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Michelle
Michelle
4/13/2016 2:06:26 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Watching, watching, watching
This is a really interesting development. Amazon and Roku offer add-on subscriptions to cable channels and now Sling expands its offering. The future is streaming, just like we've been saying all along...

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faryl
faryl
4/13/2016 11:06:13 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Watching, watching, watching
I also love it when an "app" for a new channel shows up on my Apple TV - there seems to be more and more options every few months!

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/13/2016 10:36:59 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Race to the cheapest
Two prices are tumbling very fast:

1. The price of attributing viewing of one channel to a particular screen in a particular place and time, and

2. The price of just letting everyone access everything all the time.

Number one is of course micrometering; eventually the nets will be able to track exactly how much of every bit of programming was watched for exactly how long, and theoretically their suppliers could force them to report it and then bill them for it. (What should the price of 8.2 seconds of a 22-year-old SNL rerun in Duluth at 8:27 be?)

Number two is of course "too cheap to meter".

Those two falling prices are on a collision course at the bottom.  I can imagne the solution being something like European library or photocopy fees, where fee money is divided proportionately to use, but first of all it's hard to imagine the US tolerating a regulated enough market to make that practical, and secondly, it invites cheating (leaving all the screens in the house turned on to your favorite religious or political shows all day while you are at work).

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faryl
faryl
4/13/2016 11:15:14 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
@JohnBarnes Or they might find new ways to continue getting people's money... AT&T just sent notification to its U-verse members that it is going to start metering and limiting the amount of data used monthly by its customers (and I believe charging a fee related to the metering).


I forget what the exact data limits are, but they're set similar to cell phone plans - where you are charged each additional gb over a certain amount, unless you pay to upgrade your plan to allow more gbs.

Customers who are signed up for UVerse or DirectTV, however, get unlimited data plans.

They're trying to limit people streaming content using any services other than their own. (insert frowny face here)

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/13/2016 11:18:39 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
In the long run it won't work; there are too few entry barriers and the cost of the tech keeps tumbling. They can stand in the doorway and make a nuisance of themselves but the mass of humanity is moving to very high volume very low cost access to information of all kinds, and ultimately those who do not ride that wave will roll under it.

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faryl
faryl
4/15/2016 1:12:51 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
@JohnBarnes So true. Plus it seems that even the law is starting to view internet access as a right and not a privelege... hopefully eventually that helps limit the types of obstacles companies can create.

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elizabethv
elizabethv
4/14/2016 8:33:43 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
I've actually seen a few services that only allow so much data. And you're exactly right, if we won't pay for cable they are going to make us pay for data. When I saw internet packages saying I could only use so much data, if I switched to them, I had absolutely no idea what to think. We haven't have cable in almost two years, everything we watch is streamed, I have no idea how much data that would possibly amount to. Especially since when we are home we switch our phones to WiFi. 

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Mike Robuck
Mike Robuck
4/14/2016 10:20:05 AM
User Rank
Author
Re: Race to the cheapest
We've gone back and forth on Netflix and Amazon, and now we have both. We mostly use Netflix. We also have Apple TV, but mainly because we can watch our kids' recorded sporting events on a big screen. We keep saying we'll check out the video content, but never seem to. And now, throuhg TiVo, we have HBO Go, which is odd because we don't have HBO from our cable provider. Most days, I would rather read...

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Ariella
Ariella
4/14/2016 3:30:51 PM
User Rank
Author
Re: Race to the cheapest
@Mike Reading is always a good option. I just shared this picture today on FB:

 

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Mike Robuck
Mike Robuck
4/14/2016 3:48:38 PM
User Rank
Author
Re: Race to the cheapest
@Ariella, well now I have a good excuse not to clean the house! Having read the Game of Thrones books years before the HBO series, I'm tempted to get sucked into watching them, but it would mean less reading...

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Ariella
Ariella
4/14/2016 3:56:43 PM
User Rank
Author
Re: Race to the cheapest
@Mike yes, and there's always the danger of going nuts about all the changes the show makes from the book. Some readers insist, "the book is always better." Objectively speaking, I know that isn't always the case. However, books do tend to reveal more depth about characters.

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vnewman
vnewman
4/15/2016 12:42:38 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
We just waved in a Google Cast with Netflix and I have to say the selection is fantastic and using Cast is seamless and intuitive. We've tried Sling and Apple TV which was always a pain to download movies to. I'd love to give sSling another chance but I think Cast is a hands down winner.

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Michelle
Michelle
4/15/2016 2:32:21 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
@vnewman Interesting. We've had a Roku for many years and found it to be better than Google Cast. We mostly stream Netflix and Amazon content. We use Google Cast (formerly Chromecast) for YouTube device-to-TV viewing. Roku has a similar YouTube function, but its UI is difficult to use. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
4/16/2016 6:41:20 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
It's interesting how many devices are now competing over the TV remote and HMDI inputs on living room TVs. Xbox, Playstation, Wii, Apple TV, Google Cast, FireTV (stick), Roku, Tivo, and many other settop boxes and media centers... how many consoles can fit under a TV and offer app marketplaces of any significance? 

