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(The Hill)   Cable and satellite companies looking to destroy free over-the-air broadcast TV. As if the broadcasters weren't already killing themselves with inferior content   (thehill.com) divider line 58
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2981 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Mar 2014 at 11:47 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-11 07:36:30 PM  
I seriously doubt the FCC would allow such shenanigans.
 
2014-03-11 08:32:58 PM  

MagTour: I seriously doubt the FCC would allow such shenanigans.


I don't know. We are approaching a weird place where the wireless carriers are also cable providers now (at&t/Verizon). If they could kill ota and get that range of the spectrum that be nice for them. its monopoly and oligarchies all debating this shiat and buying the FCC now. Not saying it will happen tomorrow but ota may be on the way out.
 
2014-03-11 08:44:03 PM  
I think DTV helped a lot. I live 20 minutes from downtown Houston, and without an outside antenna that has an unobstructed shot towards the transmitters, all I can get is one spanish-language channel, a holy roller, and a 24-hour shopping channel.

My office, right in the downtown area, has an actual line of sight to no less than 2 of the broadcasters, but between window coatings and the vagaries of DTV, I can only pick up one of the "big" networks (sometimes 2).

Broadcasters could give cable co's a nice kick in the head by getting cell companies to do multicast streaming of their signals, with a very minimal RF overhead. And I'm in favor of giving Comcast a kick in the head.
 
2014-03-11 09:00:21 PM  
The absence of credible evidence that retransmission prices are too high begs the question Congress should be asking

Ugh.
 
2014-03-11 11:52:56 PM  
What's a "TV"?
 
2014-03-11 11:53:36 PM  
How can someone write an article like that and not even mention Aereo?
 
2014-03-11 11:56:14 PM  
I, for one, welcome our new Comcast overlords.
 
2014-03-12 12:07:11 AM  
No sweat. They can spend their time getting rid of over-the-air broadcast and, meanwhile, completely miss that broadcast TV has been obsolete for a few years now. I mean, it's only been how many years since Napster and the music industry is finally coming around to a reasonably digital sales model. TV will only be another decade or two catching up. In the meantime, I just have to pray that Canada's "yes downloading, no uploading" law hangs around.
 
2014-03-12 12:18:05 AM  

NickelP: If they could kill ota and get that range of the spectrum that be nice for them. its monopoly and oligarchies all debating this shiat and buying the FCC now. Not saying it will happen tomorrow but ota may be on the way out.


The FCC is already setting up a 'reverse-auction' process, where the OTA broadcasters can get paid to turn their rights over to Verizon/AT&T/etc.  Happens next year.

The broadcast affiliates are utterly addicted to the retrans fees at this point.  OTA viewership is a distinct minority of viewers. A mix of poor and cheap (if I were an advertiser looking to aim at freer-spending demographics, I'd be on cable... you've got people proven to spend money).

It's messy though.  The NFL contract plays a big role (they still want to be OTA).  The network-affiliate model will be interesting to unwind.  If the only way you got NBC was through cable, the local affiliate is kinda a middleman who has a newsdesk.  That middleman might get bypassed.

With other people salivating over the spectrum, and the money on the 'paid TV' side, I still expect that the only broadcast TV left in 10-15 years will be PBS.
 
2014-03-12 12:18:06 AM  
From the "No Shiate, Sherlock" file:   TFA: The difference is the degree to which different TV distributors rely on advertising revenue. Most Pay TV revenue is from subscription fees whereas Free TV distributors get most of their revenue from advertising.

Ya think?  Broadcast TV wants more viewers so they can raise ad prices accordingly, but they get to charge fees to cable to bring them more viewers?
 
2014-03-12 12:22:59 AM  

Lawnchair: With other people salivating over the spectrum, and the money on the 'paid TV' side, I still expect that the only broadcast TV left in 10-15 years will be PBS.


Considering that's the only TV programming I watch, sounds good to me.
 
