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400,000 American Homes Have Dumped Pay TV This Year

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the to-the-internet dept.

Television 333

redkemper writes "More than 400,000 American homes have cut the cord and ditched their cable and satellite pay-TV services since the start of 2012. The figure includes 169,000 subscribers shed by Time Warner Cable last quarter, marking the service provider's tenth consecutive quarter of customer losses. It also includes the 52,000 net subscribers DirecTV lost this past quarter, and 176,000 customers who left Comcast."

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I did... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861905)

...and I haven't regretted 1 minute of it.

Re:I did... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861975)

same here, cut my consumption of crap tv at the same time great bonus.

Re:I did... (4, Interesting)

UPZ (947916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862171)

same here, cut my consumption of crap tv at the same time great bonus.

Likewise here. It feels like the quality of my life has improved. Now that I am no longer bombarded with commercials I don't have the desire anymore to buy things ( unless I really need it).

Re:I did... (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862393)

I was coming home and watching 4+ hours of CSI every evening. It was easy to veg out to. It was mildly interesting, mildly entertaining, and required minimal thought or engagement to pay attention to. I also watched The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and the various movie channels like TCM and AMC.

One day I realized I was neglecting my wife, my hobbies, my chores around the house, etc. We got rid of pay cable when Turner Classic Movies was taken off of extended analog and put on to digital, which was one of the few networks that we actually cared to specifically watch.

We went without pay TV for years, and bought our DTV decoder boxes like everyone else, and I rediscovered many of the actually good vintage shows on RTN and Me and other networks. Just recently I started playing with XBMC, and I wholly recommend it. I threw together a junk PC from parts laying around and hooked it into the component inputs on our widescreen HD tube TV, and now we can watch hundreds of "channels" worth of free content from PBS, several cable networks, Vimeo, Youtube, and lots and lots of other sources. They seem to be without commercials too.

Now we can watch what we want, when we want, and can pursue our hobbies without having to interrupt just to watch a stupid TV show.

Re:I did... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862471)

same here, cut my consumption of crap tv at the same time great bonus.

Likewise here. It feels like the quality of my life has improved. Now that I am no longer bombarded with commercials I don't have the desire anymore to buy things ( unless I really need it).

So you're impulsive, undisciplined, and display follow-the-leader (sometimes derisively called "sheeplike") characteristics?

Advertising can't work otherwise. That's why these master manipulators use beautiful women and cute children and fuzzy kittens in their propaganda, because getting an emotional response bypasses rational thought. That's where not being impulsive comes into play. They love to get you to buy things you don't really need by making you think you might need them, that's where discipline kicks in. They want your purchase to be their idea and not your own evaluation of your wants, needs, and budget, which is why being an individual is so important.

I guess that sounds negative but the purpose of explaining this to you is so you can see just how ruthless and devious these people in marketing really are. These traits are not really your fault. The school system and the media and the government all find them useful to varying degrees and they all encourage these character defects. Becoming your own man or your own woman in a meaningful way that makes you resistant to manipulation/propaganda is difficult because at first the deck is stacked against you, but it is more than worthwhile.

The other problem a lot of people have is that they're prideful and easily offended so they don't take criticism well, preferring to get mad at me for trying to tell them something like this rather than being grateful someone is actually telling them how it is. If that kind of outrage is so valuable to you that you'd rather continue to be impulsive, undisciplined, and easily led, well, that would be your option, but I hope you can do better than that. As you see I feel no need to sugarcoat everything to make it easier to hear because that's exactly the sort of thing a manipulator does so that'd be rather hypocritical of me.

Re:I did... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862681)

Or maybe they're just human and you're just an ass.

Re:I did... (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862063)

Ditto. Had to keep the Internet, though. First night broadcast TV had "Dolemite 2" with Rudy Ray Moore. What I heard, mostly, was "bleep!"
I don't miss AT&T or Charter's TV service one bit. My apartment has CATV, Netflix is pretty good for $8.95 / mo and my laptop has an HDMI output, so Hulu is an option.

Re:I did... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862225)

I recently got AT&T's Uverse, and I LOVE it....then again, after Katrina with moving around so much...I did without a nice tv for a number of years. Recently putting roots down again somewhat, I got a nice 59" plasma...and I want to be able to watch good HD content on it. Uverse was the best bang for the buck for me...when comparing HD content, and DVR svc for the price to Cox cable, and the satellite companies.

I keep Cox as my business internet tho.

But how many people out there...don't have nice TVs and watch things on their computers, like you mentioned? I mean, when on the go, a computer is nice, but for watching a nice movie with friends or family, don't you want a nice big screen so you can share the experience with others, etc? What about good sound systems to go with the video?

I found that netflix streaming, has such a limited selection...when they raised the prices, I elected to stay with just the disc plan...and get blurays on stuff I really want to watch.

