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Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App 346

Posted by Soulskill
from the ice-delivery-men-have-no-sympathy dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Time Warner Cable this month released an iPad app that would allow its subscribers to stream (some of) the channels they already pay for to their iPad, so long as they're connected to home Internet service provided by Time Warner Cable. The app probably seems like a baby step to most Slashdotters, and was extremely popular among subscribers — but it's thrown the owners of those channels into a panic, and they're threatening lawsuits. Time Warner says the contracts they've signed with the channels allow broadcast to any device in the home — 'I don't know what a TV is anymore,' says one company exec — but the channel owners fear that this will disrupt current and future revenue streams and that they need to stop it now. 'If we allow this without litigation, everyone will do it tomorrow,' says an anonymous source. 'If we litigate, we have a chance to win.'"
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Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App

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  • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:33PM (#35614510)

    "If we litigate, we have a chance to win."

    Is that really the lines a business should be thinking on to advance and expand business??

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      Yes.

      See: recent patent issues with Android.

      • by Shikaku (1129753)

        I mean no, but they do it anyway. :|

      • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday March 25, 2011 @04:08PM (#35615988)
        I see positives here. Currently mobile phone providers require extra money to be able to 'tether' your laptop through your phone - when the phone does this on it's own if they didn't disable it. I pay for data access. How I use that access should be unimportant to the data provider. I consume the same data whether on an iPhone or on my computer.

        Comcast is basically claiming the same thing. They pay for the channels and if they want to allow their users (who already receive those channels) to access them via another device - it's up to them what they want to do with that 'data' that they receive from the channels.

        Nice to see a greedy corporation be stuck in the same bind us little people are. Now maybe we'll get some legal standing that using data you have properly paid to access is valid no matter how you use it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tattood (855883)

          I consume the same data whether on an iPhone or on my computer.

          That may be true for you, but I doubt it is true for everyone. Viewing the Internet on the small screen on a phone is rather tedious. Having to scroll the page around, pinch to zoom, and use the on-screen keyboards is more of a hassle than having a laptop screen and keyboard. For me, when I am out and I think of something I want to look up, I will usually make a note of it on my phone, and then look it up later when I am at home on a computer. If it were free and convenient for everyone to tether their

    • by cultiv8 (1660093) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:35PM (#35614536) Homepage

      "If we litigate, we have a chance to win."

      Is that really the lines a business should be thinking on to advance and expand business??

      Yes, if your business model is dying.

      • Yeah, $DEITY forbid that people should be able to enjoy your product, the way they want to enjoy it, when they want to enjoy it, on the device they want to use to enjoy it.

        If that is 'losing' for these assholes, then I hope they fucking lose, and damn quick.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What, exactly, are they winning? Less viewers???

      • by count0 (28810) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:03PM (#35615030)

        >What, exactly, are they winning? Less viewers???

        If they win they get more viewers and more money.

        MORE VIEWERS
        That's one of the points of TFA - Nielsen screws shows that allow streaming. By the measures that matter to them, they will actually win *more* viewers, because streaming isn't counted by Nielsen. Since tablet streaming cannibalizes views on a traditional TV, their Nielsen ratings will get worse if their show is a runaway success with ipad streaming households. Which sounds like they should be suing / working with Nielsen rather than the cableco.

        MORE MONEY
        It's not just about ratings, it's about revenue. Shareholders& the execs that answer to them demand growth, and here's a potential new source. They're hungry and implacable and not very thoughtful--something like zombies, or brain-sucked minions of Cthulu. The fact that a cable subscriber can already sit down, turn on the TV and watch the exact same paid-for content that TimesWarner now lets them stream in their house doesn't matter one bit to the crowd of shambling shareholders marching towards media innovation, drooling and murmuring "Grroowwwwth. Growwwwtthttthhhhh".

        • by donny77 (891484) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:49PM (#35615724)
          But the Time Warner streams are not on demand, they are Live feed of the broadcast. Plus you have to subscribe to the channel on Time Warner to get the channel on the app. You also currently have to be streaming across a Time Warner cable modem for it to work. The viewership data would be easier to acquire than a traditional TV. Its a win, win, win and win!
        • by eriks (31863) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:51PM (#35615756) Homepage

          ... streaming isn't counted by Nielsen

          Then Nielsen is fucking stupid, and by extension so are the execs for the channels that are accepting what Neilsen says. Streaming views should be easier to collect and be more accurate than doing statistics on a sample and estimating how many viewers there were.

