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Cable TV A La Carte?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the two-from-column-a-and-one-from-column-b dept.

Television 461

Anonymous Coward writes "According to this BusinessWeek article you can now get your MTV a la carte. I having been waiting for years to buy my cable by the channel, and this article indicates that my cable company is now legally required to let me. I am going to call Time Warner tomorrow with my list just to see what they say. Anyone out there doing this now?"

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461 comments

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woohoo! (4, Interesting)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616920)

Glad to hear it, now I can get TLC, Discovery, MTV2 and all the other good channels without BET and Lifetime.

Re:woohoo! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616940)

Yeah, who wants to pay for a fucking nigger channel?

Re:woohoo! (1)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616996)

Well, I dunno if I'd call it that, I like to watch it from time to time though to keep up on my ghetto speak.

Re:woohoo! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617036)

Fucking niggers? Although they'd have to steal my money to do it.

You're not married are you? (5, Funny)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617000)

My wife would divorce me if I were to cancel Lifetime.

Re:You're not married are you? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617029)


My wife would divorce me if I were to cancel Lifetime.

I'm recently divorced and can honestly say the best part is never having to sit through another Trading Spaces marathon! :)

Re:You're not married are you? (5, Interesting)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617077)

I showed my wife an article about the behind the sceens of one of those episodes and how much damage/money it costs to repair the "renovation". I believe it was either the one where the lady cried on camera or the hay on the walls. She now hates the show even more then I do. :)

Her best friend recently had a neighbor do an episode. The weekend after they left they undid everything that they had done to their room.

Re:You're not married are you? (0)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617102)

I actually saw that episode! Only a drugged up lesbian designer would think Gluing hay on a wall was a good idea.

Re:You're not married are you? (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617112)

Do you have a link to the article you mentioned? My finace loves the show and I occasionaly watch with her. I have no doubt that a lot of people would be repainting or what not as soon as possible. However, I do have to admit that some of the ideas on that show are very good.

Re:You're not married are you? (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617193)

Bah, I wouldn't let one of those wanna-be designers within 200 yards of my home. Well, unless it was Genevieve... and I still wouldn't let her do any interior designing.

My wife watches this show relentlessly, and it drives me absolutely insane. I've been tempted to put a parental lock on TLC, and then pretend that it's broken or something...

Re:You're not married are you? (4, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617184)

I put the parental block on HGTV, Lifetime and TLC after she started watching this crap and had me paint the whole fscking house.
I set the password to '1234'. She'll never figure it out...

Re:You're not married are you? (1)

g(zerofunk.org) (596290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617137)

hell, if i this worked for me i would have canceled lifetime a longtime ago.
some guys have all the luck i suppose.
g

RASCIST PIG : MOD THIS FUCKANATOR DOWNTOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617019)

Burn in hell, bigot.

Re:RASCIST PIG : MOD THIS FUCKANATOR DOWNTOWN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617073)

He's a bigot just because he doesn't want to pay for Ape-TV?

Re:RASCIST PIG : MOD THIS FUCKANATOR DOWNTOWN (0, Flamebait)

amembrane (571154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617091)

I'm amazed that posting trollish statements to piss people off is still effective. Even if the person is actually a rabid racist, and not just a rabid troublemaker, posting on slashdot has to be the least troublesome racist activity he can do. Pick your battles, don't let posts on a message board get under your skin.

Re:woohoo! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617058)

Yeah, to hell with programming featuring black folks or women!

Just what we need, a thread where all the Slashdotters post lists of their favorite TV channels. Don't you people go out?

Re:woohoo! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617120)


Just what we need, a thread where all the Slashdotters post lists of their favorite TV channels. Don't you people go out?

I can't, my parents lock the basement door.

Oh yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616923)

Oh my oh my this just might be it.

Sure but how much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616925)

How many do you get per $??

Re:Sure but how much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616950)

Could CD's be next?

