Rumor Roundup: No Cable Subscription? No Hulu For You!

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THE_REAL_MAVERICK

Lol, then whats the point of Hulu?

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saishowaguu

What's the point of doing this? Do they WANT Hulu to lose subscribers?
Many people subscribe to Hulu because they don't have the time to sit in front of the TV and watch it live or program recordings on their DVR (if they have one). You'd basically be telling people that they need to pay for a cable subscription that they wont use, an then on top of that, they also need to pay for a subscription to Hulu to watch delayed content.

Might as well get a Slingbox and a DVR now, unless they start attacking placeshifting technologies too.
By the way, would this apply to cable subscribers only or satellite subuscribers as well?

(On a separate, but somewhat related note, I think it is very unjust that ISPs are allowed to lift bandwith caps if you access services they are partnered with.)

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fanofokred

This is easy. Just cancelled my account!

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HeartBurnKid

I think the networks have forgotten once more that they are competing with free.

Further, I think that, if this goes into effect, they're going to get a very rude reminder.

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MrHasselblad

To address an earlier post; in which someone stated that it is illegal in a certain state to share a type of paid internet account...

That would be correct; as it is illegal in all fifty states in america. It's a type of felony - no joke. It's called identity theft. That unless someone is married and living in the same household - it would in fact be illegal to do something as relatively simple as "sharing a paid hulu account".

It's also convered under TOS contracts; and technically is internet (wire) fraud.

Sad but true.

The fine for sharing such an account easily exceeds some 1k, plus other legal fees. Then there's the criminal aspect - which could also easily be in excess of some three hundred hours of community service - that's for the first offense - and if someone has never had any charges ever brought against them before.

To conlcude for now; it really pays to take a moment or two to actually read something before signing off on it.

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jonnyohio

One step forward two steps back. I would just cancel Hulu and resubscribe to the newsgroups and download all my shows the next morning (in HD).

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slibinz

Having previously worked for Comcast, I can't tell you how many times I was asked by customers (or potential customers) about why there are no a la carte options. This was a handful of years ago, before the government mandated switch from analog to digital. Back in the analog days, if you were allowed to have, for example, 10 out of 100 possible channels in an a la carte fashion, that would mean that your cable guy would have to install 90 filters at the end of the cable line to block each one of those channels. It was physically very prohibitive.

In today's world of digital cable, that's completely unnecessary. The cable box that your cable service provides can be easily programmed (and reprogrammed, as necessary, by your service provider) to allow specific channels that you pay for and block channels that you do not pay for. It would require nothing more than lines of code.

Unfortunately, the average customer is unaware of this and has grown accustomed to the old way of paying for blocks of channels. If everyone had the nerve to call their cable provider, demand a la carte options, and cancel their service until it was provided....well...guess what?

We'd have a la carte options.

They're only getting away with the old style because we're letting them. I for one hope they try this, because it will be a massive failure and it will hurt their bottom line.

Again its unfortunate but true, the only way to make corporations do the right thing is to make it unprofitable to do the wrong thing.

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B.A.Frayd

I choose the "Get The Fuck Out" option. Already have, in fact.

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Archtard

I would drop Hulu if they did this, I'd even drop them if they switch to a tiered-model. These companies are not creating anything new, they just just hack up their popular products and charge more for them in pieces.

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Trestoncobbs

Don't most cable subscriptions come with an on demand channel by default where u can see programming for the channels you are subscribed to? Soooo..... If i have a cable subscription, why the H*11 would i even consider hulu??? Maybe i'm missing something

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bling581

Well, if they want to lose subscribers then they're headed in the right direction. I purposely pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus so I don't have to pay outrageous cable bills. There isn't really anything that great on Hulu anyway so it's not a big deal for me.

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Robur

Hello Hulu remember when Netflix made a little change without regard to its customers and there was a huge backlash resulting in their stocks to be worth half in no time at all, apparently not. Good thing Hulu is a privately traded company, nevertheless there will be a huge exodus by Hulu users as so many of you have already pointed out what’s the point of Hulu if you have cable. Especially with many cable providers offering things like FreeZone where you can watch TV shows you missed no DVR required.

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bobla90042

The whole point of streaming is to avoid cable. Link the two, and it's back to getting programming any way possible. The handwriting is on the wall--subscribers are increasingly unwilling to pay for channels they never watch. Start offering packages with a choice of channels, or stream content through Hulu or Netflix for a fee, or create their own online channels (a la HBO). As the net matures, the tv content providers don't need the cable companies to deliver their shows.

With net speeds steadily increasing, the film and tv industry is heading for the same kinda crash as the music industry. They can play nice with their customers or crash.

