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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:02 PM

Watching TV on web is disrupting cable, broadcast worlds

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html

Veteran programmer Rob Barnett recently attended a breakfast meeting of television executives where the talk turned, as it almost always does these days, to “disruption,” the industry buzzword for the way new technology is upsetting the TV applecart. From somewhere down the table, he heard a question: “Has anybody here cut the cord?” — that is, dropped cable service in favor of just watching TV through the Internet? Barnett shrugged and raised his hand. “Mine was the only one,” he recalls. “But when it went up, I saw beads of sweat break out on the foreheads of some of the guys across the table.”

When Barnett and 5,000 or so others gather Monday for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, there will be plenty of sweaty foreheads, some acquisitive smiles and — perhaps most numerous — blank looks of confusion. Not since cable turned the old three-channel TV universe on its head in the late 1970s has the industry been in such a state of disoriented befuddlement.

New technologies that give viewers more say in what they watch, where they watch and how much they pay for it are great for consumers. But they’re inducing a collective nervous breakdown among industry executives, who have to figure out new ways to make money in a business facing serious threats to its traditional sources of revenue — advertising and cable-TV subscriptions....

But the biggest tremors came from the Internet, which is threatening to remake television as thoroughly as it already has the newspaper and music industries, by letting viewers bypass cable to watch shows online.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html#storylink=cpy

79 replies, 6113 views

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Reply Watching TV on web is disrupting cable, broadcast worlds (Original post)
mia Jan 2013 OP
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #1
DURHAM D Jan 2013 #3
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #5
DURHAM D Jan 2013 #9
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #43
Warpy Jan 2013 #13
mia Jan 2013 #4
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #6
mia Jan 2013 #7
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #2
TransitJohn Jan 2013 #27
daleo Jan 2013 #53
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #8
mia Jan 2013 #49
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #54
mia Jan 2013 #66
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #75
patrice Jan 2013 #10
ananda Jan 2013 #16
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #30
KoKo Jan 2013 #36
tsuki Jan 2013 #68
mockmonkey Jan 2013 #65
Warpy Jan 2013 #11
KharmaTrain Jan 2013 #14
longship Jan 2013 #12
mia Jan 2013 #17
longship Jan 2013 #18
mia Jan 2013 #19
longship Jan 2013 #21
green for victory Jan 2013 #31
llmart Jan 2013 #22
longship Jan 2013 #23
llmart Jan 2013 #24
KoKo Jan 2013 #35
longship Jan 2013 #38
KoKo Jan 2013 #79
dballance Jan 2013 #15
shanti Jan 2013 #20
Initech Jan 2013 #37
shanti Jan 2013 #56
Initech Jan 2013 #58
reformist2 Jan 2013 #25
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #26
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #28
DJ13 Jan 2013 #29
Lex Jan 2013 #32
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #33
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #34
mia Jan 2013 #73
Le Taz Hot Jan 2013 #39
mia Jan 2013 #40
littleswan Jan 2013 #41
mia Jan 2013 #42
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #59
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #44
mia Jan 2013 #48
tabbycat31 Jan 2013 #57
mia Jan 2013 #70
distantearlywarning Jan 2013 #45
Earth_First Jan 2013 #46
Berlum Jan 2013 #47
tabasco Jan 2013 #50
DainBramaged Jan 2013 #51
bemildred Jan 2013 #52
RetroGamer1971 Jan 2013 #55
mia Jan 2013 #64
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #60
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #61
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #67
Initech Jan 2013 #62
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #63
mockmonkey Jan 2013 #69
mia Jan 2013 #71
bhikkhu Jan 2013 #72
mia Jan 2013 #74
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #76
Skittles Jan 2013 #77
MadrasT Jan 2013 #78

Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:06 PM

1. Just today I had someone beg me to find an online stream for Downton Abbey Season 2

Got some serious brownie points for that.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:16 PM

3. Where do I go?

I can't watch it because my local station does not carry it. Where do I go?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:38 PM

9. Thank you.

I also just found this - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/

It is current through last week.

