Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

It's Not TV, It's MythTV

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the i-want-my-mythtv dept.

Television 437

ChipGuy writes "The New York Times looks at MythTV (an open source PVR technology), Bit Torrent and Videora and how they are disrupting the television business, especially the lucrative business of selling TV DVDs. Unlike the music industry, television folks are trying to get ahead of the curve and offer TV downloads in a legal and easy to use manner."

cancel ×

437 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Finally... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522526)

An entertainment industry which realizes that if it treats it own customers like criminals, they won't exactly be creating good will...

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522716)

If you didn't buy it, how are you a customer?

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522743)

If you watch TV, how are you a customer?

The industries need to learn how to make revenue off of online viewers, rather than prosecuting the people who enjoy their IP.

Re:Finally... (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522761)

Unfortunately good will really doesn't mean much, a fact which companies learned long ago. And let's be honest, if your consuming one unit of their products, and preventing them for making sales of a thousand units of their product, they don't care if they lose you as a customer.

TV is disrupting its own business! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522529)

The reason TV ratings are plummetting is because TV is full of idiotic shows that make women look perfect and men look like a bunch of retards. If TV people want their ratings to improve maybe they should consider making some shows that dont suck ass.

You are so, so wrong. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522867)

The women look like a bunch of retards too.

First Post. (1, Insightful)

nileshbansal (665019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522531)

There are differences between Music and Telivision industry. You watch a TV show only once (or a few times), while you listen to a song many times.

Re:First Post. (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522581)

Actually, I'm not so sure that really matters? People do listen to songs much more often than they re-view a given TV program or movie (well, in 99.9% of cases anyway). But most people buy movies or TV shows because they liked them the first time they saw them, and wanted to have the "bragging rights" that it's in their personal collection, or because they intend to get friends/relatives/girlfriends/etc. to sit down with them and watch it down the road. Sometimes, people just buy a new release because they haven't seen it yet and want to, and it's cheap and convenient enough to just buy it while they're out shopping - rather than make another trip to rent it later....

In any case, I don't think there's really ever been an issue for the TV/movie industry of "How in the world can we get enough sales of these video products? Nobody buys them because they have no interest after watching it on TV once."

Re:First Post. (4, Insightful)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522599)

You watch a TV show only once (or a few times), while you listen to a song many times.
My 10 DVDs of Babylon 5 disagree with you. Hmm wait, so does my Futurama collection. And there are many others. Although tv on average is certainly not worth watching again, there are exceptions.

Re:First Post. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522944)

So you are the one who bought them. Thank you for your support. Too bad we only sold 11 DVD's because the show sucked ass.

Respectfully,

Bablyon 5 Producer

Re:First Post. (1, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522854)

There are differences between Music and Telivision industry. You watch a TV show only once (or a few times), while you listen to a song many times.

I don't see that being an issue, one way or the other. Making the right moves to prevent piracy, or to respond to it, shouldn't have much at all to do with the scale or frequency of it... piracy is piracy. The difference here is that the bandwidth and storage issues have until recently prevented video from being an issue in this regard. That's given the TV folks (as opposed to the audio folks) some time to think about how they want to play this, and how to defend against the inevitable losses.

Before it's /.ed (5, Informative)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522532)

Videora, like TiVo for Torrents

A few days ago, I wrote about Videora, a BitTorrent+RSS client which makes it easy for folks to find and download torrent files from the web. The post, picked up by others generated mostly positive responses to the software. Think of Videora as TiVo-for-torrent, using RSS feeds. In an effort to shed more light to the product, I did an e-interview (via email) with Sajeeth Cherian, a Canadian student, who has hacked together this wonderful product. Here are excerpts from an e-interview.

OM: Tell me a little bit about yourself?

SC: I am a student attending Carleton University, which is located Ottawa, Canada's Capital. I am in my final year, perusing a degree in Communication Engineering and let me tell you, engineering is as hard as everyone says it is. Lately I've been interning at a couple high tech firms around the Ottawa region to get some real world experience and finish up the work experience requirement for my degree.

OM: What prompted you to write Videora?

SC: My roommate likes to watch anime and constantly scours the web looking for his favorite anime to download. (Anime is the Japanese term for Japanese animation, cartoons that are broadcast in Japan and which are then subtitled into English by groups of volunteers or commercial companies). About once a week he would complain to me how he was wasting all this time searching for these shows. I think he was wishing that these shows would just somehow download themselves. Well after a few weeks I got sick of hearing his complaints so I decide to look for a solution to his problem.

OM: Now aren't you a good roommate? mine just finished my cup-a-noodles and never replenished the pantry. Still, RSS? SC: After searching some of his favorite anime BitTorrent sites, I came across one site which offered an RSS feed. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a simple format that is used by web sites to send article headlines, summaries and links back to full-text articles on the web. Anyways, this RSS feed was special, instead of linking to articles on the internet, it linked directly to the very BitTorrent files that these sites linked to on their web pages. By simply scanning the RSS feed and downloading the desired BitTorrent files it linked to, I concluded that he could download his anime automatically without ever having to surf to an anime BitTorrent website again.

After discovering this RSS feed I began to envision a product. Some thing simple, which allows users to find shows easily and a couple clicks later (after the shows are added to their 'season tickets') would automatically download these shows to their hard drives in the background. With this, users wouldn't have to look for certain video to download, because the video they want would already be on their hard drive. Thus giving them free time to do more interesting things, rather than scour the same old websites. This seemed like a killer idea with more potential than just quieting my roommate so I began to develop this idea into computer software. Along the way, I added a few other features including the ability to aggregate video files into 'want lists' which allows users to easily manually download videos of interest. Needless to say, my roommate doesn't complain to me anymore. :-)

OM: I have seen that most of the cutting edge work on peer-to-peer and torrent type programs is happening outside of the US? Does being in Canada make it easier to work on such P2P products? SC: I don't think being in Canada makes it any easier than being in the United States to work on peer to peer products. Anyone, from any country can work on a peer to peer program without any trouble, all you need is a little computer programming know how. I read recently about a professor at Princeton who wrote a P2P product in 15 lines of code. I don't think he had any trouble producing it.

