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Cutting The Cord -- How to leave cable companies?


August1991

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I would also not subscribe to this product until they hire better programmers. Their suggested viewing alternatives demonstrate that they're grossly incompetent and possibly mentally deficient in some way.
In fact, Netflix' system for "recommending" films works well. You have to rate several movies first (on a scale of 1 to 5) and then it quickly figures out your tastes.

But look. If you're a trendy, gotta-see-the-latest movie, Netflix is not for you. It's got Witness for the Prosecution, Laura, All About Eve and Marty though - to name a few.

And The Last Picture Show was arguably Peter Bogdanovich's best movie.

I used to rent DVDs in the 3/$8 for a week section. Depending on the part of Montreal where I lived, the selection varied from leftover/boring to bizarrely inspired. The Netflix selection is like a DVD rental store without the one-day recent arrivals, and without the French and International DVDs.

First I thought I'd have a look and see if I could find the delightful adventure-comedy "Warehouse 13"...
I didn't even know there was a Warehouse 1.
The Itunes Store is a gem, payment is simple and dependable, and they have a huge customer base.
I have downloaded from Apple but I have to connect my laptop to the big screen. (Hassle factor.) iTunes is also "pricey" at about $5 a rental. The definition quality is so-so. Download speeds are slow but acceptable.

The Sony store download speeds are atrocious. (15 hours or more.)

Edited by August1991
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....But look. If you're a trendy, gotta-see-the-latest movie, Netflix is not for you. It's got Witness for the Prosecution, Laura, All About Eve and Marty though - to name a few.

Precisely...Netflix is about access to old content, documentaries, "foreign" films, television programs, and obscure titles. Last night we watched The Toxic Avenger Part 2 !

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I have good turrent sites to get any movie I want.
I personally do not like downloading pirate content because I think the creators of works should get paid for their efforts. Unfortunately, the refusal of most content providers to provide reasonable legal access to digital downloads leaves me wondering why I should care. Hulu in the US is an excellent model: a reasonable selection of shows funded by ad revenue. But Hulu is not available in the Canada and Hulu's selection is also extremely limited. It seems most TV show providers want to protect the market for overpriced DVD box sets. Amazon (again only in the US) provides more selection but at $2-3 per TV espisode it makes it too expensive to bother with for old shows. Edited by TimG
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...Unfortunately, the refusal of most content providers to provide reasonable legal access to digital downloads leaves me wondering why I should care. Hulu in the US is an excellent model: a reasonable selection of shows funded by ad revenue. But Hulu is not available in the Canada and Hulu's selection is also extremely limited.

This is hard to fathom given Canada's own media restrictions for US content (e.g. CRTC). Major American network television productions are geared for the US market, with "reasonable access" to Canadians not even an afterthought. I think this point gets lost in translation. Aren't American films considered to be "foreign" ?

It seems most TV show providers want to protect the market for overpriced DVD box sets. Amazon (again only in the US) provides more selection but at $2-3 per TV espisode it makes it too expensive to bother with for old shows.

More of the same....Amazon USA has the sweet spot dialed in for a much larger American market.

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This is hard to fathom given Canada's own media restrictions for US content (e.g. CRTC).
Yes. There is no issue with shows that are picked up by Canadian networks because they make the downloads available (with ads) on their website. The problem is with US shows that are not broadcast in Canada. Kimmy's 'Warehouse 13' is a good example. I had never heard of it until Kimmy's post but the only way I can get it as a digital download is via pirate sites. That should not be the case.
Aren't American films considered to be "foreign"?
There are complex rules. Something like: A US film shot in Canada with Canadian actors and writers can be CANCON or a Canadian film shot in the Canada with American actors/writes is not CANCON. Edited by TimG
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.....The problem is with US shows that are not broadcast in Canada. Kimmy's 'Warehouse 13' is a good example. I had never heard of it until Kimmy's post but the only way I can get it as a digital download is via pirate sites. That should not be the case.

Warehouse 13 is a minor production on the SyFy Network and also unknown to most Americans....it is produced in Canada.

There are complex rules. Something like: A US film shot in Canada with Canadian actors and writers can be CANCON or a Canadian film shot in the Canada with American actors/writes is not CANCON.

Roger that, but most Hollywood films are not CANCON, so are they treated the same as films from France or Italy?

