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XJakeX

join:2005-03-05
Coventry, RI

The good old days

I remember the days when commercials alone paid for TV. The content providers and TV networks seemed to survive fine for 40 years under that model. Funny how we are still watching commercials with cable, and almost twice as many commercial minutes per hour, but also paying directly for the content.

Of course, the local providers deserve to be paid for stringing the wire to bring a clear picture to your house, but when more than half of your monthly TV bill and probably 95% of those bi annual increases goes to the TV networks, something has drastically changed.

Why do they keep increasing the cost? Because they can.

Internet video can supplement, but it will never replace the current structure. It's too clunky, too slow. There's none of that instant gratification you get from flipping through channels with the remote. No matter how fast Internet speeds get, it will never be the same loading videos as it is flipping from live channel to live channel. Besides, some of the same players are involved in both ends of the business, and what they have now is too much of a cash cow for both of them for either to want to upset the apple cart. Every now and then you read about a dispute between a TV network and a cable/telco/sat company about a rate increase, but it's all for show. They need each other too badly to be serious about it.

The only way you'll ever see a la carte is if the government mandates it, or the parent companies of the networks can find a way to make even more profit with it than without it. It'a a marriage made in heaven for the TV networks and the rebroadcasters.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
said by XJakeX:

Internet video can supplement, but it will never replace the current structure. It's too clunky, too slow. There's none of that instant gratification you get from flipping through channels with the remote. No matter how fast Internet speeds get, it will never be the same loading videos as it is flipping from live channel to live channel

You'd be surprised at how adaptive people can get when cable TV becomes cost-prohibitive. We had no choice but to drop cable TV because it simply became too expensive.

We use Netflix, off-air TV, and other online video sources for our TV viewing needs now. While it remains kludgy (especially with having to use an HTPC with a keyboard and mouse) we don't really miss being able to flip through channels.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

XJakeX

join:2005-03-05
Coventry, RI

1 recommendation

I went the same route 3 years ago when the digital changeover happened. 30 channels OTA(15 in Hi Def), Netflix, the hundreds of other options I get through the Roku, and an occasional Red Box rental are more than enough for me.

But I think those like us, while the number is growing, will always be a niche market. The number of amazingly misinformed people out there is astounding. When I mention to someone that I get my TV for free over the air, the inevitable response is either, "Oh, so you only get 4 or 5 channels?", or "Really? I thought all that over the air stuff disappeared in 2009." Two young guys from Verizon came to my house a week or so ago, peddling FIOS. When I told them I got my TV from an antenna, they said, "So you only get 10-12 channels, then." There's two guys trying to *sell* me pay TV who don't even know what the free competition offers.

As pay TV gets more expensive, more people will consider this option. But the 6 corporations that own or control all the TV channels will eventually reign in those increases when they feel the financial pinch of people deserting pay TV. They only raise the prices now because there's no real competition to stop them. Either that, or they will use their considerable influence and financial lobbying might to put an end to unencrypted broadcast signals, and stop selling TV shows to Netflix, making the non pay TV option much less attractive. The FCC has so far given this two headed oligopoly a free hand in how it runs the show, and it's taken full advantage of that.