Obama Gets Something Right

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by InTheLight, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    President Obama is demanding better, cheaper versions of the cable boxes that millions of Americans use to browse their pay-TV channels, in hopes of enhancing competition.

    The Obama administration pressed for changes to the cable box in a letter to federal regulators Thursday night, according to multiple people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the filing is not yet public.

    Obama's move effectively throws the full weight of his office behind the Federal Communications Commission, which has taken the lead role in trying to crack open the market for TV set-top boxes. Millions of Americans pay, on average, more than $200 a year to rent their boxes from a cable or satellite provider.

    Greater competition, the administration said in a blog post Friday, will drive down prices and result in more innovative products.

    "Instead of spending nearly $1,000 over four years to lease a set of behind-the-times boxes, American families will have options to own a device for much less money that will integrate everything they want — including their cable or satellite content, as well as online streaming apps — in one, easier-to-use gadget," wrote Jeff Zients and Jason Furman, two of Obama's top economic advisers.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-box-so-you-can-watch-tv-how-you-really-want/

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/04/15/ending-rotary-rental-phones-thinking-outside-cable-box
     
    #1 InTheLight, Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  2. HankD

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    It seems whenever the Government sees or wants a reduction in the cost of anything they also want to introduce a new tax, fee or add-on to take its place.

    e.g. Seeing the gas prices fall the State of WA has a plan...

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/gas-tax-increases-by-7-cents-in-washington-state/

    But don't thank him yet for this cable box reduction, Obama is going to try to add an internet tax before he leaves the lame duck nest.

    https://www.americancommitment.org/content/taxing-plan-regulate-internet

    Funny we don't hear about this through-the-roof internet tax from the right side of the house...

    HankD
     
    #2 HankD, Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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  3. Jkdbuck76

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    Hearing Mr. Obama say all that seems out of place. It sounded weird coming out of his mouth.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
     
  4. HankD

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    Two things JDK - All IMO of course.

    1. Obama is not his own man (as are many previous - left or right POTUSes are/were), he is probably getting this suggestion from Valerie Jarrett - Google her name and see who/what she is to Obama.

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-M...rie-Jarrett-Mystery-Woman-of-the-White-House/

    2. Expedience, he only has a few months left. The internet is a gold mine waiting to be taxed (oops I mean tapped).

    HankD
     
  5. carpro

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    If this is the "right" thing to do, you can bet Obama has an ulterior motive. Wait for the other shoe to drop.
     
  6. Sapper Woody

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    In regards to that last paragraph of the op, we already have that available. This is not new ground. And if someone is paying over $200/yr on their equipment, they're paying way too much.

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  7. InTheLight

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    Please name a device that I can buy that controls my cable system (or satellite dish) and also can control online streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.

    That's actually a low estimate. For Comcast just one HD tuner box is $10 a month.



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  8. Sapper Woody

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    The Xbox One was designed with all that in mind. I don't personally use it as my TV tuner, but you can. I use it for the blue ray / DVD, Netflix, and Hulu. Obviously, also for gaming.

    You can even use it to live steam games without any external equipment. It comes with VoIP installed already, you can browse the Internet, message people, etc.

    Now, for a family who has multiple rooms wired, and needs to rent multiple boxes, I could see $200+ for a year. However, I have only one box rented at $9/mo ($108/yr), but have a couple of owned wireless routers in my network, with a Roku box (Netflix and Hulu) for my other TVs.

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  9. InTheLight

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    So, the X-Box One can tune over-the-air digital TV transmissions. But can it decode Comcast's digital signals? Display their Program Guides?

    How about DirecTV's signals?
     
  10. Sapper Woody

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    Supposedly it can do all that. Again, I use it for everything except that, though. That's actually why they named it "one". Because it was supposed to be the only piece of hardware in your entertainment system.

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  11. InTheLight

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    Near as I can tell you have to have your cable tuner box plugged into the X-Box One in order to tune cable channels with the X-Box controller. So you would need to have a cable box.

    Xbox has the amazing ability to have your cable or satellite box plugged in and streamed right through the console, making it fast and easy to switch. This page describes the requirements for using the OneGuide on Xbox One, which combines TV service with your Xbox video apps. It also describes how to configure your Xbox One console to control your TV, audio receiver, and set-top box.

    [..]

    You will need to plug your cable or satellite box into your Xbox One at this time. Unplug your cable or satellite box from the television and instead plug it into the back of the Xbox One. This will link the two devices together. Now you may watch television on your Xbox One. Be sure to set your favorite channels at your leisure.


    http://www.ign.com/wikis/xbox-one/How_to_Set_Up_Cable_or_Satellite_TV_on_Xbox_One
     
  12. Sapper Woody

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    In that case, I stand corrected.

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  13. Don

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    As ITL is pointing out, currently, you rent or outright buy your cable tuner from your cable provider; there's no alternative. If you change cable providers, you return the previous cable provider's tuner, and use the new provider's.

    If you want a cable modem, you can use the cable provider's for their rental fee; or you can run to Walmart (or Best Buy, or Staples, or whoever) and buy one. BUT, if the cable modem you buy isn't on the provider's list of compatible modems, the one you buy may not work. Thus, a semblance of competition; but still limited.

    The cable companies and ISPs limit your consumer choice.

    SO - with no current competition, you and I (the consumer) won't actually see set-top tuners go down in price for the next couple of years. Once the rules are in place, and competition actually gets going, then we'll see companies competing for our business. The cable companies will still be able to offer their branded set-top tuners; but they'll have to make them price competitive with the off-the-shelf Walmart offerings.

    I believe that is what the FCC is trying to address. I'm not sure, however, that they're addressing security issues (i.e., being able to "steal" cable).
     
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