Hidden cable costs

Steven | iDTV,Random Thoughts | Wednesday, 07 October 2009 - 11:36

This is a Belgian only post I’m afraid. But at least it’s a post, and that’s been a while right ;)

I want to pitch a little advert I saw on the internet at the beginning of the week, that was removed swiftly due to a court order. It’s a viral / online only commercial for Scarlet, a company that offers internet here in Belgium.

The commercial is a parody on a Telenet ad, where they show leopards to demonstrate how fast their service is. Telenet is a true 3-tier player, offering next to internet also (digital) television and telephone services.

The point the Scarlet commercial wants to make, is that there’s a hidden cable cost in Telenet’s offering. They promote their services in packs .. this amount of money for digital TV + internet for example, but what they forget to mention is that you as a consumer still have to pay for the analogue TV signal.
On the other hand, would you go for a IP only solution (DSL basically) and you subscribe to TV over IP, you wouldn’t have to pay these costs.

The commercial demonstrates this in a rather funny way, the leopards are tied to their cable, so basically they’re limited in movement.

I’ll embed the movie here below, well knowing it might be taken off pretty soon. If so, too bad, but it won’t change my point / view on this.

I must say, I’m a happy Telenet Digital TV (and internet) customer. I think they have a great product, and I use it on a daily basis (not saying it couldn’t be improved though). At the other hand I wasn’t as pleased with Belgacom TV (the IP-tv solution in Belgium, that Scarlet is pitching) in the beginning, but it might be better now, just don’t know.

But I do think Scarlet has a huge point. There IS a hidden cable cost, and it pisses me off. I’m the kind of guy who might actually pay for this, because I still have a DVR next to the integrated digital TV recorder, and I might even switch to the analogue signal if my box is recording 2 things and I want to see a 3th one ;) . But I want to know about this. When I signed up for Telenet at the beginning of the year, I was misleaded. I didn’t knew what I would be ending up paying, till I had my first invoice (and still). There’s hidden cable costs, hidden copyrights, .. stuff I couldn’t find searching the website.

In my mind there’s one of 2 things that should happen:
1. Communicate honestly about the prices people end up paying
2. Make the the analogue cable signal optional in the package

I’d like to open up the debate about this. Sure, the Scarlet commercial might be out of place due to copyright issues (they’re reusing a Telenet spot), but the message is very valid! Anybody an idea how we might get this for example in the consumer tv show VOLT?

And let’s not get started about the insanely high internet cost here in Belgium!

<end of rant />


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