Google To TV Industry: 'Yes, Yes, Cord Cutting Is A Myth; Google TV Is Nothing To Fear'

from the feeling-lucky? dept

We've already pointed out that the TV industry is in a serious bout of denial over the fact that people are really starting to cut the cord and go internet only. However, they know, deep in their hearts, that it's happening. It explains why they're doing silly things like forcing Hulu to block access to specific browsers in a crude attempt to block people from accessing internet television on their actual TVs. Google TV, for example, has been blocked. So, it should come as little surprise that Google TV execs are now suddenly claiming that they absolutely agree with the cable industry that cord cutting isn't happening.

That's Google's story, and it's sticking to it.

Of course, this is all really a rather transparent ploy by Google to convince TV/cable execs to back off the demands to block Google TV, by saying that there's nothing to fear. Google TV doesn't make more people ditch their cable TV... it just "enhances it." Uh, yeah, sure. That's not to say that products like Google TV don't enhance cable TV. It could. But the Google folks must know damn well that if they do their job right, Google TV will likely convince more people that it's perfectly fine to cut the cord. Somehow, I doubt that the cable execs fall for Google's pretty words here.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    BoloMKXXVIII (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    GoogleTV

    Google really blew it. They could have had a killer product but because they did not reach out to the content providers FIRST they are now getting the cold shoulder. They would have had to offer some kind of payment for access (like Hulu plus) but now they are stuck in IPTV limbo like the Boxee Box. Apple and Netflix have had more success with bringing network content to the web but they are both pay services and have a track record of working with the content providers instead of doing their own thing.

     

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  2.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:08am

    I have been wondering for awhile - will Google TV or another internet TV offering eventually take the step of just building in the ridiculously easy workaround: changing the user-agent string? And if they did, would the networks try to call that circumvention under the DMCA?

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re: GoogleTV

    I'm not so sure... what if Google just isn't in a hurry? They see which way things are moving, so they are positioning themselves to have the best and most open solution already out there when the networks start to cave. Apple & Netflix have had more success, but they still face a constant uphill battle and onerous demands from the networks. Apple being Apple, they are able to push back reasonably hard, but they still can't get everything they want - and Netflix is stuck with pretty limited content and big delay windows.

    Hulu hasn't gotten much out of their cooperative attitude. They can barely stay afloat with the fees the networks demand, and it's widely agreed that Hulu Plus sucks (even though the folks at Hulu clearly *wanted* it to be good)

     

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  4.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Meanwhile, I've got a program on my computer that Hulu can't distinguish from a web browser that streams perfectly to my TV.

    I really wanna cut the cord (err, satellite signal?). There's no technical reason that all the stuff I want can't be available. It's just not yet.

     

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  5.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Meanwhile, I've got a program on my computer that Hulu can't distinguish from a web browser that streams perfectly to my TV.

    I really wanna cut the cord (err, satellite signal?). There's no technical reason that all the stuff I want can't be available. It's just not yet.

     

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  6.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    It's just another web client.

    Any device or service that needs to "ask permission" is ultimately at the mercy of Big Content. This is ultimately a bad position to be in because this basically puts Big Content in charge. They get to drive things instead of you or your customers.

    No. Google should build a reasonably useful appliance.

    They should not need to pander to web content owners for GoogleTV any more than any other web browser developer would.

    The next step for Google should be to develop one of these boxes with built in analog HD capture hardware in it.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    The content providers see that as just fine. You aren't millions of users yet, you are just the isolated tech savvy guy. And maybe you still pay for cable.

    When my parents cut the cord, they need to be scared. They barely watch TV, but they pay a bill to a satellite provider every month. Their internet service isn't really robust enough for streaming.

    I cut the cord a while ago, and love it. I still get a thrill when visiting parents, flipping through their $70 cable package, finding nothing, and wishing I just had access to my $9 Netflix queue or hulu.

     

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  8.  
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    abc gum, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    "Their internet service isn't really robust enough for streaming."

    I'm curious, what resolution do you get from the typical stream?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    One day, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others will realize that they too can produce content and Microsoft is doing so more aggressively than others, that could be the beginning of the end for ol'cable and TV networks.

    Besides that a lot of TV guy's have moved to the internet and are producing shows on it.

