"Cord-cutting" a decade later - it's better IMHO

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by phrelin, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Today Cnet published an article The cord-cutting TV dream had another nightmare price hike with the sub-headline YouTube TV's jump to $50 monthly hurts. Could Sling TV be the feel-good cure?.

    The first thread here on "cord-cutting" is dated December 2, 2011. Obviously, in the 7+ years since then "cord-cutters" and "cord-nevers" have become the most significant audience for TV. However, as the article linked above asks "If a broadband + TV bundle costs the same as a broadband + cord cutter TV service, what's the point?"

    That needs a conversation.

    I thought I'd present an old guy's point of view about the costs of TV in 2019 along with giving my general overview. First, about costs.

    I'm not including the cost of broadband as I it had long before streaming TV was available. This month I paid for TV "channels":

    Acorn TV $4.12
    Amazon Prime $0.00
    CBS All Access $9.88
    Dish Network $49.48
    HBO $14.24
    Hulu $11.86
    Netfllix $10.87
    Showtime $4.95

    Total $105.40

    In 2009 I was paying Dish $118+ for locals, cable channels, HBO, Showtime, and Starz plus multiple pieces of equipment to be able to record multiple shows with conflicting time slots. Today I have more choices and fewer difficulties at a cheaper cost.

    As the article notes:

    ...It's worth remembering that even if a live TV service plus broadband has the same monthly cost as cable's broadband plus TV bundle, streaming has some big advantages.

    There's no early termination fee for breaking a contract -- because there are no contracts. You can cancel, and switch services, anytime....

    The best thing about all of these services, however, is the competition....​

    As observed in the thread Disney+ pricing announced:

    My TV situation is complicated by the experience of two complete communications outages for several days where not only internet and cable TV went down, but so did landline and cellular. In one case, in the midst of a nearby wildfire that killed people and took down the regional emergency services communications tower, it became obvious to me that I had to keep at least a minimal Dish package with locals. So my costs still begin with the $49.99 monthly cost of Flex Pack and Local Channels.

    I don't pay a monthly fee for hardware as I purchased a Wally for $50 which sits next to my purchased Roku. Regarding my Wally, I stand by what I said in my 2017 thread The low cost, high quality Wally for the 21st Century.

    I hate binge-watching. I love no-commercials and no recording-hassle streaming. So without recording much of anything through my Dish package, I stream.

    I enjoy the scheduling freedom offered by Hulu (beginning with shows from ABC, NBC, Fox, and others), CBS All Access, and PBS. Most of the content we watch from these three streaming channels is really OTA network TV that I can schedule at my leisure.

    Regarding other sources one must start with Amazon Prime TV which I consider a freebie as we've had Amazon Prime for shopping since the mid-2000's. And I love the previously inaccessible Brit, Aussie, New Zealand and Canadian programming offered by Acorn TV. Occasionally I add Britbox for a show and Netflix does offer foreign programming.

    Of course, Netflix literally buries you in programming choices (ranging from excellent to terrible IMHO) which makes it "must have" TV.

    I pay for HBO while "Real Time" and "Last Week Tonight" are airing but I paid for the whole year for that back when.

    I add and drop Showtime and Starz when a season of a show I want to watch matches a six month deal.

    It seems to me that even though prices are going up, I have more control since "cord-cutting" began. I recognize that younger people are comparing more recent history to today, but from an old guy's point of view streaming TV offers cheaper options and far more programming choices.

    But I do have to make one thing clear, I don't watch sports nor kids TV such the expensive Disney-owned multiple ESPN and Disney channels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  2. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Sounds like you're doing pretty much what I'm doing. Only thing that puzzles me is your dislike of binging. Different strokes I guess, I like binging. Been binging since sometime in the early 90's.

    Rich
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I binge some shows ... but most of what I watch I want to see immediately when released.
     
  4. billsharpe

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    I haven't binge-watched yet. Last summer I found all six seasons of Laugh-In on Amazon Prime. I'm up to the start of season five now hut have only watched one show on any particular day. I also am following Murdoch Mysteries on Acorn; There are 12 seasons with over 200 shows. I have watched several two-part episodes on the same day but I'm only up to season 8 there. Even though I'm retired I really don't have the time to binge watch.
     
  5. Affishul

    Affishul New Member

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    IPTV runs me $30 per month on 5 devices and I get pretty much everything DTV offers all movie channels, sports packages, ppv etc. DTV won't ever get 3-4k a year from me again. I should actually call and thank them for pissing me off for the last time.
     
