Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

rmeden
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Location: Cedar Hill, TX
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Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by rmeden »

You may not realize this, but Schedules Direct membership fees haven't changed in 12 years! We've actually been cash flow negative for a few years and have been spending down a surplus.

Sadly, the time has come to increase rates to remain solvent. As you probably can guess, our membership has been decreasing as people move away from scheduled television. On the other side of the balance sheet, guide costs have increased and our SD-JSON service has expanded what we offer; requiring a lot of server resources and bandwidth.

We allow renewals 45 days before expiration, so you may be able to renew at the old rate. If not, sorry; we had to draw the line somewhere.

Effective March 31st, 2023 our membership rates will increase to:
$35/year
$9/2-months (we're really surprised how many people use the 2-month plan!)

As a reminder, SD is a non-profit. Here's a breakdown of our expenses

72% guide data
14% employee/contractors for SD services
7% web hosting
4% professional services, misc
3% direct support for OSS projects
0 directors and officers remuneration for those tasks

Thank you for all your support!

Schedules Direct
rchandra
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:58 am

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by rchandra »

If that were $35/mo., that'd be one thing. But $35/yr. is still quite a bargain to me. Everything is costing more these days, it's only a matter of time before almost EVERYBODY has to raise their rates or charge more.

Thank you for all the work you do, and keeping it affordable.
gtb
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:07 pm

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by gtb »

Thanks for the heads up. The value of the excellent guide data Schedules Direct provides is more than worth even $35/yr.

I can't say I will like paying an extra $10/yr, but the cost increase could be paid by my not drinking just two cups of designer coffee over an entire year (which I should probably do anyway).
hwertz
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2023 6:20 pm

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by hwertz »

No worries! I stick to a tight budget, but it's still under $3 a month! I won't think twice about renewing when the time comes.
paul-h
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:15 am

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by paul-h »

While I agree $35 is a small price to pay I think a 40% increase during a cost of living crisis is not the smartest move to make!

We can see from the figures our project gets on average SD are losing approximately 30 of our users a month on average before the price increase. It will be interesting to see what effect if any there is after the price increase.
bishoptf
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:39 am

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by bishoptf »

Well I will be the one, have been a long paying member for some time and appreciated the guide but like many others using mythtv less and less and almost $3 per month may not be an issue for many, it is for me. I really hate that cost have increased but $3/month for just guide data is getting steep in my book. I will renew this last year and look at all of my options, when I had cable it made sense to get all of the guide data for all of the channels but now since I am doing just OTA channels it really is not that many channels. Guess it's time to see if there any other options since at $3/month for guide data is no longer a good deal IMHO.

I appreciate all the work that you folks have done I'm sure it's just me but I just wanted to put my .02 in, I was not aware of the price increase until I needed to renew.
hwertz
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2023 6:20 pm

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by hwertz »

bishoptf wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 6:03 am
I will renew this last year and look at all of my options, when I had cable it made sense to get all of the guide data for all of the channels but now since I am doing just OTA channels it really is not that many channels. Guess it's time to see if there any other options since at $3/month for guide data is no longer a good deal IMHO.
Well, that's the thing. OTA channels are required to provide guide data. I'm using MythTV which has ATSC EPG support built in, so the technical aspect was easy in this case.

BUT, I found some channels seemed to provide only 6 hours guide data, the FCC mandated EPG is for 12 hours so many provide just that, I had a few provide maybe 1 day of guide data. None were like a week or two (the standard allows for up to 16 days.) That makes it a pain if you want to go through the guide and pick off shows you want to record, and makes it harder for the DVR to make scheduling decisions.

Also, it was VERY hit and miss in quality, some channels had accurate episode descriptions, the flags if they are a rerun or not, and so on, just fine; other channels just had the show name and no other info to avoid recording reruns. Some had even less info, they'd air a movie and OTA description was "movie". MythTV supports matching episodes based on episode description, but I also found OTA they seemed to use at lest 2 or 3 different vendors for episode descriptions, so for those shows that air from time to time on several different OTA channels you'll end up with duplicate recordings.

Finally, MythTV supports channel scanning, flipping through the channels to update guide info when it's not recording. But if you rely on an external app to provide guide data, it'll have to run at least every 6 hours, with some way to have it only run when there's nothing scheduled to record for a while (long enough to scan through however many channels you pick up.)
sirlou2001
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 2:12 pm

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by sirlou2001 »

I appreciate the work you all do and it saved my bacon when MS stopped giving EPG data via WMC a few years ago. BUT you really should have sent out an email to user for this sort of change. Or put it in the renewal email at least, like "FYI the rates have increased".

OK, so obviously I don't check this site regularly (set it and forget it, basically), and the last time I was here was in *Feb 2023* to renew, apparently *right before* the announcement about the cost increase. That is VERY frustrating because I only learned about it today, almost a year later, when I came in to renew my membership.

I'm frustrated because I have gone back and forth over the last year whether to renew SD or just pay for the Silicon Dust DVR service, which includes the EPG for $35/year. I was swayed by the thought of well, its $10 cheaper. But now that its the same price it's really not a choice; and I wish I had known this was happening *when it happened*.

Just though I'd dd my 2 cents. Again, I feel it was wrong not to send an email about the price increase at the time in 2023 or put it the renewal email, so we users could plan accordingly. Now I have to scramble to make sure I can change over and would have preferred more than 2 weeks notice.

lou
rmeden
SD Board Member
Posts: 1725
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:31 pm
Location: Cedar Hill, TX
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Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by rmeden »

The problem with a mass message is we already have a problem with being flagged as SPAM (we only send account related messages of course)... so I try to avoid any mass mailing. Frequently M$ mail servers (hotmail, outlook.com, etc) drop our messages w/o delivery.

I thought I did put something on the renewal email, but don't remember.... we did have it on the top of the home page. (it has since moved down a bit)
sirlou2001
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 2:12 pm

Re: Schedules Direct to raise rates on 3/31/2023!

Post by sirlou2001 »

That sucks about being labeled spam. OK, that makes sense I guess. As for the renewal emails, nope there is nothing on them about the increase, which is why I didn't see it till I came to renew today.

It's a valuable service and I appreciate all the work you all do. Just it's a hard time for all, and the value of the other services may be a little greater now. So yeah, I understand and thanks for the info.

Lou
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