News   Oct 26, 2021
 140     0 
News   Oct 25, 2021
 2.1K     6 
News   Oct 25, 2021
 546     0 

When condo fees include cable...

NorthYorkEd

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
492
Reaction score
93
Location
North York
What does this typically mean? Basic cable out of the wall, a "free" digital box, or some other type of arrangement? What if you have multiple TVs?
 

James

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
1,422
Reaction score
127
Location
Toronto
I'd surmise that it'd essentially mean a basic cable connection, probably to one coaxial outlet in the unit. Depending on the landlord, one should be able to work out an arrangement to upgrade packages and pay the difference.
 

DSC

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
13,700
Reaction score
11,806
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
The exact package provided will depend on the contract that the Condo Corporation has negotiated. In our building this is, in brief:

"All residential Units therefore have access to the Rogers “Ultimate, Timeshifting, new Digital VIP channels and 40 commercial-free music channels, [and] up to three standard digital terminals per Unit.”. The monthly cost is about $37 which is about 50% of what the standard rate would be. In our building the Board had a 'referendum' before signing a renewal contract about a year ago - to our surprise a huge majority of owners wanted the package and about 75% of owners said 'sign us up", 2% said no and the rest did not respond. Of course, the contract - we signed for 7 years - applies to all units. If you want additional channels and/or HD boxes you are billed directly by Rogers but the basic fee is part of the monthly fees.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto, ON
The exact package provided will depend on the contract that the Condo Corporation has negotiated. In our building this is, in brief:

"All residential Units therefore have access to the Rogers “Ultimate, Timeshifting, new Digital VIP channels and 40 commercial-free music channels, [and] up to three standard digital terminals per Unit.”. The monthly cost is about $37 which is about 50% of what the standard rate would be. In our building the Board had a 'referendum' before signing a renewal contract about a year ago - to our surprise a huge majority of owners wanted the package and about 75% of owners said 'sign us up", 2% said no and the rest did not respond. Of course, the contract - we signed for 7 years - applies to all units. If you want additional channels and/or HD boxes you are billed directly by Rogers but the basic fee is part of the monthly fees.

We have the same package in our building. It's coming up for renewal soon and we are looking also at Bell Fibe. It will come down to the better deal.

Because we have an older demographic, most people want to stick with some sort of TV TV, as opposed to opting out and going with livestreaming etc. Our current monthly cost is about $27/unit (give or take, depending on unit size) and, for those who like cable, it's a great deal. We two subscribe to TMN & HBO because we like the "on demand" feature and it ends up costing only $40 or so a month, a PVR rental included.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Location
East of this, west of that
Those are good deals for those kinds of packages. By grouping together and agreeing to a long-term contract, sounds like building residents can really save versus the average homeowner. In contrast, I am waiting for pick and pay in March so that I can dump most of my expensive cable package.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto, ON
Ah but my dear Skeezix, if you think your savings will be significant, the last laugh will be on you and other hapless consumers who will learn that it's always cheaper wholesale than retail.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Location
East of this, west of that
Oh, I don't think I'd ever get as good a deal as one gets when one lives in a building with a package deal for the all the residents (although not sure I would need that package). Agreed. And nobody knows what the pick and pay prices will be (although sports channels, which we currently have but would happily do without, are expected to be among the costliest). But we watch so much now through bittorrent, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc., with only a handful of actual cable channels that we actually watch on any regular basis, that I imagine we can cut and slice our package pretty considerably. At present, there is no way for us to get the handful of channels we actually like without having a package that costs $120+, which is just stupid.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto, ON
Agreed. However I would find it very hard to live without CPAC, CBC News Network, TMN, HBO and TMN Encore On Demand. Sometimes having both Netflix and Shomi (livestream thanks to a freebie from Rogers on my wireless) plus iTunes can't cut it. We don't Bittorrent or do anything that isn't strictly totally 100% legal because, as "content providers" ourselves, we respect copyright.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Location
East of this, west of that
We like the TMN/HBO package, with the on-demand channels and the apps, as well. We watch a lot of the HBO and Showtime shows, so TMN is great. I have no doubt we'll keep it. Given it's already a stand-alone service, I imagine the price will remain largely the same (although who knows with these goddamn cable/telecom companies).

We rarely ever watch news on TV anymore, but I would keep a news channel, probably CBC News Network (which, as an old geezer, I still call CBC Newsworld).

Never watch CPAC, but it's online anyway. I think it is supposed to be included in the mandatory skinny basic cable channels.

Other than that, we'd want the main Canadian and U.S. broadcast networks. My spouse is addicted to HGTV and DIY, so those are sacrosanct in our house. And I like the time-shifting package, and would keep it depending on how much Rogers wants for it.

Otherwise, the rest can go. We never watch any of it. Most of it anyway.