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  6. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Perhaps I overstated my feelings about binging.

    Many, many moons ago ...many... entertainment in my life was reading novels, movies in theaters, and a couple of hours of nightly broadcast TV, black & white on a 14" screen with no recording option existing.

    Quantitatively, each year there were some good movies, good TV, and great novels. It was the novel that set the standard for me, particularly when a riveting plot combined with strong character development for a few characters and the time frame was a number of years.

    A movie that ran 90-150 minutes had limits. Some were great, but generally left me with a need for more. What set the novel medium apart is that character development could occur over extended time frame and deeply involving. To be honest, I suppose I 'binge read" novels.

    On the other hand TV evolved during my lifetime.

    From a character standpoint, though I saw him week-after-week for several years I still know nothing about Dragnet's Jack Webb's life or motivations.

    On the other hand, there was Gunsmoke, the longest running non-animated show in history. Here's a bit from Wikipedia:

    Matt Dillon spent his early years in foster care, knew the Bible, was a wayward, brawling cowboy, and was later mentored by a caring lawman. In a few episodes, he mentions having spent some time in the army. Kitty Russell was born in New Orleans and reared by a flashy foster mother (who once visited Dodge), although her father visited Dodge on one occasion and wished to have her return to New Orleans.​

    A current example of the evolution is the original NCIS which today in its 16th season still has mostly one episode primary plot lines but creates a cumulative sense of character development that each week, each season, allows me to digest who the characters are supposed to be as people. And it is true that when a character leaves, it can actually leave one with a sense of loss. (They are still hinting at the status of Ziva David who has her own Wikipedia entry.)

    Streaming "channels" have added to the evolution of TV. No longer does the primary plot last only one episode, but more likely a season (series) plot which creates a different space for continuing character development. And that has led to season binging.

    When I say I hate binging, it isn't that we never do it. It's just that even with strong character development, at best I'm left with a nagging feeling that I really didn't digest what each episode offered and with having to wait 12-24 months for a new episode which creates an "out-of-sight-out-of-mind" experience.

    Sometimes a plot is so intense that when I'm on episode 6 or 7 of an 8 episode season I just have to finish the season.

    But while I may be delusional, I think I get more out of letting days go by between episodes while I mull over the characters' personalities and lives.

    On the other hand, streaming "channels" offer shows so complex where we watched the first episode and then a week later don't remember anything about the show and that second and even sometimes the third episode is a struggle. I needed to have binged several episodes, but didn't know it.

    All of this is because of my age. We still call it "TV" but the TV medium as experienced in 1951 is a radically different experience today which offers the binge watching option. It is much more a radical change than movies, technology notwithstanding. And novels IMHO are pretty much the same experience.
     
  7. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper

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    Maybe I'll restate what phrelin in a different method and manner...

    From my perspective, the big transition point for television took place in the 1980s. Prior to 1980s, this was the television reality:
    • Because televisions were expensive, especially the color ones, most United States households had only one television.
    • Evening viewing decisions were made by the breadwinner and patriarch of the family.
    • Television programming was appointment television, with certain movies being events. If you missed the show/event, it would be a several month wait until the reruns. (There was an first season episode of Emergency! titled "Hang up!" where the crew was watching the fourth season Adam-12 episode "Ambush" before going out on a call in the middle of the show, and John Gage was calling everyone to find out how it ended.)
    • Movies were often cut for content and to fit the time available, and widescreen movies were reframed to fill up the entire screen.
    Why do I pick the 1980s? Because that's when we started seeing households with multiple televisions, plus the adoption of VCRs to time-shift programming and also rent VHS movies.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Good post. I think that's the most important part (sentence above). TV certainly has evolved. So has the way we live our lives. Everything we do seems to centered on video screens, large and small.

    Sometime during the '90s I noticed we hadn't watched L&O: SVU at all and the season was ending. For some reason we decided to watch the whole season. Really enjoyed that experience and we began to "binge" on other series. Yeah, it was hard at first. But as time went by we found binging enjoyable and now that's all we do. When that started we had 12 HRs, all with 2TB drives, running and recorded everything we thought might be interesting. With 24 terabytes of capacity and 600 Series Links that was easy. Now, we have 5 HRs with 4TBs of capacity and our Playlists are practically empty. Evolution.

    I signed up for NetFlix early in this century, just for the DVD rentals. Found the NF streaming rather interesting and watched some shows. That was the beginning. The more I used NF for streaming, the more I liked it. Took a bit of time to figure out how to play the NF game but it's easy once you get used to it. Then it began to dawn on me...I didn't really need a cable or satellite subscription for most content. Amazon Prime started their streaming service and life got even better. Evolution.