          • by FictionPimp (712802) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:57PM (#35615830) Homepage

            Exactly, when I stream a show I'm actively choosing to watch that show. Which is different then when nothing good is on and I just set it to G4 and let cops run to fill the background with noise.

          • by Solandri (704621)

            Then Nielsen is fucking stupid, and by extension so are the execs for the channels that are accepting what Neilsen says.

            I agree it's stupid, but it's not really Nielsen's or TV stations' fault. It's the fault of advertisers who will only accept TV viewing stats based on what channel the TV is tuned into. They have decades of data correlating their TV advertisements to Nielsen ratings and marketing success. They have no data correlating their TV advertisements to streaming ratings and marketing success.

        • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:51PM (#35615758)

          That's one of the points of TFA...

          As soon as you admitted to reading the article, I stopped reading your comment. I have my standards.

        • by lgw (121541)

          doesn't matter one bit to the crowd of shambling shareholders marching towards media innovation, drooling and murmuring "Grroowwwwth. Growwwwtthttthhhhh".

          Oddly, my job is currently threatened by shareholders demanding that all the (costly) programs leading to growth be abandoned entirely in favor of a slightly larger dividend. At least it's a change, I guess.

        • by zero0ne (1309517)

          WHY does anyone give a shit about Nielsen?

          Take for example Verizon FioS... one of their machines widgets was actually a top ten currently watching [Sports / news / drama / etc] show listing.

          I could see that the top show people on FioS are watching is "Survivor" or "24"

          Why do channel execs still care about this neilsen rating? I can almost guarantee that Verizon (lets limit this to FioS or any "cable box is required provider") has data that is 10000x more useful than any Nielsen data shows.

          Assuming proper m

          • by TheSync (5291)

            "WHY does anyone give a shit about Nielsen?"

            Because TV advertisers pay based on Nielsen numbers.

      • They want you to pay separately for streaming their channel to your iPad. They count anything that is not "expanding revenue streams" as a loss.
    • by ifrag (984323)

      Another outbreak of insanity. There is also a chance it will swing the other way.

      Hopefully a strong ruling will set precedent to prevent any such stupidity in the future.

      Unless ads are being cut, I don't see what this has to do with revenue different from TV.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:51PM (#35614808)

      If you can't innovate, litigate.

    • "If we litigate, we have a chance to win."

      Maybe by Charlie Sheen's definition of winning.

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      I read it as, "But, we haven't kicked and screamed yet! You can't make us do it until we've done our kicking and screaming!"

    • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . com> on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:43PM (#35615666) Homepage Journal

      My real problem with taking this stance is that they've pre-determined that constraining the distribution of their content is defined as, "winning." Of course, we know from the history of every type of media to touch the Net that this is absurd. The services that win (though it might take a decade or more) are those that are least constrained. The only problem is that of determining how to monetize that process.

      I do feel for the networks, though. They are trapped. If the TV model dies and is replaced by the model where every device has equal access to ubiquitous data, they're screwed. There is absolutely no way that they will be able to maintain the kind of revenues that they've enjoyed on the initial distribution, which means that they need to rely on the secondary distribution to make up the difference.

      It's a hard thing to be in a nearly century-old market that suddenly undergoes such a tectonic shift, and I'm certain that several companies that are pillars of the entertainment business today will be gone in 20 years as a result. We just need to remember that that's their problem, and not one that we should allow them to force the federal government into trying to resolve for them.

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday March 25, 2011 @04:17PM (#35616120) Homepage Journal

      That it was their first thought is why America is financially doomed.

  • My thought is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mace9984 (1406805) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:34PM (#35614520) Journal
    " but the channel owners fear that this will disrupt current and future revenue streams and that they need to stop it now." No, me not watching your shows because they aren't in the format I wish will "disrupt your current and future revenue streams" though.
    • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:41PM (#35614662)

      Although the more likely scenario is "me not watching your shows because they suck".

    • Re:My thought is... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:45PM (#35614734)

      This lawsuit has nothing to do with you or your formats. It's strictly a business deal between content producers and a cable distributor; the content producers think Time Warner is welching on their deal to distribute the data according to their contract. What if a cable channel wants to stream their channel themselves for direct subscription revenues? TWCs action makes it less likely this would work, and it looks like TWC is just trying to make build a technological end run in order to stymie cable channels from selling themselves to subscribers a la carte.

