Showing posts with label Cable TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cable TV. Show all posts

Jan 4, 2019

Quick Fact About Cable

About 33 million people have ditched their cable or satellite subscription in 2018, according to researcher eMarketer, up from 24.9 million who cut the cord during 2017. The number one reason was to save monthly fees.

Aug 24, 2018

Cable TV Customer Losses

AT&T and DISH own the top streaming services that offer live streaming of cable TV networks. They reported 1.5 million video losses, but were padded by the gains of DirecTV Now and Sling TV.

After digging through the 2017 earnings reports of the top six traditional pay-TV subscribers I discovered the following.

During 2017 Comcast dropped 186,000 residential video subscribers, Charter lost 292,000 subscribers, AT&T lost 554,000 Direct TV satellite subscribers and 622,000 U-Verse subscribers, DISH dropped 1,140,000 video customers, Verizon Fios lost 75,000 video subscribers,  and Altice which owns Optimum, Cablevision and Suddenlink lost 129,000 video subs.

That totals nearly 3 million video subscriber losses for the top six providers in one year. These companies make up roughly 85% to 90% of the pay-TV market, so there are likely more losses for privately held providers like Cox and others.

Sling TV added 711,000 subscribers during 2017 and DirecTV Now added 888,000 customers to its service. With these two streaming services picking up 1.6 million customers in 2017 it is evident that traditional set-top box TV is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Reported 1st quarter 2018 video subscriber losses were much heavier than expected. Charter reported a loss of 122,000. Comcast also reported a loss of 92,000 to start the year. AT&T lost 188,000 satellite customers; however, AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming service added 312,000 subscribers.

Even if you have cable TV, an indoor or outdoor antenna is a cheap one-time investment to supplement your viewing. Also, antenna TV has a much better picture quality than cable and is a handy backup for those times when cable or internet stop working.

Incidentally, according to Parks Associates, about twenty percent of US homes with broadband internet used an antenna during 2017, a thirty six percent rise.

Aug 25, 2017

OTA vs. Cable

Satellite and cable TV companies have massive networks, carrying 100s of channels to millions of customers. To effectively service these customers, they use digital compression technologies to shrink the size of the signal, allowing more channels to fit on the cable. When compressing the signal, some of the original data is lost. The result is the picture on your TV loses sharpness and detail.

We have been accustomed to cable and with no comparison, the picture we see is presumed to be the best that can be put out by our TV screen. Many channels are not even delivered in 1080p as we presume. They are still delivered as 720p. The only reason pictures look better is that the new flat screen TVs are adept at up-scaling the signal to make it look better (even though it is not as good as it could be).


OTA means Over The Air. It is difficult to compare the new TV antennas with the old rabbit ears, because the rabbit ears were analog and the new antennas are digital. Using an antenna to pick up a signal over the air provides an uncompressed signal directly to your TV. The results are significantly noticeable and better than cable. A few friends and I have recently added antennas and comparing the picture is as easy as clicking on the input to go from cable to OTA. In every case on each TV the resulting picture is remarkably better with an antenna.


Incidentally, if your cable package blacks out some sports, pick up an antenna, just for game day. They are cheap and can be easily hung on a wall or in a window with a pin or sticky tape. Also great if you want to watch TV out by the patio or pool, no extra wiring, just drag out your TV and attach an antenna.

Jul 13, 2012

Facts About Television

The first time color TV sets outsold B&W was in 1972. That was also the first year that broadcast satellite TV began, although cable had been around for years before that. Only 20% of U.S. households had two or more sets at the time, and almost all portable TVs (usually the choice for a second set) were still black and white due to the technology involved for color. By 1979 no more black and white consoles were made. About six channels were available for watching and the average screen size was 22 inches.

During the 90s the average screen size was 27 inches and the 'giant size screens' were 40 inches. The average TV screen size is about 37 inches today and expected to average 60 inches by 2015.

Later this year super HiDef will be coming at four times the 1080p of today and the TV set definition will be 16 times greater by 2015, likely with prices to match.