    That tiny snowball (NF) rolling down the mountain has become an avalanche. Now, D* seems kinda anachronistic to me. Using television sets for entertainment has become a lot less complicated. Streaming boxes, any of them, are a lot simpler to use and maintain than DVRs, I think. Using the Internet to bring entertainment into our homes is a lot easier than using cable or satellites. Yeah, you need an ISP but we'd have to have that in any event. That's become almost as important as other utilities. We don't need ISPs to live, but to enjoy life they certainly help.

    Gotta wonder what the next great advance will be. Certainly didn't see all this coming.

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I agree. The '80s surely opened the floodgates. With the VCRs riding the wave. I started the '80s with one VCR and ended the decade with a bunch of them, same with TV sets.

    Rich
     
  10. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

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    We got our first RCA VHS VCR in '78 or '79 because we joined a couples bowling league on Friday nights and my wife would NOT miss Dallas.
     
  11. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    The VCR certainly did start the change for us also. I still have shelves full of VCR tapes. Not sure why, I guess for the day the electricity goes down across the country and I have to use a generator ... oh, whom am I kidding, I'm a hoarder by nature.

    Despite my rambling above about how I watch TV, the reality is that scheduling TV is a major chore for me.

    In 1960 I had the three broadcast networks offering each of seven nights a week a schedule from which I picked up to three hours worth of prime time shows to watch, unfortunately leaving me with six hours of shows I couldn't watch unless they were repeated in the Summer.

    To replicate those outdated viewing habits, now I have to make sure I actually schedule shows we want to watch and all a season's episodes over multiple weeks. And as you note below with Netflix' avalanche, and Hulu, and etc. I feel overwhelmed.

    I figure I won't live long enough for "the next great advance" but it appears with the news Hulu Buys Back AT&T's Stake at $15B Valuation following Disney's Fox acquisition and Disney+ pricing announced, we may have "Disney's next great screw the viewers" on the horizon. Comcast/NBC Universal likely will start their own full-on streaming service and sell its 30% interest in Hulu to Disney.

    It was nice to be able to stream without commercials ABC (Disney-owned), Fox, and NBC (Comcast-owned) broadcast programming on one subscription for $11.99 a month. I'm sure they are looking at CBS All Access commercial-free at $9.99 a month as a starting point for the future.

    For some reason I see occurring in my lifetime that $11.99 evolving into $45 a month. Family members say I'm a pessimist, I don't know why.... [​IMG]
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Wow! You were an early adopter. They came out in 1976, JVC introduced the first one on September 9, 1976. The HR-3300. I started off with a Sony Betamax about '81-'82.

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm pretty sure there are a bunch of Disney VHS tapes hidden somewhere in our home. My wife never throws anything away. I threw all the VCRs away a couple years ago. That wasn't a pleasant task.

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I went thru the "overwhelmed" thing too. Yeah, it can be overwhelming then you get used to it and it seems normal. Remember, it took me years to get it thru my head that this is a good thing, something to be embraced. You said you don't like scheduling programs, when you stream you don't have to program anything, it's sitting there waiting for you.

    Rich
     
  15. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    There's still a VCR attached to our living room TV. The VCR hasn't been used for at least five years. I have a tape of my daughter's wedding about 25 years ago, but that's about it. I tossed all the movies I had recorded some years ago.
     
  16. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper

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    One thing about the home media resolution, starting with the VHS tapes but amplified with the DVDs, is being able to watch non-mainstream/obscure material. The big example I cite is Japanese Animation (anime) DVDs which have both Japanese/English audio tracks as well as subtitles. There is also obscure and foreign titles that got attention where previously, you could only catch them at a local art house. Can you imagine a channel outside of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) or PBS airing a movie like Fritz Lang's Metropolis or M? How about Beverly Garland in the police television series Decoy which lasted only a single season? Heck, a friend of mine gifted me The Lathe Of Heaven almost 20 years ago stating that I should check this out.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We transferred all the video tapes we made to DVDs a few years ago. If your VCR has been sitting that long without being used I'd think putting a valued recording in it...well, the tape might be destroyed.

    Rich
     
  18. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    There are very few movies that I would watch more than once. That's why we tossed all the old video tapes. We made them back when Channel 5 showed movies nightly in LA and it was primarily to fast forward through the commercials. I own a couple movies on DVD that I watch again, primarily "Singin' in the Rain."
     

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