• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Cable TV is in trouble.

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
New technology, in particular Internet streaming, is poised to IMHO make a big dent in the cable tv market.

I've have an Apple TV device since Christmas and not long after that also got a Roku Streamer. If you're familiar with Netflix, that play streaming channels like that but in the case of Apple TV, about a dozen others (edit: 24 channels on top of apples in house content they sell lie songs and apps) as well and in the case of Roku, 750 other channels.

I'm watching a documentary via Apple TV right now in high definition. It's not quite as good as cable quality but its close.

With some slight limitations, I can't see how people in this economy won't be willing to live with some minor disadvantages and in exchange pay only pennies on the dollar or watch a good variety of TV programming for free. I still have cable tv but at this point if I had to I coud live without it and not miss it very much.

Anybody else watches Apple TV or roku?
 
Last edited:

tacomancer

Christian Capitalist Social Democrat
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
42,494
Reaction score
23,074
Location
Akron
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I have a roku and I must say its great.

However, if you have one, get a decent computer and software called plex (decent computer needed for the on the fly transcoding). This has made my roku twice as useful.

the one problem with the roku though is that it sucks for just flipping channels. It tends to be most useful for when I want to watch something specific. Regular TV is still good for when I am bored.
 

Carjosse

Sit Nomine Digna
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
14,433
Reaction score
6,178
Location
Montreal, QC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
It still seems to be alive and well here as those technologies in the OP don't work here or have rather limited selections.
 

Fiddytree

Neocon Elitist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
29,757
Reaction score
17,164
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I (had) a PS3 (stinking yellow light of death!), an Xbox 360, and a Sony blu-ray player, along with other devices that can get streaming content (laptops help). I think cable is better if you need to keep up with shows that are currently airing on cable stations, otherwise, you're running into a situation where it can make more sense for studios to act with online partnerships. That being said, comparing the cable, streamed, or on-demand version of GOT to the blu-ray was not so great. The blu-ray won hands down.

The issue I had with Apple's iTunes Video Store model is that it somehow escaped its DRM-free movement, while charging far too much for what you essentially get. I'm not going to buy an Apple TV (which the company, to this day, considers its "hobby" product-rather than a serious product) so I can comfortably watch the Fairplay-DRM'd files for that price. There isn't much of an excuse for paying Blu-ray & DVD comparable prices with that compressed of files, where they are locked down to Apple software & hardware.
 
Last edited:

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
35,245
Reaction score
12,114
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
New technology, in particular Internet streaming, is poised to IMHO make a big dent in the cable tv market.

I've have an Apple TV device since Christmas and not long after that also got a Roku Streamer. If you're familiar with Netflix, that play streaming channels like that but in the case of Apple TV, about a dozen others (edit: 24 channels on top of apples in house content they sell lie songs and apps) as well and in the case of Roku, 750 other channels.

I'm watching a documentary via Apple TV right now in high definition. It's not quite as good as cable quality but its close.

With some slight limitations, I can't see how people in this economy won't be willing to live with some minor disadvantages and in exchange pay only pennies on the dollar or watch a good variety of TV programming for free. I still have cable tv but at this point if I had to I coud live without it and not miss it very much.

Anybody else watches Apple TV or roku?
Err... how you do you get your content to your Apple TV and Roku.. over the internet via cable TV.... who in most places are the only internet providers that can provide the bandwidth to accommodate streaming. Plus outside the US, content on Apple TV and Roku and similar devices is highly limited and out of date, which makes those devices useless... especially Apple TV because of its massive limitations on codec it can play.

Cable TV in the US is just fine.. since they have defacto monopoly in local areas.. and can charge pretty much what they want.
 

RabidAlpaca

Engineer
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
21,377
Reaction score
27,508
Location
American Refugee in Europe
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I have an android set top box that works really well. I run XBMC media player and stream everything I watch. I cut the cable cord a long time ago and I'll never look back.

The sooner the cable and movie/tv companies figure this out the better off we'll all be.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I have an android set top box that works really well. I run XBMC media player and stream everything I watch. I cut the cable cord a long time ago and I'll never look back.

