Comcast announces Internet Streaming TV Service

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Deadman64, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    I did a search and didn't see any posts on this...but it looks like Comcast (Xfinity) just announced a new internet streaming service for $15 a month which includes HBO, On Demand, Live TV (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBX, PBS, & 'more') and 20 hours of Cloud-Based DVR storage.

    http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/a-new-streaming-tv-service-from-comcast

    Seems like its kind of everything Apple was rumored to debut.
     
  2. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    So for the cost of HBONow, you can get HBO plus all the free channels but limited only to your household and not on an actual TV.
     
  3. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Location:
    land of confusion
    #3
    Unless you use a TV as a monitor :)
     
  4. Deadman64 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #4
    Yeah, I'm assuming you can easily just airplay from your iPad. Maybe there will even be an Apple TV App? Of course Apple might block this if they ever get around to releasing something of their own.
     
  5. HobeSoundDarryl, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #5
    I fully expect that when some kind of cable TV-like service rolls out from Apple, all of the cable companies will at least match them but probably add a few desirable channels Apple couldn't include. Apple's offering will be dependent on Cable's broadband but Cable's version won't have that limitation. Add in tiered bandwidth "for heavier users" like video streamers (copying the cell phone service approach to tiered bandwidth) so that Apple's service will count against some bandwidth total while Cable's copy won't count... and the reason to switch will come down to UI (and brand bias) alone, probably at the added cost of higher broadband service to embrace Apple as new middleman.

    I don't like it but what would you do if you were the Cable company who also completely controls the broadband pipe and were threatened by some third party company leveraging YOUR pipes to take (what you'll view as) YOUR cable TV service revenues. I don't see how an Apple cableTV service can win that fight... especially if we consumers think we'll get a lower bill too. I suspect the Apple version will have to cost more than Cable's copy... especially when factoring in bundled offers of cable + broadband vs. unbundled broadband-only pricing + Apple's fee for their service.

    All it takes is putting yourself in each parties shoes and asking yourself what you would do. Why does Cable just let Apple take their cableTV revenues when Cable controls the broadband pipes? And so on.
     
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    I think the answer is because cable companies aren't like any other company. They get a permissible semi-public monopoly, and in exchange they must agree to not abuse that monopoly by abiding to certain strict rules.

    A while ago, the public decided we don't want 10 different utility companies serving the same utility to everyone, because we don't want 10 different sets of wires hanging over us, or 10 times more often road construction to manage those wires. We only need one company per utility in a given area, it's most efficient that way. But, to paraphrase Spiderman, with great monopoly power comes great public interest responsibility.

    I think this is why the FCC is trying to ensure that cable companies HAVE to let streaming services (like Apple's or anyone's) compete with their own media offerings, and they cannot discriminate the bytes that make it across the wires based on origin.

    That said, I don't think this semi-public monopoly system is that great. I am kind of fond of the system the UK has, with local-loop unbundling, where the utility cable company HAS TO allow third party companies to buy access in bulk at a fair and reasonable rate, and resell it to end-users. Essentially separating the infrastructure business from the customer-service and accounts-management business. Seems like the best of both words - no redundant competing wires, but with actual competition between providers on quality of customer service.
     
  7. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #7
    I think there is more to it then that. Example: With Netflix you pay the monthly fee and that it is. You can watch it on everything (hardware). With CABLE/FIOS you have to RENT the Hardware and pay a VIDEO TAX on top of your other fees. My hardware rental is $67 per month plus there is a $15 per month VIDEO Tax. The is $82 off the top of my current bill that I have to play with. This of course does not count the Internet and TV Portion. To be fair TWC does allow it's customers to use a Roku instead of a Cable Box but as far as I know they are the only one. And I am not sure how good it is. Also, Roku and maybe Amazon Fire seems to be the only one that allows for cross channel search which I feel is what could be a huge difference between services. I am hoping for an Apple TV Solution with a SIRI based cross search like/better then Roku. On the negative side most streaming services limit the number of simultaneous streams. I am hoping all will follow the Netflix lead and allow for Profiles and also allow you to pay a little bit more for extra streams. Netflix is $8 for 2 and $12 for 4 (and you get 4K). With Hulu you have to pay for multiple accounts to have Profiles. They say it is design for a single stream usage (not sure if enforced). Lastly, with streaming options you may want to buy different content for different Providers if they have Apps for the Hardware you have. Examples are Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime and more. All of these run on most boxes. Of course iTunes is only on Apple TV and Amazon Prime is limited. Really looking forward to a better TV experience but not expecting to say a lot of money.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #8
    I appreciate all of that but none of that is in stone. Again, I offer up the question of "what would you do?" which is not you (consumer) but you (as Cable company). You like your cableTV revenues. You probably have a local monopoly on broadband. Your sister division in wireless has already demonstrated an ability to package bandwidth in tiers, billing more for "high bandwidth users like video streamers" and that's been readily accepted in the marketplace and not overturned or attacked by the FTC or Gov