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Michelle
Michelle
4/21/2016 10:33:45 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
It is really interesting, especially when you enumerate the multitude of viewing options. Could you have predicted so many TV boxes? 

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dcawrey
dcawrey
4/25/2016 12:29:25 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
I have tried the Sling single stream service and I have to say I was impressed.

Although the service requires installation of an application on your computer, the rest of the service is pretty good. I think the install is a way to enforce security, and it's really a good deal if all you really want is ESPN. 

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faryl
faryl
4/15/2016 1:15:45 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Race to the cheapest
@elizabethv I'm with you - I have no idea how much data I use! They're supposed to start making that information available to us soon. I'm still on a grandfathered iPhone contract with unlimited data from back in the day because I don't want to have to pay for overages :)

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afwriter
afwriter
4/13/2016 10:56:15 PM
User Rank
Platinum
A la Carte
I love that these a la carte options are popping up.  I was griping 5 years ago about how the traditional cable system is washed up and we need something like this.  I am about to be done with a deal with DirectTV and I will be cutting the cable, but possible picking up Sling as well.

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faryl
faryl
4/13/2016 11:09:28 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A la Carte
@afwriter I'm with you on that! I've been a cord-cutter for over 5 years now, but almost let my love of BBC shows push me into signing up for a cable service (I really wanted to see the Doctor Who anniversary special when it was being simulcast worldwide!).

The package I would have needed to sign up for just to get BBC America was so bloated, I just could not bring myself to do it!

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Michelle
Michelle
4/13/2016 11:45:08 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A la Carte
@afwriter I haven't been a cable subscriber in over 10 years. Amazon streaming and Netflix now have plenty of good content. 

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elizabethv
elizabethv
4/17/2016 9:23:55 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Pay when you watch
@JohnBarnes   Maybe I have an inflated perception of just what technology is capable of, but it just really surprises me that with the technology we already have, providers can't tell just exactly what is being watched by who for how long. It just seems like that is something they should already be able to do. Given that I work overnights, if we were charged by when we access content, and accessing it when there isn't much other traffic doing so, I would think being charged in that method would be fantastic. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/18/2016 2:31:42 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Pay when you watch
@elizabethv, reporting on any one viewing on any one screen is cheap and easy and could be done tomorrow. Reporting on thousands or millions constantly, logging all the reports in a common extractable format, and setting up the report writers to do the extracting and automating the responses to the reports &c&c&c... Big project with current tech. But getting smaller relative to capability all the time. And once one provider does it the others will all have to just to keep up.

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elizabethv
elizabethv
4/21/2016 6:10:53 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Pay when you watch
@JohnBarnes I suppose when you break it down that way it makes sense. It's more than just having the information available but also processing that information so that it makes sense to anyone. Which I suppose is the only way even obtaining that information is going to be valuable. I completely agree though, once one person does it, the others will have to figure it out too. Which is a great aspect of competition, you have to keep up. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/26/2016 7:43:06 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Pay when you watch
@elizabethv, and the strangest part of all is that full-on realtime gigadata analysis doesn't have to be successful at one company to force every other company to do it. The potential alone -- what if they learn something we don't -- is enough of a risk to the competition to force them to try to keep up. 

Not unlike big data sports statistics; early adapters like the Oakland Athletics and San Antonio Spurs may or may not have gained large advantages, but everyone else had to leap into it to make sure they didn't.  Or like many arms races in history; nobody really knew if the new weapon another nation was deploying would be effective or matter, but in case it was, everyone had to have one, and preferably a better one, which led to things like nearly everyone building armored ships with gun turrets, submarines, fighter planes, and tanks, which all turned out to be good for something, but also to many nations having long running and expensive programs in airplane-carrying dirigibles, autogyros, and a whole lot of other things that didn't.

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freehe
freehe
4/26/2016 8:57:54 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Pay when you watch
@JohnBarnes, good point. I never heard of Sling TV. I would not be interested in streaming multi content at the same time because nothing is that interesting that I need to watch more than one thing at a time. However, there is a huge demand for this service so kudos to Sling TV for providing this service.

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clrmoney
clrmoney
4/18/2016 11:18:48 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Sling Tv
I think I never heard of Sling TV but if they are going to ofer us something that benefits us then it's okay.

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dlr5288
dlr5288
4/25/2016 8:07:04 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Good deal
I think this is a great idea!

I'm curious to know how the downloading process is, but it looks like such a good deal. For the price and everthing that comes along with it, it seems like a steal! I think this will bring in more consumers with the multi stream service.

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