband internet connection, basically piggy-backing someone else's distribution network, your choice (CATV, telco, whatever) as long as it's fast enough. (See this page for a cool video about deployment of an IPTV client for the Xbox 360 set to be rolled out in the UK soon; Sony will also be rolling out their "PlayTV" client and DVB tuner for the PS3 in Europe soon). This is something that current model CableCARD TiVos should be capable of handling as well. Only time will tell how that's going to go, or whether it will sell for a price that you won't feel obliged to complain about .
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #1525
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Oh, this is going to get good. Buckle up and enjoy the interaction...
Or maybe bicker and mike_camden can agree to disagree, skipping a long, protracted, off-topic and useless argument in this thread and just tell people that they had one . (Or, if they must have it, move it to PM and spare the rest of us).
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:42 PM   #1526
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The silliness of some of the participants in this thread is hilarious to behold.
Yes, some of the silliness I've read in this thread is incredible.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:51 PM   #1527
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Reality is what we make it.
Reality is what is.

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Originally Posted by mike_camden View Post
Right now for this particular matter, reality is being defined by the influence that a very strong lobby has on politicians (including judges) who don't have the technical acumen or desire (both in many cases) to fully understand the issues involved.
Or they simply have different priorities than you, and theirs simply prevail over yours. In essence, they're pro-business.

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Continue to trump how this is just the reality that we need to accept, and stand by to see more of your options go away.
You give me way too much credit. I'm just explaining to you what you claim is so obvious that you cannot help but know it. It is real. Denying it by claiming that you don't like the way it came about doesn't serve any constructive purpose. What are you doing to change the nature of the politics in this country that this reality is a reflection of? Evidently not enough, since both of the major political parties are pro-business now.

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Think I am being too much of an alarmist? Look into some of the recent trends of Comcast and TWC experimenting with charging Internet fees based on usage tiers. These companies look for those affected to remain as lemmings; without the people speaking out, these companies will remain the only ones with leverage.
You're tilting at windmills. What I care about is that my investments are such that I can hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement. I support the things that I believe foster that. What are you doing to to get the powers-that-be to radically reverse the last 35 years of progressively more and more support for the pro-business perspective in this country? Again, evidently not enough.

And I'm not saying that that's bad (though I'm happy that it fosters my 401k's), and I'm not saying it is a personal failure on your part: I'm just stating the way things are.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #1528
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Or maybe bicker and mike_camden can agree to disagree, skipping a long, protracted, off-topic and useless argument in this thread and just tell people that they had one . (Or, if they must have it, move it to PM and spare the rest of us).
I'm game. I've said all there needs to be said to support my position, as long as there isn't another personal attack on me posted in this regard, like another accusation that I was talking to someone like an elementary school student.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:14 PM   #1529
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We the people.. in order to get cable TV...

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This is a TiVo forum. However, the issue was cost of service, and the cost of service is not just affected by people who have TiVo.
True. In fact I suspect general pricing of CATV services is not impacted at all by TiVo ownership in most municipalities.

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The US Constitution does not grant a right to TiVo.
Oh, please spare me. The US constitution doesn't grant a right to television service of any sort, nor to competitive pricing of any goods or services.

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TiVo must always be considered in the context of the total environment. Blinders don't help you see the reality any more clearly.
Yes, but the U.S. Constitution is not a relevant aspect of that environment. I submit your arguments will wield more weight if you keep them cogent and free of detritus.

Last edited by lrhorer : 05-14-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:29 PM   #1530
lrhorer
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Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
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Well, almost

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden View Post
These companies look for those affected to remain as lemmings; without the people speaking out, these companies will remain the only ones with leverage.
I agree with most of what you have said, up to this point. The fact is, every person on Eath - all six billion plus - could scream at the top of their lungs about this issue, and the CATV companies couldn't care less. All six billion of them writing letters would only garner a little more notice. No, the only things of which the MSOs are going to take much notice is either a major loss of revenue or potentially massive fines from the FCC. The loss of one customer is definitely not a major loss of revenue. The loss of every single Series 3 customer is perhaps a bit on their radar, but even that is comparatively small potatoes. As others have pointed out, we (TiVo owners) just don't have much clout. We have a bit more than some have estimated, but it would not be at all difficult to overestimate the magnitude of our potential influence. All of us put together probably couldn't match in a year the amount of bribes paid by the MSOs in a single day, so I wouldn't hold much stock in convincing the government of anything, either.
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