The sooner the cable and movie/tv companies figure this out the better off we'll all be.
I was talking with a friend about Roku and ge Saudi he has something very similar made by google. Possibly what you have.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I have a roku and I must say its great.

However, if you have one, get a decent computer and software called plex (decent computer needed for the on the fly transcoding). This has made my roku twice as useful.

the one problem with the roku though is that it sucks for just flipping channels. It tends to be most useful for when I want to watch something specific. Regular TV is still good for when I am bored.

What's the lay explanation?
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
It still seems to be alive and well here as those technologies in the OP don't work here or have rather limited selections.
I agree its not going to be as equal in terms of quality as cable or satellite but with cable you're longing at $50 to $80 a month while with these new streaming devices you pay $100 per set on the higher end then its free or if you get Hulu and/or Netflix $8 or $16 a month. I think HULU ad Netflix is restricted from offering TV shows that same day they but they can 24 hours later. If i needed to cut bak, I could live with day later TV. Between the two nearly everything on cable is available except live sports and news, much of which you can still get via an over the air antenna for your local abc, CBS, fox and NBC affiliates. Cable news channels are not as available except BBC and SKY news out of England. CNN on Roku is audio only and FOX news only features clips of interviews that are at least a day old.

I also noticed with Apple TV you have to verify you're already a cable/satellite customer to have access to certain content, probably good for college students away from home or kids who spend part of the time with a parent who doesn't have cable.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Err... how you do you get your content to your Apple TV and Roku.. over the internet via cable TV.... who in most places are the only internet providers that can provide the bandwidth to accommodate streaming. Plus outside the US, content on Apple TV and Roku and similar devices is highly limited and out of date, which makes those devices useless... especially Apple TV because of its massive limitations on codec it can play.

Cable TV in the US is just fine.. since they have defacto monopoly in local areas.. and can charge pretty much what they want.
I understand cable has a built in advantages since they are also ISPs. In fact my ISP actually blocks access that allows Roku to work but I was able to get around them with a Roku tech support lady. A lot of people only have Internet and do not subscribe to cable so it is possible. Yes, cable is better in a lot of ways but the cost savings is impressive and might be worth it for some. I see this as the beginning of a trend and will probably force cable to lower is costs.

I personally like access to channels not available on cable. I can't get Sky News or the Smithsonian Channel on cable. There are a couple of African networks you can get of roku but they're subscription services. Plus there are a lot of special interest channels such as open source college classes from top universities. Roku is now at 750 channels.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
What's the lay explanation?
Okay, looks like this lets you use roku to feed media content from your computer to your tv without an extra hdmi cable possibly wirelessly via your home wifi network.???
 

jonny5

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
20,665
Reaction score
2,966
Location
Republic of Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
New technology, in particular Internet streaming, is poised to IMHO make a big dent in the cable tv market.

I've have an Apple TV device since Christmas and not long after that also got a Roku Streamer. If you're familiar with Netflix, that play streaming channels like that but in the case of Apple TV, about a dozen others (edit: 24 channels on top of apples in house content they sell lie songs and apps) as well and in the case of Roku, 750 other channels.

I'm watching a documentary via Apple TV right now in high definition. It's not quite as good as cable quality but its close.

With some slight limitations, I can't see how people in this economy won't be willing to live with some minor disadvantages and in exchange pay only pennies on the dollar or watch a good variety of TV programming for free. I still have cable tv but at this point if I had to I coud live without it and not miss it very much.

Anybody else watches Apple TV or roku?
I wish it were true, but it isnt. Cable companies continue to grow.
 

Slyfox696

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
11,201
Reaction score
7,380
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
The problem with Internet streaming is that there still is no good way to watch live television and advertising for it is still unsure how to proceed. Until Internet streaming can come up with a great way to broadcast live events (sports, to be specific), it'll be hard for me and many others to cut the cable (or satellite) cord.
However, if you have one, get a decent computer and software called plex (decent computer needed for the on the fly transcoding). This has made my roku twice as useful.
I love my Plex. I'm ripping all of my DVDs to a hard drive in the machine and playing them from there. It takes a while, but it is so worth it.
What's the lay explanation?
It's like Netflix, but for your own media.