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Warehouse 13 is a minor production on the SyFy Network and also unknown to most Americans....it is produced in Canada.
Amazon has built its entire business model by catering to the 'long tail'. i.e. selling stuff of interest to a small group of people but making money because there are a huge number of small groups willing to pay for stuff of interest to them. Digital distribution is ideal for this.
Roger that, but most Hollywood films are not CANCON, so are they treated the same as films from France or Italy?
Every film has the CANCON rules applied no matter what the origin. Foreign films are less likely to meet that criteria but it is not impossible. This means there are really only two groups of content: CANCON and non-CANCON. Edited by TimG
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In fact, Netflix' system for "recommending" films works well. You have to rate several movies first (on a scale of 1 to 5) and then it quickly figures out your tastes.

But look. If you're a trendy, gotta-see-the-latest movie, Netflix is not for you. It's got Witness for the Prosecution, Laura, All About Eve and Marty though - to name a few.

In other words... it might be of interest to film buffs or people feeling nostalgic, but people imagining this as an alternative to cable movie channels and pay-per-view are going to be sorely disappointed.

And The Last Picture Show was arguably Peter Bogdanovich's best movie.

I'm sure it's a fine film, but if one was searching for "Twilight", I doubt "The Last Picture Show" is a likely alternative.

And I'm positive that if someone was hoping to see "The Girl Who Played With Fire", "Horton Hears A Who" isn't going to cut it.

We don't have "A Christmas Carol", August... but you might enjoy "Saw IV".

And we don't have "Doctor Zhivago", but you might enjoy "Deuce Bigalow 2".

-k

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Amazon has built its entire business model by catering to the 'long tail'. i.e. selling stuff of interest to a small group of people but making money because there are a huge number of small groups willing to pay for stuff of interest to them. Digital distribution is ideal for this.

Amazon is a retail portal for many types of products and sellers as a single point of sale and fulfillment, but it is not borderless. While I can understand Canadian frustration with what they can see as available in the USA but cannot buy locally, this is by design. Canada's "cultural" protections and taxes only add to the restrictions.

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Yes. There is no issue with shows that are picked up by Canadian networks because they make the downloads available (with ads) on their website. The problem is with US shows that are not broadcast in Canada. Kimmy's 'Warehouse 13' is a good example. I had never heard of it until Kimmy's post but the only way I can get it as a digital download is via pirate sites. That should not be the case.

My point exactly. I would actually be interested in a service where I could pay to see programming that's not available in Canada.

Warehouse 13 is a minor production on the SyFy Network and also unknown to most Americans....it is produced in Canada.

Indeed. And in a couple of years, Canada's "Space" network will pick up old seasons of Warehouse 13 for pennies and pitch it to Canadians as "First Run Original Programming". Their whole business model is scavenging leftovers from networks like SyFy.

-k

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....Indeed. And in a couple of years, Canada's "Space" network will pick up old seasons of Warehouse 13 for pennies and pitch it to Canadians as "First Run Original Programming". Their whole business model is scavenging leftovers from networks like SyFy.

I can't watch SyFy anymore....somebody in Montreal created a CGI serpent engine and it is used over and over in other shows. I'd rather watch Legend of the Seeker (a US production from New Zealand) for better plots and character development.

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I personally do not like downloading pirate content because I think the creators of works should get paid for their efforts. Unfortunately, the refusal of most content providers to provide reasonable legal access to digital downloads leaves me wondering why I should care. Hulu in the US is an excellent model: a reasonable selection of shows funded by ad revenue. But Hulu is not available in the Canada and Hulu's selection is also extremely limited. It seems most TV show providers want to protect the market for overpriced DVD box sets. Amazon (again only in the US) provides more selection but at $2-3 per TV espisode it makes it too expensive to bother with for old shows.

I personally do not like downloading pirate content because I think the creators of works should get paid for their efforts.

Major labels have diverged from their core purpose which is licensing intellectual property rights, and theyve tried to become manufacturers, and resisted innovation and digital distribution at every step in order to protect their manufacturing business. They need to be destroyed and both the artists and consumers will be better off once theyre gone.

Once I can download the digital content on a cd or dvd for a couple of bucks, and Im assured that the vast majority of it goes to the actual artists then Ill embrace that model. Its not far off.

In the mean time "piracy" has revolutionized the music industry, dragged it kicking and screaming into the digital age. Thank god for that.

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My point exactly. I would actually be interested in a service where I could pay to see programming that's not available in Canada.

