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  1. #1
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    Smile Cutting The Cord

    I just posted a message regarding my scanner feeds being off line for a few hours tomorrow. Here's why.

    After a long time of paying what I feel is an exorbitant amount of money for cable television, I am shutting off everything but my internet connection. My cable bill as it stands is in excess of $240 a month.

    No.

    I ran a five day trial of PlaystationVUE, and after a day of it I was convinced that it was in our TV watching future. While it may not be for everyone and cable may be the better option, I find that PSVue's middle of the road package works fine for us. It is currently $34.95 a month with no contract. To add HBO, which is the only premium service we watch, is another $15 a month, so we're now at about $50. This package also includes all networks, NECN, all major cable networks except for Viacom Networks (Spike TV, etc), and most importantly to me as a sports fan it includes NESN, Comcast Sports Net, NFL Network, all of the ESPN's, NBC Sports Network, and Fox Sports 1.

    I have my cable equipment boxed up and will return it in person to my provider tomorrow. I stand to save about $100 a month, and that's money best spent elsewhere. Or saved. I have made the initial investment of an Amazon Fire TV box, connected to my home theatre system and connected to the LAN via Ethernet, as well as an Amazon Fire Stick which will move between secondary TV's. The radio room TV will eventually use another Amazon Fire TV box; currently the Fire Stick is connected to it and I have an old Roku 2 box that works fine with PSVue, although the interface falls FAR short of the Amazon devices. PSVue allows for streaming to 5 devices simultaneously. They can be a combination of TV's, tablets, phones, or PC's.

    It will be interesting to see how much data this uses per month, and that is my only concern as a potential for overages obviously exists. We are getting ourselves into the habit of not leaving the TV on and walking away for any length of time, which is probably a good practice in any event to save electricity if nothing else. The quality of the streaming is superb; if you walked into my house you would not know you weren't watching cable television.

    So why will my internet be down? I'm erring on the side of caution and bringing my cable modem back to them, as it supports telephone, which is part of the package I have/had. I assume they will want to provide me with a modem that is strictly internet based. Why do I use their modem? It's a small price to pay to know I can get it replaced fast if it fails or if they change something that renders one I buy inoperative.

    Hopefully the cable companies will start to realize they are not the only game in town anymore, and start offering some ala carte and/or competitive packages. Competition is a win win for all involved.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  2. #2
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    I cut the cord a while ago, but ended up conceding a little bit. I am using the PSVue with great satisfaction as well, Have Showtime added onto my Hulu account, and had the standalone HBO. Comcast came out with a streaming option for $15 that included HBO, so I dropped the standalone and went with that. All of the services are available on the Roku (PSVue, Hulu, Netflix, Xfinity, etc) so it provides a nice option. I have Rokus on every TV in the house except my office (multiple monitors that allow me to dedicate one just to video streaming) and love it.
    Ed Burke
    Administrator-Firepics Online Groups
    Boston Citywide Fire Radio Car 173
    Providence Citywide Car 173
    KD1EMS WQRD823

  3. #3
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    All you cord cutters just remember ATSC 3.0 is around the corner and many think that with all the repacking expense coming up that many broadcasters may jump early instead of late to avoid rebuilding their plants twice. This means just like the past Digital conversion that this will render your current TV useless without a converter or cable to convert for you. So just keep that in mind as until you retool to 4K sets you may need them again.


    https://www.cnet.com/news/atsc-3-0-w...st-television/

  4. #4
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    Regardless of that, cable companies need to start to understand that they are no longer the only game in town. When and if they start providing competition and ala carte programming maybe I'll switch back. The fact of the matter now is that they want to make the determination of what they think I should watch.

    I think it's also easier for you folks in the Boston area. You can receive OTA HDTV. You also have a choice of different providers. On Cape Cod, neither is possible. So, the alternative is to go the route I did. I made it official yesterday and I'm saving $96 a month. When the above occurs I'll deal with it one way or another if need be.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  5. #5
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    ala carte isn't really up to cable operators. Packages are pushed on them by the content providers. If they do individual channels the price is actually higher as the content providers use this as a way to get there less popular channels on cable and on where they'd like them. There are no angels in these battles it's very competitive. When you hear Ch5 is in a battle with Direct TV or whoever it's probably has more to do with Lifetime or one of the many other Hearst signals and not Ch5 at all but part of the package they are forced to buy to get Ch5.