    Enter Apple. The rumor is they'll bundle some number of basic cable channels together into a $40/month or so equivalent of basic cable. Can you (as Cable Co.) match that mix of channels? Can you meet or beat Apple's pricing? Can you throw in some other channels Apple's doesn't include? Can your challenger + your broadband as a bundle be priced much better than Apple's challenger + separate broadband? If Apple really starts biting into your cableTV business, are you going to just roll over and let them have that business? Are you not going to make up for such losses with evolutionary adjustments to broadband?

    What we often do when we think about this is lock everything "as is" as if it is static, incapable of changing: my broadband will remain exactly the same even if I cancel cable out of my package and start eating a lot more broadband by using Apple's service. Cable pricing will remain exactly the same so that Apple can undercut them on price, still get the Apple margin AND get the most desirable channels at a huge discount off of what those same channels cost now. Etc.

    Why does Cable let that happen? They completely own the pipes on which Apple's service will ENTIRELY depend. They have enormous muscle in the subscription video distribution business now so they should be able to drive every bit of the bargain that Apple can drive as a brand new video subscription business entrant. They can waive hardware lease rentals and or rework broadband and bundle prices in almost any way they see fit to be sure they can deliver the very same programming, PLUS some goodies Apple doesn't include... for probably less cost.

    This would not be like Apple vs. Android where the whole experience can seem somewhat-to-pretty unique and we can point to many differences of one option vs. the other. Set aside UI and brand bias and what is displaying on that big TV screen is the EXACT SAME THING AT THE EXACT SAME QUALITY whether its flowing out of a box from Apple or a box from Cable Co. By simply flexing the muscle of the monopoly or duopoly of complete broadband control, they can make Apple's option more-to-much-more expensive by simply executing the precedent already established via their wireless cousins ("tiers for high bandwidth users") plus the logical concept of consumers paying more for unbundling broadband from cableTV, which is already well established and accepted by consumers as "normal."

    So again (and IMO unfortunately), I believe it will come down to the concept of superior UI from Apple vs. better pricing/value from Cable... especially when factoring in the broadband cost too. I expect that many who want the Apple option to replace their Cable/Satt package will pay more for it than what will probably be the exact same mix of channels plus a few, desirable goodies offered as a new "basic cable" package from Cable. And the problem with my belief if it plays out like that, is that any innovative UI "breakthroughs" can be copied in time: how long until cable incorporates their version(s) of whatever is truly innovative about some new, amazing UI? Even if we can't imagine it could as good or better, if it's almost as good and the whole service costs less, why do the non-Apple fans pay more for Apple's option with (probably) some desirable missing channels/programming + more expensive broadband?

    I'm as interested in ejecting Big Cable as anyone else but reality is that when the only pipe for the alternatives is owned by Big Cable, it seems it would be very difficult to deliver an overall better proposition at a better overall price. Our default solution to THAT problem is that the Gov or FTC will save us but where was the Gov when unlimited became unlimited* and tiered in the wireless space? And why will the Gov or FTC punish Big Cable to benefit Apple anyway? I don't like it but that's how I see it.
     