No, you can't get MTV a la cart, read it again... (5, Insightful)

burnsy (563104) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616930)

It says you can get HBO without having to pay for a premium level of service. They can still require you to get basic service and even make you rent a digital box.

Re:No, you can't get MTV a la cart, read it again. (2, Funny)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616946)

Damn, that sucks, maybe I should actually read this stuff.

Re:No, you can't get MTV a la cart, read it again. (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617059)

They just need to make every channel a 'premium' channel like HBO. I'd buy that, 'Comedy Central', 'Cartoon Network', 'Animeal Planet', and maybe 'TLC', and no others. I'd still spend less than I am now.

Re:No, you can't get MTV a la cart, read it again. (2)

terrymr (316118) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617122)

Yeah - I have satellite and only need the local channels from cable - yet I would have to subscribe to a package of like 30 channels and rent a box from them in order to get the local channels.

Pipe Dream (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616936)

This can't be true. I mean, who's going to explicitly ask for the three religious channels, the channel where they talk about hot rods, and that one that's just a bad radio station? These things get bundled for a reason.

anonymous coward, eh? (-1, Offtopic)

misterhaan (613272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616941)

not very anonymous when you're providing your e-mail address, are you rjoseph@wi.rr.com?

TV channel-by-channel == good thing (1)

rivimey (534327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616947)

I am not doing this, but it is something I would like to do; under the current 'pay for channel bundles' method, most channels piggy-back on the success of a few, while forcing me to 'buy' channels I have no interest in.

Re:TV channel-by-channel == good thing (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617094)

The company I get my cable TV package from, NTL, offers 100 digital TV channels for 6 GBP. Granted, the majority of them I'll never watch - I think I've watched about five of them altogether (mostly music channels) - but if they offered them separately, the cost would work out at 6p per channel. I very much doubt that NTL would offer someone who wants to watch, for instance, Discovery Home and Leisure, this channel for 6p - there would probably be a massive price increase.

Slightly OT, in the UK, cable operators are required to offer their services separately - ie, they are required to be able to offer customers the opportunity to purchase TV separately from phone services, or broadband Internet. The way NTL get round this is to advertise the TV package for a certain price, with the telephone thrown in free.

Tim

Re:TV channel-by-channel == good thing (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617121)

Sorry - I should just clarify that the price for those 100 TV channels is on top of the monthly line rental (19.50 GBP).

Premium channels only (4, Informative)

plasmd (447667) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616949)

If you read the article... it's only talking about getting premium channels individually. So you can get just one nightly dose of Skinemax, w/o paying for cinemax 2, 3 and 4.

Doesn't apply to basic cable.

Re:Premium channels only (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617007)

life is good...

Re:Premium channels only (5, Interesting)

Jobe_br (27348) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617071)

I don't see anything that says that the Time Warners, Charter Communications, and Cox Cable networks out there have to charge any *less* for saying "I want HBO-East only!" v. what they charge for having 6 HBO channels (comedy, family, etc.) From what I can recall, adding a premium channel has always been $10-$15 extra a month - just now you get multiple premium channels for the price of one.

Am I missing something here? Seems to me that being able to select which regular channels you want (so you don't have to get QVC, for example) would be more useful.

Finally... (0, Redundant)

mrgrey (319015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616951)

a way to remove Womens Entertainment without having to delete the channel from memory.

Let the Geeks rejoice......

Price limits? (5, Insightful)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616952)

What kind of price limits are they put to? Same price as in a package of channels? Obviously, if they aren't held to any firm price limits, they'll just charge $20/channel, and nobody will buy it.

I do think this is a good law though, How many people on slashdot would want to get cable just for TechTV?

Re:Price limits? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617032)

Usually since Cable TV is a government granted monoploy in a locality, any type of pricing must go before some government body. I'm not saying that they couldn't be per$uaded to allow higher rates, but it would be hard to hide the idea of having 1 channel the same price as that channel + the regular package.

