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Thread: Bell Canada: Clueless or Hubris?

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    Post Bell Canada: Clueless or Hubris?

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    I was on my way somewhere the other day and happened upon a Bell Canada van, one of those white Ford Transit Connects. On the side of it was a banner that I should have taken a photo of — as inane as it sounds I'm nearly certain it was something to the effect of: "Choose a screen. Be delighted."

    When I got back home I checked out Bell's TV Anywhere site which, sure enough, is filled with smiling users happily consuming television on their smartphones and tablets, along with a video tutorial demoing how easy it all is.

    Does anyone actually pay for this stuff?

    I guess I could see a use case if you rabidly follow your favourite sports team. And I don't doubt that this particular product is meant to woo customers from more forward-thinking alternatives like Netflix. But I don't agree at all with Bell's notion that people buy high-powered phones and tablets just to consume traditional TV. In fact, I find it quite insulting.

    It's not to say that I don't consume content on my phone and tablet. I do. When I'm not interacting with important people in my life I'm most often on the hunt for stories to post in the news round-ups here, which I usually find on any combination of Feedly, Flipboard and/or Twitter. I passively consume content too; my Nexus 7 tablet is particularly great for books and games. I even watch videos from time to time — there's this thing called YouTube that you may have heard of...

    I just can't shake the feeling that Bell is completely clueless when it comes to how people use their mobile devices. Either that or the vertically-integrated media empire of BCE has enough hubris to think that if they simply tell us what to do with our technology we'll comply.

    Rather than acknowledge that streaming television is no different from any other form of mobile data they're offering customers 10 hours of the stuff per month for a mere five bucks. Using this Wikipedia entry as a guide along with Bell's standard data overage rate of $15 per GB, the equivalent 5.5 Terabytes of non-Bell streaming HD video could potentially cost over eighty-three thousand dollars.

    It would be fairly awesome if someone could hack Bell's protocol for streaming TV and get the equivalent raw data throughput for a fiver. But I'm not at all interested in paying extra for mobile television from Bell, Rogers or anyone else. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I watch TV on the sofa with my girlfriend. I certainly don't surf the web on my big-screen TV; why on earth would I want to watch a half-hour or more of television on a mobile device?
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    I agree. But even if you want to follow sports or use Netflix, you don't need TV Anywhere. Netflix, MLB.TV, NHL Gamcenter, etc. all come with free apps that let you stream on numerous devices including xbox and ps3 so you can watch everything on your tv from the couch anyway.

    I just always assumed Bell had a vested interest in pushing their own networks like CTV so why not try to use TV Anywhere as another selling point to mobile customers?

    On the other hand, who's really that obsessed with multiple network tv shows enough to need a service like this in the first place? Get a job!

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    This offer is probably aimed at the commuter market. Anyone with half an hour to kill on the way to work (and is a passenger in car/bus/train) would be a candidate for this offer. For a few bucks a month, the customers get distraction when they want it and Bell uses their network for a known revenue stream. By watching daily patterns, they might optimise the network for streaming in the places where it's needed.

    I am not sure what cause there is to be insulted. Not every product offering is useful to everyone.

    Streaming content is often treated differently by networking equipment. It has fairly high quantity of data and a minimum quality of service to maintain, so it can be prioritised higher than other traffic that isn't critical for timing. Being able to do this only for their own video content and doing nothing special for others (like Youtube or Netflix) is of course one way that Bell can push its products on its own network. I am not saying that it's fair (this is the network neutrality argument), but they can and will do it if they can bill specifically for it.

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    The worst part is that you often can't even follow your favourite team if you happen to live near them because of blackouts. I tried out this feature on Virgin to watch Leafs games on the go but it fails if they are on Leafs TV.

    Your streaming numbers are way off I doubt the stream is more than 2-3 mbps. 0.4MB/s at most the 10 hours would be about 15GB, which still stinks that you can get this for $5 while that much data would cost $150+. However $5 for 10 hours to start is a low price to suck people in, their real plan to bring the bacon is the $3/hour charge beyond that but that is still over 1GB for $3 which is a huge discount on their data rates. Vertical integration got to love it.