  9. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #9
    HopeSoundDarryl. My last sentence says : "Really looking forward to a better TV experience but not expecting to save a lot of money". But it is possible with my $82 savings in Hardware and Taxes that it could be close even with a higher Internet Cost. I am definitely not looking at this with rose colored glasses. But competition can be good. My provider Verizon FIOS just came out with "Custom" Packages. Like starts at $54 with 2 "required" Add On's and each additional Add On "group" is $10 per month. I am saving money but not a lot because of the Hardware Cost. I was paying like $$280 and not about $210 but I moved HBO and SHOWTIME to iTunes and that is $25 per month of that cost. And I also pay for Netflix and Hulu. Another negative with streaming is the buffering. Whereas on my cable box I change channels and it is instant. With the streaming Apps is it much slower. I am hopeful that this can improve. But it would have to be at the provider side because my Internet speed is 75/75. At my office the speed is 150/150 which is my next bump for an addition $40 per month. However, I do not think it would help with TV Viewing. But it would help my other use of Internet.
     
  10. Hookemfins macrumors 6502

    Hookemfins

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    Cable/satellite companies won't have to match anyone. First off cable/satellite providers are under contract with the channel providers. What Apple TV's service and Dish's sling service offer, they are paying the same rate per subscriber for the various channels as cable/satellite do. For example, ESPN/ESPN2 get around $6.75 per sub. Any upstart provider will be base their fees off of that.

    I have DirecTV. I can seamlessly change channels. DTV has what is called dual live buffers (they call it double play) which allows me to switch between two games with the ability to rewind on either channel. As of now we have no idea what the Apple TV service interface will be like?

    With 95 million subscribers to cable/satellite, they probably don't consider Apple TV's service (or dish's sling) as even a minor threat. If I were DTV or Comcrap, I would go on with my plans to get new business.
     
  11. Hookemfins macrumors 6502

    Hookemfins

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    At one time that was true but not any more. Where I am I have 3 options instead of Comcrap. I have DirecTV but other choices are Dish and Uverse.

    Nope. As I said above, the prices are set on a per subscriber bases.
     
  12. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Dish and Comcast are not competitors in the market of broadband ISPs. For streaming, which is the topic of the OP, the ISP is what matters.

    I think you can technically get satellite internet, but from what I've read it's either horridly expensive, or slow and unreliable for the affordable ones. I also don't think the speeds are up there to count as a good modern broadband. There are also microwave antenna systems, LTE systems, and others; but dollar for dollar, they're all prohibitively expensive as compared to a wired broadband ISP.

    If you have AT&T Uverse as an ISP option - then congratulations! You are in the vast minority of Americans who have more than one option. Welcome to the club that includes only ~20% of the population that has access to two or more 25Mbps+ wired broadband ISPs. I too am in this club, but it is not lost on me that the other 80% have either one such option, or no such option at all.
     
  13. Hookemfins macrumors 6502

    Hookemfins

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #13
    Sorry, I was in a combination of trying to post fast and replying to the another post. So I got a little ahead of myself.

    Yes I do have an option of AT&T Uverse and DSL as well as Comcrap.
     
  14. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
    So I could get this $15 per month deal with limited channels but it includes HBO AND, I have to use Comcast as my ISP as well to get the $15 service? That's more expensive then the $45 Comcast deal that I have now with more channels but no premiums. I think the regular price of what I have is near $80 and when that price kicks in, I'm canceling. That $80 doesn't even get me all the channels and I don't even have a DVR.

    This is just a move to get people into the Comcast system.
     
  15. jdillings macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    #15
    Run as far away as you can
     
  16. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #16
    We have a choice between TWC and Verizon FIOS so we are pretty lucky. We have been very happy with FIOS. My son and I both have 75/75 and the office is running 150/150. My son decided to drop TV and just have Internet. He got a quote from TWC for 200/20 at a much lower cost then FIOS (and FIOS wanted a 2 year commitment). Bottom line is he went with TWC with NO Contract and he is getting 245/25 actual on speed test. He will continue to test for a week or so to see if they are constant. My plan is to drop TV as soon as my wife and I can agree on which streaming packages we both "must have". So far there is just not enough available. I currently have Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime and Feeln. I am not a big sports fan so that helps. Hulu has most of the Networks without CBS. CBS has All Access but only on Roku and not Apple TV. Once they are on Apple TV then I think my must haves are very close. If Apple comes out with Live Network Streaming then I think we are there for me.