I can always use a friend's logon for NF too if I want. I happen to have amazon prime.....and I've kept that. I only recently started streaming..their selection may be a little better for content than NF....but I view the streaming as a side benefit...I got prime for the shipping breaks, and for the free monthly e-book on my kindle..that along pays for itself, the streaming is a nice add on.

But rambling here. I guess I'm asking..those that cut the TV cord, and aren't going at least for OTA HD tv....are ya'll just watching tv on your tables, laptops and little computer monitors?

Is anyone cutting the content cord, that actually has a decent AV system they've invested in?

Re:I did... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862233)

First night broadcast TV had "Dolemite 2" with Rudy Ray Moore. What I heard, mostly, was "bleep!"

Wait, seriously? You had a broadcast station that tried to air Dolemite?

That's really funny.

Re:I did... (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862065)

Me neither. I gave it up years ago and found better things to do with my time.

If supermarkets worked like Cable TV you'd have your cereal sealed into the same container as hamburgers, frozen peas, a pound of apples, two candy bars, six loaves of bread, and you'd be forced to buy the whole container even if the only thing you wanted was that one brand of cereal.

Re:I did... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862207)

Good analogy, but you don't take it far enough. In reality it's more like:

"Cereal, hamburgers, frozen peas, bread, tampax, a sears catalog, a bible, a box of adult diapers, a carton of, and a bag of that peanut taffy halloween candy that NOBODY likes" - And you pledge to buy one every month for two years, after which the price goes up unless you sign a new pledge.

Re:I did... (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862487)

...a bible, a box of adult diapers, a carton of, and a bag of that peanut taffy halloween candy

Perfect for stocking the fear bunker.

Re:I did... (3, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862639)

a carton of, and a bag of that peanut taffy halloween candy that NOBODY likes

I think you just the whole thing.

Re:I did... (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862261)

...and each item would have a large ad pasted on it. Half of those ads would be telling you how awesome you are for choosing their awesome service that nobody can live without, and maybe you would like to upgrade for even more?

But beer manufacturers would have almost completely given up on selling beer in regular grocery stores and convenience stores, so you would have to get your beer (aka professional sports) through them, as a part of the upgrade package, which still includes the spinach, cauliflower, and liver.

Re:I did... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862269)

Me neither. I gave it up years ago and found better things to do with my time.

If supermarkets worked like Cable TV you'd have your cereal sealed into the same container as hamburgers, frozen peas, a pound of apples, two candy bars, six loaves of bread, and you'd be forced to buy the whole container even if the only thing you wanted was that one brand of cereal.

And it's then blended and consumed as a suppository.

Re:I did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862701)

I don't know if you've shopped at the supermarkets I have, but the one I frequent most often has 'meal deal' coupons where a great discount is applied on the key ingredient if the rest of the items on the list are also purchased. So bundling is already a well-used tactic.

Re:I did... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862445)

...and I haven't regretted 1 minute of it.

I think about getting TV, but only for one purpose - to follow world football. Nothing else is of much interest to me on TV. My own set has been turned one once in the past 12 years. It still works. I just have not patience for the junk which is continually on. Anything worth watching I pick up later on DVD. Which isn't much, either. TV is overrated.

Besides, I already have all the Monty Python DVDs, what else could I want? Ni!

Getting there... (2)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861909)

Now if only the giants would see this as a reason to innovate and increase competition and lower costs. We haven't quite gotten there yet.

Re:Getting there... (5, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862023)

No, they'll see it as a reason to lobby the government to prop up their failing business model, just like every other business model disrupted by the Internet.

Re:Getting there... (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862245)

Well many cable TV providers are fighting this trend by offering free service to people who want to leave. Why would they do this?

Well, I can answer that by describing the reason why I get free bicycle magazines. I bought a bicycle a couple of years ago...a really nice one. With it, I was given a trial subscription to a cycling magazine. Nice, but not worth paying for... I would look at it if I had it, but wouldn't buy it. But that's why I got it for free. Initially, I started getting "your subscriiption is going to expire!" notices. Then I got "last issue!" notices. Then I got more magazines after that. But why? Well, the magazines are full of ads. And those ads are worthless if they can't show the advertisers they have subscribers.

Now, let's look at cable TV... lots of ads... ads which are worthless if they don't have subscribers.

Time Warner Cable serves KC (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861913)

So these numbers are about to get a whole lot worse [google.com] .

Goodbye Pay TV (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861915)

Usenet + SAB + Sickbeard = I'm satisfied

Re:Goodbye Pay TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862075)

We are relaying your address to the SWAT team right now.

Cheers,
The NSA.

Re:Goodbye Pay TV (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862165)

Doesn't the NSA have their own teams to do stuff like that? I doubt they rely on SWAT..