Myself, I'm just happy that my local cable company is too cheap to afford filters for their lines. I get my cable modem + regular cable for $50/month. I just told them that I didn't want the cable TV channels, but they said that the minimum plan has just the local stations they are required to carry. Low and behold when I come home after the hookup, I have full cable. The official reason why I have the regular lineup is that they are too cheap to buy the correct filters to block the stations. Oh well. :)

tech tv? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617047)

none... tech tv blows

Re:tech tv? Max Headroom reruns are there! (2)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617150)

even with the Max Headroom reruns?
we've only had TechTV for about a year on our crappy digital cable, and i've had a lifetime dose of Screen Savers. even my M$-lovin' roomate can't take most of their programming. i watched the Apple keynotes that they showed, and Max Headroom... that's about it i think. i tried to watch more but it gets bogged down in M$ Windows nonsense that means nothing to me. oh well.

Re:Price limits? (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617069)

They'll just jack up the price of the cable boxes to make up for any lost revenue.

Why bother with cable? (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617072)

I know not everyone is in this situation, but here in Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas, y'all), I get all I need off the air for free:

02 - KDTN, 2nd PBS channel
04 - KDFW, Fox
05 - KXAS, NBC
08 - WFAA, ABC
11 - KTVT, CBS
13 - KERA, primary PBS
21 - KTXA, UPN
23 - KUVN, Univision
27 - KDFW, semi-independent (owned by 5, IIRC)
29 - KMPX, religious broadcasting
33 - KDAF, WB (was originally Fox, hence K-DAllas-Fox)
39 - KXTX, Telemundo
49 - KSTR, "K-Star", has the Dallas Stars games
52 - KFWD, semi-independent (can't remember which big station owns them)
55 - KLDT, independent (lots of Westerns)
58 - KDTX, religious broadcasting
68 - KPXD, PAX TV

That's 17 stations for no more than the price of a good rooftop antenna. Actually, we don't even have that... we have a 300-ohm rabbit ears that the kids move around when we change channels. Though sometimes the kids have to stand in the middle of the room, holding the antenna, until the show's over. But only if it's a really good show.

Re:Why bother with cable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617099)

I was given a satellite receiver and dish when the owner couldn't afford it any more. I hacked it for free. Hey, that's 300 channels for the price of an hour of my home-time.

Re:Why bother with cable? (3, Insightful)

einstein (10761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617100)

that's cause you don't have any hills. If I wouldn't get cable, I'd have 4 channels, most with horrible reception.
--

Re:Why bother with cable? (2)

wesmills (18791) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617168)

Some history on Dallas TV stations, if you're truly bored or interested:

Channel 27 is owned by the same group that owns KDFW, and they re-run "Fox 4 News" at 10:30. KPXD has a deal going with channel 5, so they re-show KXAS' news at some point ("5 on PAX"). Regarding KDAF, there's some controversy over what that should have been. Common rumour has it being "K-Dallas And Fort worth."

KLDT used to be owned by televangelist Robert Tilton, and has its transmitter in Lewisville. Common reasons for its callsign are "K-Lewisville-Dallas-Television" or "K-Lake-Dallas-Television" (after the lake cities town of the same name).

KFWD used to be the Telemundo affiliate, before they switched to 39. I believe Hispanic Broadcasting now owns them.

KSTR was Home Shopping Network's entry into the broadcast "shop at home" idea, which flopped miserably. They bounced between one satellite feed or another of some teleshopping network, before Univision bought them, too. For some reason they run Dallas Stars, I guess none of the major stations wanted to pick up the license.

I would just like to say that KXTX used to be a lot better. They would do re-runs of a lot of old shows, and even some first-runs. I remember watching first-runs of Knight Rider, as well as re-runs of A-Team on that channel. For the Star Trek buffs, KTXA has always been the station that ran Star Trek for Dallas. I knew their "Star Trek manager," the guy who was in charge of everything related, and he was a fanatic about making sure station management picked up the syndex rights for every episode.