Thanks again.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:06 AM

43. Thanks.

 

Lots of shows to choose from.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:44 PM

13. PBS is running the current season, full episodes

starting in the middle of the week. They might also have other seasons available, I haven't particularly looked for them.

It's a great soap opera, beautifully acted.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:20 PM

4. Wish I could give some brownies...

in exchange for the link.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:35 PM

7. Thanks! n/t

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:06 PM

2. What will disrupt the industry is the ability to pay for only the channels you want. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:39 PM

27. There won't be channels. Try just paying for the shows you want.

Money right to the content creators, bypassing all sorts of middlemen. What does 'channel' even mean when there isn't a specific slot of radiomagnetic spectrum you need to tune in to to see what you want?

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:16 PM

53. EBooks are doing likewise to the publishing industry

Writers and readers can now interact without intermediaries such as publishers and bookstore owners. Middlemen tend to get displaced by disruptive technological change, for better and for worse.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:37 PM

8. Intel's a la carte TV is going to destroy the cable monopolies. And about time, too.

 

All media is morphing into a single industry. In the long run, this will be a very good thing, the short and medium term danger lies in allowing a small number of Big Money players to control this evolution.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:13 AM

49. Could this "single industry" have one owner? n/t

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Response to mia (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:25 PM

54. Not unless the RIAA corporate types win forever. If that happens, and they manage to wrest

 

control of the network away from the people, like they are with their proprietary networks (4G for example), we're screwed for a long time.

Imagine American cell phone service, but the cabal controls everything from news to books.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #54)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:10 PM

66. I imagined it.

Last edited Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:27 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm imagining going back to the Middle Ages and the invention of a days of a printing press now.

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Response to mia (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:27 AM

75. And the Catholic Church has been replaced by the Corporate Church. n/t

 

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:41 PM

10. Roku's still a little glitchy but quite adequate & so much boring regressive JUNK on network tv.

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:54 PM

16. I use ROKU on two tv's.

I still have basic cable, but I will be cutting the cable cord this summer for internet only.

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:10 PM

30. I use Roku + OTA DTV, couldn't be more pleased. n/t

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:56 PM

36. We love our ROKU and we have basic Cable which we hardly watch

except for local weather/news. We've debated just cutting the cable and probably will.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:12 PM

68. We did. And with the new booster antenna, we get all the networks and PBS plus

CW, MYNework, and THIS.

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Response to patrice (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:07 PM

65. yeah, I noticed that

Hulu Plus doesn't seem to work that well with my roku but works better when I use the Wii. Netflix seems to have a better system.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:41 PM

11. Broadcast and cable will always have places in rural or semi rural areas

where the only ways to get broadband are cable or satellite. In other words, you're going to have to pay through the nose to get the kind of bps it takes to download or stream TV and/or movies. Most people in rural areas tend to be cash poor and broadcast TV is it. If they're not cash poor and live in or close to towns, cable is the next step, getting the programming along with or instead of broadband.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:52 PM

14. Satellite Has Become Very Popular In Rural Areas...

My kids lived on a farm for a couple years...right after the digital OTA (over-the-air) changeover and their local reception was only 3 channels...they got Direct TV and had more channels than I do on my metro-area cable system and paid less for it. Many of their neighbors have done the same. They moved into town they kept the dish...still a better bargain for their tight budget than paying for cable.

You are right about the reliability of rural internet...or at least how it was a couple years ago. The only provider they had used satellite which had very poor bandwidth plus a lag when you clicked on links. I doubt that system could handle a Roku box. But technology is moving quickly and better and wider spread cell system...that are available in many rural areas...could be the real game changer.

The real "enemy" of the cables is what they thought they could control..."convergence"...the merging of TV, radio, film, print and telephone in one device. It's creating competition...and for once we, the consumers, may end up on the winning end. The day I can get ala carte television here, I'm there...

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:43 PM

12. Oh you poor souls!

Here in the Manistee National Forest in west Michigan we have no cable TV. We have no broadband Internet. We have nothing but what the antenna on your roof brings in.