OM: What do you think is the impact of BitTorrent, RSS and other such technologies is going to be on the media - both digital and traditional? SC: You asked a pretty broad question there. BitTorrent and RSS are very different technologies which share a common thread, their use for content distribution. So I'm going to assume your question was about the impact of new content distribution technologies on digital media. I think any content distribution technology, which has a low cost and that allows content to be sent at a rapid pace, will have an impact on digital media. These technologies will reduce the barriers associated with global content distribution, which have been forged over the years by various traditional media sources, to almost nothing, allowing a flurry of new and wide ranging content to flourish both freely and commercially.

OM: What about traditional media?

SC: Huge doesn't even begin to describe it. These technologies will allow any individual to become their own movie distributor or their own television station, with only minuscule amounts of capital. By effectively cutting out the middle man not only will they now have the opportunity to get their content seen but they will have access to a vast global market without having to pay the millions that traditional media sources did for their infrastructure. In the future, I think we will see more video content than ever before on the internet, both good and bad, and Videora will be there to filter this massive library and find the video which only interests you.

OM: Why the name Videora?

SC: After coming up with the idea for the product, I knew it needed a catchy name. Since the program primarily dealt with retrieving video from the internet, I wanted to incorporate the word video into the name. While brainstorming for a name, I happened to be listening to some Linkin Park and remembered that I liked the name of one of their albums, Meteora. After replacing 'Meteo' with 'Video', I knew I had found the name I was looking for, Videora.

Re:Before it's /.ed (1)

virtualkuz (638083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522560)

can we say redundant karma whore? NYT is one of the few places that CAN handle a slashdotting.

Re:Before it's /.ed (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522586)

it's not from the NYT site, it's the interview of the guy who wrote Videora, which is at this [gigaom.com] site.

Re:Before it's /.ed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522609)

myth (2, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522536)

MythTV is one of the most promising linux products for encouraging people to try.

A MythTV PVR isnt so hard to make for the slightly above average user and is a great excuse to try linux.

Re:myth (2)

Jediman1138 (680354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522589)

"A MythTV PVR isnt so hard to make for the slightly above average user and is a great reason to try linux"

fixed.

The fact of the matter is... (1, Interesting)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522541)

BitTorrent=Free. Slow and obnoxious, but free.

TV Downloads official=Not free.

BitTorrent>Official downloads. We live in a very capitalistic society, or at least most of us do. It makes sense that if you can get something for free, why would you pay for it? Even if that means not getting a third season of that great tv show...

Even so, shutting down the BitTorrent sites, as sad as it is, well placed advertising, and a few gestapo style raids will make a difference. Until a new technology for sharing even more crap comes along, and makes the Torrent look like Napster.

It's just the way things go.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

Chaos750 (854562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522598)

Which explains why the iTunes store et al are going out of business. Oh, wait... And is it possible to shut down torrents? I thought that the point of those was there isn't a central server...

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522835)

iTunes stays in business because it's almost 100% pure profit - there's no physical media to duplicate and they just need to pay for bandwidth (which is comparatively cheap in the quantities they're presumably using).

They only have to convince a small percentage of ipod users to use it and they make a fortune.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (2, Insightful)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522600)

How is BT slow and obnoxious? Perhaps you're confusing the screwed up message board sites with the actual protocol.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522965)

I'm finding BitTorrent to be annoying as there is no server to serve up the file, just programs on desktop computers. So if enough seeders shut down for the night, the file isn't going to complete.

I'm at a loss as to why I get transfer rates in the single digits of KBps when I have a full T1.

BT is an interesting idea, but I think it needs to be tweaked to be reasonably useful.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522623)

BitTorrent=Free. Slow and obnoxious, but free.

TV Downloads official=Not free.


But if Offical downloads are fast and less obnoxious and easily available to everyone regardless of where in the world they live, then the TCD (Total cost of downloading) for Offical downloads approaches and perhaps even beats unoffical downloads.

At that point, the only people who will still download all their TV shows illegally are those who either can't afford the legal option or object to paying to watch TV that they want to see, for whatever twisted reasons they want to come up with.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522669)

But if Offical downloads are fast and less obnoxious and easily available to everyone regardless of where in the world they live...

This is the important point. Available to everyone in the world at the same time. If it's a choice between getting a TV show via BitTorrent now, or watching it on TV (or via a legal download service) next year, guess which one people are going to choose? I would be more than happy to pay directly for the TV shows I watch (very few at the moment) for the convenience watching them when I choose, for not being forced to watch adverts, and for the pleasure of knowing that the money was going to those who made TV shows I want to watch, and none of it was going to reality TV producers.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (4, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522681)

can't afford the legal option

Since this demographic cannot afford the legal option, they never were a possible customer.

Obviously, you can't claim a loss to someone who can't afford your product*, but I'm betting the distributors will anyway.

*That is unless it is an item that decreases the amount of items that can be sold to other customers. Since downloads are limitless, it applies here.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522727)

you're missing out an important aspect here : rolemodel punishment. By letting the so called 'poor' customers get away with not paying, the ones that could perhaps pay will associate them with the non paying ones. So the *IAA will go after poor ones, even though they know it won't make a difference dollar-wise.

That's not economics, but sociology.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (2, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522814)

That may be. Personally, I would be glad to pay more than $1 to keep some of my favorite shows in production (Coupling, ST: Enterprise, Futurama, etc.).

The way to get people to pay that can is to open the books to the public for any particular show.

Exec: "See folks, we can't afford to bring you another season of Popular Show #15 because not enough people are paying for it. Sorry, but if some of you non-payers paid, we might be able to bring back Popular Show #15 for another season."

If the books are not open, the people can always cry out that the non-paying downloaders are being used as scapegoats to cancel a program that isn't the most profitable, but still enjoys a relatively good following.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522973)

Since this demographic cannot afford the legal option, they never were a possible customer.

But they have no trouble paying for broadband service and a mid-line or better PC?

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

bsdrawkcab (622946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522647)

BitTorrent=Free. Slow and obnoxious, but free.

TV Downloads official=Not free.

