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Why I hate Cable/Satellite TV...

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Kitrax, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Time to rant.

    So as a few of you know, we recently got a new TV. Not just the run of the mill tv, but a 52" LCD HDTV that's got all the fancy features that most people don't have.

    To take full advantage of a HDTV, you need HD programming. Currently there are a few ways of getting HD programming: free - over the air signals, Blu-Ray movies, and programming from cable/satellite providers.

    Blu-Ray is still waaaay overpriced for me, so I was looking in to getting satellite tv when I ran in to my first major annoyance - program packages. For $30 a month, you can get 45 channels, of which 8 channels are actually good. For $40 a month you can get 200 channels, of which maybe 30 or so are actually good. Oh, and those prices are only for the first few months or so, after that, the price goes up by $20 a month.

    I almost forgot...not a single one of those 200 channels are in HD. For HD channels, you have to select a package and then pay an extra $10 a month just to take full advantage of your HDTV! :flaming:

    Want some equipment? Many providers will toss in enough SD receivers for 3 rooms and a DVR for free, but you end up paying big bucks for a single HD receiver and HD DVR. :bang:

    The whole HD thing doesn't bug me too much, as I understand that HD programming takes up a *lot* of bandwidth, but if I just want 10 channels, why should I have to pay for 200 channels?!?!

    And finally, I have one word to say about commercials. WHY?!?!? You pay for the service and the equipment, why do they need to have so many damn commercials?!?! Oh sure, some of the overpriced 'premium' movie channels are commercial free...but that's a small few channels.

    Why can't there be some sort of à la carte service where you only pay for what you want?

    So my new TV just sits there on the wall acting as nothing more than a bigger version of our old TV...sure, the local NBC station broadcasts in 1080i, and the FOX station broadcasts in 720p, but I have yet to see anything in full 1080p that my TV can handle...
     
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    If they gave you the option to select just the channels you want, everyone would just select a handful of the best and the rest would die... that's obviously not in their interest. In the end, diversity would suffer which would make many people unhappy again. So it really makes more sense to offer large channel packs which ensures the others but the most popular ones a fighting chance too.

    What you pay for the service (equipment doesn't really count) is only a minuscule amount compared to the actual expenses that any good TV network has if it provides a good programme, so it's really the commercials that keep them afloat. And finally, they are in the business to make money primarily, so going a bit overboard with the commercials is to be expected (if they can get away with it).

    For practically all of the shows/movies, you have the option to get them on DVD/Blu-ray if you're patient enough, but most people aren't, which means that they have to suffer through the commercials.

    I get around it by recording everything I intend to watch and only watching it afterwards so that I can fast-forward through the commercials. Once you get used to it, watching anything live with all the commercial inserts becomes unbearable.
     
  3. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    How dare you bring sense and reason in to a rant! Those things have no place here! :p

    Perhaps they could offer a *very* basic channel package for $15 or $20 and then let people add additional channels for a $1 or so each.

    All I really want are the educational channels and perhaps 5 other channels like Spike TV and the like. Apperently that's too much to ask. :bad:
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I'm not sure, but I expect that this has been tried initially and that they switched to the "all or nothing" business model only later. It'd be interesting to know for certain...
     
  5. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    So I took the plunge and ordered Direct TV. I got a fairly good deal IMO... I ordered the 200+ channel package because it was the cheapest package that offered The Military Channel. I also added the HD package with is $10 extra per month...but I got a free HD DVR, 3 months free of the HBO, Starz, and Showtime networks, free installation, and $15 discount per month for the first year.

    In addition to that, I get 3000 points to my MyPoints account...which is like having a credit card that gives you reward points, just without the stupid credit card. :D

    But wait a minute...this is supposed to be a rant...

    There are already some things I can't stand about our setup. First and foremost is large selection of XM radio stations...It's called *Direct TV*...TV being the key word in there! If I wanted to listen to the radio, I'd use my radio...not the TV to do it. I'd gladly take a $10 credit on my monthly bill to get those lame channels removed.

    Next up is the ungodly huge selection of shopping/auction channels! Is it just me, or do they get all of their announcers from an ADHD clinic in Southern Texas? :skeptic: Besides the annoying announcers, 95% of the crap they sell is just that - CRAP! Are there really that many people buying crap products they seen on TV that they need so many channels?

    That said, the following people need to die:
    • Billy Mays - The Oxi Clean (and too many others) guy
    • Vince Offer - The ShamWow guy
    • Kevin Trudeau - the guy from the weight loss and nutritional supplement infomercials
    • Matthew Lesko...you know, the "free money" dude that looks like he's on speed, LSD, and cocaine and wears the Green suit with the question marks...
    • John Scherer, the old fart who sells the 'Video Professor' disks...yeah, like I would take advice from *you*...
    • Anthony Sullivan - the Swivel Sweeper and OneSweep guy
    • Tony Little - the dude that has taken way too many steroids and sells those retarded workout machines...


    One of the really irritating things is the "system time" setting. The time zone is automatically detected and set...and you can't change it. There's just one problem with that...the time is WRONG! It claims that the time is an hour earlier that what it really is...and there's no way of manually changing it! :bang: I've got to call them about that...but their "24/7" support is only open between the hours of 8am and 9pm. :deadhorse:

    I'm sure there will be many more rants to come...hey, I've only had the system for a few days now... :p
     
  6. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    For years I used to think the radio on tv thing was stupid also. Then I got surround sound and have since discovered that music coming out of our tv hookup is much better then when we had a stereo. Of all people, it was my dad who swayed my opinion on this. He was visiting us and had an oldies station on the t.v., and damn it sounded real good.

    Is Billie Mays the guy with the way too perfect beard. If so, I agree with you and he should be killed.
     
  7. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    What I dislike about cable is in the digital area.

    In the analog space, you pay for the channel, you don't need a set-top-box to tune it; any analog tuner will do.

    In the digital space, everything except the channels you can receive over-the-air are typically encrypted, so you need a set-top-box to decrypt the channel, or you can in some cases rent a CableCard if your TV supports it, but Cable Labs is very restrictive on what type of equipment can be certified to use a CableCard (i.e. no do-it-yourself possibilities, only consumer-level boxes). Also, the CableCard tech in only one way for decryption, so all the interactive digital stuff (e.g. the interactive program guide, PPV, On-Demand) still needs a set-top-box.

    My cable company says they are going to continue the analog channels for at least three years after the broadcast digital switch in February. Hopefully during that time the digital aspects will become more consumer-friendly. I'n not holding my breath though.
     
  8. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    CableCards were a great idea that went down the wrong path. :bad:

    Another thing I am vicim to now are "roof watchers". They're salesmen who look for satellites and then try to get you to switch to their company. Since I've had the system, I've had a Comcast and a Dish Network salesman knock on my front door...both times while I was sleeping. :flaming:
     
  9. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Put up a sign to ward them off. :D
     
  10. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I had a moronic salesman come to my door last month. He was from Direct TV...the same service I *have*, and he was trying to get me to switch to Direct TV. :toofar:

    The friggin' moron couldn't recognize his own company's dish. I realize my dish is positioned at an angle to where it's kind of difficult to see the Direct TV logo on it...and it is the newest model to hit the market (the first week we had it, it had to constantly update its firmware because they hadn’t worked all the kinks out), but COME ON! If you're going to sell it, you'd better know it! :nolike:
     
  11. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  12. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Call it bad taste, but mark #1 off my list!
     
  13. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    ROFL!

    :lol:

    Guess we know who's next then ;)
     
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