I get Internet through an iPhone. A mere six months ago that couldn't happen here. My bandwidth is limited to 3GB per month. Satellite Inet is worse, and expensive.

My TV reception is dependent on an antenna and rotor I installed here 30 years ago which still functions.

I receive the following:

ABC out of Traverse City.
CBS out of Grand Rapids.
FOX local out of Grand Rapids (2 stations)
PBS out of both Grand Rapids and Mt. Pleasant.
(No NBC here)

My favorite is the GR PBS station which broadcasts MHz Worldview on one of their subchannels. International news, commentary, and drama 24/7. They stopped covering sports. I am going to very much miss Footy coverage, the best sport on the planet. Go Sydney Swans!

But I love the drama, in the original language, with subtitles, every night. Tonight is Commasario Brunetti, filmed in Venice in German from Donna Leon's novels and scripts. It's good. They also do the original Swedish Wallander series and diverse others. It's good stuff.

I make the best with what I have. Thankfully there are people here in west Michigan who see value in diversity and multiculturalism. We're not all tea baggers here -- although our congressional delegations say different.

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Response to longship (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:00 PM

17. I get good reception for major networks with rabbit ears.

and a host of Spanish language programming, too. I enjoy watching documentaries and movies on YouTube and Hulu. C-Span live is also entertaining.

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Response to mia (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:08 PM

18. I have no bandwidth for YouTube.

I can view it, but it pushes me beyond my monthly 3GB limit. Such are the travails of living in the national forest in Michigan.

I can do LOTS of DU because the DU admins make reloads from DU cheap, from a bandwidth sense. My Web browser cache is my friend, even on an iPhone 4S, even in the national forest.

Three years ago I could not even get reliable cell service here. One year ago, when I got my iPhone, I could not get data at all.

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Response to longship (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:23 PM

19. Living in a national forest makes it all worthwhile!

-even the lack of adequate bandwidth.

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Response to mia (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:31 PM

21. Except for today, when I am snowed in.

Thankfully I live on a school bus route where they plow my dirt road that goes nowhere but the forest and the county two lane paved road. (Two snowmobiles just cruised by, probably at about 60mph without even slowing down at my intersection. Sometimes they drag race here. If they crash, little do they know that a 911 response takes an hour here.)

I can drive on my road, but it may take me days to dig out my driveway to extricate my car. Such is the situation here.

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Response to longship (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:23 PM

31. Using Opera?

 

the only web browser that has "turbo" mode= websites are cached and images compressed before they're sent- saves bandwidth and time. Use it for 6 hours and hover your mouse over the turbo icon and you will see how much mb you saved

http://opera.com

for other reasons too, opera is the best browser available

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Response to longship (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:17 PM

22. I'm in the suburbs of Detroit....

have rabbit ears and get about 12 stations. I cut the cable company loose a year ago and don't miss it. Their prices were outrageous for the crappy programming they offered. I now get three PBS stations which actually would be enough for me even without the other 9.

Like another poster, I remember having 3 stations and PBS and watching the moon landing on a portable black and white. Oh, and of course, my favorite back then - "All in the Family". Yeah, I know, I'm showing my age

You can keep your Honey Boo Boo crapola and Hillbilly Handfishing and whatever else passes for entertainment these days.

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Response to llmart (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:27 PM

23. I am watching Commissario Brunetti (in subtitled German) on MHz

Venice is gorgeous, Uwe Kokisch is a very good actor, and Donna Leon is a great writer.

What could be better in the north woods when ones driveway is buried.

Won't be digging out soon.

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Response to longship (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:31 PM

24. We only got about an inch or so last night.....

not even enough to shovel but I still stayed in today. We haven't had much winter to speak of other than the cold last week.

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Response to longship (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:53 PM

35. You can get Brunetti on MHZ?

Partner is big fan of Donna Leon books. We have MHz on ROKU but I've never checked it out. I don't think I could watch if it's only in German subtitles, though. Is it in English but with the subtitles in German?

