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Happy New Year ! How do you think HTPC will change or evolve in 2014 ? - Page 2

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Cable tv is expensive and every time an alternative pops up it's another nail in the coffin for cable.

Unfortunately this pops up as well every time an innovation occurs that threatens the cable/satellite stranglehold...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57615463-93/aereo-to-broadcasters-supreme-court-bring-it-on/

I wouldn't underestimate the deep pocket power of the cable/satellite companies in squashing some of these other options.
post #32 of 69
As a Service vs. HTPC

Will the near term bring more value from a HTPC or less? Years ago I thought PC-HT convergence was the future but I found non-PC appliances more suited (easier to use). I had a HTPC with the original Microsoft Media Center but quit using it except as a headless PC Audio server moving to Cable DVR, DVD/BD players and streaming services like Netflix. What is the value prop of HTPC? lower cost alternative to bloated monthly Cable bills? Private on-line library of movies & music? I love the idea of having high quality library of movies well organized for instant access in my home but the promise of Netflix makes many TB of on-site movies redundant with the cloud and one monthly fee.

It comes down to content and thus a hybrid solution. What BD movies & music won't be available aaS (i.e from Netflix/Spotify/etc)? Those you need to own to supplement your cloud services. The Cable companies will strive to make content their differentiator.


I have a new HTPC and FIOS Triple Play and an iPhone plus ROKU on my Oppo BD player. I want to reduce my monthly bill and the land-line phone and Cable TV seem somewhat redundant. I don't watch much TV but the few times I have it on are ESPN (Sports Center), Network Sports (i.e. ABC), some travel documentaries on Wealth TV, news (CNBC, CNN), and PBS. I used to watch HISTORY CH until it became REALITY CH. My perception is there would be something I would miss if I moved to a basic offering. I have purchased select BD titles because I don't want to worry about Netflix not having the title or the latest BD version.

With my FIOS DVR I've not investigated how I would DVR HD w/my PC.


How strong is the value proposition now and in the near term of HTPC (especially if you don't count the pirating of rented discs)? As cool as MB3 and MB/T are, it's hard to justify spinning approx. 30TB per movie that gets watched once every decade. Historically I have a data base program (Collectorz) for the eye candy and then pull the disc when I want to watch the title. Music is different because I listen to titles more often and the songs change quicker. Movies are setup play and sit for 2 hours.
Edited by Hoots - 1/2/14 at 9:17am
post #33 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Unfortunately this pops up as well every time an innovation occurs that threatens the cable/satellite stranglehold...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57615463-93/aereo-to-broadcasters-supreme-court-bring-it-on/

I wouldn't underestimate the deep pocket power of the cable/satellite companies in squashing some of these other options.

Oh clearly that is the case. I agree 110%.

The cable companies want to continue to use the distribution system they have invested and built and profit from it further. I get it. It makes sense. But at some point they are going to need to acknolwedge and adapt to the consumer demands and wishes. People vote with their checkbooks so it's inevitable, even if they squash it or slow it down - it is still going to happen.

It's just a matter of time.

When electricity was invented and eventually distributed huge companies either went out of business or adapted. Rockefeller owned standard oil (oil for lamps and light) and was a mega huge company and industry, but then with electric lighbulbs needed to find other ways to continue on. They found a use for a by product and previous waste product of oil refinement (gasoline) in engines. Others like the ice making industry went the way of the dinosaur when refrigeration took over. The same will happen here. But if you peel it all back you will see that while perhaps the ice making industry went out of business, new bushiness like building refrigerators and light bulbs sprung up in it's place.

The purpose of copyright is “to promote the progress of science and the useful arts”. That's what it says in the constitution. It does not say anything about "exclusive right" or that is should allow exclusivity to someone to make money. That is a distortion and twisted by the copy right holders and the companies and industries and unfortunately they have the money and power and resources and special interest to continue to influence law makers to support them and their interests.

I just don't see how my ability to purchase a cable channel from an online dealer like NETFLIX or ROKU should not be allowed? Why does Comcast have the monopoly (I can't get DirecTV because of trees) ? I don't want to spend $150+ to watch my supercross races. Comcast forces you to buy the sports package ($18) on top of the digital cable package ($80) just to see the SPEED CHANNEL. That's BS!

