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Damn Gilles! I gotta say! I like your style! They really should pay us for all the theft they've committed on us recently.

But in all seriousness. 15 dollars is what it should be! OTA has no monthly fee with HD service. That seems very fair to me. 15 dollars for the cost of providing service, HD Box rental and those few extras like CPAC, APTN, etc. It's a very fair price for both parties.
 

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If they took the money they waste on the CBC and use it toward a UK style Freeview TV system then we would have the equivalent of a free skinny basic. It's only because the Canadian system has been so screwed up by badly managed networks and that the CRTC needed to mandate skinny basic. We essentially had skinny basic on satellite and cable 10 years ago and then the big players all turned into greedy megalomaniacs.
 

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@Wheelman: I see it a bit differently. I see the average customer for Skinny Basic as follows:
- older
- does not have a HDTV/flat screen TV or if so a very basic small one
- has no interest in internet streaming or having apps on their TV
- watches a little TV in the evening when they have nothing else to do
- likes the main networks because that is what they have grown used to
- might like to add a few of the specialty channels like Discovery, History, Food etc. but don't think it is that important if they can't
- doesn't really care much for sports programming beyond what the main networks offer
- would admit that they could live with OTA only if clear OTA reception could be guaranteed and they could receive a good number of OTA channels
- has a limited budget

What I don't think Skinny Basic is or was intended for most of us who are "regulars" here at DHC. I could not believe the comments last spring from those here who seemed to expect get the universe in their BDU's Skinny Basic package for $25.00 or even less.

I also don't think there is any justification complaining about the added GST/HST not being included in the price. This is standard practice in Canada ever since GST/HST was introduced. The GST/HST is almost never included in the advertised price of a product. There's no nefarious conspiracy by the BDUs to hide the real price. It's government policy and we all know that is how it works.

There's one complaint, however that I do agree with, namely the need to pay for the set top box to get Skinny Basic. At one time the cable tuner (converter) was built into our TVs. All you had to do was plug in the cable. Sometime around 2006/2007 the BDUs all discovered that they could milk us for mucho extra bucks by switching to digital signals that made an external box a necessity for everyone even those still using SD TVs. Skinny Basic should include the box technology in some cheap way (maybe an add-on to the cable line itself like the old channel traps). Forcing people to pay for/rent a digital box that may cost more than the service itself defeats the whole purpose of having the Skinny Basic service in the first place. I'm not a techie but I can't believe that some kind of solution couldn't be found.

And that completes my rant for the day. Have a good one!
 

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I see the average customer for Skinny Basic as follows:
1. Lives too far away from a major city to get a good selection of OTA channels.
2. Lost 1 or more Canadian OTA channels during the digital transition. One of those was almost certainly the CBC with the next most likely being CTV.
3. Sick of repeated price hikes and gouging by BDUs.
4. Don't want overpriced "basic" packages that include dozens of unwanted, low quality channels or dozens of identical network channels.
5. Tired of paying for channels that are never watched because they milk the current TV packaging system by showing low quality content that mostly consists of endless reruns of the same content.
6. Tired of programming dilution by broadcasters spinning off unnecessary new channels that increase revenue for themselves while generating no value for BDU customers.
7. Don't mind waiting a year for a series to show up on a more affordable service such as Netflix.
 

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As a person who's actually on a Skinny Basic plan, my main reasons are that I only watch the networks (with Eastern feeds because I like to be able to watch things earlier sometimes), plus a couple of specialties that vary on time of year as it's usually only for a show or two. I do get OTA channels, but it's nice to have a PVR and timeshifting available. In effect, the channels I want: CBC, CTV, CTV2, Global, City, and depending on time of year, Space, Showcase, CW. That's it. Everything else I watch is online.
 

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I see the average customer for Skinny Basic as follows:
1. Lives too far away from a major city to get a good selection of OTA channels.
2. Lost 1 or more Canadian OTA channels during the digital transition. One of those was almost certainly the CBC with the next most likely being CTV.
3. Sick of repeated price hikes and gouging by BDUs.
4. Don't want overpriced "basic" packages that include dozens of unwanted, low quality channels or dozens of identical network channels.
5. Tired of paying for channels that are never watched because they milk the current TV packaging system by showing low quality content that mostly consists of endless reruns of the same content.
6. Tired of programming dilution by broadcasters spinning off unnecessary new channels that increase revenue for themselves while generating no value for BDU customers.
7. Don't mind waiting a year for a series to show up on a more affordable service such as Netflix.
One key factor overlooked is people in apartment/condo buildings who are not permitted to have OTA antennas, and this number is huge number.