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compguytracy

agree, alacarte for cable would be boss. i mean, really, 15 shopping channels, own, tcm, etc, i really only watch the locals, abc, cbs, fox, nbc, no pbs, anf hist, disc, tru, spike, fx, and a few more, give me a choice, i torrented season 1 of got, and will do the same for season 2. why do i have to wait a year for the dvd??????

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synthetic_man

So if this happens you would still have to pay the cost of hulu plus as well as the cost of cable? That's absurd.

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eikichi

Where I live basic cable costs $60 a month, and that's not even digital cable or the HD channels package. There is only one cable provider and I'm not able to get satellite in my location. Plus I'm on an older cable internet package which has unlimited data. If I were to upgrade to the current tiers offered my cable provider would impose a 50GB monthly cap. I dropped cable years ago and did the torrent thing, never regretted it. It took Hulu Plus to finally draw me back to the legal side. If they start requiring cable subscription verification they're going to drive me right back to torrenting.

And this is progress?

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dgrmouse

No offense, but I don't believe you. I suspect that what you're calling "basic" cable is actually a package that includes everything except "premium" channels. Cable companies can charge whatever they please for their bundles, but "basic" cable fees are pretty highly regulated. They usually run from $9-$14 USD a month, and I've never heard of them being higher than $17. If you would share the name of your cable company and the region in which you subscribe, I'd be interested in doing some research.

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Eoraptor

I think you're confusing "Basic cable" with "Lifeline cable." Lifeline cable falls under those guidelines and carries almost exclusively local broadcast and PBS stations, and often the cable company's community channel. "Basic Cable" is usually the first 22 or so analogue cable channels, and is under no such restriction; though it's price is often set based on the franchise agreement the cable company has with the local city government.

And with most cable companies pushing hard to go all-digital, you'll probably see any sort of option to purchase "basic cable" packages phased out within the next few years, leaving only the digital package options, unless you specifically know to ask for the lifeline package, which will require a digital-to-analogue converter if you have a tube tv and a rental fee for it.

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dgrmouse

That may be the popular lingo - I'm not sure. I just used the term "Basic Cable" because that's the term the FCC uses to define and describe exactly the service that I'm talking about. Wikipedia says that I'm correct in calling it basic cable, and the service you're describing as Basic Cable is usually referred to as "expanded or extended basic cable", which is consistent with every market I've seen.

Your assertion that basic cable will be phased out may be correct when the lingo is adjusted to frame basic as expanded or extended basic service, but basic cable will never be eliminated. Since QAM tuners became common before digital TV service did, many folks won't even require any new hardware. Cable companies are still bound tightly with the need to carry "basic" cable and what they can charge for it, and they are explicitly forbidden from rebroadcasting with encryption - therefore, a basic QAM tuner should always be able to pull down the basic channels without a cable box. In fact, if your cable company rebroadcasts over-the-air (OTA) networks in HD, they have to (by law) make the same HD streams available to you at no additional cost. Even the most basic, rudimentary cable package in every market I am aware of comes with HD Fox/NBC/CBS/PBS - it simply isn't advertised.

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JohnP

I have not have cable for over a year now. "Alternative sites", Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime, and a boatload of movies handbraked into a 2TB drive on a media player (all LEGAL of course) gives me plenty of freedom.

Now here is a question tho. My friend has a cable subscription, I wonder if I have HIM register and I then use HIS login info. My son in Boston does that with my Netflix account...

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Strangelove_424

I unplugged my cable box a year ago too, and as far as I'm concerned a cable subscription is a stream of depressing propaganda zapped right to the forehead. I don't need a conglomerate to act as the middle man for all of my content. The content is out there, distributed directly from the companies that produce it, including news and sports. I don't need Time Warner to dictate what I watch, and when. This isn't about Murdoch getting to keep all his TV profits, it's about Murdoch having a link into everyone's living room through which he can manipulate entire societies. Netflix and Hulu democratized the distribution chain - a propaganda stream is impossible when people can determine, using their own intellect and freedom, what they want to watch and what they are really interested in. I highly doubt that people would subject themselves to fear-mongering "news" channels and dehumanizing TV shows given the opportunity to watch absolutely anything they want. This is a last ditch effort on the part of big brother to keep people chained to their mediocrity. Suck it, Murdoch. In the long run, you're gonna be pwned on this one.

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B.A.Frayd

My cable box was unplugged about 8 years ago, and I agree with everything you stated, except I'm not so sure about Big Brother getting pwned. You may be underestimating how anesthetized the sheeple are. I believe it's up to those who are awake to enlightened those who are asleep. At any rate, thanks for posting the truth.

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JohnP

Heh, I dropped it because I was paying over $100/month!