For example, I'm a fan of Boston Legal. I took all five seasons of Boston Legal, ripped them to my computer, converted them to a file Plex recognizes and now I can stream my own TV shows from my computer, like I would stream Netflix shows. The difference, besides the fact it's my own media, is that it does not need access to the Internet, so as long as my own Wi-Fi is working, I can watch streaming video of my own DVDs (and Blu-Rays, but I just haven't done that yet). It's so nice not having to get up to change discs, and I don't even have to keep the physical media easily accessible, I can now move the DVD boxes someplace else since I don't really need them anymore.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
35,245
Reaction score
12,114
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I understand cable has a built in advantages since they are also ISPs. In fact my ISP actually blocks access that allows Roku to work but I was able to get around them with a Roku tech support lady. A lot of people only have Internet and do not subscribe to cable so it is possible. Yes, cable is better in a lot of ways but the cost savings is impressive and might be worth it for some. I see this as the beginning of a trend and will probably force cable to lower is costs.

I personally like access to channels not available on cable. I can't get Sky News or the Smithsonian Channel on cable. There are a couple of African networks you can get of roku but they're subscription services. Plus there are a lot of special interest channels such as open source college classes from top universities. Roku is now at 750 channels.
Problem is that you are technically breaking their terms by bypassing their block.
 

Helix

Administrator
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
69,884
Reaction score
52,012
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
here's the thing : a significant portion of high speed internet is also provided by cable. there's 4g, but it's tiered, which makes it less than ideal for streaming everything.

cable will probably just tier their internet services so that you end up paying for it that way. you might end up saving a little money still, but they're still basically a monopoly. they aren't going to just say aw shucks and take the hit.

the only way cable goes down is if the internet service provider market gets a lot more high speed players into the game. i hope that happens.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Problem is that you are technically breaking their terms by bypassing their block.
Really? I find that very odd and possibly even anti-trust-ish.

Now that I'm thinking about it more, that cannot be true. As recently as last night I was on my Apple TV verifying my cable TV subscription with various channels. I cannot mentally reconcile HBO, ESPN and Disney Channel needing me to prove my cable subscription on devices the cable service/ISP prohibits using.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
35,245
Reaction score
12,114
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Really? I find that very odd and possibly even anti-trust-ish.
Read your agreement with your ISP. They reserve the right to block anything for business reasons, plus anything that could hurt the quality of service of others. And that is why the Roku service most likely has been blocked.

Now that I'm thinking about it more, that cannot be true. As recently as last night I was on my Apple TV verifying my cable TV subscription with various channels. I cannot mentally reconcile HBO, ESPN and Disney Channel needing me to prove my cable subscription on devices the cable service/ISP prohibits using.
You mean like me paying for Netflix US, but not being allowed to see it in Spain.. legally? No difference. You are paying for a service, not the content per say... and the service is getting the channels, not the content. Why do you think such things as Google TV and even Apple TV have been such big flops (relatively speaking).. because the content providers and service providers dont want people bypassing the business model.. I mean a Google TV/Apple TV with the ability to get access to much of the cable content out there.. brilliant!, no need to pay for expensive cable tv, and just pay for the internet bit.

So again, you are paying for the service, not the content per say, and the service provider reserves the right to change that content or block it at any time.

And if they provide the content via their own service, and you refuse to pay for that to get access to the content, then they can and will block getting access to the content and often with full blessing of the content provider, who has a vested interest in limiting access as much as possible, because then they can jack up the price as much as possible.

What it comes down to is fundamentally 2 things... copywrite laws and infrastructure. Copywrite laws are used as a gestapho method to limit content as much as possible, and the laws are in no way designed for the 21st century, and that is used in conjunction with a lack of infrastructure by the service providers (aka ISPs) to limit it even more.

Why do you think it took a so many years to get online services like HULU and Netflix? Because the content providers refused to license their content to anyone and refused to provide it in the ways that the consumer wants. Only when piracy hit epidemic proportions in the US, did the content providers rethink their model and are still thinking and thinking and thinking.