Re:Goodbye Pay TV (5, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862303)

If you're still partaking in TV programming, regardless of the means, you haven't said goodbye to it.

Be sure to have them remove their lines! (2)

Simpson,Homer_Jay (2666667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861921)

Much better view without their worthless wires overhead in my backyard.

Re:Be sure to have them remove their lines! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862059)

Move into a newer suburb then. Cable, phone, and power are all buried in new subdivisions.

It would have counted me too (4, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861933)

...but for some reason my cable/internet provider charges less for 10Mbps when it's also packaged with their basic cable than they do when it's by itself. So, I gladly accepted their $8/month credit to add basic cable, and I simply unplugged the cable from my TV as soon as the cable guy had left. Strange thing is, this isn't a special as part of signing up with a contract, since I have no contract with them.

I really don't get how they do their accounting, and I'm beginning to think they don't either since they're losing so many customers.

Re:It would have counted me too (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861977)

I'm in much the same position, though having paid for it I did take the trouble to plug it in for the Olympics. I find the commercials aggravating and the coverage as bad as it ever was, and I'll be unplugging it again as soon as the games are over.

Re:It would have counted me too (0)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861997)

Why would you unplug the cable? You get all the network stations in HD and you don't even need a set-top box since most TV have QAM tuners built-in. At-least watch Olympics

Re:It would have counted me too (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862163)

I've found that I'm much happier, more productive, and better entertained when the option of idly watching whatever is on the air is removed. Even though it's something for nothing, watching it wastes time that would have been put to better use watching shows I'm actually interested in or engaging in some other form of entertainment that I enjoy more (e.g. plowing through my backlog of games, reading a nice novel, finding a friend who I haven't seen in awhile to grab an impromptu dinner with). That's why I unplugged it: to enjoy things I like better more often.

Re:It would have counted me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862357)

I guess I just don't understand how unplugging aids in that goal.

Re:It would have counted me too (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862249)

At-least watch Olympics

Why do I need to watch a corporate orgy of sponsorship and advertising where the public foots the bill and they take profit?

So I can see which individual blessed with the right genes and the most funding can run faster or jump higher?

I'd rather watch a Coke commercial. At least its not pretending to be something its not, and it usually has good production values.

Re:It would have counted me too (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862411)

I enjoy watching people try their best and work hard to succeed. The commercialism is unfortunate, but watching the sports on TV there is very little of it visible.

Re:It would have counted me too (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862537)

I thought the Olympics WERE a Coke commercial.

Re:It would have counted me too (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862033)

I really don't get how they do their accounting, and I'm beginning to think they don't either since they're losing so many customers.

If you have CATV then you are counted as a "viewer" for the purpose of selling advertising. Same reason magazines give out free subscriptions.

Re:It would have counted me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862095)

They do this to boost their subscriber numbers for advertising dollars.

Re:It would have counted me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862273)

...but for some reason my cable/internet provider charges less for 10Mbps when it's also packaged with their basic cable than they do when it's by itself. So, I gladly accepted their $8/month credit to add basic cable

I had the same experience as well. It's cheaper for me to have basic cable TV + internet than it is to ditch the TV and keep only the internet. What I've been told is that revenue they get from local advertisers depends a great deal on the number of subscribers in an area, so it's actually in their interest to just give you the service.

Re:It would have counted me too (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862281)

It's all about the numbers... the sales numbers. They can't easily justify keeping certain operations in business if they can't show numbers.

And see my other post (http://entertainment.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3022619&cid=40862245) about the value of ad revenue.

Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (4, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861935)

I really hope some of the companies out there (HBO especially, I needs my Game of Thrones fix) figure out other ways of getting money from customers. I wouldn't want to see the shows I like cut back or eliminated if the tv/cable networks go the way of newspapers. So, dear cable/tv companies: We have money, we want to support your art. Let's figure something out!

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861965)

I really hope some of the companies out there (HBO especially, I needs my Game of Thrones fix) figure out other ways of getting money from customers. I wouldn't want to see the shows I like cut back or eliminated if the tv/cable networks go the way of newspapers. So, dear cable/tv companies: We have money, we want to support your art. Let's figure something out!