    I like the direction Comcast is going. And also the Dish Sling TV. It just needs to get better.

    I say, get the BEST Internet Connection you can get then look for Streaming TV Options. There will no need for DVR's soon. All On Demand Streaming Options removes 95% of the requirement for a DVR. STB should be your Apple TV or Roku or XBOX etc.

    BTW, Don't forget that in some states there is also a TV "TAX". My Phone + TV tax was about $30+ per month. This is NOT part of what everyone quotes. It is the add-on. After I dropped Phone it dropped to about $15. So those that say it was about the same for TV+Internet vs. Internet. Did you look at the FULL BILL including Taxes. They generally never mention these special taxes. My state now has a "Regional Sports Tax". But FIOS now has the option to have Custom TV where Sports is separate. I did not subscribe so that saved me almost $5 per month in another Tax that is NOT part of what they quote.
     
  17. glutenenvy macrumors regular

    glutenenvy

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    WA
    #17
    Comcast is a lot like a Sharknado. You just have to leave those they swallow behind.

    There should be a FCC rule about the provider having to tell you the out of pocket cost or they must eat the difference. However, if you ever tried to make use of such a rule at Comcast, you'd waste more time with the non-help trying to sell you services you'll never use than you'd be saving on making use of the rule. Even the technical support people are forced to try and sell more services you don't need when you call for support.

    On that, why would anyone ever want to have Comcast if there is any other choice available? They are an untamed monopoly in my area. How about yours?
     
  18. tdale macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Location:
    Christchurch, N.Z.
    #18
    Im in NZ, here is our experience. Unlimited broadband is the norm. I have 100/20 fibre unlimited, if it was 30/10 unlimited its $10 cheaper than unlimited ADSL. That is streaming sorted. We have one Pay TV, Sky, its satellite, runs well. Now, everyone is creating streaming TV options. Netflix is here, my telco has Lightbox. Sky has Neon. A couple or more others, plus free to air TV has 3 or 4. That will bring down the price of the sole Pay TV operator. Its competition. Its about price and content. Also, here, the broadband network is not owned by any ISP's. If it was, and it sed to be, the Govt regulates it so everyone has equal access. Its since been moved to one provider for DSL, and there are some other smaller local providers for fibre. Its a relatively level playing field, for broadband networks, and ISP's. The TV/Movie side of it is as in my post, competing.
     
  19. sarbear macrumors newbie

    sarbear

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Location:
    Utah
    #19

    Wow. I had horrible service with Xfinity internet so I switched to CenturyLink literally a month ago, but now I'm wishing I held off. The DVR cloud thing is what seems most exciting to me.

    Anyone else have any fav streaming services besides Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? Is there anything similar to this new Xfinity service? I've been reading about Sling and Nomad here, but those are for satellite. :(
     
  20. Hookemfins macrumors 6502

    Hookemfins

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #20
    As far as I know, Sling is by Dish but a stand alone product. Nomad is only streaming from a DirecTV DVR.
     
  21. sarbear macrumors newbie

    sarbear

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Location:
    Utah
    #21
    Ok. That makes sense. Thanks for your help. :)
     
  22. Deadman64 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #22
    I'm actually on a free trial for Sling TV. Yes, it is standalone. I dont think I'll be renewing though. The lack of DVR and picture quality doesn't seem as good as regular cable kind of hurt the service for me. (I have 100MBPS internet, so i dont think its that). It also doesn't seem like surround sound comes through on Sling TV (I know, I'm really spoiled).

    Hopefully the Xfinity service is decent. Or better yet let's hope for Apple's solution to come sooner rather than later.
     
  23. sarbear macrumors newbie

    sarbear

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Location:
    Utah
    #23
    Thanks. I'll probably skip it then and stick with CL for a bit. Can't wait to see what Apple has in store.
     

Share This Page