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Cutting The Cord -- How to leave cable companies?


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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?

I hear the netflix selection isn't as good in canada as it is in the usa...for the momment I'll keep my Sat and watch movies for free through web connections... I'll keep my eye on netflix it's seem a great deal but then it's not hard to beat the feeble movie selection with Bell/Sat at 6$ per movie...
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Is anyone giving up cable for Netflix?
I watch little TV so I never had cable.

In Montreal, I use OTA and rabbit ears which give me several French/English (R-C, CBC, CTV etc) and American channels (PBS, ABC etc) all in 5.1 HD. I use these to watch something "important" (say, Obama's inauguration or the Oscars or an interview with Gaddafi).

In addition, I used to rent DVDs/Blurays from a local shop or download files from Sony/iTunes. But now, I rely almost solely on Netflix and a PS3. With Netflix, you may have bandwidth/congestion probems - and the movies are oldish. (Then again, I'm working my way through Mad Men.)

To answer your question: I think Netflix could replace cable. IOW, Netflix is a serious threat to Rogers, Videotron, Shaw, Bell.

----

It's all about delivering content:

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and CBS Corp. (CBS, CBSA) said Tuesday they reached a deal that will let users of the online-movie rental site instantly stream select TV shows, mostly from CBS's library of older content.

A person familiar with the deal said Netflix will pay CBS hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the nonexclusive, two-year licensing pact, which gives CBS the option to extend it for up to two years and add more content in return for higher compensation.

The companies said the deal includes full seasons of classic programs like "Cheers" and "The Twilight Zone." They said episodes from all generations of "Star Trek" would be available, among many other titles.

WSJ

Netflix has the servers and software to make it work. Moreover, Netflix signed some very, very good deals for content about 2 or so years ago.

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To answer your question: I think Netflix could replace cable. IOW, Netflix is a serious threat to Rogers, Videotron, Shaw, Bell.

I disagree and here's why.

Netflix doesn't provide anything other than movies, cable and sat provide the daily content 99% want. Further, without clogging you bandwidth, Rogers at least, with pay per view and rogers on demand provides the latest movies, hit TV shows and the classic oldies...

Netflix is a concern, but to the retailer, to Sony (makers of bluray) and to itunes...but not to cable or satellite ....(yet)

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I disagree and here's why.

Netflix doesn't provide anything other than movies, cable and sat provide the daily content 99% want. Further, without clogging you bandwidth, Rogers at least, with pay per view and rogers on demand provides the latest movies, hit TV shows and the classic oldies...

That may be true in Canada (???), but the Netflix model in the US has rapidly expanded to include a lot of legacy television content...commercial free! To a certain "older" demographic, this is very appealing. Newer movie content is available by DVD or Blu-Ray with snail mail, but turnaround times are fast.

Netflix is a concern, but to the retailer, to Sony (makers of bluray) and to itunes...but not to cable or satellite ....(yet)

At about $10.00 a month, Netflix is a no brainer compliment to cable and reduces the appeal of premium pay services. Sony jumped on board right away with a Netflix partnership for their PS3....other consoles have followed.

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At about $10.00 a month, Netflix is a no brainer compliment to cable and reduces the appeal of premium pay services. Sony jumped on board right away with a Netflix partnership for their PS3....other consoles have followed.

I agree, it is a compliment to cable...but the cost of bandwidth is a consideration...so in Canada, if yo are willing to pay up to $99.00 +tax per month for 175GB...my household though has the smaller option, $35 per month for 15GB...

I assume I could with my prsent usage download maybe 5 movies a month...

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I agree, it is a compliment to cable...but the cost of bandwidth is a consideration...so in Canada, if yo are willing to pay up to $99.00 +tax per month for 175GB...my household though has the smaller option, $35 per month for 15GB...

I assume I could with my prsent usage download maybe 5 movies a month...

Well yea...that's the thing...how many movies does a family watch per month? To hit that data cap would take a lot more than 5, even with other Web consumption. We have unlimited broadband data at $49, but I have no intention or desire to be greedy with Netflix. The option doesn't make us want to consume more than we would otherwise...plus that damn PS3 fan makes a lot of noise for HD! ;)

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Well yea...that's the thing...how many movies does a family watch per month? To hit that data cap would take a lot more than 5, even with other Web consumption. We have unlimited broadband data at $49, but I have no intention or desire to be greedy with Netflix. The option doesn't make us want to consume more than we would otherwise...plus that damn PS3 fan makes a lot of noise for HD! ;)

I have two pre-teen kids, so we rent around 10 movies a month between them and us...the cap on my bandwidth would allow us, according to rogers, download 22 SD movies...doesn't say about HD.