I.e., don't be douche bags and try to tie your loyal fans into antiquated distribution methods that we, the consumers who drive the economy and thus are your bottom line, have repeatedly and soundly rebuffed.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (3, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861991)

HBO Go and ESPN3 need to be made available to those of us who want their programming, but have no desire to pay for cable.
If anybody from those companies is listening, hurry up and make it happen. You have a customer waiting who's desperate to give you money, but can't without giving 10x that amount to Cox/Comcast/DirectTV/etc.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862199)

Comcast xfinity internet give you access to ESPN3, even if you don't have their TV service. So that's a start.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862343)

I thought HBO is owned by Time-Warner so don't hold your breath about them decoupling HBO from cable. I'm in the same boat you are: would love to get/pay for HBO but not cable.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (1)

Valcrus (1242564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862505)

They were. But they broke off a while ago. Now TWC is an entity all its own. I don't see it happening tho. My fav thing is people that seem to think if everything was online it would be better. If the cable and Satellite companies go out do you really think that all the stuff that is online would be cheap? Its just like people who seem to think that a pick and choose cable plan would be cheaper than having packages.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862149)

I don;t live in the US so don't even have an option for HBO... but there is the problem... Game of Thrones is broadcast on a channel here that has an agreement with HBO that they have the right to show Game of Thrones. I enjoy a lot of HBO programming and would happily pay for some kind of online subscription with them but they simply can;t offer that.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862177)

ART? PuhLEEZE be a little less naive. The shows that arrive on your screen are calculated to produce sticky eyeballs and ad revenue.

Dear Cable Providers:

You've had a great run, playing the franchise game and polluting America with content tuned to prurience. Well done. The rest of us imagine a world with entertainment that doesn't make our souls actually dry up and wither, but that is for us to discover or create without you. Congratulations on monetizing the tasteless, the lazy, and the uninformed. /kissed cable TV goodbye 9 years ago

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (2)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862317)

So, dear cable/tv companies: We have money, we want to support your art.

That's like complimenting the milkman on his diet because "his" milk is SO DELICIOUS.

The artists make the art. The cable/tv companies only deliver it to you. The internet has made delivery trivial. Cut out the middle-men, pay the artists more.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862319)

Won't happen. HBO is part of Time-Warner. You know, the folks who own Time-Warner Cable. Better chance of Showtime doing it since it is owned by CBS.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862485)

Won't happen. HBO is part of Time-Warner. You know, the folks who own Time-Warner Cable. Better chance of Showtime doing it since it is owned by CBS.

They spun Time-Warner Cable off in March 2009. It's hard to tell how independent the new company is. I heard the shared an office building.

Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862707)

So, dear cable/tv companies: We have money, we want to support your art. Let's figure something out!

That's a nice sentiment, however, isolated in my experience. More often the attitude I see from my peers is "We have money. We want your art, but would prefer to keep our money. Figure something out!"

And yet (1)

hawkeye_82 (845771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861939)

And yet, NBC will not allow you to watch the Olympics online without an active cable subscription.

Are the channels really that afraid of the cable companies? Or is there a lot of revenue sharing going on?

Is it really the case that it's more profitable for the channels to screw over customers than it is for them to screw over the cable companies?

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861999)

And yet, NBC will not allow you to watch the Olympics online without an active cable subscription.

Are the channels really that afraid of the cable companies? Or is there a lot of revenue sharing going on?

Is it really the case that it's more profitable for the channels to screw over customers than it is for them to screw over the cable companies?

Well, seeing as how NBC is owned by Comcast, it's not a matter of fear.

Re:And yet (3, Interesting)

beernutmark (1274132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862021)

Even worse, they still limit what you can see. The BBC has Olympics coverage right with their iplayer and catchup links. That's the way we all want to watch TV and we are willing to pay for it as well.

Re:And yet (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862039)

Considering that one can apparently get better, live coverage by visiting the BBC via a UK proxy...

Fuck NBC. Let them strangle themselves. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862189)

Is there an easy and free way to access a UK proxy?

Think maybe the economy has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40861941)

something to do with these figures?

Thank you, internetz! (1)

r0driguez (2617433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40861947)

Each number is directly related with the number of people who began watching their favorite tv shows on the internet.

Re:Thank you, internetz! (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862103)

Well with HULU requiring a cable subscription all I can say is "Not anymore".

In 5 years the TV shows will have to match your tier too at $200 a month or whatever outrageous bill it will be by then at the rate of inflation. Something has to give and bit torrents will take that up next as it is a rip off.

Re:Thank you, internetz! (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862215)

Have they actually started doing this? I currently have Hulu Plus and so far I have not been confronted about my lack of cable subscription.

Oblig. (4, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862007)

Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems, and he died at eleven o'clock this morning of a heart condition, and woe is us! We're in a lot of trouble!

So. A rich little man with white hair died. What has that got to do with the price of rice, right? And *why* is that woe to us? Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers... This tube is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, and that's why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died. Because this company is now in the hands of CCA - the Communication Corporation of America. There's a new Chairman of the Board, a man called Frank Hackett, sitting in Mr. Ruddy's office on the twentieth floor. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome God-damned propoganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network?

So, you listen to me. Listen to me: Television is not the truth! Television is a God-damned amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, side-show freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business! So if you want the truth... Go to God! Go to your gurus! Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever going to find any real truth.

But, man, you're never going to get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We'll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he's going to win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I'm speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF...