I would love to be able to subscribe to the SPEED channel for a single fee for the single channel via online streaming for live events, and on demand for content. I would pay $10 for it. My guess is if I paid $10 directly to SPEED channel directly they actually would make more profit on me too. So what's the problem ??? Clearly it's the cable companies. Clearly it's BS. Clearly things need to change. I think 2014 we will see more of this... and the beginning of the revolution. Consumers should not need to spend $100 month and buy all the channels. They should be able to pick and choose the ones they want to pay for and not. If not enough people subscribe to something then let it go away. I don't get this whole concept of "protection" and exclusive right that the content providers try to force on everyone. It just makes no sense to me, and clearly it's simply about making money. The costs for cable have gotten out of control.

I am not saying rights holders don't deserve compensation either. I think they do. I also don't think rampant piracy is good either. But I think piracy would be lessened almost automatically if providers could actually provide a product at a price consumers want. But no one seems to understand this. The current cable product is really pretty poor compared to HTPC, or even what you can get for free or very cheap with a ROKU3 box.

I can't wait until the day I can subscribe to 15 channels I pick, rather than 80 I don't watch. 15 channels for $30 a month I am a buyer. 80 channels for $80 a month I am not. Funny that it's $2 per channel in the first scenario, and $1 a channel for the second. It's not about not paying for something at all.
post #34 of 69
WOW. I thought I could get on a soapbox. But I'll admit I agree with almost everything you said, especially the part about ala cart paying as apposed to paying for sh** you don't want.

Mfusick, I don't know how to break this to you but the miserable good-for-nothings at FOX killed SPEED channel as we know it. I don't personally know anyone who has logged more Speed channel hours than me. I've raced bicycles, cars (drag racer for 15 years), motorcycles (illegally in the mountains of Ca) and boats. I'm in mourning.

Over the decades, I've seen things come and go, but often not for the reason or reasons you would expect. Even a crystal ball won't help.Things just come and go and they do so at unexplained and unrepeatable paces.

Why I hold out hope for the HTPC is that computers can be many things to many people. They have the uncanny nack of evolving in ways that aren't always that obvious.
post #35 of 69
While I too agree with everything mentioned so far. The missing piece is that the providers won't deliver their best product until the masses can receive it. So imo the real game changer for 2014 will be... Google Fiber 1000 mbps!!! where do I sign up smile.gif I for one will standing in line the day it comes to my city.

I mean, here's life as it stands now...
streaming HD video= BUFFERING!!
streaming HD audio= NEVER!!
download a torrent= CYA tomorrow!!
1000 mbps??? it can't be real... I'm dreaming right
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I just don't see how my ability to purchase a cable channel from an online dealer like NETFLIX or ROKU should not be allowed? Why does Comcast have the monopoly (I can't get DirecTV because of trees) ? I don't want to spend $150+ to watch my supercross races. Comcast forces you to buy the sports package ($18) on top of the digital cable package ($80) just to see the SPEED CHANNEL. That's BS!

I would love to be able to subscribe to the SPEED channel for a single fee for the single channel via online streaming for live events, and on demand for content. I would pay $10 for it. My guess is if I paid $10 directly to SPEED channel directly they actually would make more profit on me too. So what's the problem ??? Clearly it's the cable companies. Clearly it's BS. Clearly things need to change. I think 2014 we will see more of this... and the beginning of the revolution. Consumers should not need to spend $100 month and buy all the channels. They should be able to pick and choose the ones they want to pay for and not. If not enough people subscribe to something then let it go away. I don't get this whole concept of "protection" and exclusive right that the content providers try to force on everyone. It just makes no sense to me, and clearly it's simply about making money. The costs for cable have gotten out of control. .

A few tidbits:

-Comcast [likely] has that monopoly because it cost them a fortune to build out their network in your area. Your municipal government made the agreement with them. The government wanted cable tv for your area, and Comcast wanted to provide it. So the government let them run cable lines all over town at great expense to Comcast. Comcast asked in return that they be made the exclusive provder for X number of years while they reclaimed the large infrastructure investment they made. If thats not the reason it would be because another provider doesn't find it economically viable to run lines all over town or because the government doesnt want them to.

-The idea with the Speed channel sounds pretty good in theory. But this is kind of what I alluded to when I mentioned nobody knowing what will happen if ala carte becomes a reality. You said if not enough people subscribe to something that it will go away.

I used to receive Speed network when I was on a higher tier. I never once watched it. My $50ish per month in cable fees was in some small part going to pay for Speed's programming. So in a way I was subsidizing the cost of what you wanted to watch. Maybe thats why it doesnt exist anymore.