    Producers are finding out that the internet gives them more liberty than cable and TV do and they can keep a larger portion of what comes in, that is a very attractive thing.

    How many people make 6 figures doing videos on their homes?

    The thing that is missing is a shared culture to ignite the trend, people need to rebuild their own culture that was locked away.

     

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  10.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    Re: GoogleTV

    not really. IPTV is not really an amazing product, it's basically just another media center concept slightly modified (smaller scale same capability).

    IPTV is important and is the way things will probably go, but solutions for it don't stand for anything - oversimplified it's just a computer and an internet connection -it's simply a matter of the old media players opening the pipes up.

    Really, google TV is just integrating things such as netflix put onto a tv. How is this revolutionary or killer? Twitter? Facebook? People already have a computer with this stuff. Instead of spending $200 on a google TV box they can spend $30 on a 30 foot video output cable or use a wireless solution to broadcast computer output -> TV. I don't find google TV any more interesting than 3d - it might be interesting for the masses, but even then I'm skeptical.

    Meanwhile, the google jedi mind trick here cracks me up - I wouldn't be surprised if it works.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Doesn't matter what anyone says. I cut the cord. I still pay the cable company for internet. They still make a ridiculous profit. they can shut down any Google, Hulu who cares tv they want. I still have a choice for the first time. You see I was one of those people who demanded that Congress make the cable companies let me pick my channels. Since Congress sided with big business as usual. I now download the shows I can't get over regular TV. Sue me. Come on. I dare you to sue a disabled old guy on Social Security for doing what everyone does. Come on I need the publicity. Give me the publicity and I'll get rich. Notoriety wins.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Cutting the cord? I think not. Cutting the cord used to mean clipping your phone line and going wireless. If you just cancel your video portion of your subscription, you still have to buy data from your provider (be it cable, landline, sat.)

    Guess what, as long as a cable company is selling you data, they really won't care about you "cutting the cord" because they can just jack up your data charges to make up the difference.

     

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  13.  
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    WG (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Cord cutting

    I've commented recently on this, and the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to simply tell Cox to kiss my cable. I sent them a note several days ago: "Currently, I have bundled digital services – with which I am not too happy with. Let me explain. I have been a Cox subscriber for a number of years now, and have had very few complaints. I am very happy with my IP portion of the bundle; however, I realized that of the many TV channels available to me with this bundle, I typically only watch four – and infrequently, at that. I do, however, like to listen to the music channels (of which I usually listen to only two or three); but, then again, there are alternatives to even those. Also, I really don't need the bundled phone service, as I already have a fairly comprehensive cellphone service. In reality, I utilize the internet connection far more than I do any of the other services. So, my dilemma comes to the question of why must I pay such an exorbitant fee for those items I do not use? I have read of, and listened to, many people who have 'cut the cable cord' and are totally happy with it – as there are other alternatives out there (rentals, Hulu, Netflix, torrents, etc.); and as such, I must admit that I feel these bundled services are becoming more and more untenable in light of the economy, my viewing habits, and alternative entertainment sources. Therefore, with all that being said, can anyone at Cox convince me to remain a Cox subscriber – based on the fact that I seemingly have no choice as to what I really want, or need, in programming, as opposed to what I am told that I must have – in order to save my budget from being beaten to death every month for programming I never use? Of the services I currently have, I only need the internet connection; and, I typically only view the HGTV, Speed, History, Spike, and the aforementioned music channels. Is there a choice in selecting specific services from Cox, as noted in the previous sentence, or am I SOL? If I am SOL, then I fear that I may not be a Cox subscriber for very much longer." Their response? "I certainly understand the need to not pay for services you do not use. We can go over all the services you subscribe to and set you up with a plan that best suits your needs. You can remove the home telephone service, however I strongly recommend you don't. Not for the bundle savings, but for your own security. Your cell phone is great, but you need a landline incase of emergency. If you need to call 911 and can't talk for some reason, your being robbed and if you talk they will hear you, or your having a medical issue and can't talk. By calling with the landline 911 gets your address and immediately sends help. If your using your cell phone, they have no idea where your calling from. Our basic phone service is $15.95 a month. You do subscribe to the caller ID for an additional $8.50 a month, you could remove this and save. You can also remove the extra Pak's you subscribe to. You just need to keep one Pak to have the bundle discount. You currently subscribe to the Movie Pak, Sports and Information Pak and the Variety Pak. By the channels you stated you like you will probably want the Sports and Information Pak. I can remove the Variety Pak, Movie Pak, and Caller ID and this will save you $17.50 plus taxes a month. You will still have those music channels you like and all the channels you requested. Please keep in mind you are receiving $40.00 off your monthly rate until 07/2011 with the special campaign you signed up for when starting your services. If you remove the phone or cable service you will cancel this special. Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with and if you would like to make changes to your services or go over packages available please call us..." What a load a corporate BS! I called my security company, Protection One, and they told me I did't need a landline as I have a wireless setup; and, I'm putting in an 8-camera, recording system that is accessible from my cellphone or computer at work. Say goodbye to the digital phone service COX. In addition, my freakin' monthly fee is going to go up another $40 after July! Are they kidding me! I'm pissed now at $125+ for the crap they're forcing me to have; what do they think I'm going to be after July, happy! WTF. I can live without TV - there's really nothing on nowadays that interests me anymore. Sure, I'll miss watching the UFC, History Channel, Speed, and HGTV...but I'm just tired of paying $125+ every month just to be entertained by seemingly endless commercials. I watch more commercials now than I do shows. All I need is a good, broadband connection to be entertained; and for that, I'll still end up paying a stupid amount of money, I sure.

