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   PastimesHome Theater Systems - Designs, Products, Tips and Info


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From: J.F. Sebastian8/9/2019 3:16:35 PM
2 Recommendations   of 369
 
The days of trying to 'haggle' over your cable TV fee are gone: analyst

Americans’ wave of cord-cutting is climbing toward a landmark threshold — the number of U.S. homes without a pay TV subscription surpassing those that do.

A new report from eMarketer reveals a whopping 19.2% jump in households cutting the cord in 2019. That’s brought the total number of households with a pay TV subscription down to 86.5 million compared to 100.5 million just five years ago, according to the research firm. It estimates 21.9 million homes have now officially cut the cord.



The trend is rapidly turning up pressure on cable operators to prevent profits from bleeding away.

“The actual providers of cable — your Comcasts ( CMCSA), your Cable ONEs ( CABO), as well as your satellite providers — are actually raising prices, and removing people from promotional pricing,” Eric Haggstrom, the author of the eMarketer report, told Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. “For many people, the days of calling your cable provider and trying to haggle for a better rate are gone.”

Recapturing lost audiences

Content giants also realize that time is not on their side. The time Americans spend watching TV will drop by 3.0% this year, according to eMarketer — with that rate two to three times higher for viewers under age 24.

“Various media companies like Disney ( DIS) or WarnerMedia ( T) are seeing this,” Haggstrom says. “While this hasn’t really affected their revenues too much yet, they’ve been able to make up for declining audiences through higher ad prices and higher carriage fees that they’re charging to the [pay TV providers].”

This temporary solution is giving media companies limited breathing room to ramp up their streaming services. “With Disney+ or HBO Max, they’re looking to recapture some of these lost audiences,” Haggstrom explains.

Haggstrom is optimistic about upcoming streaming offerings like Disney+, which will be available for $12.99 per month beginning in November.

“Disney+, with their recent bundle with Hulu, is a great competitor to Netflix,” Haggstrom argues. “There’s no single Netflix ( NFLX) killer out there. But a bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ is a great competitor—especially given the price that’s cheaper than the most popular Netflix plan.”

The flood of new streaming services will only escalate cord-cutting and increase the difficulty for pay TV operators to turn a profit in Haggstrom’s view. “Disney, Apple and HBO are entering this market and pouring money into it,” he says. “They’re looking to the future.”

Link: finance.yahoo.com

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From: Elroy9/17/2019 7:30:38 AM
   of 369
 
We just bought and hooked up a Samsung 64 inch HD TV.

The resolution on the older broadcast signals is actually worse on the new TV than it is on a 10 year old high end Sony Bravia 55 inch TV. The cable guy was just here, and he said the newer high end TVs are worse with 1980p signals than the older TVs. The HD broadcasts will be better, and the 4K HD broadcasts will be much better, but the older broadcast signals (which I guess are not HD, not 4k and not 1980p, they're instead 1080p) will be worse on the new TV.

That sound right? Any suggestion for how to set the new high end TV so that it can show the older broadcast tech as well as the older TV models?

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To: Elroy who wrote (214)9/17/2019 10:57:57 AM
From: Frank Walker
   of 369
 
64”? You mean 65” probably, and your TV is probably 4K?

Sony TVs are pretty good with lower resolution video like SD, as well as HD (720P, 1080i, 1080P), and 4K. But any mainstream brand 4K TV like Samsung should do a great job with 1080P.

I have a 55” Sony 700D and a 65” 900F and they’re both good on older video, however the low resolution video such as TV shows from the 1950s to early 1980s looks blocky just because of the large TV size and the original programs are only available from low resolution analog video tape.

What are the video sources you are using, and how are they connected?

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To: Frank Walker who wrote (215)9/17/2019 5:58:16 PM
From: Elroy
   of 369
 
Yes, it's a 65 inch Samsung.



But any mainstream brand 4K TV like Samsung should do a great job with 1080P.


Really? Well, then the explanation provided by the cable guy doesn't make any sense, he said the TV wants 1980p and can't do 1080p all that well.

What are the video sources you are using, and how are they connected?

Our issue is with the cable signal. For example, if we watch CNN on cable, the CNN logo is a bit blurry.

DVDs, video games and immediate digital connections are great. HD cable signals are very good. But "normal" cable signals (such as CNN) are not as good as one would expect with a high end brand new TV.