Re:Oblig. (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862237)

This is why you always log out after slashdotting from Tom Cruise's house.

Re:Oblig. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862243)

Oblig [blogspot.com]

Cable-Free Since 7/12 (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862011)

Easiest habit I ever kicked.

Re:Cable-Free Since 7/12 (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862373)

Easiest habit I ever kicked.

Cable free since July? You haven't even gone two days yet.

My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862031)

Call up the loyalty/retention department to try getting a better rate.

But cable companies should offer an Internet/Limited Basic Cable option so people at least have access to the Over The Air TV without having to worry about not getting a signal. I mean, a bundle not much more expensive than Internet alone. To make matters more tempting, they could throw in just one half-price DVR. There's some good stuff on Fox and the other locals afterall.

Dear Comcast (3, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862051)

Don't let the door knob get wedged up your ass on the way out.

Sincerely,
A Happy Ex-customer

crap on cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862053)

Two mediocre shows I like packed with commercials (that i could torrent). All the rest stpid shit like that fat osburne kid hunting ghosts. If my parents werent paying the bill (and ive tried to explain) I would have dropped cable a long time ago. Its worthless advertisements and stupid reality/crime solving bullshit.

Well gee (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862073)

Charge as much as a car at $200 a month for basic backages for 2 or more TVs during the great recession when people's salaries are being cut or not moving since 2008 and they stop paying! Who would have thought?

I remember in the good old days when it ws $60 a month and people made more money a decade ago too.

Re:Well gee (2)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862381)

There are no "basic" packages that cost $200 a month.

Why do people make up nonsense numbers? Or why not just say $2 million per month if you're going to make up nonsense?

Is that the sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862085)

....of the worlds tiniest violin? Do you hear its bitter-sweet sound?

I don't know anyone who has much love for the cable or satellite companies. The way they package channels means that force people to get hundreds of channels of crap for the few jewels that they enjoy. Then the best programing is split between the basic, which is all the network tv that you could get for free, but pay for cable for the signal quality...and the big premium channels like HBO that you pay even more for,.

My wife and I have pretty much given up TV, I think we watched an hour of TV since DR Who last went on break that wasn't streamed from an online video service.

We would ditch cable for all but net access if not for my mother.

Irony (2)

mallyn (136041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862087)

Folks:

I unplugged 32 years ago.

However, after watching a crew do the filming of a tv show here in Portland a while ago, I was shocked at how many people and how long to took to film tv shows. It takes several hours or even days to film what would be about a minute on tv.

Those people are all paid union wages

Those people are paid by advertisers and subscribers.

So, I can foresee one of two things happening if enough pull the plug like I did.

Either we will see worse shows (skimping on the costs of filming) or more commercials to make up the lose of subscriber revenue.

Re:Irony (3, Funny)

crakbone (860662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862213)

Foresee? You obviously have not been anywhere near SYFY.

Re:Irony (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862283)

Either one of those would cause less people to watch TV. This would cause a feedback loop into a spiral of doom.

Re:Irony (1)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862447)

Either we will see worse shows (skimping on the costs of filming) or more commercials to make up the lose of subscriber revenue.

We are already there. The quality of the programming is really getting bad with literally 300 channels but nothing to watch and when you do find something they stuff in as much advertising as they can. They put banner ads in their interactive TV screens and insist on playing commercials when you try to search their "on demand" offerings. It is getting really sad.

Meanwhile in Latin America (3, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862091)

Re:Meanwhile in Latin America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862329)

That's because they are years behind us in technology and infrastructure.

Youtube is more original, cheaper, easier, and... (2, Interesting)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862101)

...interactive.

Honestly, other than live sports broadcasts, paid TV is crap. HBO and Showtime have good shows they put out, but I don't need to see them first-air, and they don't play relatively-recent movie releases anymore on those channels.

Cable Television used to be the best thing ever. It used to be you would see amazing amounts of programming that were simply unavailable through traditional networks. This content existed because the major networks had frankly rejected a lot of good ideas. Well those great ideas turned into formulas in a mature industry, formulas that are now followed without deviation. The Discovery channel used to pick up all the untouched NOVA ideas and it was awesome, now when I turn on the multitude of science/engineering channels I'm left to try to not punch my television into pieces because it's telling me that Egypt was built by aliens. The comedy channel used to be almost 24-hour-a-day stand up routines, which was fantastic, it changed from that a long time ago. Thankfully the cartoon network is still the lone shining beacon of basic cable that still provides true entertainment, but it's the only one at this point.

Cable died because they got cheap, they went low-margin-formulaic on their content generation, and hence their content is essentially all crap.

