OT: Streaming Netflix

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That's my understanding, at least in the Washington, DC area. For the longest time Verizon has been complaining that they are held to a much higher standard of service reliability with copper than Comcast with VOIP. And they DON'T like it one bit. They've conveniently forgotten the massive tax breaks and monopoly status they've enjoyed for years providing the copper phone network.
<<Verizon enjoyed some $14 billion in federal and state corporate income tax subsidies in the 2008-2010 period even though it earned $33.4 billion in pre-tax U.S. income during that time.At the federal level, Verizon should have paid about $11.4 billion at the statutory rate of 35 percent during the three-year period. Instead, it got $951 million in rebates, putting its federal tax subsidies at $12.3 billion. Its effective federal tax rate was -2.9 percent.>>
http://crooksandliars.com/kenneth-quinnell/verizon-paid-29-tax-rate-2008-201
Yet with a sweet deal like that, they're whining about how much it costs to maintain copper lines already in place. Oddly, though, they steadfastly refuse to say *exactly* how much it costs, citing "unfair competitive advantage" that might result. Oddly, again, no one seems to want to build anymore copper phone networks, so just who's going to get a big leg up knowing what it actually costs to keep copper for the people that want it or will have no choice but wireless? Even MORE oddly, rather than reveal that data, they withdrew their plan to replace copper with wireless on Fire Island, NY after Sandy hit and gave them FIOS instead. I suspect that's what they always wanted to do. Their capitulation surely suggests they are hiding something - IMHO it's that they are grossly overestimating the cost of continued maintenance of the existing copper phone network.
Most news articles I've read say that VOIP is *not* regulated by the states' PUC/PSC's but I can't speak for all of them or even anything outside of Maryland/DC.
Why is that important? Because PSC can set minimum levels of service such as how long it takes to repair outages, overall service reliability and quality of service. In addition the PSC can settle billing disputes and insure that the elderly and the ill won't have their service cut off for late or non-payment. As far as I know, no Verizon rep has ever pointed out that the FIOS phone service is battery operated, not regulated and can cause problems with existing equipment like dial up modems, credit card processing equipment, etc.
The FCC is running a test in two cities to determine whether they will support the Telco's plans to pull the plug on copper but telecom sites seem to think FCC approval that will end copper service is a done deal and the test is just window dressing:
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-02-28/at-and-t-proposes-alabama-florida-for-digital-tests- to-lose-rules
http://tinyurl.com/k5e257d
<<"We looked for places where state law wasn't going to be an issue, where the regulatory and legal environment in the state was conducive to the transition," Christopher Heimann, an AT&T attorney, said at the briefing.>>
Hmm. Sounds like the fix is in to me!
<<Verizon claims it has no plans to shut down working service for customers, but it does not want to spend millions to continue to support infrastructure fewer customers actually use. That means watching the gradual deterioration of Verizon's copper-based facilities, kept in service until they inevitably fail, at which point Verizon will offer to "restore service" with its Voice Link wireless product instead.
For voice calls, that may suffice for some, especially those comfortable relying on cell technology already. But at a time when the United States is already struggling with a rural broadband problem, abandoning millions of rural DSL customers only makes rural broadband an even bigger challenge. The wireless alternative is too variable in reception quality, too expensive, and too usage capped.>>
source:
http://stopthecap.com/2013/07/08/fcc-landlines-will-only-exist-another-5-10-years-att-wants-out-by-2020/
People in rural areas should be *very* concerned because they're going to be hit the hardest when copper disappears and there's little profit to be made delivering fiber to them.
At least one PSC, NY's, has demanded that Verizon actually quantify the costs of maintaining the already built-out copper network and they are NOT happy about it:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131209/13575325508/public-service-commission-orders-verizon- to-cough-up-cost-data-its-new-york-copper-lines.shtml
http://tinyurl.com/lwxnc46
<< The commission addressed Verizon's "trade secret" claims with this statement.
"The information claimed by Verizon to be trade secrets or confidential commercial information does not warrant an exception from disclosure and its request for continued protection from disclosure is denied," it said in Monday's ruling.
Even with FIOS, Verizon is still failing to provide reliable phone service, something they say the law requires it to provide. Unlike copper lines, FIOS may not work during power outages.
Verizon (along with AT&T) has made little secret of its desire to ditch copper lines and move its customers towards higher margin wireless services. If Verizon is ultimately forced to turn over cost data to the public, it could make for some very interesting reading.>>
State officials wrote there "is no present or imminent contract award that could be impaired by the disclosure" and that the state Freedom of Information Law is based on a "premise that the public is vested with an inherent right to know and official secrecy is anathematic to our form of government."
--
Bobby G.