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    I think they are simply trying to offer something the competition may find tougher to provide. I have a slingbox and watch the odd show here and there on my phone so it can be fun. Generally its more listening then watching but when you need a little extra entertainment it can be useful. I don't think I'd be paying extra for it though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
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    Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I watch TV on the sofa with my girlfriend. I certainly don't surf the web on my big-screen TV; why on earth would I want to watch a half-hour or more of television on a mobile device?
    Thank goodness you are not a refection of everyone. Most people have needs that are not identical to your needs and a lot of people use the Bell TV app. I find it convenient when I travel and want to catch a game on the road or watch an on demand show. Bell also gives me the app for free so I pay nothing for this convenience. BTW I never go close to the 10 hours.
    Last edited by edm_tel; 10-18-2013 at 05:10 PM.
    Go Go

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    The person making initial post seems rather clueless about what the offer actually does
    Not only do you get the free 10 hours tv for $5 but if you login you can also access premium channels (such as TMN if you subscribe via Fibe or ExpressVu)
    It is sad I need to state the obvious but some people just don't get it. Any posts I make are my own OPINIONS and in no way represent the views of my employer

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    Quote Originally Posted by kav2001c View Post
    free 10 hours tv for $5
    Orly?

    Anyway, like someone has mentioned, there are people who will see value in this, and add it to their accounts. If I were with Bell, however, I wouldn't spend a penny on this. I have a TV at home, and this is where I watch it. My TV screen is also quite significantly bigger than your average cellphone... My lack of interest in this product also stems from the fact that I am not obsessed with TV - I don't HAVE to have it everywhere I go.

    Also, just to provide an example, I think that tablets, for the most part, are useless, and I don't see myself ever owning one. I am sure that many people would agree with my statement, yet tablets sell like hotcakes! There is demand for this product, even if I personally find them ridiculous.

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    My TV package with Rogers, comes with "Anyplace TV" or I think they renamed it to "Rogers On Demand" ... so I can - theoretically - log into any computer in the world, and watch TV... I know I can do it from home, from school and from my friends house, but I've not yet taken it over seas (my last international travel was in 2002, to Singapore for 2 months. I'm still recovering. LOL)

    Quote Originally Posted by MorsVincitOmnia View Post
    Orly?

    Anyway, like someone has mentioned, there are people who will see value in this, and add it to their accounts. If I were with Bell, however, I wouldn't spend a penny on this. I have a TV at home, and this is where I watch it. My TV screen is also quite significantly bigger than your average cellphone... My lack of interest in this product also stems from the fact that I am not obsessed with TV - I don't HAVE to have it everywhere I go.

    Also, just to provide an example, I think that tablets, for the most part, are useless, and I don't see myself ever owning one. I am sure that many people would agree with my statement, yet tablets sell like hotcakes! There is demand for this product, even if I personally find them ridiculous.
    I too don't use my above mentioned ROD very often. I use it on my set top box once a month. NOW, I do weekly log into it online, and stream "Beyond Scared Straight", since A&E doesn't always put the show on when it's supposed to be.
    Other than that, it is very gimmicky.

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    I often find Bell Canada/Bell Mobility television advertising to be unintentional humorous. I've often found myself asking the same question as you, which is who the hell actually buys these products? Now I don't think for a minute that Bell is completely clueless about their market and I'm sure they must be attracting SOME customers with these pitches. Perhaps as HoFo members we can't see things that way "regular consumers" do, but if you look back at Bell's advertising over the 10 years or so it doesn't seem that they've hit all that many nails on the head during that time.

    To be fair to Bell, advertising from its competitors has been similarly entertaining over the years, but never quite as rolling-in-the-aisles as Bell. I'll admit to a bit of a bias against the company, but it's mostly the result of exactly these sorts of ridiculous takes on what consumers actually want.

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    I am not a Bell customer but I do have a Smart TV, to which I stream videos from my phone or ipod (on wifi). I also do not subscribe to cable or satellite, so I wonder if the TV service on Bell would work on the Smart TV. Not that I would switch to Bell for it (although I am on Virgin).

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    This reminds me of when Fido had the old unlimited mobile TV and radio streaming option back when 3G launched. Could only be used on Fido's apps...and quite limited selection. That whole thing was axed after a couple years.


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    Maybe Bell knows exactly what they are doing:

    http://www.slashgear.com/mobile-broa...show-24306647/

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