Hello. Around the a year ago I finally “cut the cord” from cable TV. I tried “Hulu Live TV” which I liked and provided the local major network channels. It did not provide local independent channels which have local news that I like. The service was good but the price was high- $90 in my opinion. The other options Sling & Youtube TV get pricey too.
Right now I have:
Tablo for the OTA stuff
Philo - for live cable type channels $28
Hulu with ads (for when I forget to set a Tablo recording and some original content) $6.81
Judging from activity for the OTA devices on forums on the internet, I get the impression that the number of people using OTA devices is low. Is it because of the initial expense and setup? Is it because they don’t know about them?
To me it is dumb to pay for channels you can get OTA for free (or low cost of guide data). Plus you are basically forced to buy a package with channels you don’t care about. Isn’t this why we cut the cord in the first place??
I’m worried that OTA devices will fade away. There is a similiar discussion on the Tivo boards. I already see the Tablo interface hasn’t changed since I bought it. They are getting rid of commercial skip. I’m worried that I’ll have no choice but to go back to a package streaming service. boo!
I believe, “lack of OTA users” you perceive is unawareness. Then theres all the profits from services and cable - massive $ for marketing. Pushing articles about the hassles with OTA.
We’ve found different variations as to what a “cord cutter” means. Some have zero wires, often due to limited internt speeds, if amy at all. Some define streaning services as cord cutting (marketing imho). Seeing cord cutting as lack of a cable bill.
Theres FCC stuff about OTA, even though corporations control the federal government, to just shut it down… public safety stuff maybe. The infrastructure is well rooted for it to just go away quickly.
Internet killed much print, so who knows. For decades no one, thought Playboy would fade away. But the industry still exists.
True, and the viewership of local TV stations, delivering local news, is certainly on the decline, but politicians value the audience targeting associated with local broadcasters, who would have no reason to exist if they didn’t provide over the air broadcast signals for the public to receive over “our” airwaves.
It is interesting to note the changes over the decades from affiliates being paid by the TV networks to carry content, to the current model of content owners charging local broadcasters for network feeds, who in turn charging cable and satellite providers for retransmission rights for “their” signal, not to mention lower cost independent content gradually creeping into broadcast feeds away from prime time.
I think this kinda depends on where one lives. Some people live too far from OTA transmitters and/or either don’t know how or unsure of using an antenna for reception. When I cut the video chord from Comcast I jumped right on to a Tablo Quad. But I live in a major metropolitan area and have plenty of local transmitters. I still Stream quite a bit but I have enough local stations I have plenty to watch without Streaming.
Paying that stupid OTA fee is stupid. But you can’t blame the cable companies because they in turn have to pay the Broadcasters. Government got involved there and that’s where that fee comes from.
ATSC 3.0 might shake things up a bit with OTA however. Will have to wait and see how much longer it remains free to watch.
I use to pay $140 a month on Dish that was 4 plus years ago and what I realized most of the time I only watch local channels, then I did a research came across Tablo 4 plus years ago took the plunge and like it so much paid there lifetime subs and cancel Dish now I just pay the commercial skip and Netflix and the regular Youtube still free not the live and there are lots of free apps with decent content even Roku has a free live TV, don’t think I’m going back paying that much just to watch TV. For OTA by law broadcaster has to provide a free OTA they have to change the law for them not make it free for the public.
That gets into the “must carry” rule. A broadcaster can declare their channel as “must carry”, and the cable/etc operators must include it in their basic package. But then they can’t charge a re-transmission fee. Or they can charge the fee, and the operators can choose not to carry the channel. That’s why you get the “blackouts” when the negotiations on how much the retransmission fee will be break down.
There are a substantial amount of cord cutters that will not pay for access to the channels. The question is this - how many people is that? 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%? I know there are people out there that would pay virtually anything to obtain TV channels… So, it is very difficult to speculate as to the repercussions of going 100% pay on an OTA ATSC 3.0 channel.
That being said, most of the “rumor mill” that I have been hearing is the local channels are looking at the possibility of bringing “cable channels” to OTA broadcasts, but behind a paywall. This is 100% theoretical - but say that your local ABC channel wanted to carry ESPN family of channels. They could still broadcast ABC without a paywall, and have all of the ESPN channels for $10 per month (again - this is theoretical).
I don’t have “insider information” - this is just rumors from people I know in the industry - both current and former employees of broadcasters. The ABC, CBS, NBC, CW & Fox channels that are the primary channel for the broadcasters will likely remain free. What we could lose, is access to a bunch of the subchannels like MeTV, H&I, AntennaTV, ION, etc… Even then, the thinking is that these will remain free (the broadcasters sell advertising, and a considerable drop in advertising would result in them not being over the air). They also realize that many of the stations are available either free, or on packages from Friendly-TV for $6.99 per month, and they would lose 100% of the viewers that paid for that.
The people are are the most afraid in the industry right now are the cable/satellite companies, because if 100% of these channels are available (or close to it) via ATSC 3.0, they could literally lose more market share and it may not be profitable to remain in business… The streaming companies are also following this closely, as many people subscribe to their services as well as an alternative to cable.
Conclusion - there is a lot of rumors, and we will learn that a majority of them are not true. Some of them will be true. But until an official communication comes out from the broadcasters, it is nothing but rumor, and can’t be taken as truth.
My concern is how ATSC 3.0 will affect existing ATSC 1.0. I mean, it sounds great that “nothing will change”, but will that be true? Sadly, people tend to exploit people… so all this “stuff” added for you and me in ATSC 3.0 is likely there strictly to exploit us and make us more miserable. If you keeping bending my back, eventually it will break. Hopefully, all of that was very paranoid and doesn’t come to pass.
Given that 99% of the USA doesn’t have access to ATSC 3.0 tuners, and I don’t see a big change in the next couple of years, I believe ATSC 1.0 will remain active for the foreseeable future (10 years?).
That being said, some of the subchannels could disappear (H&I channel was dropped from the Austin, TX market), as the media companies are going through a lot of change (they own the programming on the channels, and there have been shakeups in what programming appears on channels), and they even may change some of the major stations. Even the free TV via pluto, roku and other sources has had shakeups.
The issue here not the “Must Carry” or “Retransmission Consent” rule. It’s that the Communications Act requires the cable operators have to carry a certain number of OTA channels to begin with. Once this rule was made it’s devolved into a catch-22.
There isn’t anything on network TV that is worth paying for. The shows are dumbed-down garbage, the news is nothing but corporate propaganda, and the commercials are one lie after another. They can’t even let you watch something without ads for another show covering 1/3 to 1/2 of the screen. When they started writing ads into the scripts I stopped watching anything except football, and now that isn’t even a regular thing I do because of all the self-serving PR BS thinly veiled as charity.
If they find a way to kill OTA then I will watch streaming and my personal library exclusively, or read a book.