Originally Posted by Ken H
AT&T = Limited HD streams, less than average HD image quality, good bundle pricing, whole house DVR.
WOW / Brighthouse / Charter (depending on where you live) = Low number of HD channels, average HD image quality, decent intro bundle pricing.
DirecTV = Decent HD image quality, lots of HD channels, lots of sports including exclusive NFL ST, no internet or digital phone.
Dish Network = Decent HD image quality, lots of HD channels, very good HD DVR, no internet or digital phone.
Verizon FiOS = Not in this area.
Since none of the other alternatives allow you to watch any channels at all without a box,
I'm not sure how Comcast still having at least locals, edu, gov, public service in the clear, both digital and analog, is a deal breaker? Makes no sense.
Once you compare prices, you'll find all of them are very similar for what you get.
Thanks for the info. I think the entire cable "buffet" model is too expensive. In order to get that one odd channel or two they make you ramp up into services that include hundreds of channels you don't watch. For example, everything we watch is on maybe 12-15 channels, yet we are paying for over 100 to get them. On top of that, being forced to buy cable card devices or rent them is enough to make me cry uncle.
Most shows are now available on free or pay as you go download services and unless you watch over 4 hours of TV a day, it is cheaper. The hi-def still isn't to the level of OTA or cable, and it isn't quite as convenient, but I suspect TV entertainment will move further and further toward this model.
My brother actually dropped his Verizon TV service this month and will live with OTA and internet for all his entertainment.
The last piece of the puzzle, for me is the internet. Like you mentioned, Comcast does have internet bundles, but IMHO, they are moving toward multi level expensive upsells on that as well. I really hope we can get more competition there too. I know Sprint is working hard to bring their 4G service to the entire country and already pushing adapters (though there is no 4G service in the Detroit area.)
In the end, I think the best model is one where you pay for your internet service on a usage basis (not in upsold increments but actual megabytes) and also pay for download rights for content. I can imagine seeing two services growing from this, one where you pay a small fee for each show and another where you pay for a subscription to a service like Netflix (which starts to look a bit like cable except they aren't pumping the entire bandwidth into your house all the time.)
By the way, don't underestimate the backlash from this change. Many people are fed up with Comcast to begin with and will look at this as the last straw. Comcast has one of the lowest satisfaction ratings of the competing services, I suspect because of their problems with reception and outages and their poor response fixing them. I have dealt with this myself, waiting hours for someone to show up only to have them tell me they didn't have the equipment to diagnose or fix my problem and they would have to send someone else...which turned out to be someone another person who didn't have the equipment...and on and on.
Also, many people are finding AT&T cheaper already, and don't see the difference in HD to be worth the cost. Once they do jump it is going to be very difficult for Comcast to get them back.
To your last point, edus, govs and school channels are not something I watch and I suspect that is true with most subscribers.