Re:Price limits? (5, Informative)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617141)

Our local cable company offers the ability to buy individual channels from the packages they offer.

However, unless you are buying less than 5 channels you'll spend more money than the package.

Since most people want at least MTV, TWC, CNN, DISC, CC and SCIFI it's kind of a moot point.

Re:Price limits? (2, Offtopic)

Dalroth (85450) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617178)

Good God, TechTV is the most god awfull horrible piece of rubbish on the airwaves right now. Yes, they play Thunderbirds (but the popups seriously detract from the quality of the show) and Max Headroom occasionally, but you could get those elsewhere. Everything else on that channel is crap.

True SlashDot geeks are watching the Discovery network channels, National Geographic, and the History channel any chance they can get.

my order (5, Funny)

Minn_Kota_Marine (621197) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616955)

I'll take CartoonNetwork, half an order of HBO, and one Fox (hold the commercials please).

Wait a minute, does that mean that now we have to tip? double the tax my ass!

More at content providers? (1)

Katan (104699) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616962)



Its not the fault of AT&T broadband or Time Warner that ESPN, MTV et all price their products so that you have to take all of their channels. Often it is less to take the whole MTV group of channels, than just MTV itself.

Seems like this edict is more directed at content providers, not the cable companies.

Fun ... (5, Insightful)

vonkraken (228236) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616963)

I am sure that the 'package' pricing will make consumer choice still include a few channels that would otherwise not be purchased. How many cable channels rely on being packaged with other groups of channels just to get a shot at having some eyeballs watching them?

Package deal - 39.99
Individual Channels - $3.00 -$5.00 per channel.

It could add up very quickly, and I think that most consumers couldn't be bothered to pick and choose channels while taking pricing into account IMO.

Cheers,

VonKraken

Re:Fun ... (1)

zaphod110676 (211758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617027)

I only want one channel that I don't get in the basic package. $3.00 - $5.00 per channel is significantly cheaper than the $16.00 I pay right now to watch one channel. I'm looking forward to this.

Re:Fun ... (5, Interesting)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617033)

I cancelled my cable and sold my TV. I told the cable company I'd resubscribe when I could get just the channels I want: A&E, History Channel, HBO (JUST ONE OF THEM, THANKS), and Comedy Central. That's it.

I quit because all of the sudden Time Warner wanted (aka insisted) that we use "Digital Cable" - to get what I used to get just fine. There is no way I am paying $80 a month to watch a bit of TV. No way. None.

$5 x 4 = $20 - yeah, I'd do that maybe. But I'd probably end up cutting out two so I could get it down to $10 a month.

Re:Fun ... (3, Informative)

dalassa (204012) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617124)

I quit because all of the sudden Time Warner wanted (aka insisted) that we use "Digital Cable" - to get what I used to get just fine. There is no way I am paying $80 a month to watch a bit of TV. No way. None.

They tried to con you too? Be glad you didn't take it, digital isn't all that much better and it doesn't degrades gracefully. Time-Warner in our area didn't want to be bothered actually fixing the ancient equipment in our neighborhood so the tv was impossible to watch. We went back to analog in a month.

Wrong (5, Informative)

ajakk (29927) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616975)

The headline and description are totally wrong. The rule says that a Cable company must allow you to buy HBO/Showtime/Cinimax/TMC without signing up for premium cable. So this means if you don't like watching MTV, Discovery Wings, or other non-Basic cable channels, but you watch HBO, you can drop Premium cable, but still keep HBO.

Re:Wrong (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617035)

just get a friggin descramb^^^you own cable box. you'll be all set.

I Want My Jackass! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4616976)

Jackass a la carte!

yummy

Long Time Overdue (5, Insightful)

CatWrangler (622292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616981)

I actually would be willing to pay more than I am now, if they offered more options on channels and I could configure my own system.

It would be better to have 70 channels of things you want to watch, rather than have 125 channels which include 4 home shopping networks, oxygen, lifetime,5 gardening channels etc....

