Items tagged with cable

The adage "the more things change, the more they stay the same" seems very apt for the cord cutting streaming TV market. Many TV fans left behind cable and satellite services because the prices were always increasing and the service never got better. The rub is that now that cord cutters seem to have reached a sort of critical mass and streaming services are plentiful, streaming firms are starting to raise prices just like cable companies. AT&T DirecTV Now raised its prices earlier this month by $5 per month. YouTube TV and Sling TV also recently raised prices. Now PlayStation Vue is following right along with the masses. All Vue plans are seeing $5 monthly price increases across the board.... Read more...
We will not call it a coup, but the number of people who are willing to ditch their cable or satellite TV service in favor of streaming content through the Internet continues to rise. Not only that, but the number of streaming service subscribers, both free and paid, has grown to 68 percent in 2016, up from 63 percent in 2014, a figure that catches up with and slightly surpasses paid TV service providers (67 percent) for the first time.That's according to the Consumer Technology Association's new study, The Changing Landscape for Video and Content. The study shows that the percentage of paid TV service subscribers has gone done from 69 percent in 2014 to 67 percent in 2016. What that shows is... Read more...
After taking on Internet service providers (ISPs) and wireless carriers with a set of net neutrality rules, it looked as though FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was on the verge of going to war with cable companies next. That was the plan when, earlier this year, Wheeler talked about forcing cable companies to use open standards so that consumers could choose their own set-top box rather than paying rental or leasing fees for sub-par models provided by their service provider. Now the FCC is ditching that plan in favor of apps. What's that, apps you say? Yes indeed—rather than continue to push for the adoption of third-party set-top boxes, the FCC is set to vote later this month on a proposal that would... Read more...
Not only is Netflix cheaper than a cable TV subscription, the value proposition is higher—much higher, in fact, which some might find surprising (and even outright dispute) due to Netflix's limited catalog of titles. Be that as it may, Netflix subscribers pay roughly three times less per hour of content than cable TV subscribers.That's one possible takeaway from a comprehensive report by Nielsen (PDF) that examines content consumption across television, radio, TV-connected devices, PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Nielsen didn't set out to compare Netflix to cable TV directly, but using the numbers provided, the folks at AllFlicks did some interesting math to figure out how much Netflix costs per... Read more...
Much to the chagrin of cable TV providers that profit from leasing out set-top boxes to customers, the Obama administration joined the Federal Communications Commission in pushing for changes that would give consumers the option of buying less expensive third-party boxes that would offer full functionality with their TV service. At the beginning of the year, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a proposal that would do exactly that. The FCC ultimately approved the proposal by a 3-2 vote, which kicked off a 60-day "information-gathering process" to give the FCC and cable providers a chance to work out the details on how to implement the proposal. "You could have a set a standards such that anyone could... Read more...
Google is looking to round out its Google Fiber service, and well-entrenched cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which often have virtual monopolies in various markets across the United States, should have even more reason for concern. According to a new report, the search giant will launch Google Fiber Phone, which would add to its exiting Internet and TV services to give Google Fiber a true “Triple Play” offering for customers. Members of the Google Fiber Trusted Tester Program have received invites via email over the past few weeks to test out Google Fiber Phone. Not surprisingly, the service sounds like it incorporates quite a bit of functionality from Google Voice, with Google... Read more...
If there’s one U.S. industry that could use a healthy dose or regulation, it’s likely the cable industry. The cable industry has been slow to change and adapt to new technologies because existing regulations have allowed it to basically get it way, commanding service monopolies (or duopolies) in most regions and fighting tooth and nail to thwart any fresh competition (i.e. municipal broadband). The FCC has taken steps to weaken the power of cable companies in recent years by siding with towns looking to offer their own Internet services, and it now looks as though the regulatory body has another trick up its sleeve that could save customers a few bucks in more ways than one. FCC Chairman Tom... Read more...
