Satellite TV’s Orbit Is Failing Fast

CubsWin

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Dec 17, 2005
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Bourbonnais, IL
I realize I am probably going to have to change something long-term to keep costs down, but I doubt anything is going to compare to the quality and consistency of service I have received from Dish and DirecTV over the years.
That may be true, but content providers are increasingly starving their standard channel offerings of content in favor of premium streaming services. CBS with All Access, ESPN with ESPN+, Disney with Disney+, and it is only going to get worse. Cable and satellite consumers are going to continue paying more for less. I don't want to leave Dish, but the reality is the time will come where it just doesn't make sense to pay rising subscription fees for second rate programming.

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comfortably_numb

Dogs have owners, cats have staff
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 30, 2011
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My Netflix is going up from $13.99/mo for the 4K tier to $15.99/mo. The email says it's so they can "continue bringing me original programming." While I do love Ozark and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which are Netflix originals, I'm not sure I care THAT much if they need to keep churning out their own stuff. Just give me movies and TV series and documentaries and I'm happy.

My daughter on the other hand, she is obsessed with the teenager-aimed Netflix series.

Needless to say, I'll keep paying it at just about any cost :facepalm

Dish, on the other hand, if it keeps going up.... I see it as less and less essential... If they keep my Welcome Pack price down, I'll stay...
 

Cheddar_Head

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 13, 2008
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Colorado Springs
That was before news became political. :)
Sorry to break it to you but "The News" has pretty much always been political, see "Yellow Journalism", "Remember the Maine", etc. etc. etc.

The only thing is the TV news did a better job of hiding their biases until the last few years. Even Walter Cronkite went from supporting the Vietnam War to opposing it and if you look for it you can see how CBS reporting changed to reflect that fact.
 

NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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Nashville, TN USA
That may be true, but content providers are increasingly starving their standard channel offerings of content in favor of premium streaming services. CBS with All Access, ESPN with ESPN+, Disney with Disney+, and it is only going to get worse. Cable and satellite consumers are going to continue paying more for less. I don't want to leave Dish, but the reality is the time will come where it just doesn't make sense to pay rising subscription fees for second rate programming.
Yeah, there's definitely some truth in this. Traditional media/broadcast companies -- Disney, Warner, CBS, NBCUniversal -- all have launched or soon will launch one or more major direct-to-consumer OTT services and that's where a growing amount of their resources will go. Also, non-traditional players -- mainly Netflix, but also Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook -- are also sucking up Hollywood talent (actors, writers, directors, etc.) and viewers' screen time away from traditional TV channels toward OTT streaming TV. As time goes by, more and more of the content that you hear folks talking about is from OTT, not traditional sources. Traditional TV channels will still be around for many years, although I do think the number of cable channels in operation will dwindle as we go through the 2020s, with smaller packages of the most popular channels (especially those featuring sports, news, talk and other live/non-scripted content) becoming the norm. Such packages will complement the various OTT services where the average viewer will spend the majority of his time.

Satellite TV will also continue to be around for several years but it will become a niche TV delivery system mainly for rural dwellers who do not have access to broadband or other pay TV options. (Remember, if you have access to broadband, you have access to a number of different live-channel-based and on-demand TV options.) As broadband availability continues to spread out into the countryside through various companies and technologies, satellite TV from DirecTV and DISH will dwindle even in that demographic. I expect both services will cease operations at some point in the late 2020s, when there will be so few customers left that the businesses can no longer be operated at a worthwhile profit level.
 

comfortably_numb

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Nov 30, 2011
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As broadband availability continues to spread out into the countryside
I wish I could be as optimistic about the prospect for rural broadband, but the fact of the matter is, there are many rural areas where there are still zero plans to make broadband access available. If LEO satellites ever come to fruition, then perhaps maybe it will help remote areas. But as of right now, I have 21.5mbps down/1.5mbps up and my telco says they have no plans to increase that anytime soon.
 

NashGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
590
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Nashville, TN USA
I wish I could be as optimistic about the prospect for rural broadband, but the fact of the matter is, there are many rural areas where there are still zero plans to make broadband access available. If LEO satellites ever come to fruition, then perhaps maybe it will help remote areas. But as of right now, I have 21.5mbps down/1.5mbps up and my telco says they have no plans to increase that anytime soon.
Sorry to hear that. That's obviously not very good internet service; it doesn't even qualify as "broadband" per the FCC, which stipulates a minimum of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. (BTW, what do you have to pay for it?) Your telco may not *ever* improve the level of service they offer at your address. But I do believe that, as we progress through the next decade, a number of options will close the rural digital divide, bringing download speeds of 100 Mbps and higher to rural dwellers.

Probably the first one to look for is 4G/5G wireless home internet and TV service from T-Mobile. I think they're going to roll that out in 2019 or 2020. They're saying that speeds and coverage will be better if their proposed merger with Sprint goes through but I think they're going to get into that business, with a focus on underserved (less competitive) rural/exurban areas, regardless of what happens with the merger. There are other fixed wireless service providers that serve rural areas too, with plans to continue expanding. But T-Mobile looks poised to make the biggest difference.

The next innovation I would keep an eye on is AT&T's AirGig, which uses inexpensive hardware mounted to existing utility poles to distribute wireless internet channeled in the magnetic field around electricity lines (or something like that). It's already been trialled in rural Georgia, in partnership with Georgia Power, and it went well. AT&T sounds pretty bullish on it as a potential solution for less dense areas, so we'll see where it goes. If it can be deployed cheaply enough (perhaps in conjunction with some government subsidies), this might bring more folks online (and provide more competition to cable monopolies) in the early 2020s.

And then beyond that are the various LEO satellite services which probably won't be operational until the mid-2020s.

Aside from those developments, we're also seeing rural cooperatives, often through existing electrical utilities, expanding broadband access here and there.
 

Bobby

Publican
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Sep 7, 2003
57,272
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Rohnert Park, CA
I just looked at what is available in my neighborhood from ATT Uverse. 1.5 down and .6 up. The cost is $40 a month. I am not in a rural area. I live in a community of 43,000 people. Most of the city can get 40 down but ATT didn’t want to spend the money to bring the fiber across a two lane with median road. That leaves about 100 homes with terrible broadband. Thankfully we have Comcast internet available.
 
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JSheridan

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Feb 16, 2008
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Sorry to break it to you but "The News" has pretty much always been political, see "Yellow Journalism", "Remember the Maine", etc. etc. etc.

The only thing is the TV news did a better job of hiding their biases until the last few years. Even Walter Cronkite went from supporting the Vietnam War to opposing it and if you look for it you can see how CBS reporting changed to reflect that fact.
Not going to respond as this kind of discussion is not allowed outside the 'pit' which I make a point to stay away from. :)
 

dsmith0429

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 12, 2013
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Lake Placid, FL
I never had AT&T service growing up. I had Continental when I was really young, and then Horry Telephone Coop when we moved to SC.
Yeah, we had a local independent provider in SC, Pond Branch Telephone (Gilbert, SC), was started by one of my relatives in 1903, James Luther Smith, AT&T long distance was extra. It was bought by Comporium a few years ago...
 

sam_gordon

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2009
1,940
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Lexington, ky
My Netflix is going up from $13.99/mo for the 4K tier to $15.99/mo. The email says it's so they can "continue bringing me original programming." While I do love Ozark and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which are Netflix originals, I'm not sure I care THAT much if they need to keep churning out their own stuff. Just give me movies and TV series and documentaries and I'm happy.
Do you think the cost for the movies, TV series, and documentaries they don't produce might be going up also? Just like MVPDs are upping their cost because they're now paying more?
 

ncted

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Jul 4, 2004
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Durham, NC
Do you think the cost for the movies, TV series, and documentaries they don't produce might be going up also? Just like MVPDs are upping their cost because they're now paying more?
That, and they are going to lose a lot of content as other, competing services launch and those content providers no longer license their content. Netflix will have to fill the holes with original content. Disney is the big threat on the horizon.
 
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