Letting the viewers decide what they want to pay for is quite a concept. What took em so long?

Re:Long Time Overdue (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617079)

so you are going to pay MORE for 70 channels of garbage when you could have 125 for less? There is a thing called "ADD/DELETE" where you can remove the crap (HSN, etc).

Why would you pay more for 70 channels when you could just remove them from the scan for free?

Re:Long Time Overdue (1)

misterhaan (613272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617101)

most tv's will let you add and delete channels so it will only go to those channels if you enter in the number. of course that might only work for antenna, and it's supposed to be so you don't have to manually skip all those channels that aren't broadcasting anything in your area. but good point--i should try it with cable :)

Re:Long Time Overdue (1)

kryptobiotic (451986) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617169)

The concept was probably thought of before but it's implimentation in an analog system would be a nightmare.

Currently with the package system, they can use a simple low pass filter in the box outside of your house. If you want basic, use filter "A". If you want expanded basic, use filter "B" instead. Premium service? Don't use any filter. These filters are very cheap and don't have a very sharp drop off. I have basic cable, i.e. ch 2-28, but you can still tune in channels 29 and 30 with reduced quality.

To implement an "pick your channels" system in analog you would need a lot of notch filters with very sharp edges. If you didn't want lifetime, you wouldn't want the filter to reduce the sound/picture quality of the surrounding channels. These filters would be more expensive. You would also need 1 filter for every channel you didn't want. This would add a lot of cost for the cable company.

With digital the filtering is much simpler but my digital service isn't digital for all channels. Here, channels 2-72 are all analog.

What's Basic Service.. (3, Interesting)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616982)

If the cable companies start losing money on the pay-per-channel, they'll simply rebundle the premium channels (the ones that most people are willing to pay for per channel) and bundle those into basic service making you pay more in the end. Rule #1: In the end, the customer always loses.

As long as I can keep Women's Entertainment (WE) I'm fine.

talk about getting screwed (5, Interesting)

MrSkunk (544767) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616985)

I know that cable companies try to screw you, but I didn't know they were so open about it. This is a quote from one of showtime's spokesmen.
"It's our hope that our affiliates would use whatever tactics are available to increase their premium penetration."

Re:talk about getting screwed (1)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617040)

Yes, increasing premium penetration would mean that you're getting screwed. Actually, this sounds more like a condom company slogan.

Re:talk about getting screwed (1)

g(zerofunk.org) (596290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617090)

im always looking at increasing my penetration.
why shouldnt they?
g

Don't say that word! (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617105)

I know that cable companies try to screw you, but I didn't know they were so open about it. This is a quote from one of showtime's spokesmen.

"It's our hope that our affiliates would use whatever tactics are available to increase their premium
penetration."

Hmmm! I don't care much for their choice of words there, when they tell us how they plan to screw us. *shudders*

Screwed indeed! (0)

MikeAR303 (578117) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617172)

"It's our hope that our affiliates would use whatever tactics are available to increase their premium penetration."

Don't be sad... (4, Funny)

The J Kid (266953) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616988)

..they have always a stick behind the door to still screw some of your hard earnd dosh (tm) out of you!

Yes, that right! Just read this:
"It's up to our clients [the cable operators] to decide how they offer our services,"

Translation: we got a stick behind the door.

"It's our hope that our affiliates would use whatever tactics are available to increase their premium penetration."

Translation: We're gonna screw you with it!

What we have in parts of Canada (5, Interesting)

LordOfYourPants (145342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4616998)

For places with digital cable, we have the following setup. I'm not speaking for all of Canada, but at least with this cable provider (Rogers).

1) Analog channels. Channels 2-~78 are analog. We can choose between 3 "tiers" which determine what type of filter is installed at the cable box itself. 2-28 is "basic" cable. 29-~42(?) is another tier, ~43-78 is another. They are grouped this way as to make filtering easier. Changing the programming is a PITA as someone has to physically drive down from the cable company and change things. Usually being wishy-washy as to what you want will net you a $50 charge each time someone has to drive over.

