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Old 08-31-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
atmuscarella
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One Small Step - HBO starts cutting the cord

Looks like HBO is taking small steps to offer their services without a payTV sub.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118058484
So if this were available to you, would you be interested? If so at what price point?

I would be at something around $10/mo
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
Looks like HBO is taking small steps to offer their services without a payTV sub.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118058484
So if this were available to you, would you be interested? If so at what price point?

I would be at something around $10/mo
Hard to say, exactly. HBO has compelling content, so it's definitely worth paying for, even though I also have Netflix. I have yet to find a pay service that offers all the content I want, but it's a mix. HBO's online presence offers big movies and good performance, but fewer places to watch it and selections that are more time-sensitive. Netflix has fewer recent and big-name releases, but their TV selections are excellent. They also have great variety, although their interface makes it very hard to find stuff, sometimes.

If I had to choose one over the other, I'd probably still vote for Netflix, but that's because of being able to run it on more clients (my Nook tablet, for example) and more diverse content.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Definitely not.

1. Unless the content can be downloaded to my video server for playback where and when I choose, I am uninterested.

2. Unless there are some fairly large scale changes in technology which allows greater bandwidth and performance to be delivered to us at the same or lower prices than we have today, I am uninterested (because the performance is too poor).

3. Unless this product is at a minimum as good as CATV deployed services (around 19 Mbps MPEG-II or perhaps 10 Mbps h.264) or perhaps much better, I am uninterested.

4. Unless the UI for the delivery of the product integrates seamlesly with the one I use for viewing other videos (bascilaly this means a plug-in for vidmgr on the Tivo), I am uninterested.

5. Unless the content can be filtered automatically so I don't have to wade through mountians of garbage to find the 5% or so of the videos in which I might ever be interested, I am uninterested.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Ditto.

I'm not too worried about #2 as that is in the hands of the cable providers.

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Definitely not.

1. Unless the content can be downloaded to my video server for playback where and when I choose, I am uninterested.

2. Unless there are some fairly large scale changes in technology which allows greater bandwidth and performance to be delivered to us at the same or lower prices than we have today, I am uninterested (because the performance is too poor).

3. Unless this product is at a minimum as good as CATV deployed services (around 19 Mbps MPEG-II or perhaps 10 Mbps h.264) or perhaps much better, I am uninterested.

4. Unless the UI for the delivery of the product integrates seamlesly with the one I use for viewing other videos (bascilaly this means a plug-in for vidmgr on the Tivo), I am uninterested.

5. Unless the content can be filtered automatically so I don't have to wade through mountians of garbage to find the 5% or so of the videos in which I might ever be interested, I am uninterested.

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Ditto.

I'm not too worried about #2 as that is in the hands of the cable providers.
By which I assume you mean you aren't worried about it being in any danger of getting better.


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Old 09-01-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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This must be driving cable companies crazy. HBO is a reason why some people "need" cable. If ESPN and cable news networks do the same thing, cable subscribers will leave in droves.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
Looks like HBO is taking small steps to offer their services without a payTV sub.
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118058484
So if this were available to you, would you be interested? If so at what price point?

I would be at something around $10/mo
From I read it sound like it only going to be available in areas where HBO is NOT being officer by a cable provider AND where HBO can compete with Netflix. I do not see this coming any city in the US or Canada. Sorry OTA fans no HBO for you.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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This must be driving cable companies crazy. HBO is a reason why some people "need" cable. If ESPN and cable news networks do the same thing, cable subscribers will leave in droves.
I suspect not, but if they do, all they have to do to make up for the lost revenue is increase the cost of Broadband Internet Service, even asuming Johncv's post above is mistaken (of which I have no evidence).
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:04 AM   #9
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An HBO spokesman made clear that this launch does not reflect a strategic change for the company in any of its current markets. "Each market is unique and HBO approaches each one with what we consider to believe the best business model specific to that territory."