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I agree, it is a compliment to cable...but the cost of bandwidth is a consideration...so in Canada, if yo are willing to pay up to $99.00 +tax per month for 175GB...my household though has the smaller option, $35 per month for 15GB...

I assume I could with my prsent usage download maybe 5 movies a month...

I get 60 GB per month free which I reckon is about a movie a day - in line with your calculation. When I contacted my (small, independent) ISP (who uses Bell cables), I was told that there is no overage fee, but I would be throttled. (Every so often later in the month, when I watch Netflix, I get a blank screen and a message "retrieving signal....". So I've been told, my household can live with that.)

Leonard Asper had an excellent piece about BDU (Broadcast Distribution Undertakings or cable companies) that Bourque placed on his website. This is what Asper had to say about Netflix:

Netflix offers far less content for far less money. If you don¹t want much, you probably weren't a desirable subscriber to a BDU anyway. If Netflix wants to compete against Rogers for content, their costs are going to go way up and they will end up being the same price, without the mobile and TV channel offerings. In this respect, Netflix and Apple are more threats to the video store than they are to BDUs.
Link

Asper is right that Netflix is primarily a threat to video rental stores. He's also right that the content owners will use various means to distribute their content. In fact, properly managed, this is a magical gold mine for them that can be repeatedly mined.

Edited by August1991
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Asper is right that Netflix is primarily a threat to video rental stores.

|Pretty much said what I said....

Netflix is a concern, but to the retailer, to Sony (makers of bluray) and to itunes...but not to cable or satellite ....(yet)

[/quote

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  • 3 months later...

As a Noob I'll jump in on this debate a few months late.

In the US Netflix is far more appealing. But so are other methods to obtain content. For example Xbox Live offers ESPN, we don't get that in Canada. I don't think the CRTC will ever allow it.

There are two reasons I will never give up my cable for Netflix or supplemental internet streaming sites. (justin.tv for example)

First, I actually like watching sports, especially during the football season. You can try and watch live sports on justin.tv but the quality is putrid. Plus other specialty channels like NatGeo, the Military Channel, G4TV, History etc, all provide great content you can't really get online.

Second, The Movie Network is much better, especially if you have a DVR. You get all the premium US TV shows from HBO, Showtime and Starz in one subscription. They release at least 2 big ticket movies twice a week and they are also in really good High Definition, I'd argue it's almost in 1080p. Most of the content is also available onDemand (granted my cable provider doesn't offer onDemand content in HD) The cost is $20/month. All that and I don't have to worry about bandwidth usage.

If there is a movie I do want to watch and I don't have the ability to watch it. I can always teef it using a bittorrent, but I don't make a habit of that :-D

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You can just stream or download them over the internet for free, not sure if it is legal or not but you can still do it.

Not saying I do that or anything ;)

OK so I see the Sparacus series from TMN onDemand and it's awesome. So I hear about this 1960 Spartacus moofie. I wanna watch it. It's old, why should I have to pay anything. So I download it for free. Big whoop.

What I don't like is people that download everything for free. Game of Thrones, I want it free. Green Lantern? I don't want to pay for it so I'll download a home film someone made in the theatre. You can do it, but why would want to?

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  • 2 months later...

I signed up for Netflix today.

The selection actually seems really good. Some pretty good documentaries I thought I'd have to buy the DVD's to ever watch. I don't think I'll ever use it to watch TV shows because of the required bandwidth. Currently I only have 30 gigs a month.

What I would like to see is the ability to change resolution on my xBox. I don't need to see a comedy or war documentary in full HD. But some the of the more current nature documentaries and special effect laden movies would be nice to see in full HD.

The site says Full 1080p is up to 2gb/hour That's a lot. Unless you're signed up with an unlimited bandwidth plan I still would see a need for having a conventional HD box. Plus none of the shows on Netflix are very current.

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I signed up for Netflix today.