I don't quite fall into the average consumer category for Skinny, but would like the option of selective channels at a lower overall price. My requirements are for a subset of the Skinny HD channels, plus TMN, TSN, and two or three specialty channels. I rarely watch live, and even then need the pause feature, so a PVR is a must. As a condo resident I am still searching for an ideal solution to my needs.
 

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I watch a lot of "television" and switched to Skinny Basic immediately when Bell launched it in February - it weaned me off the specialty channels and I was finding the shows I watched on various sources on the internet (most times for free from the network's websites).

Eventually, I setup a good OTA setup with a OTA DVR - lost a couple channels I was getting in the Skinny Basic package, but gained more channels that were not in the line-up from Bell. Cancelled my subscription altogether now and pay nothing except for the odd show/movie that isn't free online.

I found the Skinny package a good step to see if I could live without a BDU - and it only took a few months to realize I didn't need anything.

At the end of the day, it's a personal choice to have this package and pay for it. Some of us drive Toyotas, some drive fancy Mercedes, and some of us use public transport - the BDU's supply us various options, and it is up to the individual consumer if they want to pay for it, or look at alternatives. The problem I have is that most areas don't have alternatives - for example, they are only limited to one cable company (why not have multiple companies compete?), or have no access to any cable company and are stuck with the satellite companies. If options were opened up (for example, you had a choice of 10 suppliers for TV service), prices would come down naturally with the competition.

I think the CRTC is going the wrong way around with this, and everything else it manages - they need to open up competition for TV, phone, cell, internet, etc. and stop allowing monopolies or duopolies in many communities in Canada.
 

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but it's nice to have a PVR
It's not necessary to subscribe to skinny basic (or any BDU service) to get a PVR or DVR. OTA PVRs can be purchased and many people here have built their own, myself included. Done right, they are cheaper and more reliable than a proprietary PVR that must be purchased at full price with skinny basic.
 

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True, and I considered that option, but I don't get all the networks I want OTA (or as reliably) given I can only have an indoor antenna in my apartment building.
 

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Transcripts 2016 for the hearing have been posted. All paragraphs are numbered.

12 As of June 30th, 2016, 177,000 Canadians had signed up for the affordable basic service.

789 After less than seven months, we have almost 70,000 Limited TV subscribers on Shaw Cable and more than 16,000 on Shaw Direct.
 

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Skinny Basic and Set Top Boxes

I switched to skinny basic to save money by getting rid of the channels I never watch. However, I now have one TV that doesn't get used because it doesn't have a set top box (extra $$). It seems to me the simple solution would be to mandate that the Skinny Basic channels be broadcast in Clear QAM as just about every TV with an ATSC tuner can also receive Clear QAM off cable. This would not help for add on channels, a set top box would still be needed for those.
 

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I don't think Clear QAM is possible on the IPTV systems, and they can't force some companies to do something they can't force everyone to.
 

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Media devices, gaming consoles, Android or iOS devices and Smart TVs can do IPTV with an app. The technology is already in place with services like VOD, CraveTV and Shomi. All the large BDUs could do it.
 

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Significantly more cost involved in doing that, but some of the larger BDUs are already doing it in some form with mobile apps and websites where you can watch TV live. To my knowledge, none have an app on TVs or TV-connected devices though. Some of the networks themselves allow streaming live feeds (with BDU authentication) to Chromecast or Apple TV from their respective mobile apps though. I know CTV and Global allow this.
 

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I am not saying they could do it overnight. I am saying that, considering the infrastructure and technology already available, they could do it with minimal effort. Costs for internet streaming have gone down significantly in the past few years and will continue to fall. Before too long, it will be the cheapest way to deliver TV.
 

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Latest notice from Bell. An increase of $3/month will be applied to Bell Satellite Services including Bell's Starter offering (their Skinny Basic) later this winter. I thought the CRTC had mandated the Skinny Basic cost to be a maximum of $25.00. Has Bell found a loophole or are they thumbing their nose at the CRTC and daring the CRTC to do something about the increase?
 

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@Dr. Dave: Unfortunately I didn't keep the standalone email notice I received. It was not part of my monthly bill. It looks to me that what I read included a typo that has since been corrected or perhaps Bell was told by the CRTC that the price of the Starter pack couldn't be changed?
 
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