I guess no body saw this?
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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Some HBO programming is already available for free online. HBO want's to add some of those customers. It will probably be cheaper to pay for online HBO and eliminate the premium tier of cable service. It will be much cheaper to add a roku or other set top box to multiple rooms without paying for a whole home dvr, multiple cable boxes or additional outlet fees.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #11
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Some HBO programming is already available for free online. HBO want's to add some of those customers. It will probably be cheaper to pay for online HBO and eliminate the premium tier of cable service. It will be much cheaper to add a roku or other set top box to multiple rooms without paying for a whole home dvr, multiple cable boxes or additional outlet fees.
Never going to happen in the USA.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #12
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I guess no body saw this?
No one in the thread so far != nobody. Definitely read this on Gizmodo.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #13
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Here is the link to the Gizmode Article is anyone would like to read it:
http://gizmodo.com/5939375/hbo-strea...only-in-europe
I still look at this as a small but positive step. Regardless of what HBO is saying officially this shows they are open to change and are opening to a streaming subscription model. Sure this is not likely to happen anytime soon in the United States but it does mean HBO is ready and willing to do it when/if market forces change.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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3. Unless this product is at a minimum as good as CATV deployed services (around 19 Mbps MPEG-II or perhaps 10 Mbps h.264) or perhaps much better, I am uninterested.
HBOGo is HD for me and looks as good, if not better, then anything I record directly from the HD channel on my TiVo. I've watched it both on my 52" TV via my XBox and on my iPad. Both were fine experiences.

I have cable for other reasons, but if I were a cord cutter I'd seriously consider paying for HBOGo as a standalone option.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:35 AM   #15
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No, it is a NON-step as far as the US. HBO makes and will make more money via its presence on MVPD's, and HBO aint gonna kill that bread and butter ANYTIME soon. If one wants HBO to GO, all they have to do is pay the monthly fee--VIA MVPD subscription, and this is how HBO makes money with its content while others just can't get the economics to work.

I know that on Dish, for example, you can subscribe to a Premium (HBO) ONLY without any other programming or tier of programming. To be clear, that is if you OWN your STB or have completed your commitment period if you got the system and STB's and other upgrades for FREE or discounted flat rate. But it is one way to get HBO to Go subscribing to HBO ONLY pretty much as if HBO offered To GO to non-subscribers.

What is being done in the Nordic area is ONLY because HBO does not need to protects its value and bread and butter with an MVPD.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:45 AM   #16
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HBO costs less then $10/mo through my cable provider. What makes you thinknthey make more then that?

I understandnthey may not want to piss off the MSOs by offering the service alacarte, but i don't think they'd make more money per subsriber by sticking with MSOs. I think they might have more total subscribers though, which is why they don't want to piss off the MSOs.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:28 AM   #17
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No, it is a NON-step as far as the US. HBO makes and will make more money via its presence on MVPD's, and HBO aint gonna kill that bread and butter ANYTIME soon.
I agree that as long as the cable/satellite companies control the majority of video distribution it is unlikely that we will see companies like HBO offer streaming as a stand alone service.

So the question becomes when will enough people leave the cable/satellite fold to make it worth while for companies like HBO to take the chance and offer stand alone service?

My guess is we are years or decades away, but many people see it differently and expect streaming to disrupt cable/satellite in a much shorter time frame.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:36 AM   #18
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My guess is we are years or decades away, but many people see it differently and expect streaming to disrupt cable/satellite in a much shorter time frame.
That's the way I see it. Eventually they will to conform.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #19
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Looks like HBO is taking small steps to offer their services without a payTV sub.
... in a region they don't have a large penetration in and therefore nothing to loose. Yawn.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this in the good 'ol US of A any time soon
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:02 PM   #20
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Regardless of what HBO is saying officially this shows they are open to change and are opening to a streaming subscription model.
They are open to doing it in market's where they aren't otherwise making money.

It's obvious they know how to do streaming. That's not interesting or novel. Deploying a streaming model in area's they are already entrenched without ticking off their current partners (i.e. cable companies) is gong to be the trick.

At this point waiting for an existing player like HBO to be "innovative" is like wishing for a leopard to change his spots to stripes. It's going to be an "outsider" like Netflix, Amazon or Apple that drives change, not incumbents like Comcast or HBO.

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many people see it differently and expect streaming to disrupt cable/satellite in a much shorter time frame.
Those people would be "not grounded in reality". Good luck with that!
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:20 AM   #21
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Deploying a streaming model in area's they are already entrenched without ticking off their current partners (i.e. cable companies) is gong to be the trick.