The selection actually seems really good. Some pretty good documentaries I thought I'd have to buy the DVD's to ever watch. I don't think I'll ever use it to watch TV shows because of the required bandwidth. Currently I only have 30 gigs a month.

What I would like to see is the ability to change resolution on my xBox. I don't need to see a comedy or war documentary in full HD. But some the of the more current nature documentaries and special effect laden movies would be nice to see in full HD.

The site says Full 1080p is up to 2gb/hour That's a lot. Unless you're signed up with an unlimited bandwidth plan I still would see a need for having a conventional HD box. Plus none of the shows on Netflix are very current.

Teksavvy - 300GB/month bandwith cap or unlimited.

Yak - currently unlimited.

You can change your video settings on netflix too for lower bandwidth.

Edited by MiddleClassCentrist
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  • 2 years later...

Recently, I realized that I almost never watch live television. I don't like the idea of having to watch a show at a set time so I primarily used the PVR or a streaming service. I started to dabble with Netflix, Hulu, NHL Game Center, etc. and soon I stopped watching live TV completely.

At that point the cable bill seemed a bit ridiculous so I talked to my wife about cutting the cord. As someone who is generally opposed to change, she was against the idea. After probing into her concerns it seemed that the only "need" that streaming could not meet was the live TV news that provides background noise while she gets dressed in the morning. So, I picked up a dirt cheap indoor HD UHF antenna for the news and now we are cable free.

We had already replaced our home phone with VOIP powered by voip.ms and our mobile phones are with Wind, so we are mostly free from the big tel co's. It feels good.

Throughout this transition I have dabbled with multiple streaming devices including a Roku 3, Apple TV, WD Live, XBox, Wii, PCs and XBMC running on a RaspberryPi. I've also used a couple of ATA devices for the phones, a VPN service to add privacy and mask my location and became familiar with picking up US content in Canada.

If anyone else has gone/is considering this route I'd like to hear about your experiences, preferences, ideas and hurdles along the way.

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Our experience was pretty much the same. We had cable and my wife's sister and her husband bought us an Apple TV for Christmas 2012. I didn't think we would really use it, but after awhile I found that we weren't watching cable at all. We would stream stuff from Netflix or watch YouTube videos and things. Since we weren't using cable much, we thought we would cancel it and see if we missed it. It has been about 8 months now and we don't miss it at all. We've never even humoured the idea of going back. We don't even use a VPN or any other work arounds to get American content. It just doesn't matter that much to us.

Tell me more about this XBMC. I perused the website briefly and I'm curious about how it works and whether you need a VPN mirror.

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There are many threads discussing this right now. Studies show that completely cutting the cord isn't a real threat to the cable companies yet.

For the most part people that can pay for cable do.

The truth is, the cable companies have control of the lines that bring the internet to people's houses. They'll always get there's.

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The most difficult thing about cord cutting is for sports fans i think, im not sure you can get the same experience on the internet, now of course you can pay for streaming services for the sport of your choice, but then you have to consider the cost of your internet and the amount of download you have available, especialy for hd streaming, and the cost of the service. I would like to go without traditional tv, i find there is little on and what is worth watching is repeated constantly, and of course you can stream it an hour after it has been shown in many cases, and if you use a service like unblockus you can get access to american content right off of thier network sites. i currently use a htpc and xbmc for all of my internet and tv streaming, there is a ton of content available so long as you dont mind hitting bad links now and then, or some servers that are too slow, but free is free. i have tried other media players/streamers, but the htpc is so handy, it serves all of my music, my movies, of course the streaming services, and at the same time i can use it to browse the internet and play games. For anyone who is even a little bit computer savy i think it is the way to go. My only barrier to being cable free is my wife, and i understand the desire to sit and look for something to watch without any hassle, but it is an old way of thinking about tv. With a little effort you can watch almost anything on the internet without a cable bill. i should also mention i started using a voip service a couple years ago, some are virtually free with your own equipment, mine isn't quite free but it's been reliable, i spend about $25 a year on phone service.

Edited by gunrutz
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...The truth is, the cable companies have control of the lines that bring the internet to people's houses. They'll always get there's.

Yep...already paying for broadband and phone through the cable company. Besides, other "streaming" solutions require a far more engaged consumer and interaction to get content. Cable doesn't care if we go to sleep !

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