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Thread: 57... um... 157 Channels and nothing is on.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    57... um... 157 Channels and nothing is on.

    Well, after much discussion, analyzing, and hesitation, the wife and I finally broke down and purchased a TV. That was the easy part. Now we are pondering getting cable. It is amazing how many channels that I don’t want, that are offered in these packages. Come on, who actually wants CSPAN or 16 Spanish speaking channels, when I don’t speak Spanish. The frustrating part is to get the channels that I want (Discovery, TLC, HGTV, ESPN, VS, Travel, DIY, the big 4 and such) I need to get far more channels that I don’t want. Why can’t they have an option where I only pay for the channels that I want?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Because the FCC are whimps, and the cable companies bullied them recently to throw ala carte programming out the window.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    When cable systems negotiate with programmers/network owners, the programmers often demand that they carry their less popular channels. "so, cable system, you want MTV? Okay, but you also MUST carry Lifetime en Espanol too, or else you won't get your MTV.

    I wonder why cable systems feel the need to broadcast so many religious channels. In Buffalo, EWTN (the Pirate Nun channel) has a prime location on Channel 10, not Channel 235 or 164 like it is in other areas.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    ... Because cable operators make more money this way... of course!

    According to an article in last week's New York Times ("Cable Prices Keep Rising, and Customers Keep Paying"):

    The producers of cable television content share $15 billion to $20 billion a year in fees from cable subscribers, roughly equal to the $20 billion they receive in advertising revenue... Without those fees, the cable companies say, prices would go up.

    “If each channel depended on individual consumers electing to pay individually for it, this would slash potential viewership and seriously hurt the ability of most channels to attract their current level of advertising dollars,” said Jenni Moyer, a spokeswoman for Comcast. “Lost ad revenue would have to be replaced by higher license fees.”
    Our "standard" cable gives us something like 75 channels, but I still couldn't find anything worth watching last night (other than a few movies I've already seen 15 times).

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I kid you not we must have a couple hundred channels and the only one I know the number is the weather channel (I hate to even say it) its on sixty nine. We block out Im guessing half if not more of the chanels we pay for but dont have any desire to watch. Most of those are religious nut channels (of all sorts) and languages Im not even sure they speak at the UN. Just last night I was laying in bed still under the weather flipping and yup channel 300 and something with NOTHING ON, the usual crap.

    The other half keeps paying the stupid prices due to all the football he can get come fall otherwise we could live off half a dozen channels...

    As long as one of them showed the Tudors and Meerkats
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Just wait until channels that you watch suddenly disappear and new channels, mostly pay-per-view, suddenly clog your channel menu. Just some of the joys of cable/satellite viewing.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I have not this "cable" of which you speak. Advantage of living is a large metro - sufficient over-the-air reception.

    I also get a kick out of all the hand wringing and fretting about rising cable prices.

    Talk about the least needed "utility". It's not like the water or power bills.

    Actually, with the streaming of my favorite 4 tv shows (the only ones I watch, really) through their network websites, I don't think I even need an actual tv.

    Though, with the new 32 inch flat-screen tv I got for my birthday this year, watching movies is very nice.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Just get the DVR and watch it on your schedule. My wife and I never watch TV live anymore except for the occasional sports event. We breeze through shows in 3/4 the time and cut out all the commercials. Pause and rewind are great too.

    However, my wife had a thought that DVRs might do away with commercials since the more people who have them the less commercials that get watched (though we always stop for the I'm an Mac and I'm a PC commercials). The DVR could lead the way to ala cart or on demand TV. Shows could still be live but imagine if you forgot to record it but could go back the second it's done airing live and watch it sans commercials?
    @GigCityPlanner

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    We get 77 channels of $hit on the tv to choose from (extended basic) with no premium stuff like HBO. But like PG said, we've blocked out somewhere around 15 so we don't even have to go by them when we surf.

    You gotta take the good with the bad in almost everything...ESPN GOOD, shopping channel bad!
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  10. #10
    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    TIVO. TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO

    Oh No more commercials watch the programs I want to watch when I want to watch them...TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO TIVO!!!

    I am a redundent sort!
    Looking for Sanity
    In this Crazy Land Of Ours

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Can't help ya, it's unplugged. I hooked it up to watch Lance host SNL (November 2005??).

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    If you watched CSPAN you would have seen the Congressional hearings on the topic. Senator McCain has been pushing ala carte pricing for years. The industry demostrated the facts that Mud Princess showed in the NYT article less home reached higher lisencing fees which means higher prices for the consumer.