Anyway..thanks for the tip.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:09 AM

38. It is set, and filmed in Venice.

With a German cast, and in the German language. On MHz, it has English subtitles, as do all foreign dramas.

Uwe Kockisch is the second actor to play the part. He's an actor from the former GDR (East Germany). The series is quite good, even very good. I also like the previous Brunetti, Joachim Krol. Both series are good entertainment.

Highly recommended.

And yes! Brunetti is on MHz every week these days. Also Maigret from France. The original Wallender series from Sweden. Anno1790, also from Sweden. Commissario Montalbano from Italy. Etc, etc, etc.

MHz changes their drama schedule. You never know what's coming next. And I get it for nothing, over the air.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:43 PM

79. Sadly...they MHz wants $4.99 an episode to watch Brunetti. It's a bit steep

for my budget...

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:54 PM

15. Let Me Wax Nostalgic. It's Kind of Sad in A Way.

I remember the old 3-channel plus PBS on UHF if it would come in without too much static interference. A B&W TV too with rabbit ears. Watched the first moon landing on that old B&W. Yes, I know I'm giving away too much about my age.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:29 PM

20. anyone have apple tv 2?

specifically, jailbroken? i'm looking to buy one, and cut the cord. dish just raised me back up to $100 a month and i just can't and won't do that!

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Response to shanti (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:09 AM

37. I do actually. They're great little devices.

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Response to Initech (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:11 PM

56. question:

does apple tv allow one to surf the net on their teevee? i want the ability to do that too.

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Response to shanti (Reply #56)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:43 PM

58. Not completely. You can browse streaming content like Youtube and Pandora though.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:33 PM

25. Comcast might want to try lowering their rates... when it hit $80/month, I downgraded, big time!

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:37 PM

26. I have no cable or even antenna yet I have thousands of hours of programming available for streaming

Cable is a huge rip off, streaming is so much less expensive and having everything on demand and often commercial free makes it even better. All I need is for HBO to offer streaming subscriptions for people who do not have cable and I will be able to watch damn near everything I would ever want to watch on TV through my internet connection.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:47 PM

28. If they don't like people ditching broadcast maybe they could find

a way to make an HD converter box that actually works.

Meanwhile, go cry me a river.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:01 PM

29. When over half of TV (cable or OTA) is nothing but reality shows

Why would these idiots think anyone wants to pay for cable?

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:28 PM

32. I watch lots of Roku and Amazon Prime streaming

however, I still have cable . . . for now. I can see ditching it soon.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:34 PM

33. Funny how "remake" actually means "destroy."

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:48 PM

34. Remember when you had to buy the album to get the one or two songs you wanted?

Kind of like subscribing to a "channel" to get the one or two shows you want to see.

And what happened to the former will happen to the latter.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:32 PM

73. "...what happened to the former will happen to the latter."

Succinct and true.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:13 AM

39. When cable first went in,

the advantage to paying for TV (at that time a new concept) was that cable didn't have any commercials. It was actually their main marketing point. Another advantage, they claimed, was that you could get TV 24 hours a day -- something that was not readily available in most parts of the country back then. Finally, they touted the existence of specially channels such as "History" and "Discovery" that were great for those who tended toward the geek (that would be me). The no-commercials thing lasted for about 45 minutes, 24-hour TV has turned into infomercials and the History channel doesn't actually have History on it anymore (from what I hear). In other words, they lost their selling points. And I bet these guys all have M.B.A.'s from Hahvuhd.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:55 AM

40. Yes, cable seems to have more commercial time than I notice on my regular TV.

I notice this when I watch a movie at a friend's house. Maybe it's because I can't be buzzing around at my own house and get things done during the break.

