Luxury eh? At the risk of taking this thread way off topic...
The line for essential and luxury is very very fuzzy. Is local phone service a luxury? Apparently not since it's a highly regulated utility service. Is internet service a luxury?
I think history proves that what is luxury at one point becomes essential service at another. Gas, electricity, phone. I would suggest that TV is nearing that transition. (Sure, there is free over-the-air if you happen to live within range of a transmitter; that range is less with digital TV than it was with analog; lots of people that cannot get over-the-air.) Cable TV may not be regulated yet but it has been moving in that direction - cities have some control over that, maybe not programming and price but certainly monopoly status. Is internet service a luxury? Again I think the transition is in sight (most people get it through cable or local phone!).
Agree DTV should be paid for services provided - and with a reasonable profit. Can't say I think they should have a better deal than gas, electric, phone companies. They are just a distribution
DTV is in for a crude awakening. It's only a matter of time until the over-the-air/cable/sat distribution lock on programming is broken. Once internet delivery is on an equal footing then the business model will get interesting. (Any time Apple.) Spare me the "ain't never gonna happen" speech. No reason that it won't go the way of books, music, and movies.
Many services at no extra charge... also put another way, through massive bundling paying for many services that I don't want.
These nickel-n-dime feature charges are fine for the early-adopter stage. Helps pay for development and measures demand. But at some point they need to become included in the base. At this point who thinks that the HD conversion hasn't been more than paid for? Yet we "existing" (scum) customers are still paying $120/yr for it. Clearly gravy since DTV is now giving it away to new customers forever. DVR fee is likewise getting to be a joke. Whole Home is just a hack to fill the void until a correct solution came along. The HR34 and the RVU client are the correct way.
nono2: is how I'll feel if I have to keep paying a Whole Home fee for RVU clients to use a HR34.)