     

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  14.  
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    Boost, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Don't see what networks are afraid of...

    I don't get what networks are really afraid of here. If they provide a good product that people want to pay for, why not cut out the middle man and sell their product directly to the end user...they even still get to advertise. Personally, i really only watch between 5-10 TV shows on about 5 networks. I would pay 2 dollars per network to get those channels. Most networks don't get nearly that kind of revenue from the major cable providers. So why wouldn't they want to get into that business?

    Boost

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Re:

    But the difference is there is some competition for ISP's. If I dumb my Cox cable modem I can get DSL from someone else.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    "Of course, this is all really a rather transparent ploy by Google to convince TV/cable execs to back off the demands to block Google TV, by saying that there's nothing to fear."

    These are not the droids you are looking for...

     

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  17.  
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    greg, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Beware of the Trojan Horse

    Believing Google about not cutting the cord would be like letting in a Trojan Horse into your castle. Google will play nice, slowly siphon off your revenues, and then when you are weak enough they will finish you off. That's the obvious strategy here.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike Melanson, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Google TV is like a cow that charges you for milk

    I have to say, as long as all these different providers keep blocking Google TV, I think Google has a solid point. Because I have Google TV and don't have cable and I watch more TV on my computer than on my TV. Check out my full review on ReadWriteWeb if you'd like...

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Cord cutting

    dude, paragraphs...

     

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  20.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    "the fact that people are really starting to cut the cord and go internet only"

    No, no - not at all.

    When I 'cut the cord' a while back, most of the movies I watched were either from NetFlix, Amazon, or PawnShops (hard to beat 2 dollar DVDs, even if not HD).

    The software, music, and movie industries all have the same big issue. There are so many alternate methods of getting any 'media' now - that overpriced physical disks are just not worth the cost. I mean - seriously; $200.00 + for MS Windows? When there are numerous free options out there?

    If Windows7 was say.. 39.99 for the 'home' version, I'd buy it. Until then, I'll keep running XP for gaming and Debian/Ubuntu for everything else. Ubuntu's latest release was quite pleasant I might add. The install was a piece of cake and the software options are quite numerous.

    I heard recently open-office now wants $99.00 for their 'product' - so there's a new gap. I know Abiword is still a free word processor. This will give Google and others who are considering 'free' office suites a prime opening now.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re: Cord cutting

    Wow, what an awful response! And the bit about 911 seems like total garbage, since your phone can triangulate your position, and a lot of them have GPS these days too.

    I'm on Cox, Internet only. I'm paying $46.95/mo after having downgrading from their $64.99/mo plan. I torrent all my TV shows and have been doing so for the last 2 years or so, and it's been great! For a while I was recoding HDTV streams on my HTPC, but I decided it was easier to just go 100% torrents. (I've gotten 1 takedown letter, after which I downgraded my connection and used the difference to pay for a dedicated torrenting box elsewhere on the Internet, which has been working exceptionally well).