2014-03-12 12:23:32 AM  
I have three letters for you, subby:

P
farking
B
farking
S

Inferior content abounds on "network" TV, I'll grant you. But the quality of over-the-air public TV broadcasts has always been exemplary. If my 6 channels of digital over-the-air PBS stations were the only stations I could receive via antenna, I still wouldn't be sad and wouldn't pay for cable.

Some of the old syndication channels aren't bad, either - I get to watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Perry Mason, and some really great older overlooked movies thanks to those. Last night, for example, I watched Jack Lemmon in "Save The Tiger", which was incredible.

I'll burn down Comcast headquarters before I'll give up free broadcast TV.
 
2014-03-12 12:25:56 AM  
This guy is on crack. No one wants broadcast TV killed. Those channels are among the heaviest watched on cable and satellite systems. Broadcasters know this and have been raising retransmission fees all over the place. It's big money to them at little to no cost. You'll probably see more companies tack on a retransmission fee to bills as this trend continues,
 
2014-03-12 12:33:30 AM  
Looks like those PSAs they ran about the vil cable companies are becoming real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIgZHZpiq1U
 
2014-03-12 12:37:18 AM  

1. Put snakes on plane: This guy is on crack. No one wants broadcast TV killed. Those channels are among the heaviest watched on cable and satellite systems. Broadcasters know this and have been raising retransmission fees all over the place. It's big money to them at little to no cost. You'll probably see more companies tack on a retransmission fee to bills as this trend continues,


As stated earlier, how they could completely ignore Aerero in this discussion is beyond me. The Fox CFO threatened to pull Fox off the air and go cable-only if the FCC/government didn't crush Aerero outright.
 
2014-03-12 12:45:08 AM  
The broadcast TV industry has been crying wolf a lot lately. They think the new FCC Chairman (a former cable industry lobbyist, by the way) is trying his hardest to kill over-the-air TV with the spectrum auctions and cracking down on companies that are abusing the use of "shells" to own more than one major station in a market (the case they make is because the biggest abuser of this tactic, Sinclair Broadcasting, has an editorial stance leans conservative and criticizes the Obama Administration). Now it sounds like they want to make the cable and satellite companies pay more without improving content. I look at it this way: the stations can pay the networks to produce high-quality programming, but the end result is crap like "Under The Dome," not "Breaking Bad."

Sure, there's PBS. But, most of those stations don't ask for retransmission money from the cable and satellite providers.
 
2014-03-12 12:45:56 AM  
SHVA, SHVIA, SHVERA, STELA.... What's next? SUPRA? Satellite User Protective Regulatory Act?
 
2014-03-12 12:48:42 AM  
To hell with going Galt.  Go Yellowbeard on their ass
 
2014-03-12 12:48:43 AM  
Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.
 
2014-03-12 12:49:34 AM  
Oh subby, you pretend as if a high % of cable programming isn't absolute dog shiat as well. I went from OMG NETWORK TV! when I was a kid to OMG CABLE TV! to OMG PREMIUM CHANNEL CABLE TV! to picking out shows from the highest rated cable tv networks and just streaming them in big chunks on Prime or Netflix.

Saves me the time of getting into a good show and having it American Idol'd off the air, saves me from just watching shiat in general. If a show is great after 4 seasons, start then, then watch the last episodes with everyone else, that one is fun too.

But pretending that most of anything isn't low level turdfestsivals geared to sell advertising is just silly.
 
2014-03-12 12:57:22 AM  

GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.


If they pull it then every nfl game will be aired on nfl network only. The nfl is not going to sit by and let Ota die. In America you don't fark with the NFL
 
2014-03-12 01:03:30 AM  

twiztedjustin: Oh subby, you pretend as if a high % of cable programming isn't absolute dog shiat as well. I went from OMG NETWORK TV! when I was a kid to OMG CABLE TV! to OMG PREMIUM CHANNEL CABLE TV! to picking out shows from the highest rated cable tv networks and just streaming them in big chunks on Prime or Netflix.

Saves me the time of getting into a good show and having it American Idol'd off the air, saves me from just watching shiat in general. If a show is great after 4 seasons, start then, then watch the last episodes with everyone else, that one is fun too.