At this point waiting for an existing player like HBO to be "innovative" is like wishing for a leopard to change his spots to stripes. It's going to be an "outsider" like Netflix, Amazon or Apple that drives change, not incumbents like Comcast or HBO.
They might be persuaded though to offer a streaming only option by a big partner like Microsoft or maybe even someone like Netflix. However it couldn't be completely standalone. They would need to sell it as part of a package (i.e. included as part of XBox Live, Amazon Prime or Netflix) and not as a completely standalone option to keep from completely pissing off their cable partners.

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:08 PM   #22
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They might be persuaded though to offer a streaming only option by a big partner like Microsoft or maybe even someone like Netflix.
Not even Apple could guarantee similar revenue to what the Cable Co's provide - which would be critical to offset any potential losses if a Cable Co decided to drop 'em.

That's the core issue. Until that balance tips, nothing is going to change in the US - unfortunately
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #23
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They offer HBO to competitors already. If they can offer HBO via Dish or DirecTV without pissing off the cable cos, then why not through Netflix or XBox Live? It's not a one sided relationship. The cable cos need HBO as much as HBO needs them. They aren't going to dump them just out of principal. They'd only do it if there was some sort of economic viability to it.

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #24
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They offer HBO to competitors already. If they can offer HBO via Dish or DirecTV without pissing off the cable cos, then why not through Netflix or XBox Live?
DirecTV and Dish share a similar model to the cable companies. They aren't perceived as a threat by the content providers who provide much of what HBO provides.

Ala Carte pricing is a COMPLETELY different model, and one that is a real threat to cable, DirecTV and dish. They all hate the thought of a heavyweight with a well known brand and credibility like HBO embracing mainline distributing without them.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and even to some extent iTunes are really "fringe" use - the bulk of revenue for content providers comes from the established networks, cable and satellite guys.

Remember, HBO has to license the content (most of it) they provide too...

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It's not a one sided relationship. The cable cos need HBO as much as HBO needs them. They aren't going to dump them just out of principal.
Er, right now I think the cable companies and satellite guys need HBO more than HBO needs them. And HBO still needs Hollywood and the content creators (for now, anyway).

Just like iTunes blew up the whole album/bundling with music, a major player like HBO could be the key to unbundling content that the networks, cable companies and satellite guys. That's the battle. Not short term profits, but fighting against disruption of the entire model for distribution that exists today.

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They'd only do it if there was some sort of economic viability to it.
Sure, but remember - even for HBO they are beholden to Hollywood. Sure, HBO has some (very good) original programming, but the bulk of what they offer comes from others. Others who instead of seeing the net positive for the music industry are instead fearing the change and clinging desperately to the past.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #25
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Yeah I wasn't really considering their relationship with the MPAA. I really only have HBO for the original programming. I rarely use it to watch movies.

Maybe if they offered a sub-service that only allowed access to their original content?

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #26
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Maybe if they offered a sub-service that only allowed access to their original content?
They probably have some long term agreements they need to let expire before they could do that - but I would expect that to happen first!

The same things holding that back are probably why they agree to release DVD's of seasons well after they have aired - don't want to threaten the relationships they have with their current "partners"...

All the back room stuff and existing agreements are why it takes so long for these guys to adapt; when to us, the consumer, it looks like things are changing at warp speed
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:37 AM   #27
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DirecTV and Dish share a similar model to the cable companies. They aren't perceived as a threat by the content providers who provide much of what HBO provides.

Ala Carte pricing is a COMPLETELY different model, and one that is a real threat to cable, DirecTV and dish. They all hate the thought of a heavyweight with a well known brand and credibility like HBO embracing mainline distributing without them.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and even to some extent iTunes are really "fringe" use - the bulk of revenue for content providers comes from the established networks, cable and satellite guys.

Remember, HBO has to license the content (most of it) they provide too...



Er, right now I think the cable companies and satellite guys need HBO more than HBO needs them. And HBO still needs Hollywood and the content creators (for now, anyway).

Just like iTunes blew up the whole album/bundling with music, a major player like HBO could be the key to unbundling content that the networks, cable companies and satellite guys. That's the battle. Not short term profits, but fighting against disruption of the entire model for distribution that exists today.