Given the choice I would absolutely not pay for it, given that I will never watch it. So if enough people could say "I'm never going to watch Speed channel and I'm not going to give them money" what will happen to the channel? Will it be able to survive? And thats not just Speed - would enough people say "yes" to keep channels like Military, H2, Lifetime Movie Network, BBC America, Disney XD, etc.

The "protection" you alluded to is because these channels are all tied to other, more popular ones.

So those companies with popular programming - Monday Night Football, Duck Dynasty, Pawn Stars, Cake Boss, Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead - can crank up the pressure to carry their less popular networks and shows. If they were to go into business for themselves and offer channels directly they couldn't do that anymore.
post #37 of 69
Well, this thread is quickly approaching TL;DR status, but I did skim over most of what has been said already. Here is where I see things going

Servers
  • Home Automation is going to become requested a lot more with Comcast and AT&T telling everyone "Look what we can do"
  • Transcoding might finally arrive to XBMC (on the roadmap, blah, blah forever now)
  • Transcoding will begin to be phased out for over 90% of our libraries biggrin.gif

In the genesis of my following of transcoding, the software I knew that offered it was
  • PS3Mediaserver
  • Orb
  • Subsonic
  • Plex

They all had a purpose. Orb->iOS, PS3mediaserver->PS3, Subsonic->Linux and Android, Plex->all. The list of 1080p capable devices that supported MKV files at the time was
  • Dune?
I honestly don't know which ones had support, but no phone/tablet was 1080p yet and the PS3/X360 didn't support many formats, hence the birth

2014 - Samsung S4/S5 have AC wifi and 1080p screens smile.gif With MXplayer my SGS4 can directplay most of my library already. You can bet new tablets will be able to as well, and when AC/1080p becomes *standard* transcoding blu-rays will be a thing of the past. Then transcoders will be needed for 4k biggrin.gif
post #38 of 69
Also retroplayer is coming to XBMC. It will make the excruciating setup of games in XBMC more like the super nice easy setup of games in mediabrowser, and it currently supports Win/Nix. Not sure if it will come to Android. Other news in XBMC will be the addition of multi-client. This will be the long awaited Server/Client model

Server/Client will keep marching forward (to other frontends) I think, already present in Plex/MB3. Windows could really surprise people with an updated rebirth of the extender and a little cleanup of the "games" and adding blu ray playback capabilities in WMC. (I don't think this will happen, but what a shocker if it did) For now, krustyreturns (and all those involved) great work on ServerWMC brings the Server/Client "extender" model to WMC as-a-server. It's currently in XBMC, and coming to MB3. Supports windows, linux, arm (rpi at least), android already, but has the dreaded "only copy-free" requirement limiting it's awesomeness to comcast and fios.
post #39 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

A few tidbits:

-Comcast [likely] has that monopoly because it cost them a fortune to build out their network in your area. Your municipal government made the agreement with them. The government wanted cable tv for your area, and Comcast wanted to provide it. So the government let them run cable lines all over town at great expense to Comcast. Comcast asked in return that they be made the exclusive provder for X number of years while they reclaimed the large infrastructure investment they made. If thats not the reason it would be because another provider doesn't find it economically viable to run lines all over town or because the government doesnt want them to.

-The idea with the Speed channel sounds pretty good in theory. But this is kind of what I alluded to when I mentioned nobody knowing what will happen if ala carte becomes a reality. You said if not enough people subscribe to something that it will go away.

I used to receive Speed network when I was on a higher tier. I never once watched it. My $50ish per month in cable fees was in some small part going to pay for Speed's programming. So in a way I was subsidizing the cost of what you wanted to watch. Maybe thats why it doesnt exist anymore.

Given the choice I would absolutely not pay for it, given that I will never watch it. So if enough people could say "I'm never going to watch Speed channel and I'm not going to give them money" what will happen to the channel? Will it be able to survive? And thats not just Speed - would enough people say "yes" to keep channels like Military, H2, Lifetime Movie Network, BBC America, Disney XD, etc.

The "protection" you alluded to is because these channels are all tied to other, more popular ones.

So those companies with popular programming - Monday Night Football, Duck Dynasty, Pawn Stars, Cake Boss, Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead - can crank up the pressure to carry their less popular networks and shows. If they were to go into business for themselves and offer channels directly they couldn't do that anymore.

Non of this is the consumers problem. I don't care if channels go out of business. I don't care if comcast goes out of business either. It's simply not my problem.