But pretending that most of anything isn't low level turdfestsivals geared to sell advertising is just silly.


Well said. No matter how much you spend on content, you can't repeal Sturgeon's Law.
 
2014-03-12 01:20:04 AM  

Warlordtrooper: GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.

If they pull it then every nfl game will be aired on nfl network only. The nfl is not going to sit by and let Ota die. In America you don't fark with the NFL


The NFL and the MLB have also threatened to pull their broadcasting off the air unless the Supreme Court stops Aereo.

"Aereo, the New York City-based online-video startup, has assembled an impressive run of legal victories over the top TV broadcasters, which clearly has the industry rattled. Now, Major League Baseball and the National Football League have issued a stark warning: if Aereo prevails, the leagues might move football and baseball broadcasts to pay-TV outlets like ESPN, TNT, or other cable or satellite outlets, they wrote in an brief> filed last week supporting the broadcasters."

http://business.time.com/2013/11/18/nfl-nba-warn-of-the-end-of-free- sp orts-on-television/

Broadcasters really have a hard-on for people getting their programming "Free". Like I said above, they're just using Aereo as an excuse.
 
2014-03-12 01:33:05 AM  
Why has Pay TV made this their highest legislative priority? Evidence suggests their ultimate goal is to kill Free TV and take its advertising revenue. make it impossible for anyone to ever receive any form of entertainment whatsoever without paying $80/month to Comcast.
 
2014-03-12 02:07:00 AM  

GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.


So if this all goes down the way you say, will we see a situation where the licencing situation changes and the TV airwaves are freed up for local and open broadcasting?

Could be interesting.
 
2014-03-12 02:17:46 AM  

DesertCoyote: I look at it this way: the stations can pay the networks to produce high-quality programming, but the end result is crap like "Under The Dome," not "Breaking Bad."


Breaking Bad survived on AMC because AMC had squat going at the time.  Marquee shows on network TV average over 10-20m viewers,  like Big Bang Theory with 17m.  Breaking Bad, which was a marquee show on cable TV, hit only 6m for its finale.  Quality doesn't necessarily mean viewership.  Ratings mean advertising dollars, and network TV needs ratings for its model to work, unlike cable, where niche shows like Breaking Bad and Psych and Battlestar Galactica can thrive on what would be considered poor viewership for a top flight network TV show because of subscription dollars.  Network TV is generally designed to bring people together, while cable TV directly shoots for niches.

I think if you move everything to the subscription model you lose the mass appeal of shows like Seinfeld and Married with Children and their descendents like Modern Family.  The current philosophical descendent of Seinfeld is It's Always Sunny, and that show has a very narrow demographic because it's on a network that allows you to get away with it.  Brilliant?  Yes, but so was Seinfeld and it had a much broader demographic.
 
2014-03-12 02:20:16 AM  

wesmon: GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.

So if this all goes down the way you say, will we see a situation where the licencing situation changes and the TV airwaves are freed up for local and open broadcasting?

Could be interesting.


I won't even pretend to imagine what the FCC would do with the frequencies that would be freed up in the event that broadcasters stopped utilizing them. It's a pretty sure bet that money and/or bribes (probably both) would certainly come into play though.
 
2014-03-12 02:23:04 AM  

wesmon: GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.

So if this all goes down the way you say, will we see a situation where the licencing situation changes and the TV airwaves are freed up for local and open broadcasting? sold off to the wireless carriers.

Could be interesting depressing.


FTFY
 
2014-03-12 02:26:10 AM  

bhcompy: DesertCoyote: I look at it this way: the stations can pay the networks to produce high-quality programming, but the end result is crap like "Under The Dome," not "Breaking Bad."

Breaking Bad survived on AMC because AMC had squat going at the time.  Marquee shows on network TV average over 10-20m viewers,  like Big Bang Theory with 17m.  Breaking Bad, which was a marquee show on cable TV, hit only 6m for its finale.  Quality doesn't necessarily mean viewership.  Ratings mean advertising dollars, and network TV needs ratings for its model to work, unlike cable, where niche shows like Breaking Bad and Psych and Battlestar Galactica can thrive on what would be considered poor viewership for a top flight network TV show because of subscription dollars.  Network TV is generally designed to bring people together, while cable TV directly shoots for niches.