BitTorrent>Official downloads.
Tell that to the millions of iTMS customers. Karma and convenience can be compelling.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522718)

I try to pay for music and movies. I only download movies if they aren't available on DVD, or in my favorite theatre. I only download music if I only want one or two songs from the person. If I want lots, I'll buy the CD.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522784)

I try not to hold up liquor stores. I only steal booze if the liquor store doesn't mark it down to free, or my buddies won't stand me a few free shots at the local bar. I only steal money out of the cash register if I haven't eaten supper yet. If I've eaten within 2 or 3 hours, I won't rob the liquor store at all.

Re:The fact of the matter is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522755)

BitTorrent=Free. Slow and obnoxious, but free.
Funny. I opened the correct ports on my firewall, downloaded a *.torrent with gobs and gobs of seeders, and I could easily top 100KB/s. ;)
TV Downloads official=Not free.
You're probably right, but there seems to be something wrong with this... Shouldn't OTA stuff (major networks, HD content, etc) be free? Sure, it's traveling through a different medium (the Internet vs. radio waves), but would FTC guidelines still apply? However, I completely understand if HBO wanted to charge to download the latest episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

Re:The fact of the matter is... (1)

dcgaber (473400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522808)

We live in a very capitalistic society, or at least most of us do. It makes sense that if you can get something for free, why would you pay for it? Even if that means not getting a third season of that great tv show...

I guess you have never paid for bottled water, or know anyone that has.

It is precisely because we DO live in a capitalistic society that someone will figure out how to sell a product that the public could otherwise get for free (and this is not a slam on capitalism).

gnaa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522546)

first post

Videora site already getting slow, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522548)

Google cache [google.com] . Cool stuff though.

PARENT IS TOLL (0, Troll)

lineman60 (806614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522742)

thanks dude, i retealy like seeing SH!T EATERS. GROW UP!

Already beaten? (4, Interesting)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522555)

"We have to try as an industry to get ahead of this and give the audience an attractive model before the illegal file-sharer providers meet their needs," said David F. Poltrack, CBS Television's executive vice president for research and planning.

Unfortunately, the "illegal file-sharer providers" kind of already meet my needs. I've no need for 90% of the TV channels currently available, or the commercials that are on nearly all of them. All I need are the few shows that I follow. Click, click, BitTorrent away!

Of course, none of these files give me super-high-quality video and audio. For that, I will buy the DVDs.

Re:Already beaten? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522896)

Of course, none of these files give me super-high-quality video and audio. For that, I will buy the DVDs.

I buy some stuff on DVD and I have some stuff that I downloaded. I don't much care about watching TV sitcoms in high quality (and honestly most of the stuff on the net is great quality). I mean my favorite TVs shows of all time include two cartoon shows (Family Guy and Simpsons) how much quality do I need?

I enjoy the fact that I could burn stuff to DVD if necessary but I don't mind paying for the episodes on DVD either. That's me.

Sky decoder (1)

jonoton (804262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522562)

I'd like to use a PVR system, but there are no cards (that I've been able to find) that can decode the european sky channels.

There are pleanty of cards that can receive digital satellite broadcasts, but there are none for the sky system.

Being in an area that isn't served by a cable company satellite is the only option.

Anyone know any better?

Re:Sky decoder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522798)

Sky know that their encryption will be torn to shreds the second it touches a PC, so they've never allowed anyone enough access to make a CAM for computer owners or people who want to use a third party satellite receiver. The only channels you can pick up from Sky's birds are the ones broadcast completely in the clear.

There are Freeview-capable (DVB-T) cards available, so if you're in the UK you do have an alternative to cable... just not one with a very good range of channels to offer.

Re:Sky decoder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522848)

You could always use the video input on the TV card with a normal sky box. Its a bit dirty, but its a hell of a lot cheaper than a sky-decoding pci card (I have seen one for the UK Sky, not sure if you're after the same thing). I do this for TV as my TV card can't tune to save its life..

Re:Sky decoder (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522876)

Sky is 100% proprietary.

There is no CAM available. You have to buy a Sky branded satellite decoder - and they can't receive anything *except* Sky.

Hopefully is ITV go FTA this year it'll open up the market for competition and things might change... for now they've got the market locked up tight though.

Argh... (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522563)

Not surprisingly, the repercussions - particularly the rapidly growing number of shows available for the plucking online - terrify industry executives, who remember only too well what Napster and other file-sharing programs did to the music industry. They fret that if unchecked, rampant trading of files will threaten the riches of the relatively new and surprisingly lucrative television DVD business. It could endanger sales of television shows to international markets and into syndication.

Then why don't they fucking sell their shit online in a convenient, reliable format? Or don't they want to learn from the music industry, instead ignoring the solutions and only imagining the problems?

And it could further endanger what for the past 50 years has been television's economic linchpin: the 30-second commercial.

That *particular* business model is dying, and legislation should not protect it, just as "horseless carriages" shouldn't be required to carry horse whips to keep horse whip manufacturers in business. Note I didn't say *advertizing* or commercialism is dying, because it isn't. Merchants have managed to get information about their products to people, and subsequently have them purchased, over the years and through changing technology. Tomorrow will be no different. It's just that the volume of revenue from "forced" advertising, supporting $1M/show paychecks for actors, might not still be there.

And what a tragedy that would be...

Re:Argh... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522674)

Or don't they want to learn from the music industry, instead ignoring the solutions and only imagining the problems?
I think you'll find that the same companies dominate both businesses.

Re:Argh... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522816)

Then why don't they fucking sell their shit online in a convenient, reliable format?

Then why don't YOU become a content provider yourself? That way, you can sell the wares you paid to produce and market in any way you see fit.

Jehosaphat, but I hate the spectacle of fucking thieves whining because their victims lock their doors at night.

Dumbass: (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522975)

1. I'm not advocating stealing the content, copyright infringement, or anything along those lines, so your entire post and the locking doors analogy is invalid.

2. Well, why *don't* they move into a new medium? Or are you saying they should have just stuck with OTA delivery, instead of cable and satellite? Or maybe VHS? Or perhaps film? Or maybe hand-drawn flipbooks? The internet and various media formats are just another delivery mechanism which they should be JUMPING at, AND making a lot of money doing, to boot! This isn't about anyone stealing, this is about content providers responding to the marketplace.

an open source PVR technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522564)

The New York Times looks at MythTV (an open source PVR technology)

Hey, how are those of us who already know what MythTV supposed to maintain a smug superiority over those who have to ask? Explaining terms is not the Slashdot way. Please delete story and try again. Thanks.

unlike music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522577)

Unlike the music industry, television folks are trying to get ahead of the curve and offer TV downloads in a legal and easy to use manner.

really? so i guess iTunes is considered not allowed by the RIAA?