And that brings me back to you.. you have an ISP that has blocked Roku for some reason, to limit your access to content that they most likely provide via other means, and to get it to work, you resolved to bypassing their block (most likely easy as hell), and hence technically became a pirate.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Read your agreement with your ISP. They reserve the right to block anything for business reasons, plus anything that could hurt the quality of service of others. And that is why the Roku service most likely has been blocked.



You mean like me paying for Netflix US, but not being allowed to see it in Spain.. legally? No difference. You are paying for a service, not the content per say... and the service is getting the channels, not the content. Why do you think such things as Google TV and even Apple TV have been such big flops (relatively speaking).. because the content providers and service providers dont want people bypassing the business model.. I mean a Google TV/Apple TV with the ability to get access to much of the cable content out there.. brilliant!, no need to pay for expensive cable tv, and just pay for the internet bit.

So again, you are paying for the service, not the content per say, and the service provider reserves the right to change that content or block it at any time.

And if they provide the content via their own service, and you refuse to pay for that to get access to the content, then they can and will block getting access to the content and often with full blessing of the content provider, who has a vested interest in limiting access as much as possible, because then they can jack up the price as much as possible.

What it comes down to is fundamentally 2 things... copywrite laws and infrastructure. Copywrite laws are used as a gestapho method to limit content as much as possible, and the laws are in no way designed for the 21st century, and that is used in conjunction with a lack of infrastructure by the service providers (aka ISPs) to limit it even more.

Why do you think it took a so many years to get online services like HULU and Netflix? Because the content providers refused to license their content to anyone and refused to provide it in the ways that the consumer wants. Only when piracy hit epidemic proportions in the US, did the content providers rethink their model and are still thinking and thinking and thinking.

And that brings me back to you.. you have an ISP that has blocked Roku for some reason, to limit your access to content that they most likely provide via other means, and to get it to work, you resolved to bypassing their block (most likely easy as hell), and hence technically became a pirate.
Okay, I can sort of agree with you but firstly my ISP has made no effort to inform its customers streaming device use is prohibited under their terms of use agreement. In fact, I had absolutely no problem at all connecting my Apple TV but I did with Roku and almost returned it and they offer similar services except Roku offer a boatload of content NOT AVAILABLE on cable.

Secondly, we're talking about 2 different things in terms of what cable TV/ISPs allows.

1. Allowing the Roku device to be operated at all under what you suggest are binding contractual agreements
2. Once you do get it to work in violation of those agreements, the Cable service/ISP authorizing your access on their prohibited devices

If in fact they are prohibited then they wouldn't make exceptions for ESPN, HBO and the Disney Channel I wouldn't think so I reasonably conclude they're not banned, only discouraged through the use of complicated barriers. How can a cable company/ISP on one hand prohibit using these devices and then on the other hand allow you to enter your password to see premium channels on the same exact devices is what I'm asking.

And btw, the whole thing reminds me of Microsoft saying you must use their Internet Explorer browser if you have a Windows operating system that was ruled illegal, which might explain why the cable/ISPs might though up some barriers but ultimately cooperate in getting full use of them once you get it working.

Btw2, one of the largest cable/ISPs has their own Roku app and channel for its customers who also have Roku.
 

PeteEU

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
35,245
Reaction score
12,114
Location
Denmark
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
Okay, I can sort of agree with you but firstly my ISP has made no effort to inform its customers streaming device use is prohibited under their terms of use agreement. In fact, I had absolutely no problem at all connecting my Apple TV but I did with Roku and almost returned it and they offer similar services except Roku offer a boatload of content NOT AVAILABLE on cable.

Secondly, we're talking about 2 different things in terms of what cable TV/ISPs allows.

1. Allowing the Roku device to be operated at all under what you suggest are binding contractual agreements
2. Once you do get it to work in violation of those agreements, the Cable service/ISP authorizing your access on their prohibited devices

If in fact they are prohibited then they wouldn't make exceptions for ESPN, HBO and the Disney Channel I wouldn't think so I reasonably conclude they're not banned, only discouraged through the use of complicated barriers. How can a cable company/ISP on one hand prohibit using these devices and then on the other hand allow you to enter your password to see premium channels on the same exact devices is what I'm asking.
They dont need to directly inform you.. I bet it is in your terms on the contract you signed.. you know the fine print. For example I once had an ISP that sold me a connection as unlimited. 3 months later, the connection became limited to 1 GB a month at the time (was years ago), because they could not secure the quality of service without doing that.. basically they sold way more connections than they had infrastructure. But because the fine print allowed this without actually informing me, then I had nothing I could do.. other than stop payment and leave.

