Beachcombing

Jay Beeler

Many people stress out when their cable TV provider incurs an outage. Not me.

That’s why we’ve always had a TV antenna on the roof, receiving 100-plus signals from Mount Wilson northeast of Pasadena. When the cable goes out, we simple press an A-B switch attached to the television or switch to “TV” on the smart televisions.

If you rely on your cable provider for internet access, that can also be a problem, unless you have a smart cellphone. Those have aps allowing access to the internet and TV channels.

The younger generation uses smart phones and notebook computers for much of their communication needs, so when Disney and Spectrum get into a spat over pricing, the smart kids simply use their smart devices. In fact, over the last five years, 25 million U.S. subscribers have ditched cable.

In case you haven’t been following the recent dispute between these two corporate goliaths, Spectrum is refusing to pay Disney’s demand for higher fees for their ABC, ESPN, FX, Freeform, Disney Channel and National Geographic channels. Spectrum currently pays Disney $2.2 billion each year for these and other channels.

Disney needs Spectrum’s 15 million subscribers nationwide (5 million in California) to appease its advertisers, but Spectrum realizes that not all of its customers want ESPN and its sports programming. Spectrum seeks to unbundle ESPN from its channel offerings to keep its costs low.

Meanwhile you should investigate the alternatives of a $20 indoor or $100 outdoor antenna, plus an AB switch to get the Mount Wilson stations. Amazon sells these devices and will deliver them to your doorstep. If you must have ESPN, it can be had separately for $9.99 monthly.

There are hundreds of channel options to Disney and this current spat is your opportunity to look for a better Mickey Mouse trap. And maybe Disney chief Bob Iger doesn’t need a $45.9 million annual salary.

 

Perhaps you have noted the recent departure of the Staples store at PCH and Ximeno Avenue. They won’t be missed and there’s another one at 3515 Atlantic Avenue.

They lost my business by charging twice as much for paper products that could be obtained online. I could order 500 window envelopes from Amazon for half Staples’ price and the same Staples product would be delivered in the same Staples box! This was true for numerous paper items as well as printer ink and toner.

When they stopped fixing computers, it was the beginning of the end.

Astute consumers will note that brick and mortar stores are closing when many products can be obtained online and delivered to your doorstep. That’s how we’d order office supplies from Staples before noticing their over-charging practices.

Sears was a classic example of retail stupidity. They had the products, stores, warehouses and catalog sales. It was a simple matter of paying attention to the Amazon online business model and following suit. Target and Walmart received that message and have adjusted appropriately – even taking items to your car if needed quickly.

 

Quotable:

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~ Adlai Stevenson, 1952

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~ Tex Guinan

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~ Oscar Ameringer

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~ Doug Larson

publisher@beachcomber.news

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