ANT is not TV (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522579)

ANT is a video aggregator for video blogs. Check it out! [antnottv.org]

Also, WritTorrent [sf.net] has a plugin that lets you post to your blog a .torrent of whatever.

I honestly think that BitTorrent + RSS is a perfect software model of a worldwide broadcast. Despite your available bandwidth, you can host a show with a global audience.

Re:ANT is not TV (1)

palfrey (198640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522962)

ANT is a video aggregator for video blogs

Single platform, don't have the platform, unwilling to pay lots of money to get the platform. Next!

Somebody's getting the idea (5, Insightful)

prisen (578061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522591)

From TFA:
Mr. Poltrack of CBS said that according to his network's research, a large number of viewers would welcome the chance to pay $1 to watch each television show, if they could do it on their own schedule and with the ability to skip commercials. With commercials, they'd be willing to pay 50 cents. And because the average viewer sees only half of a show's episodes, he said, this on-demand viewing won't hurt the regular showing.

Hey, somebody's on the right track! I pay $1 for a commercial/DRM/BS-free copy of insert-name-of-TV-show-here and I can do what I want with it. $0.50 wouldn't be bad at all with commercials, either. If the quality didn't suck, and I could watch it an unlimited number of times, that'd be perfect. The only thing I wouldn't ask to be able to do would be to share it with the world, but I should be able to at least burn it to a CD/DVD and whatever else I should normally be able to do within fair use.

But will it ever happen?

Re:Somebody's getting the idea (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522704)

$1 an episode? If you count $1 per half-hour episode, there are numerous TV shows on DVD that are nearly that cheap already. Why bother with download & burning at $1 an episode when you can get a pressed copy for about as much, and it doesn't tie up the internet connection? Under your method, downloading would be cheaper probably only if you don't use packaging (keepcases), print covers and such.

Re:Somebody's getting the idea (1)

Gob Blesh It (847837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522738)

Maybe you'd be better off asking one of the hundreds of thousands of happy iTMS customers.

Re:Somebody's getting the idea (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522827)

I saw something that CBS gave TV in its current form 10 years... who knows? Maybe that's a bit generous.

Impending Lawsuit in 3 ... 2... 1... (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522617)

"After coming up with the idea for the product..."
  • He used the word "product" for a P2P tool. Here come the lawsuits.

encouraging (1, Insightful)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522629)

Its encouraging to see at least one US 'industry' actually take note of what does and does not work when trying to deal with the internet.
If this is done right, and priced right then i can see it becoming a success - especially if you arent forced to wait a week for each episode to come out just so TV networks can show it first. ( laiden with ads ).
Of course since you are getting it direct from the supplier, theres no need for adverts in it either - so if they`re gone, then yes i can see this becoming successful.
Ofc they`re going to have to DRM , or otherwise watermark it in some way to slow down the spread of the files to p2p networks ( its impossible to stop it really ) but as long as its all done in a nice way - i cant imagine there being much of a problem in it being adopted readily

Re:encouraging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522758)

would whoever modded this a troll at least explain why it is, or otherwise read it properly.

They'll never get it. (5, Insightful)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522643)

"It could endanger sales of television shows to international markets and into syndication."

Region encoding sucks. Downloaded shows don't suffer from stupid region encoding. I see syndicated shows that also have DVD box sets, so where's the issue there? The DVDs still sell.

"from video-on-demand offerings that could let viewers order up an episode of "CSI" any time they like to a device that allows viewers who tune into the middle of a live TV broadcast to restart the program instantly"

Comcast has ads for that all over this area but I don't know of one single person that actually has the VOD feature available to them, and isn't it more costly as well? You have to have digital cable (iirc) which can run your cable bill well over $100/mo (more if you have a cable modem too) - that's a lot of dough.
Are the VOD shows commercial free, too? That would be nice to know..

Of course they're going to blame the PVR as well. There are a few things that media execs seem to overlook:
* People are SICK AND TIRED of advertising.
* People have busy schedules and would LIKE to watch TV shows, but cannot always watch them right when they're aired. Hence, the popularity of DVR units.
(I'm not even going to get into the "but you don't have a right to steal the content" crap, because I sure as hell don't think that downloading a TV show is "stealing content" when my Tivo does the exact same thing.)

And last but not least, the "Broadcast Flag" is going to be a total and complete failure.. just like the "V-Chip."

Re:They'll never get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522746)

And last but not least, the "Broadcast Flag" is going to be a total and complete failure.. just like the "V-Chip."

Yes... except... here it comes... EVERY TV IN YOUR HOME PROBABLY HAS THE V-CHIP IN IT!!!

From the FCC website [fcc.gov] :

Pursuant to the Commission's rules, half of all new television models 13 inches or larger manufactured after July 1, 1999, and all sets 13 inches or larger manufactured after January 1, 2000 must have V-Chip technology.

How exactly is that a "failure"?

Re:They'll never get it. (1)

dargon (105684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522779)

Does anyone use the v-chip? Just because it's in the TV doesn't make it a success for the public.

Re:They'll never get it. (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522763)

Concerning VOD, I can only speak to what my father has at his home (TW in NE Ohio district).

Most VOD programs are simply small selections of a daily program. For instance, a 5 minute segment of The Daily Show is available on demand. Hardly ever did I see an entire episode of anything, except some Aqua Teen ... which I decided to watch.

Just after I pressed the play button, I was called away for a moment. I didn't worry about missing anything because I could always rewind it or restart, etc. After being gone for 15 minutes, I was sure that I had probably missed most (if not all) of the show. On the contrary, the show HAD NOT STARTED YET. There were 15 minutes of commericals before the start of the show. Luckily, I learned they were able to be bypassed by a quick fast forward, but 15 minutes of commercials -- come on!!! It makes me sick that my dad pays over $60/mo. to have 15 minutes of commercials shoved down his throat to watch a 10-15 minute short.