I think if you move everything to the subscription model you lose the mass appeal of shows like Seinfeld and Married with Children and their descendents like Modern Family.  The current philosophical descendent of Seinfeld is It's Always Sunny, and that show has a very narrow demographic because it's on a network that allows you to get away with it.  Brilliant?  Yes, but so was Seinfeld and it had a much broader demographic.



Which seems odd.  As I know of 1 person who watches Big Bang Theory and TONS of people who watch Breaking Bad.
 
2014-03-12 06:50:55 AM  
Is this the thread where we pretend cable subscribership isn't collapsing?
 
2014-03-12 07:49:01 AM  

Lokasenna: No sweat. They can spend their time getting rid of over-the-air broadcast and, meanwhile, completely miss that broadcast TV has been obsolete for a few years now.


Umm... no.  If anything, broadcast TV is seeing a resurgence thanks to the combination of better-quality digital signals, cable/satellite asshattery, and rise of Net-based alternatives.  There are many, many people, myself included, who have "cut the cord" and stick with a cheap combo of broadcast and Netflix/Hulu/etc.

Why pay hundreds of dollars per month for a bunch of channels with crappy content and many other channels I can get for free anyway?  The pay-TV industry is in the exact same place that the music industry was several years ago: desperately trying to enforce outdated models and bully the competition right out of existence while the world shifts under their feet.

\ I know, I know... we're still stuck with the same companies for internet service, at least for now.  If some new upstart like Google Fiber comes to my neighborhood with better prices and better service, you better believe I'll be ditching AT&T for good.
 
2014-03-12 07:50:34 AM  

GrailOfThunder: Broadcasters are already threatening to stop all OTA transmissions due to Aereo.  FOX & PBS both have promised to stop broadcasting if the Supreme Court doesn't shut down Aereo.

Forget the fact that there's really no difference between Aereo and putting up an HD antenna, except that you don't have to futz around with the antenna (assuming you can get a clear line of sight to the broadcasting antenna).

But yeah, the networks themselves are going to stop broadcasting free OTA soon; they're just using Aereo as an excuse. They get too much money from cable companies for retransmission rights and $Billions$ from sites like Hulu & Netflix for syndication rights to care.  It's almost a certainty that as soon as one network gets the balls to do it, the rest will follow suit like a line of dominoes.

In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.


One of our local affiliates just went to a subscription based website for their reporting. That's the first I have heard of that. there isn't much reason to have local stations outside of neWS. I bet we see NBC/fox/etc east, central, west national nations getting picked up on cable systems soon instead of locals. that would give the networks a fark more negotiating power and the cable companies get another way to fark cord cutters.
 
2014-03-12 07:51:11 AM  
Next you'll tell me FedEx wants to kill the USPS.
 
2014-03-12 08:02:43 AM  

GrailOfThunder: In hindsight, must-carry & retransmission consent was a huge mistake.


I don't see how you can lump the two together.  They're only tangentially related.

Retransmission Consent fees may have been a mistake. You are able to demand money for something that is theoretically available for free? Never made sense. The cable operator isn't even overlaying their own ads on retransmission channels.

There's an argument that government-enforced regional franchise monopolies are a mistake, yes.  I'm on the edge between two TV markets (I get both fine with an antenna).   When the ABC affiliate in the legally-assigned market gets in a price-tiff with the local cable company, the local cable company can't legally substitute them with the other ABC affiliate in the other town.

But, "must-carry" is something that only applies to PBS and a few other operators any more.  As soon as you ask the cable company for a penny, must-carry goes out the window.  They don't have to carry you.
 
2014-03-12 08:07:53 AM  
I guess it's good I'm setting up a free-to-air dish or two soon. Point it at 125w for PBS, 103 for NBC, etc. At the very least PBS will stay unencrypted for a while.
 