Do I count towards those figures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862107)

My apartment complex has some sweetheart deal with Time Warner, and my lease requires me to pay $40/mo to Time warner for basic cable (no DVR included, and analog-only for non-OTA channels). There's nothing worth watching on TV anymore, so I canceled my DVR last fall, and now I just use discs and streaming over the Internet. I also tried to get the apartment complex to let me opt-out, but the district manager wouldn't allow it.

So do I count towards these figures, or does Time Warner get to count me as someone paying for TV? Personally I consider that $40 part of my rent. (For a bit of perspective: I live in one of the 40 most populous metro areas in the US, and even with the bogus $40/mo fee for cable, I still pay less here than I would anywhere else in the metro area.)

Re:Do I count towards those figures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862175)

Clarification #1: I pay the $40/mo to my apartment complex as part of my rent.
Clarification #2: I tried to remove the $40/mo fee while negotiating my lease renewal. They won't let anyone opt-out because all units are wired together.
Clarification #3: When I said analog, I probably really meant to say low-def digital cable that looks like analog.

Exepencive, agressively customer hostile. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862137)

Doesn't surprise me. ALL pay TV providers engage in near fanatical rent seeking behavior and try their hardest to force you in to an 80+ dollar a month bill. It's simply not a good value proposition.

I do have cable, because it's the best internet connection in the area. (It's actually very good! 100megabits down, 15 up. Never slows down, low latency, almost no down time) but I haven't turned on my TV for anything other than console games or netflix since I subscribed. I had to fight pretty hard to convince the company to take back their shitty power sucking non-hd set top box because I had no use for it. The service comes with basic cable regardless of price, but I don't watch it.

Also had an interesting conversation with a sales rep. The guy could not understand why I would not get a new plan that included their phone service, even if the cost was the same. I told him I have a mobile phone, and that their crappy VOIP phone would actually be a detraction because of their crappy hardware inserted in the network, and the power it drew. I don't know what moron thinks that selling phone lines tied to a physical cable is a good idea in 2012.

Meh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862151)

Cable is my internet.
And its almost as expensive to get no tv...
I mean heck... theres 3 channels out of the 90 some of garbage that i actually watch... or have on as background noise for other things.

The day they offer ala-cart programming. i'll be paying for 3 channels only.

Of course they know that 90% of their offerings are garbage... And wont let me get rid of it.

And lovely comcast boxes... you cant even program the fucker to skip the useless shopping religious nut shopping public access complete garbage shopping sports channels.

If i had another isp available... i'd have no tv.

I can't think of a better use of the phrase... (5, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862169)

And nothing of value was lost.

Site recommendation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862179)

Is there a site that aggregates all the available shows that one can legally stream on demand (e.g., from the show's site)? Having one place to go to find what's available would be nice.

Even better would be able to filter and/or tag preferred shows on that site. Or have things like, "viewers of this program also watch this other show."

Re:Site recommendation? (1)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862609)

In a word.. Nope, at least not a legal one.

I'll be that somebody will finally work out the license issues (i.e. pay the huge fees) and do what Hulu sorta started, a pay per stream to your device for any cable channel you desire for a fee over the internet. Why cable companies even bother putting analog signals onto coax these days? Just stream over a network connection to a bunch of cheap set top boxes, or (gasp) to streaming devices the homeowner may already have. Can we say cheap on premises equipment costs?

But oh no, the existing cable companies need to protect their own turf while they pay off the money they borrowed to build out all this antique analog infrastructure they have. They pay huge fees to the content providers to get exclusive rights to distribute content and would loose subscribers in droves if this "web cable company" was allowed. And why would they walk away from a $10/month fee from everybody on their systems just to "rent" a tuner worth about $200 retail (including the tiny disk drive for the DVR)?

Oblig, Star Trek Quote (5, Funny)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862223)

Lt. Cmdr. Data:

That particular form of entertainment did not last much beyond the year Two Thousand Forty.

Well, duh! (4, Interesting)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862227)

Content providers keep adding more and more commercials to content, the content gets worse and worse, and they keep driving up subscription costs by demanding more $$$ from cable companies and demanding worthless channels to be bundled together.

TW charges too much, keeps pushing their prime channels to higher priced tiers, and refuses to offer als carte programming to customers.

Comcast is no better than TW, and to add salt to the wound they spy on their customers for the government and the MAFIAA.

DirecTV has poor service, fails to deliver product, and screws customers for cancelling services [lawyersand...ements.com] . I had them for 4 weeks with the promise of internet service. No one installed the internet service. After being passed around DirecTV phone support for 90 minutes, I cancelled my service because they failed to deliver. And I STILL had to pay a $135 early termination fee, despite not signing any contractual agreement.

The industry is getting greedy and corrupt, and consumers are tired of it. Very soon my parents will join the exodus.

Not to state the obvious but . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862295)

considering where unemployment stands at the moment, does this number really come as a shock ?

If I were to lose my job, I guarantee I would start trimming costs in any way that I could.
Cable would likely be the very first item on the chopping block.