    My plan is plenty fast enough to grab torrents, stream music and video (Hulu/YouTube/Netflix) and browse the web... all at the same time. Much better option than your $125+. I can't imagine paying that much!

    Anyway, my point is, drop the cable and phone and never look back. Phone is an obvious choice, you already have the cell so that's a no-brainer. Cable will require you to learn some new technology (torrents or usenet or wherever you plan to get your shows) and possibly buy a new computer for your TV. Considering how cheap you can build a simple HTPC these days (sub $300 for a box that'll play 1080p media) and how much extra you are paying per month (~$80/mo by my calculations), it'll pay for itself in 4 months, and you'll have access to any show you want, even those that don't air in your country, and all commercial-free.

     

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  22.  
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    PRMan, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: It's just another web client.

    No, the next step for Google is to fund really good entertainment and buy the rights to things and not share with the large content providers. They have a lot of money, they could easy have their own stable of musicians, their own movies, etc.

     

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  23.  
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    PRMan, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    Open Office is still free for the time being... There is also a new fork of it in case Oracle decides to close it off.

     

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  24.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: It's just another web client.

    Google has stated quite a few times that they don't want to get into the content business. They help you find and consume content, but they don't create it. Besides, if they tried to stable everything in one giant machine that produces and delivers all your media, they would probably face some antitrust issues.

     

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  25.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: GoogleTV

    It's true that everything GoogleTV does is possible with a little know-how, but that's enough to drastically limit the number of people who are going to actually do it. The networks aren't worried about the comparatively small number of people who know how to find the proper cable and configure their OS display settings - what scares them is the concept of an off-the-shelf, plug-and-play solution that practically says "Cut your Cable!" right on the box.

     

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  26.  
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    Curt, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Looks like this could lead to cable cutting ??

    http://nl.com.com/view_online_newsletter.jsp?list_id=e435

     

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  27.  
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    Zenwood, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: GoogleTV

    It's the FULL internet on the TV. Not just portals like Netflix that make GTV different.

     

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  28.  
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    TPBer (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    GTV?

    It's so funny how even here on TD that soooo many cannot grasp what GTV is, it's a browser running on a client, it goes anywhere on the net, what's so hard to understand?

    Who gives a crap about blocks, they are the equivalent of sticking your foot out to trip the moron in a hurry.

     

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  29.  
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    WG (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Cord cutting

    Sorry 'bout that - they were all nicely paragraphed before I hit the button. I was as surprised as....well, I was.

     

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  30.  
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    WG (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:33pm

    Cutting the cable cord...fer sure

    I decided to follow up with my correspondence with Cox (as well as discovering the html tags) :)

    Your response wasn’t what I wanted to hear. What you don’t understand is that I am NOT HAPPY with the current situation – and saving $17.50 a month isn’t going to be a deal breaker; however, to make matters worse, you’re going to up my monthly bill by another $40 after 7/2011!? Are you kidding me!? I am in contact with other service providers and have been researching alternative sources of entertainment; and, in light of what I have discovered in doing so, have come to the conclusion that ALL cable companies do not care one whit about their subscribers, other than to make sure they get their Benjamins. Truly sad, I have to say, that greed trumps good will and loyalty. Well, Cox Communications has just lost another loyal customer because of that. From everyone I’ve heard, or have spoken to, no one wants bundling. Bundling services trap subscribers into pricing tiers that do not cater to their needs – it only caters to the cable companies’ bottom lines. Cable companies have the capability to cater to the needs and wants of subscribers, yet either pretend they can’t – or simply don’t want to – just so they don’t jeopardize their own revenues; and trust me, I’ve researched this quite a bit; I know exactly how this works.

    In addition, what really rubs my fur the wrong way is the fact that I have had to endure mindless commercials far more than I have been able to watch a show/movie. In years past, it was common to expect a commercial once every fifteen minutes during a show/movie. Now, it seems as though I am watching an endless barrage of commercials, interjected with whatever show/movie I had originally intended to view. I don’t know about you, but for me and everyone else in the world, that is frustrating, disgusting, and a total turnoff. Just today, I was trying to watch a movie…but had to endure commercials that seemed to intrude every five minutes – and lasted for nearly as long; I finally got so frustrated with it that I turned off the TV.