I predict that VOD will go the way of OS/2 if this is how most cable/dish companies do their business.

Re:They'll never get it. (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522933)

Ads on VOD shows? That's precisely what I was concerned about. I think that sucks.

What happens when they invent the "no fast forward" bit and no longer allow you to fast forward through the ads?
How long are the TV shows retained? I know a few folks that like downloading *old* cartoons from their childhood, like the original Transformer cartoons and other stuff like Voltron. In 10 years, will VOD setups retain those old shows, or will we just wind up downloading them from the internet anyway?

Not stealing if you are not a Neilson veiwer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522809)

If you are not a Neilson (sp?) viewer it doesn't matter whether or not you watch a show. Therefore, since you don't have the possiblity of giving them revenue by watching, you can't deny then revenue by downloading (assuming the show isn't out on DVD).

If you download, they are no worse off than if you did or did not watch the show (once again assuming the show isn't on DVD).

So, unless you are a Neilson veiwer (or your land's equivalent) you cannot "steal" from them.

Re:Not stealing if you are not a Neilson veiwer (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522834)

Over long enough of a timeline, it will teach the broadcasters that their statistics are wrong. Instead of multiplying every viewer by 'x', they'll revise their formula to use 'y'.

That being said, you still make an excellent point.

Re:Not stealing if you are not a Neilson veiwer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522875)

I should add, that the TV industry's response to this is to dump Neilson diary system and move to a Max Headroom style instant ratings system, where your cable box/PVR reports on your viewing habits.

The problem of this is it measures TVs not people (and hence demographics). But, they are more interested to moving to a new tracking model.

Re:They'll never get it. (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522954)

* People are SICK AND TIRED of advertising.

I would of disagreed with you until I watched the DVD version of Battlestar Galactica then tried to watch it on SCIFI. The show really is better without the ads. So to do sporting events. Seeing the commercial free feed of an NFL football is a real eye opener - there's a lot that goes on.

Could be good... (4, Informative)

Starji (578920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522644)

Unlike the music industry, television folks are trying to get ahead of the curve and offer TV downloads in a legal and easy to use manner.

If the television networks or maybe the producers want to allow me to download their shows w/out ads, the same day they're aired at a fast download speed for a reasonable rate, then I'd probably bite. I sure as hell won't buy a DVD set of a single season of any TV show for fifty bucks. Maybe a subscription service for 20-30 bucks a month that lets me download the shows I want might be worth it to me.

Of course what I just described is a pipe dream, so for the moment I'll remain content with the hdtv rips available.

Videora Website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522650)

The poster linked to an interview of the Videora Author. The actual website is here:
Videora [videora.com]

BitTorrent + RSS (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522664)

Thinkingest [thinkingest.com] is also a commercial entity providing BT+RSS solutions. Since the greater thing we're talking about here is the combination of W3C's vision of the semantic web along with a peer-to-peer protocol that is abstracted in such a way that it can be dedicated to just one specific file, separate from any central index of all kinds of other stuff you may or may not want. There is lot of research around this, and whether it's BT or RSS, versus OpenNap and RDF... it doesn't matter... Using existing standards to do Semantics+P2P allows for dedicated, large-bandwidth transfers of anything, despite how much bandwidth the individual has. For instance, if everyone knows to watch a feed for new content, then the peers all join the swarm automatically when new content becomes available. If you can coordinate a p2p system like that, even a group of 5 people will see increased bandwidth and availability of the media.

iTV (5, Interesting)

dunsurfin (570404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522671)

I would pay for individual shows. At the moment I watch about a hour a week of television - most programs insult the intelligence of the average viewer, the adverts that fill 15 minutes of the hour are crass and bombastic. If there is a good quality show then I watch it through NetFlix. On my schedule, and without the adverts (although the "previews" on DVDs that you cannot skip are starting to annoy the hell out of me).

However, what would make my life more convenient is if there was something like iTunes (iTV?) where for a small fee (50 cents a show, possibly a dollar) I could download and burn the show of my choice.

Admittedly I could use P2P to find the show for free, but I would rather have the convenience of a sophisticated search interface and quick downloads.

I wonder how the US networks will react when the BBC finally posts it's huge archive of shows on the web.

Media Portal? (1)

drawfour (791912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522676)

Has anyone tried Media Portal [sourceforge.net] ? It's an open source Windows MCE look-alike/replacement. Written completely in C#, no less (I believe). I'm thinking about replacing my TiVo with an open-source PVR, and I'm not sure which one to go with, MythTV or MediaPortal. Has anyone tried both? If so, any recommendations? (And please, no "Linux vs Microsoft" as for the operating system -- it's just the user-land software that I care about.)

Re:Media Portal? (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522705)

Xlobby [xlobby.com] is also a good choice with a great community, too. I have an XSL-T plugin for it to turn most RSS-enclosure feeds into the Xlobby database. You can get it WritTorrent [sf.net] .

Re:Media Portal? (1)

drawfour (791912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522830)

Interesting. I went to the site. It says that Xlobby is freeware, but does not say that it's opensource. I didn't download to verify... I have a requirement for it to be open source, because there are some things I'd love to add (or at least ATTEMPT to add). :)

The phoney black-and-white issue (5, Insightful)

timothy (36799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522678)

I think more because of a natural human tendency to polaraize, exaggerate and simplify than because this is the true situation, the worlds of "pro-" and "anti-" when it comes to this sort of thing are often drawn as two completely incompatible world views, no overlap, nothin'. Either you're an Evil Pirate (arr!) in the eyes of the benevolent and morally impregnable Copyright Holders, or a regressive Copyright Tyrant in the eyes of the Splendid Kids.

Instead, there's a much finer gradation in the real world. I have some music that I've found on the net (most of it in almost certain violation of copyright, but most of it music either not widely available, such as small-run remixes or out-of-print recordings), and I've watched some episodes of TV shows like the Simpsons that my dad's taped over the years. (Before I bought him a boxed set of a couple of seasons, that is.) Some of it's pretty ambiguous -- some laws are a hindrance to perfectly reasonable day-to-day actions, and the law is of necessity always playing catch-up. (And I wouldn't want it *not* to be playing catch-up; the alternative is far scarier.) For instance, I like to listen to old radio shows; many of them are now in the public domain, some of them are of ambiguous copyright, and usually listed (I think quite sincerely) on the websites of collectors with earnest invitations to report if a particular episode thought free and clear is not. I've never been able to work up much moral indignation with myself for listening to widely available audio material that I'd never otherwise encounter.