2014-03-12 08:36:44 AM  

Tommy Moo: Why has Pay TV made this their highest legislative priority? Evidence suggests their ultimate goal is to kill Free TV and take its advertising revenue. make it impossible for anyone to ever receive any form of entertainment whatsoever without paying $80/month to Comcast.


Which, in this household, wont happen. The only reason we have a TV connected to an antenna is 1) the antenna was in the house when we bought it, 2) SWMBO can talk with her friends about a certain show the day after it's on cable, instead of a day later when she can stream it.  We've already decided paying cable TV rates is not worth it for what we watch, so its not a "free or $80" decision for us its "free or not".
 
2014-03-12 08:42:58 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: I guess it's good I'm setting up a free-to-air dish or two soon. Point it at 125w for PBS, 103 for NBC, etc. At the very least PBS will stay unencrypted for a while.


The only problem with the 125W PBS feed is that the full-bore HD will ruin you for even broadcast PBS (compressed from that feed), let alone cable (often re-compressed from the broadcast).  It's stunning.  The 103 NBC feeds... good luck. They're weak and skewed weird. I've never had much luck..

Free-to-air satellite is a common replacement for terrestrial TV in much of the world.  Like "Freesat" in the UK or New Zealand.  It's relatively common in Germany, ubiquitous in the Middle East.  If there's any future for ad-only broadcasting, it makes sense (to me anyway) for the North American market to follow suit.
 
2014-03-12 09:14:21 AM  
I admit I have no idea how this will shake out, but it seems to me that OTA broadcast is becoming more relevant as more and more people cut the cable. That's what I did about 5 years ago (thanks to Netflix being cheaper and wage hold at work at the time). Recently my friends have noticed that I haven't paid a cable/sat. bill for 5 years and have started doing the same. The transition is made easier with the option to watch OTA broadcasts.

If this is actually a trend an not just an anecdote, I would think it would be in the networks best interest to hang on to their bandwidth.
 
2014-03-12 09:19:44 AM  

shtychkn: bhcompy: DesertCoyote: I look at it this way: the stations can pay the networks to produce high-quality programming, but the end result is crap like "Under The Dome," not "Breaking Bad."

Breaking Bad survived on AMC because AMC had squat going at the time.  Marquee shows on network TV average over 10-20m viewers,  like Big Bang Theory with 17m.  Breaking Bad, which was a marquee show on cable TV, hit only 6m for its finale.  Quality doesn't necessarily mean viewership.  Ratings mean advertising dollars, and network TV needs ratings for its model to work, unlike cable, where niche shows like Breaking Bad and Psych and Battlestar Galactica can thrive on what would be considered poor viewership for a top flight network TV show because of subscription dollars.  Network TV is generally designed to bring people together, while cable TV directly shoots for niches.

I think if you move everything to the subscription model you lose the mass appeal of shows like Seinfeld and Married with Children and their descendents like Modern Family.  The current philosophical descendent of Seinfeld is It's Always Sunny, and that show has a very narrow demographic because it's on a network that allows you to get away with it.  Brilliant?  Yes, but so was Seinfeld and it had a much broader demographic.


Which seems odd.  As I know of 1 person who watches Big Bang Theory and TONS of people who watch Breaking Bad.




Freepers have been known to make the case for voter fraud playing a role in President Obama's victory because they don't know anyone who voted for him.
 
2014-03-12 09:30:34 AM  
Sounds like a good plot for UHF 2...


www.chud.com
 
2014-03-12 09:33:03 AM  

SewerSquirrels: Recently my friends have noticed that I haven't paid a cable/sat. bill for 5 years and have started doing the same.


Do your friends often go through your bills and finances?  But seriously it seems odd that television is the only technology that is trending towards tethered vs wireless.
 
2014-03-12 09:36:20 AM  

GrailOfThunder: The NFL and the MLB have also threatened to pull their broadcasting off the air unless the Supreme Court stops Aereo


Whaaaaaaaa.
Big foobawh hab spoken, so all must bow down.

Fark them with rusty razor ribbon.

Nothing is about football and football is about nothing other than organized crime.
 
