Cutting the Cable in 2014 - Discussion of Options - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-06, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cutting the Cable in 2014 - Discussion of Options

As the conversation about cord-cutting has gone more mainstream, I saw a need for an honest rundown of the major options that a tech-curious consumer is likely to find in 2014. I know that given the audience here on DigitalHome this will be glossing over many of the details that the tech-savvy audience already knows about, but hopefully this is something you can point your less savvy friends towards if they're trying to figure things out.

Link to the article: http://pnear.wordpress.com/2014/04/0...a-2014-update/
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-06, 07:30 PM
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Good attempt but not really a rundown of the major options, missing out on Chromecast, PS3, Ps4, Xbox360, XBone to name a few.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-06, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Fair enough, in this context I would call those streamers.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-06, 08:53 PM
 
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Good article, I don't see a need to move from an OTA WMC, Xbox extenders & AppleTV's. Thanks to Mr Near my old WMC gets its guide data without fail. $0 month (just electricity) & iTunes purchases.

Bill
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-06, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnear View Post
Fair enough, in this context I would call those streamers.
Agreed, they'd fall under the option #1 in your list I would say. They can stream local media, online media, on demand rental and Netflix/Hulu/iPlayer (if combined with a geo-unlocker).

One thing I've found with Netflix is that while the US library is probably better for TV shows, the Canadian library has more recent movies.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 10:42 AM
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Depending on the setup.. while I would agree, most of those devices are 'streamers'.. they are a valid part of a setup sometimes.

Not everyone has/wants a full WMC, etc PC say at each TV. Sometimes all that is needed would be a server style setup, with recording in one location.. while all other TVs just access and stream the data remote as an 'extender' per say.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 01:39 PM
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The current system really isn't working for consumers because, as Peter points out, the incumbents are trying to protect their business models rather than thinking about how they can provide a better experience to the end consumer. The On-Demand and TV Anywhere from the cable companies leave much to be desired.

In an ideal world I would l would like a service where I could watch any movie ever produced and any TV show that was ever on in addition to live sports with the ability to watch a game as soon as it starts as if I recorded it myself. Think of it as Netflix if they had all movies and TV rather than a small subset plus the sports streaming. And I would want it available on pretty much any device - TV, phone, tablet, etc, again just like Netflix. This is kind of like some of the streaming music services available today - I pay a monthly fee and I can listen to whatever I want from whatever device I want.

Here is why "the man" should like this - I am willing to pay more than I pay today for TV plus online services plus DVD/BR purchases - I would pay $150-$200 per month. So there is more money for the content producers so they should like this - but who gets the money will be different.

The sad thing is that the closest solution to what I am suggesting is one of the illegal options, with the sports streaming added on. The Napster analogy is a very good one.

I don't think the old models will hold on for much longer. There will be losers (like all of the crappy TV channels that no one watches today but survive due to bundling) but consumers should be the winners.

FYI - My current media costs are cable $80/monthly, Netflix $8, Amazon Prime (US) $8, Unblockus $5, optical media - $30 for a total of about $130/month.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 01:58 PM
 
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^ A comprehensive solution should include free ad-supported and ad-free pay per view options. Many people would be willing to pay $150/month for a streaming service that works, but many others won't.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 03:15 PM
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If we're talking about "the future" I think that people should simply pay for what they watch or (optionally) buy a "seasons pass" to the content. The price should be cheap, but if you buy the content you want then the math about what content creators get what money is easy, it makes sense, and success is directly rewarded.

That way, the content could very easily be ad-free and ad-supported, you just pick the appropriate button and pay the appropriate amount for each version.

What I think is 100% bad is a big ticket monthly fee which gives you access to everything. Then you get the situation where lots of bad content gets funded because they made a deal with the content distributor. This leads to people pirating Game of Thrones because that's the only show they want to watch, and they don't want a expensive cable sub just for that show.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 04:06 PM
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I would happily pay HBO a similar amount to Netflix for HBO Go but I not going to pay approx $20 for HBO and host of movie channels and regional US networks that I don't want.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 04:34 PM
 
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Considering HBO charges $25-30 for one season of a popular TV series on places like iTunes and Cinema Now, I doubt we will see them charge at little as $10/month for the whole channel. It would be nice though and it could really make a lot of people ditch their cable providers.

Netflix is great value but it wouldn't come close to covering my TV needs alone. OTA is not that great either here in Ottawa.

The more I think about cutting my cable the more expensive the (legal) alternatives appear to be. I pay about $100 for my TV channels with Rogers. To get the TV shows I watch through iTunes or Cinema Now plus the specialy sports channels, plus Netflix, I concluded I wouldn't be saving much at all at the end of the day. And that's not taking into accout the ease of use and Live TV.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 04:52 PM
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Netflix + Hulu + Unblock-Us + OTA = ~$22/month.

There isn't much I can't see, and everything in that list is legal.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 04:52 PM
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Since cutting the cord I find that my viewing is far more selective. When I had lots of cable channels I would watch shows just because they were on. Networks like Food, Space, T+E were important to me and took some adjustment but now I can easily find similar content from other sauces. Once example is cooking shows, I used to love Food Network but its mostly reality shows loosely based around food rather than actual cooking shows. Now I can get great cooking shows on You Tube, especially from channels like Food Tube.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audacity View Post
Netflix + Hulu + Unblock-Us + OTA = ~$22/month.

There isn't much I can't see, and everything in that list is legal.
Hulu doesn't have many of the shows we watch. Not to mention sports.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-07, 05:56 PM
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Live sports is the biggest omission from any solution. At least they have their own packages you can purchase such as NHL Game Center Live and they have an app on most every platform. Audacity's example (same as at my house) to add sports (hockey) to the equation roughly add $200.00 for a season.

I have been really enjoying Roku 3 for streaming. I have thrown all kinds of apps and local content via Plex at it and it works nicely. Same content on Plex via the Chromecast doesn't stream as nicely. It could be due to my wireless coverage in that room however. My laptop and tablet work fine but it could be a bit shady behind the TV. The Roku is hard wired into a Powerline AV outlet.
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