(And moderate, curious downloading, no matter what the copyright issues, seems qualitatively different to me than proudly downloading current popular music by the bucketload just to fill up Ye Olde iPodde, to "stick it to the Man" or whatever. High-end grocery stores I've been in don't mind customers sampling a grape or two; they know it increases sales either directly or through generated goodwill. That doesn't mean that carting out a case of oranges is the same thing. There are slipper slopes going both ways, I realize, but there are some slippery slopes worth venturing around the upper stretches of, or something.)

Appropriate moderation also applies to the whole concept of copyright. I'm not opposed to copyright (in fact, as societal constructs go, I think it's high on the Good list), but [even / especially] as a rabid free marketeer, I know that copyright is an extended rather than a natural right; the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, by contrast, are inalienable. Copyright is different -- it's a societal convention codified in law, to grant certain privileges (temporary monopoly) in exchange for certain later transfers (into the public domain). It shouldn't mean people can't remember and repeat lyrics, and (let me whack an obvious mole), it shouldn't mean that superficial cultural aspects like the words to Happy Birthday are forever off limits to TV characters. Copyright law is perhaps not as broken as patent law, but it needs some overhauling. Specifically, I'd like to see the temporary monopoly bit be clarified as applying specifically to wide-scale copying likely to affect commerical endeavors of the copyright holder. This still leaves messy edges, but ones I think easier to deal with the current system's mess.

With TV, back to the Simpsons box set: I'd not see much moral problem with anything I do (record, re-watch, commerical skip, dub with voices of my relatives, use as the inspiration for a novel) with television shows unless I've explicitly and with full knowledge promised not to do those things. But for certain shows (glad to see Northern Exposure's box sets, and Monk's) I'd *like* to get liner notes, extra features, snippets, outtakes, etc, and paying for them seems fair. [On the other hand, when DVDs are available from the library, is there moral harm in recording them for later watching, before handing them back to the library? For private, non-commerical use, is the maker actually likely to lose revenue from that? If so, is the loss enough to justify harsh legal penalties designed to prevent or punish it? Even arguable wrong actions might be best *allowed* if fairly punishing them would cause more harm than the good this punishment's necessary context might render.]

And most of this argument isn't even necessary, to me, at least when considering shows that are broadcast over the airwaves. After all, those radio waves are passing *through* you, and it's only fair you be allowed to see what they say.

Better schedule, no ads... (4, Interesting)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522689)

"Mr. Poltrack of CBS said that according to his network's research, a large number of viewers would welcome the chance to pay $1 to watch each television show, if they could do it on their own schedule and with the ability to skip commercials. With commercials, they'd be willing to pay 50 cents. And because the average viewer sees only half of a show's episodes, he said, this on-demand viewing won't hurt the regular showing."

Pretty much sums it up right there. Viewers want to watch it when THEY have time, and WITHOUT advertising.
People are SICK TO DEATH of advertising. Anyone seen the Caltrain cars on the SF peninsula that are "wrapped" with a Target Stores advertisement? They make Caltrain $25,000/month. Riders *HATE* them. The recent Caltrain newsletter actually has comments from riders saying that they hate them, but Caltrain goes with them because of the cash flow.
Corporations love ads. People hate them. Corporations have more money than people. People want less ads on TV, corporations want more. People try to skip ads with ReplayTV, corporations bitch to the courts. I hate how it all works.

Re:Better schedule, no ads... (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522771)

For me personally, if I can have a convenient torrent of a simple non-DRM file that I can archive, and keep, I would be willing to watch a few ads. The things that keeps me off broadcast TV is that 90% of it sucks, especially from the states. Like some fellow slashdotters, I download Regenesis and some British shows because I just can't get them here. Another thing is that I don't want to dedicate my schedule to being a media consumer. Sorry, I have better things to do. I typically download shows once every few weeks, and catch up on my TV on a lazy Saturday.

If I could have access to a comprehensive, well organised, well encoded site with current TV shows from all over the world (and quite possibly some non-broadcast indie-torrent only productions), I'd be willing to sit through a few minutes of ads during the show.

Re:Better schedule, no ads... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522913)

When I lived in Japan, I seem to recall a lot of the TV shows not being interrupted by ads, but the ads were in blocks at the beginning and the ends of the shows.

That might be acceptable as well...

Re:Better schedule, no ads... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522904)

"The recent Caltrain newsletter actually has comments from riders saying that they hate them, but Caltrain goes with them because of the cash flow."

More importantly, that cash flows because people are being persuaded by the ads to buy the products. I'll be Target can measure more business increase due to their ad placement, than BART/Caltrain can measure loss due to the ads.

I wonder how these same folks would respond to a proposal to raise fares by the same amount to compensate for the ad revenue? I think I know how that would go over.

Re:Better schedule, no ads... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522982)

Caltrain already adjusted fares recently, but due to the new "Baby Bullet" trains (which are pretty nice... San Jose to downtown SF in about an hour) they've also experienced an influx of riders.

BART also raised fares, but I'm surprised that they haven't also gone with the "train wrap" ads if in fact it's that lucrative of a market. They wrapped a few cars to promote the "Spare the Air" program already.

MUNI wants to raise fares yet again. Another $0.25. They went up by $0.25 about a year ago.

But yeah, if you ask people "Ads on trains or higher fares?" then they'll generally say "ads on the trains." In this case, they seem to have gotten both.

Re:Better schedule, no ads... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522958)

People are SICK TO DEATH of advertising. Anyone seen the Caltrain cars on the SF peninsula that are "wrapped" with a Target Stores advertisement? They make Caltrain $25,000/month. Riders *HATE* them.

Whoever modded this "Insightful" is an idiot and should be banned from ever posting on Slashdot again. If Bay Area residents are genuinely "sick to death" of a few advertisements, then they have very fucked-up priorities. Anal sexual intercourse routinely exposes promiscuous homosexuals and their unwitting heterosexual partner/victims to a whole host of incurable diseases including AIDS, raising the cost of health care and insurance for everybody. Smearing another human being's shit on the vulnerable soft tissues of one's own body is grounds for criticism and disgust, not celebration.