    Be advised that in July of 2011 I will be cancelling my Cox subscription, if not beforehand. I am sick and tired of the whole programming structure, not to mention the fact that I’m paying a stupid amount of money to do so. There is no need to respond to this email, because I know that you cannot make anything work for me – you’ve already said as much. If you take anything away from this, understand that parroting corporate guidelines isn’t going to be in the best interests for the survivability of the cable industry, as a whole – listening to what people WANT, and are willing to pay for, is the key. It is really that simple. It is truly sad that the cable industry has lost over 500,000 subscribers since last year because of that one, simple fact.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    Cable companies pretty much have a (govt imposed) monopoly on the cord and that includes Internet use. I can see this as a problem in the future. Cable and Internet are overpriced because they can charge so much and there is no reason why those who have exclusive privileges to use existing infrastructure won't continue to raise Internet prices to compensate for their loss in cable revenue. What's needed is competition.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Cable and Internet are overpriced in the U.S. because ... *

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re:

    You will likely see a series of mergers and acquisitions in the future to correct this problem. None of them will raise anti trust issues because the only thing that can raise Anti Trust issues is if Google actually competes against the incumbent monopolists.

     

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  34.  
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    Jon Noowtun, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:55pm

    It explains why they're doing silly things like forcing Hulu to block access to specific browsers in a crude attempt to block people from accessing internet television on their actual TVs. Google TV, for example, has been blocked.


    Good for them!!!!! Anything they can do to stop the Gargle conspiracy to take over all of the world's data is a good thing!!!!!

    That's not to say that products like Google TV don't enhance cable TV.


    They don't!!!!! Goggle TV is nothing but an advertising platform!!!!! Advertising is bad!!!!! (except if it's on my site) This is another step in Guggle's evil plan to take over the world!!!!!

    www.Pee2PeeNet.net

     

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  35.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re: GoogleTV

    "I'm not so sure... what if Google just isn't in a hurry? They see which way things are moving, so they are positioning themselves to have the best and most open solution already out there when the networks start to cave."

    Google is primarily an advetising and content company. They see the way content is going. Which is free to the consumer with advertising that is commercials or embeded.


    "Hulu hasn't gotten much out of their cooperative attitude. They can barely stay afloat with the fees the networks demand, and it's widely agreed that Hulu Plus sucks (even though the folks at Hulu clearly *wanted* it to be good)"

    And how much has hulu nade in the past year ???

     

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  36.  
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    willbates (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 12:52am

    Re: GoogleTV

    If Google doesn't was to create content then they needed to have tried harder to partner with cable providers. I think long-run this content will go online, it will turn out very much like the current situation in print media. As long as content providers have intellectual property they will still be able to generate add revenue, which is all they will get.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Before cutting the TV cable ...

    ATT BILL: $276.00 a month

    After cutting TV cord . . .

    ATT BILL: $125.00

    The reason to cut cable is obvious. $150 a month to watch commercials and reruns. Not anymore!

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    "I heard recently open-office now wants $99.00 for their 'product'"

    So thanks to copyright, instead of going forward we're going backwards. Things aren't getting cheaper and better, they're getting more expensive and worse.

    Wasn't copyright supposed to put more into the public domain to make more available to consumers?

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Todd, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    This is something the cable / satellite should fear

    Everyone is tired of being ripped off by the cable / satellite companies.

    I canceled my satellite 4 months ago when i found I can get all of the tv on internet with all the shows I watch for free online in one place, and high quality this guy has

    put together a site that has all sitcoms / series listed in alphabetical order. Some channels have one 30 second commercial about every 5-10 minutes, but some have NO COMMERCIALS for the whole series,

    and best of all LIVE sports online with scheduled times.
    I can watch all N F L games live in hi def. they have horse racing, cricket

    nascar pretty much every sport from around the world it's awsome. cost is about $50 but after having it I would have paid $100 it's worth every penny!

    You have to go to this site to purchase and again I cant recommend enough.

    hopefully it's ok to post the website but it can eliminate the Rip OFF pain of satelite and cable so here it is,
    so you can watch tv on internet here

    http://1700tvchannels.com/

     

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  40.  
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    TPBer (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Syncing

    One more thing is that you can create a new gmail account with all of the channels (streams) authorized or not, it connects to anything on chrome, as bookmarks and sync to this account as well as let as many of your friends do the same.

    It's your own version of boxee, "youboxee". The networks are doomed.

     

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