2) Digital channels. Channels 80-999 are digital. You can order most any of the "basic" ones for $2.50 / each / month. Bundling them in bigger sets gets you bigger discounts. ie: 5 channels for $10, 10 channels for $15, etc. You can mix and match as you please, and they are activated usually before your call to the cable company is finished.

It's been this way for a year and a quarter now.

Re:What we have in parts of Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617065)

Whoa... you Canadians are whacked out!!

Re:What we have in parts of Canada (1)

CrisDias (556611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617118)

Same here in "The Big Nada" (aka Winnipeg) with Shaw.

If you guys think "a la carte" == cheaper, wake up. This is a new way for cable companies to make more money from you.

Every single new channel here is "a la carte" for $3/month (same bulk prices as described by LordOfYourPants). I pay $3 for TechTV. Meanwhile all those channels they know people would cancel if they could are bundles with "good" ones in packages, so if you want TLC/Discovery you have to take Family Channel and The Golf Channel.

Re:What we have in parts of Canada (4, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617160)

This is how most cable companies are running things now -- a lot of them actually restructured channel numbers when they went "digital" to do it too.

The wonderful thing about "digital" cable is that it isn't. Only some of the channels are digital - generally everything below 80-100 is still analog. You can tell which are which by looking at the packages - the basic cable and extended basic are all analog. But any channels that get added by upgrading to a digital cable package are digital. Heck, if you're on digital cable you can still plug in a TV/VCR to the cable feed without a box and tune to any of the analog channels.

Satellite providers? (1, Redundant)

l8apex (582898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617004)

I wonder, does this apply to satellite providers like Dish and DirecTV?

Re:Satellite providers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617116)

Up here in Canada I use Starchoice and we can select each channel individually. I think it is about CDN$2.50 per channel (about 3c US)

Does this work for satellite? (0, Redundant)

saider (177166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617006)


Or only the regualted cable providers?

Re:Does this work for satellite? (1)

saider (177166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617037)


It looks like satellite is covered, too. I suppose it helps to read the ENTIRE article.

MTV (0, Offtopic)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617011)

/. posts a story on MTV/HBO but refuses to cover the H1B Visa bill passed on 2002/11/02?

from the article.

"It is now official. On November 2, US President George Bush signed the department of justice Authorisation Bill which will make extension for H-1B visas easier.

It will also make it possible for more Indian doctors to live and work in the US once their academic programme is over.

The extension of H-1B visas will particularly benefit the IT sector. This is good news for Indian H-1B visa holders, as nearly 50% of them are working in the high-tech sector. "

Re:MTV (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617081)

>The extension of H-1B visas will particularly benefit the IT sector. This is good news for Indian H-1B visa holders, as nearly 50% of them are working in the high-tech sector.

Thanks for the tip. I think you'll find it's also a benefit for the rest of the United States. Ssshh (don't let the Canadians know I told you this): Immigration is a very good thing for a country.

Sweet (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617013)


Goodbye Showcase, CNN, Discovery, TLC, Sci-Fi.. hello pr0n!

In Canada, we have this already. (2, Informative)

vlag (552656) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617015)

We've had cable à la carte in Quebec for at least 4 years. You pay a small premium for the ability to pick your channels, but it is always worth it.
Here is an example of one of our à la carte providers. [illico.tv]

Viewers Choice? (2, Funny)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617017)

I don't know what is sadder, the rapings by the cable companies or that someone actually would order Showtime to watch The Chris Isaac Show.

does this apply to satellite, too? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617018)

Does it? Or is it just cable with a cable?

Better things to do (2)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617021)

Blah, legislation should be spent on opening up cable internet access to other competitors like DSL rather than allowing them to retain their heavy monopoly.