Every cud-chewing sheeple in the Bay Area happily persists in climbing the battlements to defend sodomites every time they are coerced into doing so by gay special interest pressure groups and politicians, ignoring the self-destructive sexual behavior of gays as they do so.

It is homosexual sex that is literally making people SICK TO DEATH, not advertisements on trains. Examine your priorities, stupid brainless sheep.

Do I hate commericals? (3, Interesting)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522702)

Well, I think TV downloads would work, because, unlike movies and music, TV is offered free of charge to start with (with the exception of commericial-free stations). Also, TV is a one-shot deal (except for PVRs), so I, for one, wouldn't be as opposed to DRM. Also, I could stand a "free" download of a show, where you get it with commericals, and a "premium" commerical-free option. It's not like I can't stand any commericals; it's just stupid ones, or when they get shown twice in a row. Perhaps you could block certain commericals, and the commericals would be custom-added to each show (or several different commerical themes, so men don't have to watch Tampax commericals and the like).

Re:Do I hate commericals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522747)

Your last point just hit the nail on the head.

To provide targeted advertising is a network executive's wet dream. They would be happy to give you free downloads if they could:

A) Spit out commercials in the show that cater to your specific gender, race, religion, age, etc.

B) Have a special player with heavy DRM that doesn't allow you to fastfoward through the commercials.

While some Slashdotters would detest both of them, it's still a convienant alternative to bittorrent and the like that most Joe and Jane Sixpackers would love.

Cable Descramblers (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522717)

The reason I still have to rent a cable box is because my incoming signal comes in scrambled.

NOW - if I buy a cable descrambler, that would be illegal, right?

But surely you can set up MythTV or the like to do the same thing in software (I assume the cable box does it in firmware but I don't actually know.)

So - would software that does the same thing be illegal, or not?

And can MythTV do this?

Re:Cable Descramblers (1)

geckofiend (314803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522741)

yes
no you cant
yes it would (if you could)
no it can't

Re:Cable Descramblers (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522825)

Are you saying that it is *impossible* for a computer equipped with something like MythTV to emulate a cable descrambler in software?

Re:Cable Descramblers (1)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522823)

I once saw a piece of software called fscktv that would descramble scrambled analog cable signals if you had exactly the right chips in your video card (which I don't). However, most of the interesting content is moving over to digital cable. If you don't have digital cable at all, in theory, the cable company can install a filter that will block out those frequencies entirely. Even if they don't, many of the channels may be encrypted, and there are no reports of anyone cracking that encryption yet.

5000 saved programs... (3, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522719)

...and still nothing on.

Why do we pay these people? (1)

Urger (817972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522734)

I find the whole idea that we should pay people ungodly sums of money for pretending to be other people laughable. Why should an actor get 1 million plus an episode is beyond me. They have a job just like me, now I'm not an actor but quite frankly which is harder, reading lines from a page that someone else wrote, or using your hands and your mind to create something? Let the flaming begin...

Re:Why do we pay these people? (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522790)

1 million+ per episode is a little silly, i agree but i dont think theres anyone who gets paid that much ( or hope not ).
1 million+ per series, perhaps.

Re:Why do we pay these people? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522838)

Who: Jerry Seinfeld. What: Co-creator and key neurotic in his eponymous NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" (1990-98). Salary surge: The comic doubled his per-show rate of $500,000 to $1 million for the ninth season of his top-rated series in 1997. Seinfeld reportedly turned down a $5 million per-episode offer to continue the show for a 10th year.

Who: Tim Allen. What: Handyman dad in the ABC comedy "Home Improvement" (1991-99). Salary surge: Obviously inspired by Seinfeld's aforementioned feat, Allen threatened to leave his show after its seventh season if he didn't get the same seven-figure salary in 1997. The comedian ended up besting Seinfeld by sealing a $1.25 million per-show deal with ABC -- a $900,000 increase from his previous $350,000 per-episode rate.

Who: Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt. What: The inoffensively comely couple in NBC's "Mad About You" (1992-99). Salary surge: Reiser and Hunt told the world that they both might not return to the flailing series for a seventh season. And despite the fact that neither expressly wanted more money, NBC nevertheless forked out a $1 million per-episode contract for each to stay -- and they did.

Who: Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, Eriq LaSalle. What: Everyman surgeons in the NBC medical drama "ER" (1994-present). Salary surge: After the announced departure of fellow hunky colleague George Clooney and the inking of a $13 million-per-show relicenscing deal between Warner Bros. and NBC in early 1998, Edwards, Wyle and LaSalle all renegotiated their pay -- and got $350,000 to $400,000 each per episode for their troubles.

Re:Why do we pay these people? (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522887)

It's simple economics. If the industry can support the high wages, they'll get paid. If it can't, they won't. You won't make a million dollars per program you write because the next guy will do it for less, but "the next person" can't be Brad Pitt, so if you want Brad Pitt you're going to pay a premium.

If you don't agree with it, don't watch movies and tv shows that pay their actors large sums of money. If you must watch Troy, don't complain that they made a lot of cash.

Unfortunately (2, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522813)

Unlike the music industry, television folks are trying to get ahead of the curve and offer TV downloads in a legal and easy to use manner."

Unfortunately probably not an affordable one. Have you priced TV DVDs lately? Something like Law and Order is like... 40 bucks a season or something. And there's like nine seasons. That's insane, and I don't think it's the cost of the media that's setting this price. I think it's that they're setting that price because they're expecting you'll pay it, and I think they can just as reasonably expect they can set comparable prices on internet media and you'll still pay it. Well, I for one won't pay it. And I don't think we're going to see TV downloads reasonably priced enough that the cost is less of an imposition than the bother of me paying money to see Aqua Teen Hunger Force on my computer instead of waiting until Adult Swim time, going downstairs to my neighbor's apartment who has cable, and saying "hey can I watch your tv for a little bit?"

