Streaming Costs On The Rise - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Streaming Costs On The Rise

My satellite subscriptions aren't looking to bad these days Cutting the cord could cost as much as cable
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 09:46 AM
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Theoretically it may be more expensive, but who really subscribes to all available streaming services, especially in the states where there are quiet a few.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 10:03 AM
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Cutting the cord could cost as much as cable

I predicted that some time ago. As bev fan says and unlike conventional TV cable, it's not necessary to subscribe to every service at once or even sub to one continuously. It's easy to sub to one service, watch everything they offer and then switch to another. That's what I'm doing with Netflix. A month or two usually exhausts everything they have that's new from the previous time I activated it. Next up is CraveTV, probably in June. The one exception is Amazon Prime, which requires a yearly subscription. I'm waiting until their library expands significantly.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 10:07 AM
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This article is inane.

For one, the author starts by including the cost of internet access in the equation. Then acknowledges that most people are already paying for internet access. Then continues to build his argument on the premise of the cost of internet access being included.

His argument is predicated on users paying for nearly every service available. The whole point of cord cutting to save money is to only pay for the things you actually want to watch. If you want to watch everything then I think everyone would concede that cable will probably be a better value for you.

He describes new streaming services as adding costs to the bundle, as though cord cutters would collect them all to build a comprehensive viewing experience.

He talks about the skinny bundle services like SlingTV as costing the same as cable when you add in Netflix and HBO, but that assumes that cable subscribers are not also paying for Netflix and HBO.

Throughout the article, he ignores the advantages of commercial free viewing, on demand access, access across many devices, or better user interfaces which many streaming services provide.

And then there's this:
Quote:
And we all know how easy it is to sign up, but darn impossible to stop the charges when we want to cancel. You generally can’t e-mail the services, you have to call and wait on hold forever.
I have never had that experience with any streaming services I've used. They always have an option to cancel in the web interface. However, that does sound like my experience canceling cable!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 10:46 AM
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Internet cost is a factor but not the full cost. Using the internet for TV will require unlimited internet or at least a very high data cap. It will often also require a speed increase. That will increase the cost of internet for many people by anywhere from $10 to $100 per month. I'm happy for anyone who already has a premium internet package with unlimited data but that is not the reality for most people.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 12:00 PM
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It definitely does not require an unlimited internet package. I've been streaming all my TV for several years now, and I've never crossed 200 GB in a month, and I'm usually well under 150. In Toronto, Rogers' 30 Mbps plan, the first option above the ultrabasic 5 Mbps, includes 250 GB of bandwidth. Bell's Fibe 15, the first option above the ultrabasic 3 Mpbs plan, only includes 75 GB of data, but to upgrade to Fibe 50, which is unlimited, is only $20 more. Shaw and Telus seem to have similar options in the west. And all of these include speeds that are more than capable of handling HD streaming.

If you're the kind of person who would even consider getting your TV via the web, you probably already have a connection that can support cord cutting, or one that can be upgraded to that point for $20 or less. If you have a 3-5 Mbps connection and only really use it for basic web browsing as it is, the cost would be somewhere around $50 or less. The only way it's climbing as high as $100 is if you don't have internet access at all, in which case you're probably not the kind of person suited to figuring out how the different web services work anyway.

If you live in a part of the country where internet access is limited and bandwidth is expensive, then streaming services probably aren't the right choice for you. If your household watches so much TV that they would need an unlimited bandwidth plan, then you're probably getting good value from cable and should stick with it. The argument (at least from reasonable people) has never been that nobody should ever pay for cable, but rather that for many people it does not make sense.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-17, 05:50 PM
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Even if it's not unlimited data, many internet packages have generous caps (e.g. 1TB/month). It takes a lot of h.264 1080p video to exceed 1TB.

Streaming is a far better deal than cable TV in both cost and quality. Cable TV can't compete, unless you like sports.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 02:41 AM
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I've been streaming all my TV for several years now, and I've never crossed 200 GB in a month, and I'm usually well under 150.
That all depends on the amount of TV watched. Some people leave their TV on all day and others have children or extended family members in the same household. That could easily blow through a 200 GB cap. We are up to 50 GB less than half way through the month and that's with using a standard TV package for over 90% of our TV viewing. We can easily use over 20GB/mo just listing to streamed music all day. IPTV uses about 100 times as much data.

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Even if it's not unlimited data, many internet packages have generous caps (e.g. 1TB/month).
That's usually only the very high end packages in urban areas with fibre or cable upgrades. Low end plans here have a 20-25GB/mo limit. Switching to a streaming TV service will create a significant data use and price increase. A 500GB/mo plan would be a $40/mo increase over our current 200GB plan. The next step up is unlimited at $55 more. The top plan is a whopping $100 more. Unlimited data plans are available from competitors and start at about $20 more.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 09:45 AM
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80% of Canadians live in urban areas. Yes, there will be plenty of people for whom switching to streaming is not even a viable option, but for the vast majority, the internet connection is already in place or a relatively inexpensive upgrade.