Sure, but remember - even for HBO they are beholden to Hollywood. Sure, HBO has some (very good) original programming, but the bulk of what they offer comes from others. Others who instead of seeing the net positive for the music industry are instead fearing the change and clinging desperately to the past.

Actually Dish LOVES the idea of a la carte pricing. Charles Ergen years ago let it be known that he supports it and still does and has even testified before Congress stating his support for a la carte. From his view, it is what the customer wants and it keeps both Dish's costs and the customer's bill lower, or at least customers get only what they pay for and not the hundreds of other channels they don't want, how a la carte would work in the real world free market would be very different from what many consumer's THINK it would work. They could end up with even HIGHER bills for ALL the channels they want and a provider would still foist a suite of channels they DON'T want (ESPN Classic, etc.) for the HIGH monthly just to get the prime ESPN, ESPN2.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:59 AM   #28
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The problem is now that the same old MVPD's and content providers are now getting into the on-line game and even Apple TV proposes the same old model, just delivered on-line streaming and with the Apple brand. Charles Ergen has confirmed he building an on-line TV service, although NOT to include sports and have lower prices, but still a "Dish Network" model on the internet. And Apple TV was proposed to be pretty much the same model as the MVPD's only it would be delivered via internet, not a cable or satellite. Oh, and Discovery buying Revision 3? What does Revision 3 have that Discovery could possibly want? It aint the content nor its talent, rest assured.

Look gang, we are all sell-outs, and those small scrappy independents (witness Roku now offering ONLY Dish Internationals for its foreign continent and kicking everybody else OUT of the Roku house just affirms the little guys all have their price) are just waiting to be bought or merged. That's why they started the companies: to make MONEY, not be the Robin Hoods of TV as so many believe their clever marketing designed to appeal to tired consumers.

So, we will see the same MVPD's only delivering their content via the less expensive broadband internet ("If I were building Dish Network today, I would NOT be investing in satellites"-Charles Ergan) with the same OLD MODEL. Dish's massive new facility of servers to support massive internet service is beyond the demand of recently acquired Blockbuster. Yup, Ergen is building a serious internet service while AppleTV has startred to consider offering its content THROUGH existing MVPD's after finding that getting content at an affordable price was just as challenging as it is for the MVPD's. Not a good sign for those cheering for the fall of the MVPD's. Netflix will either die or, more likely, be bought, perhaps by DirecTV or another MVPD who needs the foot in the on-line door. Cable did not kill the broadcast networks as the broadcast networks or its parent companies OWN all those cable channels. The same old broadcasters just moved along into the "cable" universe, and so it will be for the on-line TV services to come. In a few years, Disney, NBC Universal, and Viacom may be fighting each other over buying Amazon just for it's on-line TV and Movie side of the business.

And so it goes. DireTV, Comcast, TWC, Dish, et al. will all still be here, just in more places than one having created, or bought their way into the on-line universe as your new "cable cutting" on-line content provider.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #29
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...
Look gang, we are all sell-outs, and those small scrappy independents (witness Roku now offering ONLY Dish Internationals for its foreign continent and kicking everybody else OUT of the Roku house just affirms the little guys all have their price) are just waiting to be bought or merged. That's why they started the companies: to make MONEY, not be the Robin Hoods of TV as so many believe their clever marketing designed to appeal to tired consumers. ...
Oh my - who would have thought that in a capitalistic society that people start businesses to make money.

Pure capitalism is basically how the mafia/drug cartels work. You kill your competition and assure consumers can only buy products from you. All companies are trying to "corner the market" so they can maximize profits. It is in cable's best interest to control the distribution of video to the maximum extent possible. So far I haven't seen anything that indicates that cable will give up without a major fight and given that they own most of the pipes to our homes even if we move more to IP video distribution cable is going to have major control of it.

The primary reason capitalism benefits "consumers" is because competition forces companies to innovate and control costs. The only way to assure competition is if the Government is used to assure it. Which is done by the Government enforcing a basic set of rules that assures there can and will be competition (along with what ever consumer protections that are found to be necessary). What this means in the video distribution world is if we (consumers) want something different we are going to have to use Government to get it. I find this very unlikely, as for the most part, big business has bought and paid for both political parties and is controlling what the Government is doing.
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