Should all TV be Pay as you go? Should channel packs go?

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  • I would like to see all TV be PAYG, no bundles or channel packs. You can watch anything you like and the amount you've used show in the corner of the screen to be billed at the end of the month. Then the popular channels and programmes will thrive and the dross fall by the wayside.


    Probably means we'd get a lot more soaps and "reality" TV though as well as the better stuff.

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  • I like to channel hop so I guess your option would result in higher charges for me :( I don't mind the package option but would like to build my own package as some channels have just the one programme I like.

  • I've had quite a lot of discussions on that specific point in the past. Spent many a hour debating this on DS, so hell, lets do it here too!:)


    I actually wrote to Sky and the then ntl, and asked them to provide a la carte channel packs, but got nothing but a standard response from them.


    The thinking then (I think we're in different times now with faster broadband) was that if people could choose exactly what channels they wanted to watch, hence getting rid of the channel packs, it would totally undermine the subscription television model.


    The arguments put were that to give a greater choice as possible of different channels, you had to have channels packs as popular channels in effect subsided those with less viewers. Sky always stuck to that argument that they were doing this for their customer's benefit.


    Some people might like to watch popular shows on popular channels, but others might like to see obscure shows, so to give everyone the widest possible choice (a bit like the BBC licence fee debate) you have to have subscription channel packs, Sky always argued. But does that argument hold sway today, assuming it ever did.


    Now we have fast broadband, on demand, OTT (over the top) IPTV and have services like the BBC's iplayer and Netflix, do you need channel packs containing dozens of channels showing the same programme, a good example being CSI and NCIS which can be found on multiple channels?


    We can select what programmes we want now, is it now time to kill off the channel pack and just pay for what you want to watch?

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  • I like to channel hop so I guess your option would result in higher charges for me :( I don't mind the package option but would like to build my own package as some channels have just the one programme I like.

    Do you use any on demand services Jo?


    In America, the US cable company Comcast has been trialling a la carte channel packs, so perhaps that might start here eventually.

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  • Being able to build your own package would be a good second best to PAYG. I guess there might be technical issues with a full PAYG as their TV diffusion system is centered on bundles and fixed billing apart from specials.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • But as you alluded to, Sky Box Office and other specials are PAYG, so if it can be done for one thing, it can be applied to all??


    I think under that scenario, it would depend on the price of the programmes. Would everything have a universal charge, or would different shows have different charges? As Jo says, it could get very expensive, so I don't think I'm too keen on PAYG either.


    The best model, I think, is what exists now with how Netflix do things. You pay them a subscription and watch whatever you want, although if their prices keep going up, they'll end up eventually as costly as Sky.

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  • They shouldn't be allowed to show adverts on any paid for TV service.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I would presume under Heero's scenario, there would be ads, as you only pay for exactly what you watch. If you had to have PAYG and ads, that would be terrible.

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  • Do you use any on demand services Jo?


    In American, the US cable company Comcast has been trialling a la carte channel packs, so perhaps that might start here eventually.

    We have Virgin Media TV XL or whatever it's called at the moment, no sports or films though we do have Netflix. I have been considering just using Freeview + Netflix (or Amazon Prime) it would certainly be cheaper I really need to explore the options available to record Freeview. Our other option is Kodie? Don't really understand how that works and whether it's all legal.

  • I need to be a little bit careful what I say in public, so I'll send you a PM at some point aka a politically correct conversation, as they're called here.


    I'm in a kind of a "in-between" phase in more ways than one and entertainment/broadband services is certainly something in flux for me, especially as I don't tend to watch linear channels now and haven't for several years. (Oh, by the way, I will create room for members to put what services they get under their profile, just like on Cable Forum) right, where was I?...ok.


    As far as normal tv goes, we use Freeview in my household now, but currently have no means to record it. Also have VM tv on two tvs and one of them is a tivo, but that was filled up the minute I got it and basically I've had no way to record from tv for several years no. I only have the small VM tv pack, or whatever the hell they call it now. Do have Netflix and Amazon prime too, for now.


    I don't know if you're aware Jo, I and others have posted this Cable Forum, that Sky is going to launch a full blown tv service over broadband next year. Full IPTV, not the OTT type service like Now TV.


    So, I am going to wait until then and review my services at that point.


    The Kodi box and software is not illegal, what services it can access are in some cases:


    Is Kodi Legal?

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  • Yup I did notice the posts about Sky. Previously out of contract I have just started a new contract with VM. I had terrible over utilisation for over 2 years 7-25% of 200 Mb/s but almost full BB refund each moth so I never told them the problem didn't really impact on my browsing, it has recently been sorted and as a thank you for my patience i was offered a sweet deal if I signed up for another year. So my next chance to bail is a price increase or next July and by then Sky may have firmed up its new offering.

  • Jo-G We're in a similar position to yourselves. We have the Virgin XL pack to get the HD channels plus things like the Discovery and Nat-Geo channels but it's expensive. Seriously looking at replacing this with Freeview which we also have and some sort of streaming / on demand service.


    Virgins broadband service in this area is very good with minimal congestion so some sort of streaming is certainly on. Youtube HD runs with no buffering or stutter.


    Most of the XL pack is just a load of junk channels.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

    If my post is in this colour  it is moderation. Take note.