Indeed. And in a couple of years, Canada's "Space" network will pick up old seasons of Warehouse 13 for pennies and pitch it to Canadians as "First Run Original Programming". Their whole business model is scavenging leftovers from networks like SyFy.

-k

My point exactly. I would actually be interested in a service where I could pay to see programming that's not available in Canada.

You need to join a good turrent community, where members share stuff with each other and help each other find stuff. Thats the best way that Iv found to get access to broad range of content that isnt mainstream.

If youre worried about the artist being compensated theres "tip jar" style services that will allow you to donate to them directly.

Edited by dre
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Another shitty thing about pirate sites is the risk of virus goes up fairly good. For the buck 29 a song or 20 bucks for a movie full time or 5 bux a rent is a pretty good deal, not to mention fast downloads (at my buddy's house in town) straight to my Ipod touch.

SmallC, Apple TV is one luxury I won't be able to enjoy. Itunes has newer movies, but Netflix has the better marketing strategy and according to people here is eating Apple's lunch.

August, If hooking up cables is such a pain in the ass, why oh why don't TV manufacturers have a USB slot for memory sticks and a little program to play media off the memory stick? Just pop in the memory stick, and bam a menu comes up then your away.

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In other words... it might be of interest to film buffs or people feeling nostalgic, but people imagining this as an alternative to cable movie channels and pay-per-view are going to be sorely disappointed.
More or less correct, kimmy.

Imagine that you are Somerset Maugham in a farflung 19th century colony with old books. Now, imagine a modern library of videos.

...if one was searching for "Twilight", I doubt "The Last Picture Show" is a likely alternative.
IME, once I had given my preferences for about 20 movies, I didn't receive such suggestions.

But, heck it's a computer deciding.

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You need to join a good turrent community, where members share stuff with each other and help each other find stuff. Thats the best way that Iv found to get access to broad range of content that isnt mainstream.

I know how to obtain stuff through nefarious means. That's not a problem. I'd prefer not to, though.

If youre worried about the artist being compensated theres "tip jar" style services that will allow you to donate to them directly.

It's not just about the artist being compensated (the writers and actors have all been paid, I believe.) I'd like to support programming I like in a way that encourages the network to continue to provide it. Right now, SyFy has no way of knowing I enjoyed their show, and they've received no financial benefit from having provided entertainment for me. I would like to support their show in a way that helps make it profitable for them to keep providing it. I might buy a DVD box set when it becomes available, or pay to download the shows if or when that's available in Canada.

-k

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I know how to obtain stuff through nefarious means. That's not a problem. I'd prefer not to, though.

It's not just about the artist being compensated (the writers and actors have all been paid, I believe.) I'd like to support programming I like in a way that encourages the network to continue to provide it. Right now, SyFy has no way of knowing I enjoyed their show, and they've received no financial benefit from having provided entertainment for me. I would like to support their show in a way that helps make it profitable for them to keep providing it. I might buy a DVD box set when it becomes available, or pay to download the shows if or when that's available in Canada.

-k

I know how to obtain stuff through nefarious means. That's not a problem. I'd prefer not to, though.

My torrent group isnt just a place to get stuff for free. Its an online community, where you can discuss media with others, and get help finding obscure stuff. Its the total experience that makes me use it.

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My torrent group isnt just a place to get stuff for free. Its an online community, where you can discuss media with others, and get help finding obscure stuff. Its the total experience that makes me use it.
This "total experience" concept sounds intriguing. Will you come over and clean my garage? (You can do the bathrooms too.) While you're doing this, we can discuss this "total experience" idea further.
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  • 2 months later...

Is anyone giving up cable for Netflix?

Do you think Netflix will start offering live news and sports soon?

Is it possible to watch shows from the CBC website (or other sites) on your television using WII or is it a low resolution?

Well, I don't have cable and I am running Netflix.

But then, I stopped watching news a long time ago - there is so little content to video news as compared to reading the news for free on the internet.

I may try out the NFL on the web next year if I get bored. Don't really care for other sports other than Euro Cup and World Cup soccer.

In Canada the Netflix library isn't very good so most people will have to supplement with Hula or stay on with cable/satellite.

I'm not that picky - the library has something for me to watch when I feel like watching something (probably about 6 hours per week is all I care to watch - i.e. I do more yoga and running, each by themselves, than watching the tube).

Video on demand is really cool though - in 5 years most people will be loving it in one form or another.

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