Buy single channels.. cool. What about...? (2)

McFly69 (603543) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617026)

What about satalite packages? I would love to buy just only buy specifcal local chanels (Denver, Miami, and LA) with just Sci-fi, discovery and nuddie channels. Unfortunatly Dish Network, makes you buy a shitload of other channels if I want sci-fi and discovery :(

Re:Buy single channels.. cool. What about...? (2)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617143)

...uh....Discovery and Sci-Fi are in the cheapest, most basic package Dish Network offers, which is $24/month including taxes. $24 a month won't even get you basic cable around here, much less Discovery and Sci-Fi :)

The real problem is getting local broadcast channels like Fox. If you don't live in one of their broadcast markets, they are legally prohibited from giving you the local package. The local Fox station where I used to live turned down my waiver request three times. The third time I called them myself and offered to give them $10, which is more then they will ever make off of me in advertising...like I am going to put up some analog wire when I have a nice digital satellite dish to recieve TV from space.

I JUST CALLED MY CABLE COMPANY and they said no go (1, Informative)

rveno1 (470619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617038)

I just called my cable comapany and asked them If I can choose my basic local (broadcast) channels and Comedy central, TLC, MTV. The Receptionoist Informed me that these channels are part of "family package" and I would have to purchase that option to get those channels. The CS person then informed me that I can pick and choose my movie channels if I so desired.

Oh well so much for legal rules

(PS I have cablevision)

Re:I JUST CALLED MY CABLE COMPANY and they said no (1)

keymygrip (210414) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617115)

Yeah, I guess this ruling is good for some. But you can't get rid of regular cable channels for reduced price. I personally do not want the premium movie channels as I don't watch much TV. When I do I watch Fox, Comedy Central, and the History Channel. Maybe some A&E every once in a while.

The problem is that I can get local channels on cable for $14 or I can get everything for $50. There is nothing in between. I wish I could cut out at least some of those crappy channels even for $10 a month off. Obvious monopoly.

Re:I JUST CALLED MY CABLE COMPANY and they said no (1)

saviorsloth (467974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617140)

read the article. this only applies to premium services like HBO, which is exactly what the CS person told you. they can still package everything else as much as they want

sports packages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617042)

what I am most hopeful for, is sports being put as a seperate package I can deny and trade in for other channels/events ;]

How does it usually work? (1)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617076)

I'm British, so all I know is BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV and Channel 4. How does the US TV system usually work?

Re:How does it usually work? (1)

ebob1972 (623789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617185)

I'm British and have had 30+ channels on cable for 5 years. It is essentially the same as the US TV cable service ... you pay for your channels in bundles.

Surely you have heard of Channel 5 (or 'five' as it is now known) -- unless you haven't turned on your TV since 1997? :-)

I would personally love an 'a la carte' option. I'd pay more for less channels -- especially if it means not getting some of the trash into my house.

I'd be happy with VH-1 Classic (2)

British (51765) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617088)

They honestly need more stations like VH-1 Classic(ie MTV back when it was worth watching). All they seem to play are blocks of mega-obscure videos from the early 80s(and some '70s in their own time slots). I end up just leaving it on that channel for the entire weekend seeing videos I never knew existed before. Commercials? yeah, they seem to air them every 45 minutes or so. I watch that instead of G4 all the time now.

It's too bad MTV2 failed where VH-1 classic picked up. Imagine, a channel that plays just music videos that time hath forgotten! Never thought I would see the day VH-1 Classic is playing Megadeth videos while MTV plays "Fast Lane".

Situation in other countires? (5, Interesting)

joe52 (74496) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617092)

What are the cable deals like for Slashdot readers outside of the US?

I spent four months living in France this year and my cable provider had a point system. Each channel cost a certain number of points (ranging from about 2 for something boring up to 15-25 for a premium channel) and you paid for packages with varying amounts of points. Then you could pick the channels you wanted and not waste points on something you would never watch. It seemed like a better deal (perhaps not cheaper, but much more flexible) than what we have in the US. I don't even have cable here since I'm not a huge fan of television and cable TV packages cost more than I am willing to pay.