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acidic

it is actually against the law in tennessee to share netflix username/login. i remember reading about it months ago. although, i do the exact same thing as you but with hulu plus

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JohnP

You're kidding! As far as I knew Netflix was like Steam or World of Warcraft. You are limited to how many subscriptions/games/ streaming accounts only. Anyone can use the accounts anywhere but no more than what you have paid for.
How the hell would they ENFORCE such a stupid idea? Especially since some of these streaming accounts are on phones.

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Eoraptor

a lot of states have such laws, they are part of the "unauthorized access" clauses of electronic communication law and/or part of state versions of patriot act... either way it means if your name is not on the account and you are not the spouse/PoA, then it is illegal for you to use the account.

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B.A.Frayd

...Your elected officials, working for you...

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Valor958

LOL. Another law that makes no sense. So.. when will it come to having your cam enabled tv monitoring the number of people in your house and telling your TV service provider to charge you more when more people than you listed as occupants are watching. They lose money every time you buy a ppv sports game and invite friends over to watch. They should all stay at home and pay individually. Or buy tickets and travel around the country/globe to see these events. Heck, that even means the travel and resort industries are losing out from these people having house parties instead of travelling to games. Ooh, and the food industry as well. That's it... ban in home TV service. It's one crazy thing after another.
As for the sharing login credentials part of that... well, it's yours to do as you like with. If you choose to share it so a friend/family member can watch, go ahead. I let me wife watch my Hulu, and she even knows my password too! Sometimes... she even watches from her parents house. Shh... i don't want to lose my Hulu+ account >.< IF it happens to be against their EULA, then take it in stride as issues arise.

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AgentGreen

Cable companies refuse to provide an ala-carte option because they make tons of money foisting unwanted channels onto customers. Example - OWN. I have no desire or need to ever watch this channel, yet it's in my lineup, I can't get rid of it, and I have to pay for it.

I don't understand the desire of these companies to push people onto other services or providers. Hulu cutting off anyone without a cable connection is pretty much technological suicide. I don't have cable TV but I have a cable internet connection (I have DirecTV and refuse to ever subscribe to cable TV again) - does this mean I'd be cut off from Hulu? If so, I'll just find another way to watch what I currently get from Hulu, which admittedly isn't a whole lot. What that other way is I don't know right now, but there are many options that would be on the table.

The cable providers are trying to gain a monopolistic stranglehold on the consumer with moves like this. The problem is that they can get away with it thanks to Congress. They've already proven that they are nothing but puppets with their willingness to bend to every whim of the RIAA/MPAA, why should they stop now?

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HeroOfCanton

Yep, in a few years, these rules will coincide nicely with legislation that criminalizes downloading TV shows by penalty of a hefty fine and/or a few months in jail. Best government money can buy.

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chazzyfresh33

I know this is off topic, but nice name!
And yeah. Gone if Hulu goes authentication model

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gmvolk

Not sure if it's still on, but when I did have cable they forced the 24 hour Golf channel on me. SNOOZE fest. Top that off with 24 hour weather, 24 hour shopping channels, there were only about 3 or 4 stations I would watch and half the time it was all repeats. I don't miss cable one bit, other than missing out on the D-Backs games.

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hastyscorpion

Technically it's not a monopoly it's an oligopoly and they don't really have monopoly power because if they start to charge this people will just go back to torrent and streaming sites.

This is a stupid move by the companies and will probably lead to them making less money.

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hastyscorpion

Technically it's not a monopoly it's an oligopoly and they don't really have monopoly power because if they start to charge this people will just go back to torrent and streaming sites.

This is a stupid move by the companies and will probably lead to them making less money.

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Valor958

double post... :(

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Valor958

If they follow through with this, they can kiss my Hulu+ sub goodbye. Like others have already stated, there are other, easier (albeit sometimes "illegal") methods to get the shows I want. I won't support a company that would screw so much of it's userbase by jumping even deeper into corporate pockets.
These media outlets just don't get it, and they willfully ignore all the options to join the crowd instead of trying repress it and make them conform. How about sponsored torrents? Take these individual episodes and upload them, commercials and all. Maybe... actually consider taking a la carte programming as a viable option? There are at least a dozen other options availabe that people are offering and practically yelling, "Take my money, please!" These corporations are led by ignorant fools who can't see past their own pocketbooks. Their 'analysts' are a freaking joke as well. I use over the air for a reason, and support local stations when needed to show my support. Other than that, I torrent shows not available in America and use Hulu for the rest. TPB may be getting a lot more business soon. Maybe TPB should get on Kickstarter for a crowdsourcing effort at giving them new servers and funding their survival. I can see that getting HUGE.

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noobstix

Hulu already sucks as it is right now. Comcast's cable service has outages left, right, up, down, in, and out. You put those two together and you have a FUBAR mess of internet TV. I wonder how far behind EA that Comcast and Hulu rank in the worst company in America.