2014-03-12 09:37:53 AM  

Lawnchair: kittyhas1000legs: I guess it's good I'm setting up a free-to-air dish or two soon. Point it at 125w for PBS, 103 for NBC, etc. At the very least PBS will stay unencrypted for a while.

The only problem with the 125W PBS feed is that the full-bore HD will ruin you for even broadcast PBS (compressed from that feed), let alone cable (often re-compressed from the broadcast).  It's stunning.  The 103 NBC feeds... good luck. They're weak and skewed weird. I've never had much luck..

Free-to-air satellite is a common replacement for terrestrial TV in much of the world.  Like "Freesat" in the UK or New Zealand.  It's relatively common in Germany, ubiquitous in the Middle East.  If there's any future for ad-only broadcasting, it makes sense (to me anyway) for the North American market to follow suit.


Most people on the forum I frequent use a dedicated dish for 103. They also say that the uncompressed HD really does spoil you.

I wonder what FTA would be like if OTA really went the way of the dinosaur. We'd lose local news and local shows, but possibly see more channels pop up on FTA. Then again, lots of wild feeds (especially sports) would all go encrypted. OTA is also a lot easier for the average person (put up antenna, run wire to TV) than FTA (polarities, multiswitches, motors, setting up the receiver).
 
2014-03-12 09:59:13 AM  
Cable and satellite companies can do whatever they want. Amazon/Hulu/Netflix is the way of the future. My wife and I got tired of overpaying for the few channels and shows we watch, and canceled our dish service. We're saving a ton of money, and ironically finding more things we like to watch.
 
2014-03-12 10:28:42 AM  

mjbok: SewerSquirrels: Recently my friends have noticed that I haven't paid a cable/sat. bill for 5 years and have started doing the same.

Do your friends often go through your bills and finances?


Bathroom reading material is rather scarce at my house.
 
2014-03-12 10:36:51 AM  

SewerSquirrels: Bathroom reading material is rather scarce at my house.


You do your bills while sitting on the bowl?  What kind of house are you running there?!?
 
2014-03-12 11:43:16 AM  
In the US Rupert Murdoch insists cable pays Fox for the right to transmit their channel. In the UK, where Rupert owns the Sky platform, he insists FTA channels including the BBC pay Sky to be carried....
 
2014-03-12 11:44:45 AM  

mjbok: You do your bills while sitting on the bowl?  What kind of house are you running there?!?


Now that you mention it, I should probably just move my filing cabinet in there. After a certain number of years as a bachelor, pragmatism becomes a way of life.
I think most women would consider me feral.
 
2014-03-12 11:50:26 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: OTA is also a lot easier for the average person (put up antenna, run wire to TV) than FTA (polarities, multiswitches, motors, setting up the receiver).


While even setting up an antenna is a black art to a lot of people, there are tens of thousands of people around who've pointed dishes for a living at some point (for Dish/Direct).  You see FTA dish setups as almost ubiquitous in Iraq or Palestine or in Syrian/Sudanese refugee camps. (That's how the original Arabic Al-Jazeera is transmitted). If people in tents can get it figured out, I don't think that would be a show-stopper for millions of Americans. Content-wise?  Yeah, it wouldn't serve local news purposes.  What news you got would be people with a 'narrative to push' (as you already do, when I get CCTV, Jewish News One, PressTV (Iran), etc).  Lot of religious stuff.  But, it could certainly replace a lot of the 'minor stuff' I get OTA right now (ION TV, the retro-rerun channels, etc).  I'd be even happier if niche sports got better coverage (I'll watch lower-division soccer or baseball... or lacrosse or cricket or handball or whatever if it's free).

I worry that the PBS feeds might go encrypted, though, if FTA got more popular, just considering how whiny PBS (national) got about the Aereo decision.
 
2014-03-12 01:26:23 PM  
Installation of off the air television antennas is indeed a black art. You would not believe how many folks have their antennas pointed 180* in the wrong direction. Everyone must think the big wide end goes towards the station. Then they complain about how crappy off the air television is.
 
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