Look-- there's this place in New York. It's called the Museum of Television History or something and it's just this little nondescript place on the bottom couple floors of some skyscraper. They've got the entire last 60 years of television on tape. Not quite all of it, but all of it that's been preserved by anyone. That's what they do. They preserve television history. And if you go in and pay them... I don't know, It was like $8 or $12 or something rediculously cheap, they'll let you cram in as many people as you can fit into these little nicely furnished viewing booths and watch in comfort three television programs of your choice out of everything ever recorded. Now that's a nice offer.

That's not what we're going to get. By the time the dust settles and these services are up, we're going to get like.. select from this wide variety of random television programs, some of which are the ones you might actually want to watch, and we'll let you watch them once with periodic graphical glitches, hunched over in your cramped little computer chair with the tinny sound, after a 10-minute buffering session. You can watch that TV show you've forgotten from the 80s with the kid who can stop time because her dad is an alien for just a dollar an episode! Oh, what, you'd rather watch Law and Order? Well, that costs a lot more. You'd rather watch Sliders? Well, we have about six unlabeled episodes from different seasons, so good luck following the plot. But, hey, you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You can watch the show's entire run for just the equivalent price of a new XBox and two RPGs which cumulatively take 120 hours to finish! You like Sifl and Olly? Oh, sorry. Go watch the show from the 80s with the alien kid instead. But isn't our service great? Aren't you grateful that we're offering you on aribtrary terms and at relatively steep prices the same uneven entertainment that we offered at one time for free, and that you could continue legally to watch for free indefinitely if you or someone you know had just been forward-thinking enough to turn on their VCRs the first time they were broadcast? Man, those people who still download tv shows over bittorrent must just be so greedy.

It's bullshit. Much as it pains me to say Russia got something right, we really need to copy their compulsory copyright licensing program [allofmp3.com] .

Re:Unfortunately (2, Insightful)

realdpk (116490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522888)

Unfortunately probably not an affordable one. Have you priced TV DVDs lately? Something like Law and Order is like... 40 bucks a season or something.

I dunno, I'd call that affordable. That's probably a couple bucks an episode, max? And without commercials, and possibly with extra features (some of which people may not want, *shrug*).

Bit torrent poses no threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11522845)

Bit torrent poses no threat to anyone.
On average, I get a 1-6kbyte download speed and my upload is over 50kbyte. It sucks having to upload 8 gigs just to get 1 gig back. I am capable of downloading at over 600kbytes per second, yet it takes me three days to download a 1+ gig files using bit torrent. I don't know why anyone thinks this is a threat to their business model.

Re:Bit torrent poses no threat (2, Informative)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522919)

Are you behind a router? Do you have port forwarding enabled?

It sounds to me like you are behind a router/firewall and the packets aren't being routed properly.

GBPVR (0)

IanBevan (213109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522853)

If you're looking for a Windows solution, take a look at GBPVR. Free (donations accepted) and excellent. I know the author personally, a good friend of mine.

Re:GBPVR (1)

casuist99 (263701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522983)

I have to tell you, from the experience I had and my brother had with GBPVR while trying to use it, I'm unimpressed. It records shows fine (at 1.6 GB/hr seemingly without the option to change encoding quality) and doesn't seem to allow for the possibility that someone might want to use it to watch live TV. The channel is locked at the last used channel.

Now, I know this is a piece of software in development, it's for Windows, and it's free, but let's not misrepresent the product here. It has potential, but isn't the BEST solution for Windows right now. The best options for Windows cost a one-time-fee of ~70 bucks, but are pretty reliable, usable pieces of software. My brother likes BeyondTV and I'm a fan of SageTV.

Now, maybe I didn't get in and hack the right textfile to set up GBPVR correctly, but that 70 bucks I paid gets me an easier setup and is a price I'm willing to pay.

MythTV == stealing TV? (3, Interesting)

amigabill (146897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522899)

Interestig how they mix MythTV in with commentary about people sharing TV shows on the internet. I have a MythTV box, which occasionally actually works (gentoo emerge updates often mangle something in there and breaks the machine, I'm currently trying to recover from such a mangling now), but I have no filesharing programs for Linux. I haven't got Samba worknig right to my Windows box either, but I can't remember the last time I used one there.

Turned out a waste of time, I tried downloading episodes of shows I missed that week, such as the first episode of Alias this season when I did not know they moved to Wed. night instead of their old Sunday timeslot. I never get a complete file, so I quit trying...

But really, how is downloading the episode of a show I missed last night stealing? It ain't for sale on DVD yet, or I'd buy it like I already got the first three seasons of Alias. As for commercial DVDs vs MythTV recordings, I'd rather have the DVDs. I've got a PVR-250 TV card, but the quality isn't nearly as good as DVDs. The quality often is rather disappointing on my recordings.

I had for a while kept recordings of Futurama reruns, but ended up getting DVDs because they look so much better on my TV, and that's a freakin' cartoon that shouldn't be affected by quality as bad as live actors and stuff should.

I dont' often even bother to skip commercials. It still gives me a place to visit the kitchen or restroom. And while I have seen the quote from some TV executive that those things qualify as stealing TV, sorry dude, but when nature calls, that's more important than watching another instance of some ad I've already seen way too many times.

Yeah that'll happen (4, Insightful)

thasmudyan (460603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522920)

If there was a way to legally download all the fresh shows that I want to see, I'd pay a few bucks per episode. But that isn't going to happen because of market segmentation politics. See, I live in Germany, where shows only come up on TV a few years after they aired in the States, which really sucks.

By downloading them off the net, I can get them now, without the sucky translation - but it's also illegal. It's lose-lose all the way. I have given up hope of enjoying the shows just like a normal viewer in the USA can, long ago. DRM is going to make us pay very thoroughly. And by paying I don't only mean money but also the freedom to choose content you want in a format you want.

Despite all this stuff like MythTV, thinks aren't exactly looking so bright on the consumer front.

Non-Zero (2, Interesting)

thinkninja (606538) | more than 9 years ago | (#11522978)

This could be a win for everybody. The best part of tvtorrents isn't so much that they're free but they're amazingly convienient. No adverts, watch them when you want, hdtv quality -- they're just fantastic value, even at $1.

And if a portion of the money goes directly back to the show's production instead of subsidizing some reality tv crap, then all the better.

Although, I'll hold judgement until we actually see an iShows.com that offers all that they promise.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>