Quickly followed by cellular, memberships / subscriptions, and ( gasp ) even internet.

Sports (4, Insightful)

dohnut (189348) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862301)

If it weren't for sports I think that number would be at least 10x higher.

There was a thread about "cutting the cord" on one of the AV forums recently and sports was the primary argument for sticking with cable. ESPN and its ilk are well aware of the clout they have. Networks like HBO have influence too, but if you can wait a year all of the shows worth watching on those networks are going to be out on DVD/Bluray/streaming.

I ditched cable 5 years ago and I've had to make a few sacrifices. I used to be able to watch my local BigTen basketball and football games on network TV until the BigTen Network came along. Then ESPN took Monday Night Football. Yeah, NBC has Sunday Night Football, but there was something special about MNF. I just don't watch most those games now. I also don't get to see college football bowl games or march madness games unless I go out or to a friend's house. You do miss that a little but then you remember the 100 other things you could be doing with your time and life goes on.

I do subscribe to a number of streaming services and my over the air selection is pretty decent. So, I really watch about the same amount of television that I did before I got rid of cable. I just pay a heck of a lot less now.

Some retort, "Yeah, but you still have to pay for Internet access..." Like I wasn't going to do that anyway? Yes, of course, now there is no "bundle" deal. Fortunately I live in a town with multiple cable providers (yes, 2 different coax cables are run into my home) and DSL so Internet access is reasonable even without a cable TV package.

I also didn't /have/ to buy extra equipment for watching streaming video on my TV. I use my PS3 which was not bought for streaming video but, rather, for playing games. Now it gets more use as a media player than a game console though. The only device I /did/ buy that I might not have needed to before was a Roku for the bedroom TV.

If cable companies offered an a la carte subscription service I might actually sign up again, but I don't see that happening.

Re:Sports (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862591)

> If it weren't for sports I think that number would be at least 10x higher.

At least. Maybe 100x higher.

Recession-proof... (1)

destruk (1136357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862341)

HA and my managers at Time Warner Cable always said that cable tv was a recession-proof industry! They are really smart people.

Problem is, it is a package deal (2)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862401)

Sure, cable TV packaging today involves both bundling up of channels as well as bundling of services.

In part, there is a reason for this. I'm not going to address the bundling of channels as we already know why that is done and what the financial ramifications would be if they stopped doing it. Instead, a far less obvious factor here needs to be mentioned. Cable Internet generally doesn't pay for itself. What? You mean there is a service that is being provided at a loss? Well, not really. You see, it was assumed from about 1980 on that if you could get cable TV, you would have it. The folks way out in bumble that could not get it were of course envious of their closer-in friends but the logistics and economics of wiring rural communities made it impractical. It still is impractical in many places.

So the pricing of cable Internet services was done for market-building reasons and for competitive reasons. The idea that someone would have Internet without Cable TV supporting the physical plant aspects of the connection was foreign to everyone. Nobody would do that. So cable Internet services were priced with the idea that the physical plant was supported by the TV service charge and the Internet could be priced really low to attract more customers - and bundling the services makes it even more attractive to just have all of them together.

Now you have people dropping the cable TV portion of the service and just going with the Internet connection. Admittedly, 400,000 subscribers nationwide is a drop in the bucket and isn't going to really affect anything. Should this number expand we might see some real changes being forced upon us. Changes like:

  • Cable Internet prices doubling, at least. With a huge credit if you bundle it with cable TV service. Because one way or other, the physical plant has to be fed.
  • Some cable systems just dropping the Internet service completely because they can't be competitive with the $14.95 DSL service. If cable is $99 a month and you can get DSL for $15, who would do that, really?
  • Some really creative billing systems that are usage-based. The idea would be to make any sort of IPTV service extremely unattractive pushing the customer base back to broadcast TV.

Now a lot of cable systems are going to be faced with capacity problems if more than a small fraction of their customers are trying to use IPTV streaming services. The systems were never designed for that kind of load and there is almost nothing that can be done without huge increases in bandwidth to the nodes that serve 500-1,000 homes at a time. Huge increases, like trying to deliver 10GB/sec. The other alternatives are replacing the entire cable infrastructure with fiber and eliminating the neighborhood node concept entirely. Both of these are extremely costly, so costly that it may seem foolish to embark on that course for any but the strongest players. Pushing back on IPTV delays that decision - because in many cases the decision will be to just turn it off.

So as more and more people move away from broadcast TV to IPTV services we can expect to see cable systems hit very, very hard and reacting in some unexpected ways. While the Internet of 1995 was interesting and a low-cost service to be provided, today's connections are pretty pricy for the cable company without a lot of payback. Tomorrow's Internet connections are going to cost them a bloody fortune to supply and many may simply choose not to make that kind of investment.