This is the area where no one wants to stand up and make it make sense naturally. You use SPEED channel as example but I know lots of people that watch SPEED CHANNEL or would want to do it. They make money with advertisers. Each channel has a demographic and ratings. More ratings = more advertiser dollars. The cool thing about SPEED is for an advertiser that wants to advertise a new car wax, car part, dirt bike, or whatever they can buy ads on speed channel and hit the target audience without having to spend tons more on national prime time channel.

If less people watch it- it will either be more expensive (per channel) or cheaper for advertising - which helps niche products and MFG's. If you made dirtbike boots, you can't advertise them on TV because it costs way to much relative to how many people are actually interested. You could afford a cheaper advertisement to a smaller audience.

Breaking the current broken system and rebuilding it intelligently will sure rustle some jimmys... but it will all work out in the end. Just trust in pure capitalism. What does CBS or NBC care if you watch via internet stream, or cable, or directtv ??? Does it matter?
I don't think so. All they care about is getting as many people to watch as possible so they can charge as much as possible for ads and turn profit. That is not going to change.

And- allowing competition via online streaming or a la carte services isn't going to kill off a cable company like comcast that invested in wires. Many people are going to still have cable or keep it. I won't just go away overnight. It will fade over many years. And the cost of cable will likely decrease- or the product will improve to fend off the new competition. Consumers win. I don't feel sorry for a cable company, and there is no reason to justify how things are now IMO. It's just broken. The whole thing is broken. You can't force yesterday's technology on tomorrow consumers. It's not going to work.
post #40 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Well, this thread is quickly approaching TL;DR status,

What is that ?
post #41 of 69
Too long. Didn't read.

That's what happens when people ramble on in a reply. No one reads the entire thing I guess. smile.gif
post #42 of 69
How is your perception of optical discs changing? Time Mag said 2013 will be the last year of growth for players and forecasts optical disc players to be killed by streaming. While I see streaming eroding the need for discs there would seem to be a list of titles that won't be available aaS so buying those now before OOP might be of interest, but many maybe redundant if you subscribe to a streaming service. Managing costly HDD's of content readily available aaS or optical discs on a shelf containing content readily available aaS from services I already subscribe isn't attractive....the problem is not knowing what might not be in the cloud or remain in the cloud.
post #43 of 69
My prediction? More illegal downloads.

And whatever the users need to do to manage them.

The "cloud" mindset is changing slowly but surely, as people start realizing the consequences of giving up control of your data. And when they start storing things locally, illegal downloads become a part and parcel of that.
post #44 of 69
Thread Starter 
So you are suggesting more cloud- or less cloud ?
post #45 of 69
Why does this always go back to how cable companies and media companies suck?
post #46 of 69
Thread Starter 
I think cable companies are some of America's most despised companies in general. Some it is probably well deserved. That's probably why.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-hated-companies-in-america-2012-6?op=1
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

There are a fair amount of cheap people on AVS as well. I think its still a mixture of both. And I would guess that there are a ton of lurkers that are looking for the cheapest way to add HTPC-type functionality to their home that don't post but just come here for research and learning purposes. I see this all the time across all AVS forums as well.

The Average Joe Best Buy Guy (AJBBG) [tm] is looking for something like Google Chrome, Roku or Raspberry Pi, etc. Many of us, like myself, are looking for something completely different. Unfortunately for people like me we are only about 1% of the target market which means that there is probably going to be more advances in the AJBBG [tm] market than in our market as that's where the money is.


Speaking as one of the above mentioned "lurker" (LOL-look at my stats). I have always found the mention of the "Joe 6 pack" (or more recently-"Joe Best Buy") OFFENSIVE. The more accurate description would be SAF or WF. I can't tell you how many times over the years my wife (or kids) asked me to play a movie, and waited at least 10-15 minutes while the HTPC decided to "update", blue screen, or just plain hang. However, they can be up and running within 30 seconds (netflix and all) with my ATV (apple TV).


I have recently been trying to "perfect" my Sever/Client model with the addition of all my connected Blu Rays (OPPO), ATV, and now, XBOX 1. The HTPC model of circa 2007 is GONE (one box to rule them all). My Q6600 flagship is running server duty in my kids room and rarely evens turns on as we watch Netflix mostly.

I visit here pretty much DAILY and follow alot of threads here (as well as AVR, Speakers, and Network media players) MUCH useful stuff for research as mentioned, but also alot of DRAMA. Peace
post #48 of 69
im pretty bummed that there wasn't anything really in our space that popped up at ces frown.gif
post #49 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

im pretty bummed that there wasn't anything really in our space that popped up at ces frown.gif

I guess HTPC is not the interesting? Or that our space just is a tough space for MFG to make money ?
post #50 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I guess HTPC is not the interesting? Or that our space just is a tough space for MFG to make money ?