Again, if you're watching hundreds of hours of TV every month via networks that you could not get reliably OTA, then you're getting great value from your cable package and it makes sense for you. The people for whom streaming services make the most sense are the people who watch less, and don't want to pay for the things they're not interested in watching.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ExDilbert
That's usually only the very high end packages in urban areas with fibre or cable upgrades.
Sure, but if you look at Shaw's Internet price list, because they priced their 150Mbps package as they did, their other offerings don't make much sense.

In response, Telus adjusted their prices accordingly. While this is only applicable to the west, that's still quite a few people. Nationally, the trend line is that Internet packages are giving you more for your money. And because Internet is a necessity for many reasons, it's wrong to apply the entire cost of your Internet as a "cost of streaming video".

Put simply, @TorontoColin pointed out the fundamental flaws with this article. My sense is that we're just seeing the beginning of the great BDU collapse, and that there will soon be a significant exodus from traditional broadcast TV for two reasons:

1. From a technical perspective, broadcast TV is a inferior product.
2. You get less content for your money on broadcast TV.

Even when you have hundreds of channels, many of those are "clone" channels (same content with different regions, different resolutions, etc). The amount of content that is "on demand" is pathetic compared to the larger streaming players.

Many TV providers are trying to add on-demand services which they pair with their broadcast TV offerings, but heretofore those have just served to underscore how amazing services like Netflix are.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 12:24 PM
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I agree with all of those points but there is a reason why ISP TV services remain so popular. It's because a lot of major first run programming is only available though regular and premium TV channels. There are many channels that only have 1 or 2 series a year that I watch. The rest is just a waste of money and a lot of noise. The PVR takes care of that and I've owned one for 13 years. There are other ways to obtain the programming in a timely manner but it would involve some questionable and less reliable practices that would be unacceptable to other household members. Another option would be to wait a year or two for the programming to be available on DVD or through streaming services but I find that undesirable as well. And yes, the on demand and streaming services offered by Canadian networks and BDUs suck in a major way when compared to Netflix. They are definitely a last resort.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 12:27 PM
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I have to agree with TOCollin. My little town in Annapolis Valley gets no OTA service so cable TV and streaming are the viable media options.

We have scads of stations on our cable tv roster yet nothing worth watching. For years, moreover, I played with SlingTV boxes, Sage TV servers and so on, to get cable TV to each household screen, without the ugly clunky boxes connected to local coaxial outlets -- never where I wanted them.
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But when gigabit speed -- luckily, Kings County is relatively densely populated and suburban-like -- became available, we cut the cable. It isn't cheap but there's no cap and it provides more than enough bandwidth for UHD. Granted, subscriptions do add up for HBO, Amazon VOD, Netflix, and Showtime, but we actually enjoy watching the content: no commercials or comskip fussing, convenience, and better programming, with high quality picture and sound on far fewer devices.

How simple is it? One of our TVs is a Roku TV plugged into a power outlet, connected to my US Roku account, wirelessly, tethered only to an existing high end sound system via HDMI cable (with CEC). Everything appears on the TV's home screen, requiring a click of the remote. If one isn't fussy about sound, all that's needed is a smart tv, with a wireless connection to modem, or router.

Moreover, streaming SlingTV isn't much more expensive than basic cable TV -- US dollar but no 15% HST. But the channels on Slingtv include some worth viewing, like TNT, USA, and FX, live and on demand.

The cable outlets, like the land line phone jacks, around our house today serve only as a nuisance, when a room gets painted. I guess they're historical artifacts to remind us of the 20th century.

Maintaining the system is simple: make sure the modem is on after a power outage -- maybe a reboot, sometimes. Turn on the TV, in the room where I'm going to watch. Sometimes, I need to go get a brew and some snacks, but I need the exercise, and I have lots of spare time, now that I'm not maintaining hardware and tripping over wires.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Streaming Costs On The Rise

I've always been an all or nothing guy and we currently subscribe to two satellite services. Because we divide our time almost evenly with Regina & Minot we keep both going at all times. With Bell I've cut it down to the basic package while keeping our U.S. Service at the everything pack. As I like to have all the channels or none of them. Also having the best internet service that Sasktel has to offer with no cap, we could easily stream all the time but I'd be the guy subscribing to more than one service like the article says. I like the idea of getting all my content from one simple source. The DVR(H3) is simply the best out there and I to can skip commercials on most channels with auto hop, the ones that don't skip automatically I simply skip ahead with the remote. I also binge watch just like streaming as I record at least 5-9 episodes(sometimes the whole season) before I start to watch. Then there is the BD Factor as certain shows I watch exclusively on BD, like Game Of Thrones since it has Dolby Atmos which I'm big into. Many people ask me why I don't have Netflix and I say that I have too much to watch now let alone with a streaming service. Then they say that I'm missing out on this show or that show, to which I say no I'm not as I still purchase shows like House Of Cards, Longmire, Daredevil etc, on BD when released.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 2017-03-18, 12:40 PM
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But the channels on Slingtv include some worth viewing, like TNT, USA, and FX, live and on demand.
Most of their content is available through Canadian BDUs but can be difficult to find. It's sometimes scattered over many channels, often airs at different times and some is only available on premium channels but most of it does get aired. I have some reluctance over paying $10-$20/mo for a premium channel to see a show that airs on standard cable in the US but that's another issue.
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