The FCC has issued an order amending its rules to allow cable operators to encrypt the basic service tier. This tier consists of broadcast and a few other assorted stations. Their rationale for this is that it will ‘benefit’ consumers who can have their service activated and deactivated remotely, reducing truck rolls and waits for service calls. The problem is the “small number” of cable subscribers who will be adversely affected. A few years ago, you could change channels directly on your TV. These were cable channels…channels you paid for. You are still paying for them, but now you have to pay to rent equipment from the cable company. The current cost of a box from our cable provider is $10 a month, plus a $4 fee. To rent a cable card is only $2.50, by comparison. This is an issue. The $90 a year difference would pay for a cable box purchase in two years, or pay the additional cost to add a cablecard slot to the average television. This has not happened. As a condition of the FCC Rule, operators must provide either a converter box with home networking capability that can provide access to basic channels or [...]
To All RSS Subscribers: Due to the recent uncertainty regarding the future of Feedburner, we are removing all redirects to Feedburner. All links on the site will now use local feeds. If possible, please update your subscriptions. If not, the Feedburner feeds will continue to be maintained for as long as Google continues to offer the service, but we feel that self-hosting all feeds is the more prudent long-term move. Feed: http://www.gadgetwisdom.com/feed/ Related articles Feedburner on the Rocks?(onecoolsitebloggingtips.com) Is Google Feedburner Shutting Down?(quickonlinetips.com) Using Feedburner? Time to Look at Alternatives(blogher.com) Why, How and When to Quit FeedBurner(socialfish.org)
It’s been a while since we’ve updated our Downstreaming series. The concept of downstreaming was one of simplification, and how you can downgrade your paid cable
bill and look at internet based alternatives. Some people talk about cord cutting…but it is clear the alternatives aren’t quite there for everything.
The Wall Street Journal featured an article which was written as a tearful goodbye to the author’s cable service.
“Everyone’s getting their shows and movies through the Internet these days. I’m sorry. It’s just the reality of things… Yeah, I’ve changed, but you know what? You’ve changed more. I mean, come on. How many shows about housewives are there? I like chefs, but I don’t need to see them on television 24/7. Ghost hunters? Dancing celebrities? Talent shows? “Shark Week”? Celebrity ghost-hunting talent shows during “Shark Week”? It’s too much of too little. You’re full of a lot of inescapable crap.”
And we have to agree. Television is catering to someone, and it isn’t us. The Sci-Fi Channel is SyFy, and where’s the Science Fiction? The TV Guide channel no longer shows a tv guide. The Learning Channel….what the heck are we supposed to be learning on it now? There are so many channels, and how many of them do you actually want.
In a recent appearance on the MythTVCast, our editor was commenting on how hard it was to figure these things out. Too many channels, not enough package choices, and a resistance to changing with the time. And our own conception continues to involve. We continue to realize things about ourselves and our habits that we want to use to change what we do.
- Your console is your cable box as Comcast, HBO Go, Verizon FIOS, and more come to the Xbox 360 (arstechnica.com)
Amazon Instant Video for Prime Subscribers is a great idea. Many think this is Amazon’s move to compete withNetflix and Hulu. Amazon already has a well-reviewed pay-per-view service and a rental…
It was in December that we took our Roku on the road, visiting relatives, and vowed to spend the entire weekend watching only things on Hulu Plus. Some compare Hulu…
Engadget offered screenshots yesterday of Prime members who were noticing “Prime Instant Videos”, unlimited streaming on select movies for those who join Prime. It includes the note: “Your Amazon Prime membership now includes unlimited, commercial free instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost.
Last week, TNL.net did some analysis of how the top streaming video services were doing in terms of the most popular video entertainment of 2010. They compared Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video-on-Demand, and iTunes.
Image via Wikipedia Netflix has been around so long that people might be surprised it took us until now to discuss it, or that we’d never tried it, and we…
Last month, one of the things that went up on our cable bill was the rental of our cable box. It now costs over $14 a month to rent a cable box. Can it cost more than a year or two’s worth of rental fees to actually buy a box? Yet cable box manufacturers insist there is no market for direct consumer purchase of cable boxes, and thus the cable card system is nearly a failure.