If you've ever been late on paying a bill, it's unlikely that you ever thought that you were running the risk of being publicly shamed about your shortcomings. That said, whether you're late for a good reason or not, business is business, and your business with a service provider is generally intended to be kept private and not loosely for public knowledge.  However, for a few unfortunate individuals, one Canadian cable TV provider doesn't see things quite the same way. Recently, Senga Services, which is located in Canada's Northwest Territories, decided to begin posting the names of customers that had overdue payments to its Facebook page. As some of these late payments started at... Read more...
As we discovered just the other day, Apple's latest iPad, Pro, isn't too repairable, scoring just 3 out of 10 on iFixit's scale - 10 being the best. Somewhat humorously, that's still a lot better the 1 out of 10 score the Surface Book received earlier this month. Nonetheless, the teardown helped highlight a feature Apple kept mum on: a USB 3.0-compatible Lightning port. That means that with the right cable, users would be able to enjoy transfer speeds going through a 5Gbps bus. That's theoretically ~625MB/s peak, but more accurately would top out at around 500MB/s in the real-world thanks to overhead. Currently, Lightning connectors utilizing USB 2.0 would peak at just over 30MB/s. The storage... Read more...
Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have just crafted a new fiber optic technology which could dramatically improve our Internet's backbone, as well as reduce costs. While fiber optic connections to the Internet are a luxury for home and business, they're imperative for the outside sources that bring us our data. The backbone of the entire Internet is laced head-to-toe in fiber, as it's the only possible option for delivering and sustaining the bandwidth needed to serve everyone. But, its current design has a couple of caveats. At the forefront, current technology doesn't allow signals to be sent without some severe distortion -- severe enough that the receiving routers would... Read more...
A Bloomberg report that came out on Memorial Day was right on the money when it came to Charter’s ambitions to take on cable juggernaut Comcast. Bloomberg learned that Charter would scoop up Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $195 per share, valuing the transaction at roughly $55 billion. Charter confirmed the acquisition this morning, valuing each TWC share at approximately $195.71. The transaction has an equity value of $55.76 billion, but TWC has long-term debt of $22.64 billion which value the entire whole shebang at over $78 billion. The TWC acquisition will vault Charter from fourth place in the U.S. cable market to second place, right behind Comcast. The combined companies will have an estimated... Read more...
Federal regulators put into a motion a legal process that would have made it very difficult for Comcast to proceed with its blockbuster plan to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45 billion, and as a result of Comcast pulling out of the proposed buyout, Bright House Networks has abandoned its own plans of merging with Charter.The deals were intertwined in hopes of appeasing antitrust concerns. As constructed, if Comcast received approval to buy TWC, it would sell 1.4 million subscribers to Charter for $7.3 billion. Comcast would also divest 2.5 million subscribers as part of a spinoff into a new cable company called GreatLand Connections, of which Charter would own a stake.Image Source: Flickr... Read more...
Move over Google, and step aside AT&T, because here comes Cox with residential 1-gigabit Internet service of its own. Called G1GABLAST (Gigablast from here on out), the 1Gbps Internet service is now available in parts of Phoenix, Arizona; Orange County, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultra high-speed Internet isn't anything new to Cox -- it's been offering business customers multi-gigabit options for over a decade. However, there's been a recent movement to bring 1Gbps service to home consumers, as both Google (Google Fiber) and AT&T (U-verse with AT&T GigaPower) have been aggressively expanding their fiber networks into more neighborhoods. "We started in Phoenix... Read more...
Comcast is one of only two companies to be voted "Worst Company in America" multiple times, having come away with Consumerist's title in 2010 and again in 2014. The cable giant is aware that it has an image problem, one that largely stems from poor and sometimes downright horrid customers service, and it's going on a hiring spree as part of a plan to change the customer experience. One of the core elements of Comcast's plan is to create 5,500 customer service jobs over the next few years. Comcast hopes that this investment in workers will allow the company to always be on time for customer appointments, which is more than a desire, but a goal it aims to meet by the third quarter of this year.... Read more...
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