You can always get a T-1 connection anywhere in the US and probably anywhere in Canada.

Two and a half years and have never looked back. (1)

RudySolis (1438319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862437)

Saving so much money and getting so much more time to do other things has never been so much easier for myself, or my family consisting of a stay-at-home mom and three children. We have a Win7 Media Center PC with a USB OTA tuner for recording basic stuff...which we don't mind watching commercials anymore 'if' we watch live as opposed to recorded. All our kids DVD's ripped down to the NAS. We've also got an XBMC system upstairs with OTA live for night-time viewing. The only negative side-effect in that time has been last Christmas we didn't know what to get the kids because they never say "I want that". (seriously!) Since they've seen all their shows before, asking them to stop or pause to go do something is rarely an issue... unless we are at Grandmom's when they go into Zombie mode in front of the tube watching the HORRIBLE programming. The money we've saved has paid for a top-of-the-line NAS with tons of storage, all the media centers, and everything. The great thing is, we're now on the positive side of the investment (had some trial and error purchases) but have assets to show for it rather than wasting hundreds or more per year paying for commercials.

Now with everyone leaving paid television, I'm just waiting for our 'Internet only' cable bill to go up!

400k - 275k = 125k (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862489)

400,000 people cut the cord, but that doesn't count the 275,000 subscriber increase for Verizon and AT&T's TV offerings. Doesn't change the overall trend, but it is misleading to say that overall 400,000 people cut the cord when it's really "only" 125,000.

Stopped television over 5 years ago (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862495)

and I don't regret even one minute of it. Recently I saw a commercial on television at a friends place. The funny part about it was that I got the feeling I should know this guy, because he was presented in a way that suggested he needed no further introduction, but really, I had NO clue at all who that was. My friends were surprised that I didn't know him at all. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything really.
Would your life be incomplete without (for example) Jessica Simpson. Sorry Jessica. I have no idea who you are. I see your name in "news" headlines, but the articles are so easy to click away and forget totally :)

The news can be seen on the internet. YouTube has enough Discovery Channel and such on it.

But the best part is that I'm not bugged any more with those frigging ads every 15 minutes. The worst I've seen so far was watching 3/4 of a movie that was interrupted at that point for "light news and entertainment" (stuff like somebody that is well known, but I really give Jack Shit about bought a new pony) for half an hour.

For the last years, you get to know more and more people that live without television and it's really comforting to see many similar reactions here as well :)

Of course, I spend that extra time that I have now on the internet, but at least it's not interrupted with bullshit any more.
I'm not sure internet is any better than television though...

In latin america (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40862535)

In Latin America it is worst: Series come out late (months after it was released in the U.S), Mexican translations SUCK, in fact they interfere with the TV shows in such a way that make them lame (character names changed to mexican ones, scripts changed, mexican words that only mexican people understand)

And then there's ADS, lots and lots and lots of them, most of the people I know prefer to pirate/download their preferred TV show and watch them on demand, thing is this: I've seen 1.5 hours movies turned into 3 hour movies because of ads, I've seen cases like 4 minutes of ads followed by 2 minute of show then again 4 minutes of ads.

TV is going down the drain

I remember when cable TV first arrived (2)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862623)

Cable TV hit the market when I was a kid. There were two main selling points-- 1) more channels in rural markets than you could get over the air, and 2) NO ADS.

What happened?

READ MY LIPS-- subscription media companies, you have a choice. Either provide FREE content that is ad supported, OR paid content that is ad free. Period. There's no way I am going to pay you to spam me with ads. Your greed has no bounds, and it looks to be doing you in. I say good riddance. Other media sources have risen up to fill the vacuum you currently occupy in ad-free media.

In the meantime, I will continue to rent or buy DVD content that is not interrupted by ads.

Did it to themselves (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862671)

The content proviers force the cable/satalite/phone companies to force packages on their customers. For example, if you want AMC... you have to get all of the channels that they force you to take along with it. AMC will not allow you to get AMC without also getting IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel, and IFC Films. Why do they force these companies to carry these other channels? Becuase the content on those channels is very very cheap... But they are full of commercial revenue. AMC itself has all of their hit shows, which are expensive.

Because the majority of content providers follow this same format, we now have hundreds of channels, most of which are airing total crap... or decades old reruns. Sprinkled inbetween these channels are the core channels that people really want to watch. Unfortunately you have no choice in your lineup, and because the content providers force everyone to sign the same contracts, you don't have any choice in what you get to watch.

Sick of it all, everyone's turning to Netflix or outright piracy.

Our Overlords (2)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862717)

are greatly displeased at this development.

Without most of the public distracted by sports, sitcoms and stories of young doctors/lawyers/policemen in love they are likely to find time to think and question their place in life, politics, etc.

We cant have people doing that, it'll fuck up the economy.

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