But saying that, you have not stated what did not work and how you bypassed the problem. Sounds a bit odd that Roku did not work, but Apple TV did.. they are basically the same thing.

And btw, the whole thing reminds me of Microsoft saying you must use their Internet Explorer browser if you have a Windows operating system that was ruled illegal, which might explain why the cable/ISPs might though up some barriers but ultimately cooperate in getting full use of them once you get it working.
Microsoft never said or did that.

Btw2, one of the largest cable/ISPs has their own Roku app and channel for its customers who also have Roku.
Everyone has a slightly different business model. Some block content, others limit the amount of bandwidth you can use a month and the latter is the most popular option since you can bypass pretty much any block out there.

For example, access to Thepiratebay.se is banned in Denmark by law (yes Danish politicians are morons), so all ISPs block it in their DNS systems. Most people dont know what that is, so the block works, but for the actual pirates changing your DNS to for example Googles public DNS.. is freaking easy and wupti you have access again. That is why limiting via bandwidth limits is much more popular and serves a secondary role of not having to expand your infrastructure since you can just cut off the big users.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
No, cable TV will be here doing just fine for many, many decades to come. Cable TV, at least from Comcast was one of the first to offer the steaming of their programming, not to mention they are one of the largest internet providers to begin with.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I can't stand watching movies/etc - on my computer. Drives me nuts.
 

Mach

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
20,388
Reaction score
11,954
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
Where have you been??? :)

Yes, it's going away. Was in a hotel the other day and had about 2 hours before bed, figured I'd catch up on a movie. Messed around with some bizarre TV remote, guides, trying to figure out where their movies are, which ones are free, if there is on-demand, etc., and thought "wtf am I doing". Got out the tablet, two clicks to set up wifi, and I'm watching my own subscriptions including HBO go, amazon prime, and Netflix.

1. You take your subscriptions with you these days
2. devices can output to TV monitors or stay on the convenience of a tablet w/headphones (late night if you aren't watching the same as your spouse)
3. no commercials
4. bing watching series where they put in cliff hangers, but hah, I just hit play next episode and I don't have a week of contrived suspense :)
5. ratings, recommended, more info (I mean more, like rotten tomato more not a 2 sentence blurb), have utility that's hard to give up once you get use to having them at your fingertips.

I have one apple TV, don't really care for it but haven't messed with it too much. Have 5 roku2's in all rooms that have TVs. I still require a physical Ethernet, I don't want any performance degradation due to Wi-Fi for streaming.
 

Smeagol

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
1,694
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
They dont need to directly inform you.. I bet it is in your terms on the contract you signed.. you know the fine print. For example I once had an ISP that sold me a connection as unlimited. 3 months later, the connection became limited to 1 GB a month at the time (was years ago), because they could not secure the quality of service without doing that.. basically they sold way more connections than they had infrastructure. But because the fine print allowed this without actually informing me, then I had nothing I could do.. other than stop payment and leave.

But saying that, you have not stated what did not work and how you bypassed the problem. Sounds a bit odd that Roku did not work, but Apple TV did.. they are basically the same thing.

....

I vaguely remember the specifics except it took days for me to get the thing to work and eventually required me getting their tech support department on the phone along with a laptop and reconfiguring some settings in my ISP service. I think recall Roku wanting you to enter your wifi password so the device can get on line and then if that doesn't work plug in an ethernet cable but neither would allow the Roku player to see the Internet. They made it seem like that was a common problem many of the ISPs do and they've fixed the problem with software update that unfortunately my device couldn't install because it couldn't get online in the first place to install the update. After entering some numbers that were similar to IP addresses (123.23.233....) somewhere, it was able to get online and install the update. After that its worked fine.
 
Top Bottom