As for Bittorrent (or similarly, using a VPN service to hide one's IP so as to use services like BBC iPlayer), we only do it for TV shows. We don't do it for films, because movies are typically made available to us at the same time, or close to it, as the rest of the world (even independent films usually get shown in Toronto within a decent timeframe). We're always willing to pay for content if it's made available to us. But we use bittorrent for TV because the Canadian broadcast system is fundamentally broken, most of the broadcasters still think it's the 1990s. If we can access a TV show when it first becomes available in the rest of the world, then we'll happily pay for it (so, for example, Games of Thrones airs here in Canada the same time as everywhere else, so we happily subscribe to TMN to watch it). The stuff we download off bittorrent, however, are typically shows for which there is no set air date in Canada, or it probably won't be airing in Canada, or if it eventually airs in Canada it could be months (or even years) in the future. It's unbelievable how often I will read lots of coverage online about interesting, compelling shows that are getting lots of attention elsewhere, but either there is no information anywhere online on when it might happen to air in Canada, or there is vague information about how it will air on some channel at some undetermined "future date", or the Canadian broadcaster has simply decide to arbitrarily air it 7 months later. So we bypass the Canadian broadcasters. They are their own worst enemy. If they can't get their act together, Canadians will abandon them. We already are abandoning them.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Location
East of this, west of that
It also goes without saying that most Canadian specialty channels suck.

I used to like the History Channel, but now it's mostly just reality TV shows, repeats of MASH, etc. I tried to watch it over the holidays, but it was a Pawn Stars marathon. Bravo and Showcase are shadows of their former selves, featuring the same mix of cheap reality programming and repeats of U.S. network programming that now characterizes most Canadian specialty channels. A lot of the channels are largely indistinguishable from one another. Space isn't bad, but sadly I'm not all that keen on most of its programming, and I can't imagine I'll subscribe just to watch Orphan Black. I'll buy new seasons on iTunes (another option we increasingly avail ourselves of, and will probably do more often for favourite shows once we dump most cable channels).

The channels all have very little investment, and the telecoms that own them fill as much of the schedule with the cheapest programming they can find, repeated endlessly, while they skim fat profits from the license fees. People subscribe to the channels because they have no choice (otherwise they lose the few channels they actually watch). Sports channels seem to the one exception, where there is large investment in programming and talent, but we don't watch sports.

I am happy that the new world of pick and pay will (hopefully) force Canadian broadcasters to up their respective game. If it results in a lot fewer, but better, channels, and the broadcasters stop taking us for granted (i.e. they actually air shows when people read about them on the internet), then it will all have been worth it.

Pick and pay will affect buildings such as yours, where you have a great deal on cable, simply because a number of the channels you currently get are expected to disappear. To the extent that there is more good programming on the remaining channels, and less filler, you probably won't be bothered by the loss of channels.
 
Last edited:

Ex-Montreal Girl

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto, ON
Skeezix, I usually agree with your posts 100% but on this I will diverge.

We have three iTunes accounts, a Canadian one, a US account plus a UK account.

This gives us access to almost everything we have ever wanted to watch. For example, we caught the Swedish-Danish original first season of The Bridge on Netflix. (Shomi has the US remake but meh.) We are currently watching the 2nd and 3rd seasons on UK iTunes. I don't know how this works -- my partner handled this -- but it does.

Also, this ran today: Canada’s new TV rules could erode jobs, funding, report warns

The new Nordicity report relies partly on those and other studies, but also makes several assumptions – that viewers who pick their own channels will spend an average of $20 above the $25 basic package each month, for example, and that consumers will trim or ditch their TV subscriptions 25 per cent faster owing to the new rules – which are not directly supported by hard data or prior research.

The job losses would devastate Riverdale where so many media workers live and studio support companies are located.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Location
East of this, west of that
I saw that news item. Similar claims were made during the CRTC hearings and since. I don't dispute that there will be adverse impacts. But it is coming regardless. The current system is unsustainable. Forcing Canadians to buy cable bundles full of channels they don't want or need is rapidly going to lead to more and more cord cutting. In addition to cord cutting, anecdotally I know several couples who have, for the first time since they were students, dropped down to basic cable. They would have kept a few specialty channels, but there is currently no way, so the telecoms are actually screwing themselves over. I also think that an industry which relies so much on forcing Canadians to buy cable bundles full of channels they don't want or need is in dire need of shake-up.

Canada should be producing better TV shows than we do - shows taking place in Canada that people around the world are interested in watching (where is our Borgen?). And domestically, we should have better networks. Pick and pay is not going to get us there. But it's at least a start.

Having three iTunes accounts is a tricky proposition - not the most straightforward thing to accomplish given that every account typically requires a domestic credit card (there are ways around it, as I've read, with mixed success). And, technically not all that much more legal than using bittorrent, although the content producers and distributors are much happier with it since you're paying (although they would still much prefer to stop you from doing it). But that supports my point. If we ("we" being my spouse and me) could legally pay to watch all the programs we want when we want to watch them, we would. If iTunes legally allowed me to have US and UK accounts too, I'd do it. I'd watch the shows on Canadian networks too, if they actually aired (and aired in a timely fashion). It's frustrating because I want to access programming through legal models. It isn't currently an option because our broadcast system is broken.

I think we are moving towards that kind of model, where content producers will increasingly make distribution deals internationally (or, at least for English-language rights) (think of the Netflix original shows, etc.) or national distributors will realize they'll lose their shirts unless they release shows at the same time as the buzz (think of U.K. phenomena like Sherlock or Doctor Who). But I'm not waiting around for the Bells, Rogers, Shaws, Coruses, etc. to wake up and get there.
 

Top