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the sales reps must be paid on commision, honestly if another one ever shows up here I am erecting a big sign fios sucks and inviting the media.
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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:17:15 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

The big problem is the cost of maintaining that whole separate POTS infrastructure, the hundreds of millions of miles of wire cable strung along poles being the major portion of it. IDK what the experiences have been of the vast majority of consumers who have switched over to VOIP services. And there are a whole host of those services, ranging from Telcos and cable companies, which are at the top of the heap, charging the most and having the best quality and reliability, down to $25 a year services, like MajicJack, which are at the bottom. But I think the problem is that on that cost curve there are VOIP solutions that provide acceptable service at rates at a small fraction of what it will cost to maintain copper to the homes out there. When that was the only way to do voice, it made a lot of sense. Today when that's pretty much all it can do and for 95% of the people there are other more cost effective solutions, it's on it's way out.

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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:17:15 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

Most of your calls end up on voip before they reach the other end anyway. You think the telcoms are still multiplexing over copper? Think again.
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On Friday, April 25, 2014 1:17:25 PM UTC-4, jamesgang wrote:

Just because it's not sent over copper doesnt' mean it's VOIP. The telcoms were sending voice over high speed fiber before there was VOIP. It's the nature of how the call is established and switched that is the key difference. With the tradional phone system, once your call is set-up, you have a time slot connection from source to destination, guaranteed, through each switch and line from source to destination. You're guaranteed that each voice sample, every 128 usecs gets from source to destination. That route stays fixed, essentially an open channel, for the duration of the call. With VOIP, you have no such fixed arrangement and there is no guarantee on the timing of any particular packet, the order or the routing. A lot of work has gone into trying to fix the problems in voice quality caused by the latter, but it's an inherent and substantial difference in the design of the two systems.
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I think this is the future of television for those who are not just using rabbit ears. Now that content producers can sell directly to consumers, who needs cable companies and networks. The guys who own the fiber and the wire will just be selling bandwidth and the content will be a separate commodity.
The only real question is whether the infrastructure can handle that much bandwidth.
I remember when I was in the biz and they were just starting the fiber backbone that became the data path for the internet, we thought that if everyone just had a T-1, it would be more data than they could ever use. That is a very slow DSL connection today. (1.4 mbs). Now people expect at least 10x that..
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| | > +1 on that. Also, I've read that the streaming movie selection is | > pathetic compared to the DVD selection. I assuming that NetFlix is | > pushing streaming so it can get away from postage; but I would rather | > pay more and keep the DVDs. | | A couple of things lately have made me wonder if they're subtly pushing | people off DVDs. First, they moved their distribution center to Salt lake. | From where I live, that's two days for mail delivery. They do not appear to | work on Saturdays either, so for the most part no matter when I mail a DVD, | I'm not going to see a replacement until the Wednesday of next week. This is | close to the throttling that got them into trouble before. | I imagine they'd like the simplicity of switching to all online, but they simply can't get the rights for that. I'm in Boston and have no trouble with delivery in most cases. I often get a DVD 2 days after mailing one back. I figure we're paying well under $2 each for movies, but we could pay less if we really tried to watch them all the same day they arrive.
Actually, I get a lot of the movies I watch from the local library. And I don't have cable TV. I just have a small antenna next to the TV, which provides me about 20 local stations. I actually get 5 PBS stations -- more than the cable TV offers!
| More troubling, I've got about 50 titles on my queue currently with about | 50% being short, long, or very long waits. One is 'unknown' and has been in | that status literally for years. Several of the long waits have been there | for months.
That has nothing to do with them. The movie studios have a system of release. They won't release to DVD before they've milked the higher paying venues. The time for that depends on how long a movie stays in the theaters.
Another aspect that I'm concerned about, which I don't think has been mentioned, is the longterm situation with streaming. Netflix recently paid Comcast to get faster speeds. They're complaining about it, but they paid nevertheless. As more people stream more through online something has to give. Maybe ISPs will start charging for extra traffic. Maybe the Internet will turn into one giant cable TV and cable Internet prices will skyrocket to pay fees charged by media companies, just as most people with cable TV now pay a fee for numerous cable stations whether they watch them or not. Maybe cable TV will even merge with Internet, with people being forced to buy everything for $200/month or get no Internet at all. However it works out, it's clear that it can't go on the way it's going, because that would overtax the Internet while putting the cable TV companies out of business. For that reason, in addition to the paucity of streaming offerings -- I haven't put much effort into looking into streaming options. I figure I'll wait for the dust to settle.
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wrote:

I think the days of any entertainment on little bits of plastic are limited. DVDs will go the way of 8 tracks, hard copy books and photos on film.
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Mayayana wrote:

I'm not talking about current releases. I'm content to be a year behind the world theatrical releases or cable TV series like 'Game of Thrones' or 'Justified'. However 'Heart Like a Wheel' is a 1983 biopic about the drag racer Shirley Muldowney and probably hasn't seen a big screen in this century. It's not on my saved queue, it's on the real queue which presumably is DVDs they actually have in hand, but it's been a very long wait for months. And for the real goody:
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters     Foreign     Unknown     DVD
That's been #1 literaly for three or four years. They either have it or they don't. That one was released in 1985 so ut's not like they're waiting for it to be made. Others, like 'Wild Angels' was on my saved queue until I said the hell with it and bought it from Amazon.     
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Higgs Boson wrote:

You're lucky. It used to be in Spokane, which wasn't too bad, then it moved to Butte which was really good. The next move was to Salt lake City, which really sucks. If I wanted to fly from here to hell I'd have to change planes in SLC but I think the USPS still uses mules to get up here.
I did get a chuckle out of a couple of DVD's. They were the ones where Netflix says 'your next item on the queue will take a while to get there so we're sending another one in the meantime. About 5 days later the red envelope trickled in from Honolulu, still slightly damp from being dragged behind a Malaysian container ship.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I expect high speed, unlimited bandwidth to reach me about the 12th of never so I'll stick to little bits of plastic. Un this most advanced of all nations I live about 10 miles from the center of what passes for a large cuty (50,000 or so) and consider myself damn lucky to get 4G wireless with a 5GB limit per month. It's not bad, but it's not up to streaming video.
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On Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:11:01 -0400, "Robert Green"

my

Don't take it personally. It's just part of Amerika's race to the bottom.
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and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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ATM, surely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode
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On 4/21/2014 11:36 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

To add to and clarify the answers you've already received to your question 1: You do NOT have to buy a "Netflix player/plug-in" if you intend to watch their streaming service on a tablet or computer - as long as that device has access to broadband internet. You can watch using any www browser on either a computer or a tablet. Additionally, there are free apps you can download to your Apple or Android tablets that provide a slightly more polished interface than just a web browser interface. If you want to watch streaming Netflix on a TV, you may need to purchase either a set-top box or a dongle that plugs into an HDMI socket on your TV unless you already own a TV, DVD player, or entertainment/game box that is Netflix capable.
I'd strongly suggest that you browse the Netflix streaming catalog to help make your decision which (or both) services to subscribe to. In my case, there is partial overlap (some things are available on both services, some only on DVD). I subscribe to both, but the streaming service more than pays for itself because I only have the 1 at a time DVD subscription and on the nights when the disc is in transit to or from the warehouse, I watch something streaming. Therefore, because of my personal interests and tastes, I essentially have unlimited access to the entire Netflix catalog for the price of a 1 at a time DVD + the streaming service = $16.46/mo including taxes. Compare that to the cost of even a single "premium channel" subscription with cable, satellite, or FIOS TV service. My two queues compliment each other and never contain the same titles. Sometimes a title on DVD gets added to the "instant watch" list - at which time I move it over from the DVD queue to the "my list" streaming queue.
Hope that helps.
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On Monday, April 21, 2014 11:36:58 PM UTC-4, Higgs Boson wrote:

Many blu-ray players do netflix plus hulu and others. In the $50-$60 price range. Then you gte two for one.
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| In short: XP boxes shouldn't be run on a network that connects to the | internet, unless you are actively soliciting having your network and | data compromised. |
You shouldn't take Microsoft's scare-tactic marketing too seriously. Many attacks are 0-day -- there's no protection for them. Which is to say that Vista/7/8 is probably even less safe in many cases, because it will be targetted. AV software will still be updating definitions, XP or not. And there's no reason the XP machine needs to be networked in the first place. It only needs to be connecting to Netflix.
I hope to never have to leave my XP machines behind in the forseeable future. I haven't lost a bit of sleep over Microsoft's arm waving.
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wrote:

Most security breaches are what you download and open. If this is just a streaming box, you will not be opening attachments The software firewall, behind a hardware fire walled router makes an XP system pretty much invisible to the internet ... unless you download a program that opens that door.
Have Steve Gibson take a look at your system and see what he thinks (CRC.COM shields up)
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On 04/22/2014 02:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip]

That's what I was saying. Controlling what you download and open is better security than any A/V software.
And if you do need a browser, IE is the worst choice.

--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
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Per snipped-for-privacy@aol.com:

Keeper!....
Thanks.
--
Pete Cresswell

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Higgs Boson wrote:

I cancelled mine. The best shit is only on DVD. I am happy with Hulu+ for streaming. I use a ROKU player since I also stream Amazon Prime.
--

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin
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