-Joe

As long as they let me get the Anime Channel.... (1)

tigris (192178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617104)

...I'll be happy. http://www.advfilms.com/news/index.asp?c=&p=0&i=64 8 ^_^

Yay for Time Warner (1)

CathedralRulz (566696) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617106)

Seems they are the first to offer this. That's great. I wish Cox Cable did. Of course, if everyone did this, I don't think many of the channels that are out there would survive. And on the other hand, many of the channels that are popular now only became so due to the "flipping through" factor.

My channel lineup? All three C-spans, FoxNews, CNN and Headline news (as a backup), Comedy Central, UPN (Star Trek), and Fox (Simpsons, Bernie Mac), and TNN (More Star Trek). Maybe History Channel too, and the military channel if available.

Can I opt out a la carte? (1)

hanenkamp (459447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617108)

Personally, I'd like to opt out of MTV. There is rarely anything that doesn't disgust me on that channel. Music videos are gone, Daria is gone; the only thing we watch on there at all anymore is Road Rules when they go visit someplace cool, but we look at the scenery and ignore the dialog...

I'd more likely opt-in to something like Food Network...but I've already got it...

CRTC (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617132)

You're lucky. You don't have the Commission for Restrictions and Thought Control [crtc.gc.ca] insisting that you get channels in a language you don't understand. I wish they would do something useful like bar CNN from regular cable TV and replace it with BBC World so we can all get decent news coverage.

Big Dish (2)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617142)

IIRC, you can still do this for basically every channel if you've got one of the big satellite dishes with a C and Ku band receiver. There are packages, too, and some are unencryped over the bird.

I used to dig watching M2 when it was new, and I was spending late, late nights in the TV station. *sigh* Master Control sucks.

Stephen King (-1, Offtopic)

SledgeHBK (148480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617151)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon. He will be missed :(

*Which* federal rule? (2)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617152)

Anyone know which federal rule that caused this? I read the article and its a little light on the details.

I'd like to see the actual federal mandate to see what it actually covers before going to Time Warner here in Austin and asking them to give me some pricing info. If anyone's already done this here, reply and let me know..

Why are the producers feeling intimidated? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617167)

One group, however, would especially like to get the word out: The companies that produce programs for premium cable channels. ..... But they won't publicize the new rule, out of fear that they'll alienate the channels that buy their programming.

Have I misunderstood?

Surely the producers should be bullying the cable companies, not the other way round. The other channels will be delighted to leap on mainstream programming that another channel has rejected in aa huff. The producers can afford to be a lot more choosy about who shows their shows. They only need a single buyer.

More irresponsible slashdot "journalism" (1)

cardshark2001 (444650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617171)

The article doesn't say anything approaching the Slashdot blurb. It says you can order pay channels without having to subscribe to premium service.

They can still make you get standard service. Here in Austin Tx, you can't get pay-per-view unless you have digital cable (from Time Warner).

Why does /. continually misreport the news in such a way as to sound appealing to the readers? What does it accomplish? Speaking for myself, it just annoys the hell out of me when I find out the truth.

What I want (3, Interesting)

sakusha (441986) | more than 11 years ago | (#4617174)

is JapanTV, a 24/7 NHK feed. I'd have to upgrade my DirecTV decoder and get a new oval dish with dual receivers. Then I can get JTV a la carte for only $30/month. But I'd have to invest about $300 before I can even start spending the $30/mo. At least it would all work with my TiVo, they even have program listings. They have a bunch of ultrapremium channels in this price range or higher. Ouch, those prices are too damn high!

Cable TV A La Carte? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4617175)

We have ATT Broadband Cable, previous TCI. Mid-summer this year, they dropped the premium movie channels from all non-digital converter boxes, requiring customers to go with the digital systems if they wanted premium movies. This "A La Carte" ruling would seem to be addressed with this obnoxious policy implemented by ATT, etc.
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