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Response to littleswan (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:03 AM

42. Interesting...

Depending on the network and how the decay is carried out, changing concepts can be either good or bad for the channel. If the Network Decay works out, it may expose the channel to thousands, if not millions of new viewers, who would normally never watch the network in the first place. Or, perhaps the earlier direction just was not working out and the network made changes in order to get better and more profitable programming. Furthermore, there are several good shows floating around in Development Hell that wouldn't stand a chance of getting picked up unless a network decides to spread its wings. If the decay doesn't work out, however, then it can create a Broken Base among the channel's viewers, and can throw the network into a Dork Age. Even if the decay works, the expanded viewership would come for naught for the various programs now squeezed out of the network's scheduling - once again, pointing out that good and bad can come of it, depending on the viewer.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NetworkDecay

Thanks for the link.

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Response to littleswan (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

59. Discovery and TLC started going to hell around 2000.

When I was a kid in the 90s their stuff was awesome. By 2005 it was increasingly shit.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:09 AM

44. What irritates me to no end is the way infomercials have appeared to take over....

....programming late at night on channels I would least expect it, like The History Channel, Discovery, SyFy, and National Geographic. Additionally, the amount and length of commercials has increased to the point where I believe we're now getting 40 minutes of actual programming out of every hour.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:08 AM

48. Some infomercials still pass for news.

FOX, for example.

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Response to mia (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:33 PM

57. Some pass for programing

HGTV is a good example. They're to Home Depot as Fox News is to the GOP.

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Response to tabbycat31 (Reply #57)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:39 PM

70. Thanks for the example.

"This Old house" was a good promotion for Home Depot (particular brands of tools) too, but not at all obvious. Loved that program.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:19 AM

45. Bundling is their issue. They should have gone to a la carte years ago.

But just like the music industry, they were stubborn and in denial about the changing world, and now they are about to pay the price.

We still have cable (for now). But the #1 thing that pisses me off about cable is that I pay $80 a month for 5 channels that I actually watch. There are five good channels, and 130 more that are absolute rubbish 24-7. And of course the ones I actually want to watch are in the highest tier. The base package, which still costs something like $25 dollars a month, is kind of like what you used to get back in the old days with rabbit ears - 3 local news stations, a bizarre cable access channel, 2 religious programming channels, and 2 shopping network channels. THAT'S what they think someone should pay $25 for a month!!! It's fucking ridiculous.

Nobody wants to pay $80 a month for 5 good channels and 130 other channels of 24-7 religion, home shopping, and trashy reality TV. We never have. It's just that before the advent of being able to watch TV on the internet, the choice was pay $80 for the 5 good channels or get nothing at all. Well, Cable TV executives, the internet now allows us to unbundle and skip all the rubbish. Sucks for you, great for us. You should have gotten with the program years ago.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #45)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:32 AM

46. This.

So until they decide that their market has changed, we too will utilize the internet for our programning/entertainment/information needs...

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:39 AM

47. Starve the Beast. Cut your cable today.

Stop funding right wing corporate "media"

Free your monetary resources for some positive purpose.

Spare your mind and soul the consumerist right-wing soul-sapping drivel.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:18 AM

50. That's just an awful shame

after years of forcing us to pay for religious and shopping channels.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:24 AM

51. Fuck cable

cut the cord two years ago, save $97 a month, watch what I want when I want on the innertubes like most of the rest of us. If it isn't on the station's web pages to view the next night the show is on You Tube or elsewhere. Fuck them, when you watch it on the sites you have to sit through ads anyway. History Channel, Discovery, they have the revenue streams covered who are they kidding?




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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

52. +1. A vast realm of overpriced boring propaganda and marketing babble. nt

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:39 PM

55. No cable, no tears, no problem!

Cut the cord in 2010. We use our own XBOX as a media center. We refurbished an old desktop PC for web streaming. Between Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Zune, web streaming and the library we do just fine without cable. We went to the in laws for XMAS and were astonished at how many commercials were in each show.

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Response to RetroGamer1971 (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:03 PM

64. Great bumper sticker! n/t

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:20 PM

60. 99.9% of Cable is shit.

