Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Is Pay TV Pricing Itself into a Corner

It has recently occurred to me that the Pay TV operators may have made their services too expensive. I have to confess that I have not used Pay TV services for the last 5 years. I have an older house without a functional coax plant and cancelled my Comcast service because I did not have a cable connection where I wanted to put my TV.

The last couple of years I have been watching digital terrestrial over the air stations. I am quite close to the transmission tower, so I get excellent reception with a good Terk indoor antenna. I just bought a new Vizio 42" HDTV and am very happy with it. It is better at pulling in a full range of stations than my older Sharp 32" set. The Vizio even has a functional electronic program guide that lets me see all of the programs in the next several hours on a channel by channel basis. It also has great HD reception and presentation. I can really see the difference with the 1080i broadcasts on the Vizio compared to the 720p broadcasts on my 32" set.

My only disappointment has with the over the air digital was when my local PBS station moved PBS Life and PBS Kids from San Francisco to San Jose, which is too far for me to receive. We had become hooked on both and would love to get them back. I am not a big sports fan, so I do not miss ESPN.

It would cost me between $60 and $90 per month for a good range of digital basic and premium programming. From what I can see, I don't think that what I would get from such a subscription is just not worth the price. I would subscribe to ATT's U-verse, because of my interest in IPTV, but ATT has given up on trying to offer it in San Francisco. The city would not accept the VDSL cabinets on its sidewalks. Frankly, I think the city is right. The boxes are just too big and wood impede pedestrian traffic. I see a lot of two wide baby strollers around that just would not be able to get by one of these boxes.

What intrigues me is bringing over the top Internet content to my TV. I can do that through Netflix, Amazon, and a number of other sites. The new Cisco home media devices that have just been introduced, among others, look like a great way to go. I am pulling in my belt this year to get through the tough economic times, so I will not do anything this year, but prices should go down and functionality should go up next year. We will see then.

Please make your comments. I would like to see if I am alone or not.

1 comment:

vaibhav said...

Billion dollar Business opportunity IOL Broadband Owned by Ashish deora

MTNL is expected to be the first to go live with IPTV and VOD, with a launch likely in Mumbai and Delhi by January 2007. The PSU, which plans to deploy over 1 million modems in the next few months, will then offer movies and music on demand on its network.
Peeyush Agrawal, general manager-broadband, MTNL, told DNA Money, “We are at the final stages of our IPTV plans in which IOL Broadband will be supplying the set top box and part of the content delivery network, whereas Aksh Optifibre will be providing broadband content services to our customers. Moreover, with the availability of high quality content from IOL Broadband, the pace of deployment will surely be accelerated.”....

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