Its a niche market.

Many companies are directly/indirectly in bed with Hollywood and don't want to upset the status quo.

The margins are small.

Those are my immediate thoughts.
post #51 of 69
The speeds Google fiber provides would be a game changer for content delivery. Really undercut the cable companies and help with delivering 4k content.
post #52 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I guess HTPC is not the interesting? Or that our space just is a tough space for MFG to make money ?

I think we'll see growth in the low cost Android box offerings that meet most HTPC needs (except copy-protected TV & high end video processing).
post #53 of 69
I guess I was sort of hoping to see Silicon Dust offer something to add more value to their tuners. They've already got Simple tv and their transcoding tuners - I guess I was hoping for an app (or suite of them) for different devices - PC, tablet, phone - that would let you record to a NAS and then watch on all your devices.

Or perhaps software from them or Ceton that would allow live tv via tuner on the Xbox One.

The Steambox computers could make very cool htpcs - smallish, styled for the living room, with some video processing ability. I can see [some of] those developing into a media hub. It would almost make sense for Valve to utilize tv connected computers to sell movies and tv programming ala iTunes, Google Play, Xbox Video, etc.
post #54 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

I think we'll see growth in the low cost Android box offerings that meet most HTPC needs (except copy-protected TV & high end video processing).

Why android?

I find it buggy.

Since you can already do XBMC on USB stick with openELEC and mb3 is in development now I'd guess that's the better way to do it.
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Why android?

ARM processors. they're much cheaper, power efficient, and can be made to do specific video tasks.

Not that I'm happy about that, but its the reality. I don't have a single friend with a desktop pc. I'm running out of friends with Windows laptops - they're all moving to Macbooks and ipads. None of them have had a good pc experience. They all bought Dells and HPs full of bloatware, never defragmented, never ran a cleanup, installed beucoup toolbars, etc. And three years later they wonder why the PC is failing.

My boss just called me into his office to discuss his new "project" - hes buying a Peachtree DAC/amp and is debating which way to for his pc. His choices are a Mac Mini w itunes, or his old laptop running JRiver. Him and his wife have ipads and iphones. She has a Macbook. He is either keeping the laptop and buying the Mac Mini or using the laptop as a media server and buying a new Macbook.

Microsoft (and their x86 processor pals) are losing the war for the home consumer.

You asked recently how cheap you could possibly build an htpc for - but said no Roku, Neotv, etc. Well, if you're builing a cheap pc it wont have much video processing power, won't have much storage, wont have an optical disc drive, wont have a tuner, and will have limited upgradability. Sounds just like a Roku or Apple TV to me, except those won't cost $200+ to get off the ground.
post #56 of 69
It'll be interesting to see what'll happen to ARM with Intel turning their focus on the mobile/tablet market (e.g. Baytrail and friends). If they can get nearly as cheap and efficient but still be x86, which seems to be their goal, it'll be interesting.

In 2014 I am looking forward to some passively-cooled thin mini-ITX BayTrail-D motherboards.
post #57 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Why android?

I find it buggy.

Since you can already do XBMC on USB stick with openELEC and mb3 is in development now I'd guess that's the better way to do it.

For a certain percentage of end users, Android's ability to run Netflix and a host of other apps (WatchESPN, games, etc) , combined with something like XBMC becomes compelling. Simple setup with little configuration will be important. Bugs can be worked out.

Of course, Videophiles are not the end user group that would be interested.
post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Not that I'm happy about that, but its the reality. I don't have a single friend with a desktop pc. I'm running out of friends with Windows laptops - they're all moving to Macbooks and ipads. None of them have had a good pc experience. They all bought Dells and HPs full of bloatware, never defragmented, never ran a cleanup, installed beucoup toolbars, etc. And three years later they wonder why the PC is failing...

Having a lot of ignoramuses out there who don't know how to take care of a PC has been (and continues to be) quite lucrative for me. Knowledge is power. If you're inquisitive, patient and willing to spend some time on it, you can make a PC perform at whatever level you desire. Problems with a PC present an opportunity to hone problem solving skills that are sorely lacking in today's society. Just yesterday, I resolved a problem on a digital oscilloscope running Windows 7 that confounded everyone else around me. And I credit my years of tinkering with PC's for that.