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Ilander

Yep, if they do this, then they can kiss my market segment goodbye. I guess I'm a rebel for having a computer hooked to my television. If so, this is the lamest rebellion in history!

I use Hulu to watch mostly broadcast TV. The only cable items I watch are also available on the content provider's website, so honestly, time-shifting capability is not worth dealing with companies that work like this. Rabbit ears and internet TV 4LIFE.

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gmvolk

I only use the regular Hulu, why should I pay for what is in essence free already, over the air TV. I do not subscribe to cable, I'm actually in one of the few areas were cable service is not provided, only satellite. We only watch regular TV, or go to redbox. So I would have to find other ways to watch if they pull crap like this, whether it be illegal or not.

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Biceps

Yep, rwpritchett gets it 100% correct below. I have basic cable, but because I don't want to pay Comcrap $70+ a month for 'digital cable' instead of my $15 a month basic cable, I can't even get HBO - I tried to last week. So, if I want to watch Game of Thrones legally, I need to pay Comcast $70/month, then another $10/month for HBO (or wait a year and watch it on Netflix DVDs). If Hulu goes the same way as HBO, I will just stop using it.

Right now I have Netflix and it is great. I refuse to torrent/pirate, but proposed changes like this sure makes it tempting sometimes.

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Eoraptor

Of course they want this, this was exactly what Comcast had in mind when it bought NBC-Universal, to strangle internet TV by co-opting one of Hulu's founding member networks.

And they wonder why people do illegal things? when you make owning an internet connection illegal, only outlaws will have internet connections.

How about, instead, providing attractive reasons for us not to steal? provide something for pay that we can't get for free (other than hoops to jump through)

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pendar

Can I send them a picture of my outdoor antenna to prove I have access to watch local stations that don't require cable service. What I'd like to see is a-la-carte packages where I can select what channels I want to watch instead of paying for a bunch of garbage channels I don't need. Satellite radio offers these packages. If these stations can't support themselves with advertising, I don't see why I should pay for them, especially if I don't watch them in the first place. 95% of what I watch is from local stations anyways. Hulu offers a way to watch what you want when you want without the huge price tag of Cable TV.

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vgrig

Torrents for sure - it take less than 5 min (for most users with enough bandwidth to cut the cord in the first place) to download an episode.
Or - wait a month and be fed dumb commercials ("is this commercial relevant to you?" LOL)

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rwpritchett

If you have a cable subscription, why wouldn't you just DVR the show in the first place? So next-day streaming is useless unless you forgot to schedule a recording. Assuming you have a DVR, but what pay service doesn't toss in a DVR for free these days? It might be useful for streaming while on the go I guess.

If you don't have a cable subscription, they want you to wait a month?

Why don't they just go out and directly tell everybody to torrent the show the same day it's aired?

They don't get it. If there are easier and cheaper alternatives to getting what they want, consumers will flock to those alternatives. Punishing people for following your rules gets you one thing: people breaking your rules.

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4000

Exactly.

What's the point of Hulu if you must have a cable subscription? Us tech types would easily set up a HTPC to handle recording whatever we wanted from cable without the cost of Hulu (or torrent every-dang-thing). Yeah, sure; Hulu hardware is less expensive than decking out a PC capable of recording & showing HD content, but most of us are there already.

As for the power trip, “Unless you’re already paying for a cable subscription, we’re going to make you wait a month to see it.” Sounds like a greedy ego to me. They make those rules because they can, not because it’s any help or convenience. Screw those rules.

Those that aren't so pre-disposed to create a HTPC, if they can think critically IMHO, will dump the Hulu & just subscribe to a provider, cable or satellite, and rent the DVR(s) to record what they want. Or, you know, torrent everything & help to support the local PC tech by having them repeatedly remove virii from their system.

I never quite understood the demand for Hulu in the first place. Slingshot made more sense, but only a little given most throughput bottlenecks. Maybe I'm the one not thinking critically about its value, but I don't really feel the need to.

I don't torrent for much the same reason. Guess I'm not wired to HAVE to have episodes of some series in a manner that is supposedly sticking it to the man.

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Eoraptor

The value behind Hulu is and always was, getting network shows on or close to their air date and doing so legally, instead of having to wait for the end of a season to see them via DVD (as well as retro shows, ((which many people can now get on over-the air HD channels on the .2 or .3 band)) )

And this is not going to drive a lot of people into cable subscriptions. Those that know how, like us, will magnet or torrent the shows, those that already have a cable subscription will be unaffected, and those in between will simply do without the service.

Ultimately it's just a dieing industry trying to piss into the wind. They seem to not grasp whatsoever happened to the record stores about a decade ago.

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Brad Chacos

Congrats! Your comment inspired me to add a new sentence at the end of the article, complete with a link about torrents and content delays. Thanks for reminding me about that!

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