    If you want truly unbiased coverage of the government then start watching CSPAN.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Can't help ya, it's unplugged. I hooked it up to watch Lance host SNL (November 2005??).
    You could have watched it on 8 if you had bunny ears.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    i'd suggest not getting cable at all.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    mine is included in the rent otherwise i wouldn't pay for it. i subsist on a healthy diet of books and dvds.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I don't know how many channels we have, but it's not the digital package, or all the movie channels. When I do watch t.v. it's usually HGTV or TVLand, and occasionally a network show. My kid doesn't even try to watch because "There's never anything on!" I swear they need a "Movies for Teenagers" network!

  17. #17
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Don't get cable, its a waste if you live in a large city. I have never paid a cable bill in my life and don't plan on it. I watch little television, and when I do I have a plethora of options on broadcast television thanks to being in a major market and also recieving Canadian television.

    Its funny though, my cabin only gets three stations, and none of them very well as it is truely out in the wilderness. There are times when I wish I had cable up there, but then again I am never there.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  18. #18
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I live with roommates, and we just go with the 6-month cheap deals that Comcast offers for cable & internet. The bill for both is only $50/month. Then, when the 6 months are up, we cancel it and put it in the other roommate's name and lock in the 6 month package again. Then on to the next roommate for the next six months. And then back to the original one. Oh the joys of college life.

    The only channels I ever watch are those that are showing Family Guy, the Simpsons, re-runs of classic sitcoms, local news, game shows, Chicago sports, Fox News, and the Weather Channel. Everything else is just junk and I could do without.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    We have 69 channels plus music channels and On Demand. The on demand access gets the most use, it's what turned me into a HBO fanatic.

    If in the mood for tube, we can usually find something on, but we are not a primetime drama family. No Idol, Survivor, House or CSI. In fact the TV is rarely turned on after dinner, except after the kidlets go to bed. But the 12 yo likes to watch the news with us.

    In addition to cable TV I also have an active netflix account

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Just get the DVR and watch it on your schedule. My wife and I never watch TV live anymore except for the occasional sports event.
    That's also how we roll. The wife records her shows and I record mine. She watches hers in one room and I watch mine in the other. We watch a few shows together, but live TV is no more (except for the evening news and the Today show).

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    You could have watched it on 8 if you had bunny ears.
    By "unplugged" I meant the power cord.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    By "unplugged" I meant the power cord.
    Ah... ok. I was in the same boat. We sold our TV at a garage sale almost two years ago... until the other day.

    I called and I will have cable in time to watch tonight’s game!
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    After Deadliest Catch last night, there was nothing on. So I went to bed to read for an hour. That was at 8pm.

    A couple weeks ago, I signed off on the work permit for the local cable company to install the cable lines here in town. Until then, all people had to choose from was the Dish companies. Looking at the cable lineup, the basic package is about $20 less per month and includes channels that Dish Network would have me upgrade to, so we'll probably switch to cable this summer. Dish Network wants me to upgrade for $15 more per month in order to get two channels I normally do not get: VS. and National Geographic.

    Thinking about killing my TV though, although Netflix is great!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  24. #24
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    I live with roommates, and we just go with the 6-month cheap deals that Comcast offers for cable & internet. The bill for both is only $50/month. Then, when the 6 months are up, we cancel it and put it in the other roommate's name and lock in the 6 month package again. Then on to the next roommate for the next six months. And then back to the original one. Oh the joys of college life.

    The only channels I ever watch are those that are showing Family Guy, the Simpsons, re-runs of classic sitcoms, local news, game shows, Chicago sports, Fox News, and the Weather Channel. Everything else is just junk and I could do without.
    Comcast cable and internet is only $50 in Illinois? Here you would pay that as an introductory for cable alone! BTW, thanks for the info, I didn't know Chicago still had sports!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  25. #25
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Comcast cable and internet is only $50 in Illinois? Here you would pay that as an introductory for cable alone! BTW, thanks for the info, I didn't know Chicago still had sports!
    I think since Comcast is relatively new to the Chicago market as compared to Detroit or the East Coast. That may be part of the reason why. They want to hook us and reel us in.

    Oh and you didn't know Chicago still had sports? That's funny, cause I thought our football team went to the Super Bowl a couple years ago. I thought our baseball team won the World Series three years ago. And I thought our basketball team won the championship six times last decade. Oh and which city has both their baseball teams in first place in their respective divisions right now?
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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