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To: Elroy who wrote (216)9/17/2019 6:33:41 PM
From: Kirk ©
1 Recommendation   of 369
 
Check that you are watching the HD versions of the cable channels. The SD versions look poor on HD sets since.... the quality is poor which is masked by a low resolution monitor.
Well, then the explanation provided by the cable guy doesn't make any sense, he said the TV wants 1980p and can't do 1080p all that well
Sounds like he doesn't really know what he is talking about...
1080p - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org
1080p is a set of HDTV high-definition video modes characterized by 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen ...
I recall my aunt and uncle were proud of their new HD set about 5 yrs ago... I thought it looked like crap compared to my HDTV that had a larger screen and should look worse, not better since fewer pixels per square inch for the same signal. I went through and switched the set from standard to wide screen format and I believe also switched the source from SD to HD and it looked great.

Also, I believe cable companies compress HD channels more than DirecTV which compresses more than Dish which is less than over the air which doesn't compress at all. So, you get better quality by going for less compression.

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To: Kirk © who wrote (217)9/17/2019 7:19:21 PM
From: Elroy
   of 369
 
Check that you are watching the HD versions of the cable channels

This is what I expected the cable guy to do. I don't think all of our cable channels are in HD. Many of them say HD, so they're obviously HD. I assume the ones that don't say HD are not HD, and they are the ones that are a bit blurry. Not sure what we can do to upgrade the viewing of those.

We've got another tech guy coming to take a look at it today, but I think we're stuck with some cable channels (CNN for example) being broadcast not in HD, and so on a screen this big it doesn't come out as great as we'd like.

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To: Elroy who wrote (218)9/17/2019 7:52:37 PM
From: greg s
   of 369
 
Yeah, life’s a bitch!

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To: Elroy who wrote (218)9/17/2019 9:32:20 PM
From: J.F. Sebastian
   of 369
 
This is what I expected the cable guy to do. I don't think all of our cable channels are in HD. Many of them say HD, so they're obviously HD. I assume the ones that don't say HD are not HD, and they are the ones that are a bit blurry. Not sure what we can do to upgrade the viewing of those.
Kirk is right, cable companies are constrained in bandwidth compared to satellite, and you will find fewer HD channels available on cable.

For example, in my area, DirecTV has 13 different channels of HBO, 9 of which are available in HD. Xfinity/Comcast offers 11 HBO channels, with only 4 in HD.

With more limited bandwidth, cable is forced to pick and choose which channels to offer in HD based on availability and popularity. That said, I'm surprised CNN isn't available in HD where you are, even if it's the Philippines.

The downside of having a high quality HD or 4K TV with a good picture is what you're experiencing. I have a friend who had a lower end Vizio 1080p TV years ago using Comcast, and you couldn't tell a lot of difference between the SD and HD versions of most channels.

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To: Elroy who wrote (218)9/18/2019 2:50:56 AM
From: Frank Walker
   of 369
 
Even when you set up your TV channel sources just right, there can be quite a lot of variation in video quality on the same channel depending on the program that’s on at the moment. For my system all my channels reach me in HD 1080i resolution, but for example the PBS nightly news and business programs don’t look anywhere near HD sharp. The programs PBS puts on next are usually a Rick Steves travel show and maybe Antiques Road Show and then a nature documentary and those look better and sharper than the news. Same thing happens on other channels, the daytime programs and news look lower resolution, while later on movies look much better. Commercials almost always look better than the program they’re in. I suspect that the program originators and channels/networks have different resolution and bandwidth/compression settings for different types of program material, maybe some of those settings are automated at some point in the distribution chain.

I have my Netflix account set up for 1080P with the best quality settings. Almost all Netflix material looks a lot better than my 1080i TV channels. But even on Netflix 1080P, some movies look and sound mediocre, while others look and sound really good. Best quality I’ve seen is from Chinese action movies, my theory is they do minimal post-processing of their video, so it is very sharp and colourful and you can see a lot of detail in skin texture, wrinkles etc. Whereas with mainstream Hollywood movies they do a lot of processing to give a certain colour tone for the entire movie, and those expensive actors get thick fake-tan makeup and are digitally blurred so you can’t see wrinkles and blemishes. Result is that a lot of YouTube videos and the Chinese action movies look more realistic with better colour and sharpness than big-budget Hollywood movies.

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To: Frank Walker who wrote (221)9/18/2019 3:20:19 AM
From: Elroy
   of 369
 
Thanks for the tips, I guess our experience is fairly normal.

The good thing about the nice new TV is that when we depart from the Philippines next summer our apartment will turn into a hotel rental unit, and the TV which we purchased this year will hopefully last for 10 more years, and slowly the broadcast signal will catch up to the TV quality, so I guess the picture should just get better over time as the cable company improves and adds services and capacity.

Lucky tourists......

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