  6. #6
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    Interesting. But that being said I'm saving $96 a month, regardless of who's fault it is, so I'm happy! We'll see how it goes from here.
    Scott - Scan New England Webmaster

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScanBoston View Post
    When you hear Ch5 is in a battle with Direct TV or whoever it's probably has more to do with Lifetime or one of the many other Hearst signals and not Ch5 at all but part of the package they are forced to buy to get Ch5.
    Actually one has nothing to do with the other. The "carriage" disputes are all to do with the broadcast retransmission fees. Annually, the cable companies raise fees, and usually competitively so, the broadcasters also raise their fees. The cable companies make a profit off of a signal we provide to them at no cost, so it's ridiculous to think we shouldn't get some of that profit. In many , many cases, the cable operators make quite a bit of money because of the broadcast channels. Amazingly, Comcast, the largest operator, seems to never get into these retransmission fees dispute cases the other, smaller, operators get. Lifetime, being a cable network (and not wholly owned by Hearst), bundles the retransmission fees differently. Disney, FWIW, receives the highest percentage of all retransmission fees, of any network, amount significantly higher than all the broadcasters combined, and some other owners as well.
    http://www.necrat.us/skippy/snesig2.jpg

  8. #8
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    Ala carte could be up to the FCC or Congress, but neither seem interested in mandating it. As you point out, some of these package deals require the cable provider to buy craptastic content to get channels they actually want. That, however, might be changing too. Disney/ABC is looking at some of the less profitable (in terms of ad revenue) Discovery brand channels with an eye towards cutting some of them entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if Comcast/NBC is doing something similar with their channels.

    Also, Netflix, Amazon, and other services are turning into content providers. Both Amazon and Netflix have original shows (some good, some not).

    Cord cutting has already started to drive down cable prices. Last year I called Comcast and asked them what they were willing to do to keep my from getting "FiOS or getting my TV over the Internet. They gave me more channels and cut the price. I expect that Verizon is doing the same with FiOS.

    Oh, Comcast just bought some spectrum at auction and is developing a plan to provide voice and data wirelessly. That should be interesting as well.

    My son got rid of Direct TV a couple of years ago and uses a combination of OTA TV, Netflix, his PS2 (or whatever he has now) to get his content. He has the MLB package, which he can watch on his iPhone or iPad.

    My daughter and her ex boyfriend used a combination of the Internet and OTA TV as well.

    Competition is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScanBoston View Post
    ala carte isn't really up to cable operators. Packages are pushed on them by the content providers. If they do individual channels the price is actually higher as the content providers use this as a way to get there less popular channels on cable and on where they'd like them. There are no angels in these battles it's very competitive. When you hear Ch5 is in a battle with Direct TV or whoever it's probably has more to do with Lifetime or one of the many other Hearst signals and not Ch5 at all but part of the package they are forced to buy to get Ch5.
    We're peace loving people, we're not hunting trouble, but if trouble should find us, we'll stand up and fight.

  9. #9
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    Like Scott, i cut the cord back in December.

    I too am using PSVue with no issues. Also use Netflix and take advantage of Amazon Prime movies. On the basic cable plan I do have (a basic sd channel lineup) they threw in HBO fir a year. Even though the plan is standard definition, HBO GO streams just fine in HD. While Homeland was on Showtime, I added it via Amazon Prime for $8.99 a month. Season ended, dropped Showtime.

    The ability to easily change your service levels (or even streaming services) without being ropped into contracts is very conveinent.

    So far the future is not that bad.

  10. #10
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    I cut the cord back in April of 2007. I also was paying $200+ per month back then for 870 channels of trash that kept the kids on the couch and I hardly ever had time to watch.

    The money I saved put my oldest through a private high school out of necessity and is funding my youngest to do the same.

    Since I am an out-of-area sports fan, the use of Apple TV for NHL & MLB has my total cost down to $225 a year. My wife pays for Netflix, which I don't know how much it is as I don't pay any attention to it.

    I haven't missed it one bit. One thing that annoys me now is the $70/mo internet bill through Rectum, eh, Spectrum, for a low end speed which I find ridiculous.
    Mike
    Poland, ME

    436/536/HP2

  11. #11
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    Scaled back the DirecTV last year to chop $10 off, but if/when we move (to the top of a hill) will definitely be going with OTA. My only TV 'necessity' is NBCSports and I may do the minimum needed for comcast because of email/innerwebs. I'll hafta look into that PlayStation deal. The wife watches so much on DVR that one of those web plans may be best. We watch virtually no live TV.

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