There is almost nothing good on, anymore.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:23 PM

61. Haven't had cable in over 2 years. Don't miss it.

I do get basic cable (the broadcast channels) but even then I don't watch much.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #61)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:11 PM

67. They quit offering basic in my area. Now you have to get a package, I think. They offer a cheaper

package, but no longer the "basic" minimum. At least on Directv satellite.

The only cable I have access to is Time Warner, which I don't think much of, so I don't want to do business with them. And don't even get me started on AT&T Uverse.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:37 PM

62. Thanks to TV shows on DVD and DVRs I haven't watched regularly scheduled programs in 10 years!

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:34 PM

63. I used to love cable in the 1980s and 1990s

Here's what some well-known channels were like at the time:

Discovery: science and travel documentaries from all over the world
History: actual history documentaries, again, from all over the world
A&E: performing arts, plus British and Australian dramas
Bravo: foreign films
BBC America: a good selection of old and current dramas and comedies
TLC: educational programming

I willingly paid for those. But bit by bit, they started showing pure brainless crap. When BBC America went through a period of showing nothing but reality shows and reruns of American shows that happened to have British actors, I went to basic-basic cable, local plus public access channels only.

Last year, I bought a Roku. I found that I watched PBS and MHz Worldview on cable and everything else on streaming: Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Acorn TV, with a few ventures into other free channels. But inertia kept me from cancelling cable, especially since I still had an analog TV.

Then Comcast sent me a notice saying that they would no longer offer analog basic-basic cable and that I would have to get a digital adapter to keep receiving any programming. I thought that maybe this was time to buy an up-to-date TV, so I asked Comcast what it would cost to get the lowest tier for an HD TV. It turned out that I would be able to access the new feed without an adapter but would need to pay an extra $10 a month, soon to go up to $20, to receive an HD feed.

I bought a new TV (a 32" Samsung) and played around with it to see what it would bring in over the air. The answer: all the local channels, including four PBS channels (main, home and garden plus rerun, local interest shows, and radar weather) in HD. It also accepted HD streams from the Roku and displayed DVDs from my existing upconverting region-free player with no trouble.

That did it.

I happily cancelled cable, and the only hassle was that they temporarily turned off my Internet, and I had to spend an hour on the phone getting back.

But I'm a happy cable-free person.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:18 PM

69. Hulu Plus

There has been talk over the years that they were going make Hulu Plus users subscribe to cable in order to use Hulu Plus. I don't see that working out for them unless they gave the cable users free Hulu Plus.

I still have basic cable but I think I'm going to be dumping that next week all I watch on there is Jeopardy. I can live without Hulu Plus if it did come to having to be a cable subscriber.

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Response to mockmonkey (Reply #69)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:46 PM

71. Can do without Hulu Plus.

There's always something interesting to watch there for free.
My grandkids love to watch the Hulu kid's shows on my compter/LCD when they come to visit.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:47 PM

72. They should be worried

I haven't watched regular tv for a decade, and have raised my kids without cable or anything. But we always had the internet, and good movie rental stores around.

Now, however, I have a new sony blu ray player, which has a wireless uplink and a built-in interface for Hulu, Crackle, and a pile of other miscellaneous online services. I didn't buy it for that, but I have to say - they work so well, I don't know why anyone would keep paying for cable.

Its definitely a game-changer, though it might take most people awhile to figure out they're getting hosed, paying way too much for crappy cable service they don't even need.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #72)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:08 AM

74. The public library has lots of videos too.

In many cities they can be ordered online and are soon ready for pick-up at your local branch. There's sometimes a wait for the latest releases.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:38 AM

76. Corporations hate the free market.

An efficient market is not what they want. They want a an inefficient market (un-informed customers making irrational choices) which is rigged in their favor by the government.

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Response to mia (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:15 AM

77. cable is doing itself in with its ridiculous prices

and their insistance that you buy packages full of garbage you do not want

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Response to mia (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:26 AM

78. Haven't had cable for 8 years.

Don't miss it a bit. It was way too expensive for what I got out of it.

Don't have satellite or even internet at home either.

I get 6 or 8 channels with my rabbit ears and I watch other shows I like on DVD.

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