With freedom (Microsoft) comes the freedom to muck things up. If you're one of those types who prefer to be controlled (Apple), then you will find yourself with limited choices, trapped in an ecosystem you can't quite get out of and a whole lot less cash in your wallet than what you might have otherwise. Mac's will continue to be the boutique solution for simplistic, weak-minded people with lots of disposable income (A really small market).

As far as the future goes, I see very few changes to the HTPC regime. Perhaps Ceton will start to embrace Windows 8 (if they haven't already). I would predict that another front end that supports cablecard tuners will emerge as a competitor to Windows Media Center (most likely XBMC). We'll see further development on portable devices. Not much will change as far as content goes. Cable companies will continue to strangle innovation by selling bundles..

*yawn*
post #59 of 69
I think that Cable and Satelite does not represent much for most people and I predict people to keep cutting off their cable because it is out of reach in price for most people or it is just so boring it puts people to sleep. With out the brainwashing of Network TV, People are able to think for themselves. I think that is what Blogging is all about. The status quo of print and TV Media has a very small audience and most everything can be found for free on the Internet.

I would not call myself an HTPC expert. However, I built a computer a few years back and hooked it up via HDMI and the video was good enough for me. My wife started watching a lot of Korean shows on the Internet along with some other stuff. It seems like South Korea is becoming like a Hollywood of Asia. I never did like sports and what usually happens is I look at TV and it is all Blah, Blah, Blah . . . . So we just decided Cable and satellite was just a big waste of money. So Cut, Cut, Snip, Snip!

I am really into Korean Dramas with subs. However, I still watch some stuff on HULU. I kind of like the Marvel Avengers, and a few shows hit and miss. Most of what is on TV is just mindless dribble. No yucky reality TV or Singing and Dancing contests, or cooking shows. However, We also find a lot of interesting items on YouTube. Some of it is fan created and probably bootlegged from a concert like the KPOP bands and videos. KPOP = Korean Pop Music. They do a lot of singing and dancing. It is really funny to watch some old men with turbans trying to dance to Psy's Gangnam Style. KPOP Dancing routines are really popular all over the Muslim world as well as in places like Germany, France, Italy, Japan, etc.

My idea of an HTPC is just a Computer hooked up to a TV via HDMI. Maybe play a few games and browse the Internet.

p.s. Skype is also very popular.
Edited by ceh4702 - 1/10/14 at 9:23am
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

But this is kind of what I alluded to when I mentioned nobody knowing what will happen if ala carte becomes a reality. You said if not enough people subscribe to something that it will go away...

Cable companies are already starting to play around with alacarte-ish ideas. For example, Verizon is allowing people to strip away the ESPN's on their cable lineup for a savings that works out to be ~$10/month. That may not seem like a big deal, but it does represent a departue from the bundle philosophy.

If you can strip away ESPN, why not other channels? Can I add ESPN to some lower-tier package? that's alacarte, people!

What I'd love to see is companies offering up smaller bundles that I can pick & choose from. Suppose there were a kids bundle, a sports bundle, a sci-fi bundle, news, etc.. just log into a webpage, check off the ones you want and how long you want them, and click "buy". Now, that would mean that companies make less money per bundle, but they'll make it up by people (like us) who cut the cable due to cost who come back.

There's another little gem in this idea, too.. targeted advertizing. Suppose you subscribe to a "testosterone bundle".. car channels, fishing & hunting channels, etc.. The cable company now knows that you would be more likely to buy "man things".. cars, camo outfits, chain saws, etc.. that's absolute gold from an advertizing prospective. they could turn around and sell ad time at three or four times the price that they currently do. And if your bundles were available to you simultaneously through the internet.. you could watch live TV on anything with a screen.

That'd be a product worth having.

As for some channels going away if people don't subscribe.. so be it. I have no problem with a darwinistic approach to television content. If it's not worth watching, it should go away. I would rather have 30 channels of content that I want than 300 channels of content that I don't want. Imagine if the cable model of selling products to customers applied to other aspects of life..

So your wife sends you to the store for milk, butter and cheese. In the grocery store, all you find are shopping carts packed full of all kinds of products.. along with milk, butter and cheese. Each of the carts cost $150. You either buy the "bundle" or you go without.

How long do you think it'd be before mobs of people with pitchforks storm in?
Edited by ajkrishock - 1/10/14 at 12:21pm
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AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › Happy New Year ! How do you think HTPC will change or evolve in 2014 ?