      It's remarkable how many people here are suddenly on the side of Time Warner Cable(!) and iPads(!!) as long as they're providing Teh Shiny New Modality.

      • Re:My thought is... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:34PM (#35615534)
        People are probably taking Time Warner's side because streaming cable channels to your computer is so obvious that everyone is shocked that the channels are objecting to it. The fact that Time Warner is doing it, and channels are trying to stop them, is pretty much where everyone stops reading.

        Really, there should be no litigation here. Customers pay for cable service, which means channels are streamed to them; it should make no difference what type of computer they use to watch those channels.
      • Re:My thought is... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:39PM (#35615622)
        Except the end user has already paid for the content twice (subscription and ads), only freaking insane media cartel thinking demands that the customer pay for the content a *third* time. Personally I don't care because if they make it too expensive or too inconvenient I'll just stop using their product all together. I'm already going to be watching less tv this quarter because my cable provider is going 100% digital thus killing my HTPC's PVR capability until I can get a CableCard tuner, but that's ok because it's starting to get warm enough to enjoy the outdoors again =)
      • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday March 25, 2011 @04:14PM (#35616084) Journal

        It's strictly a business deal between content producers and a cable distributor; the content producers think Time Warner is welching on their deal to distribute the data according to their contract.

        The problem is, of course, that they are not.

        Time Warner has the right (via these contracts) to distribute the cable channels' content to me in my house. How I view it--whether on my beautiful 50" Plasma TV with Dolby Surround Sound or on my crappy 20" Tube TV with mono speakers--is besides the point. The iPad app basically turns my $499 iPad into a 9.7" TV with a cable box so if I want to watch the game in the backyard, I don't have to drag a TV and wire out there.

        What I choose to view the content on is not covered by the contract, nor should it be. Remember, these content producers are the same people who figure I should by a CD for my house, a CD for my car, and a CD for my office if I want to listen to their music in three different places. I don't have a lot of sympathy for them.

        What if a cable channel wants to stream their channel themselves for direct subscription revenues?

        Frankly, Cable Channels have had the option to do this for many years. They choose not to. They choose not to because they're not certain that they'll make the same amount of money. They make x dollars now distributing through cable operators and they don't want to jeopardize that money. If they started doing their own distribution, they'd be competing against the cable operators. Cable operators hate competition.

        It's remarkable how many people here are suddenly on the side of Time Warner Cable(!) and iPads(!!) as long as they're providing Teh Shiny New Modality.

        I'll admit, it's kind of like watching two bullies fight. In this case, though, I'll root for TWC because of the contracts.

        Look, if you figure you should be paid more because I watch your program on a 50" Plasma TV versus a 20" Tube TV, that's your right as a content producer. Write up the contracts appropriately. But don't come crying to me because you made this deal and then some new way to view your content came out and you figure you should be able to get more money.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:54PM (#35614864)

      No, me not watching your shows because they aren't in the format I wish will "disrupt your current and future revenue streams" though.

      I know the smug response to this idea is going to be along the lines of dismissing the guy who talks about how they don't watch TV in their house. There is this underlying belief that the mainstream is chained to their favorite programs and they will climb every mountain in their way to maintain their program loyalty. Those who make a big deal about breaking that bond are the ones who turned their backs on the water-cooler society and fled to the mountains to be strange social pariah hermits; nobody else wants to be like that. But that's not it.

      Once one misses one or two episodes of a show because of scheduling conflicts, it is much easier to miss the 3rd, 4th, and 5th episode and so on. If that happens enough, the show loses viability. That happens to enough shows on a given channel, the channel loses viability. The key here is what constitutes a scheduling conflict. In the day of Tivo, bit torrent, and other competitors who don't mind streaming their shows... the bar for conflict is dropping steadily.

      One can almost hear the sound of revenue streams being disrupted line pane after pane of glass being shattered. It's already happening as people outside the industry proper toss around DVR and P2P rocks. Its only going to get worse as competing networks pick up a bat and start casting their programs through alternative channels.

  • by frozentier (1542099) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:37PM (#35614580)
    The channel owners are right. You have NO BUSINESS getting what you already pay for! Especially if it is more convenient for you.
    • Re:they're right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Idbar (1034346) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:07PM (#35615086)
      I think the key sentence in the summary is "I don't know what a TV is anymore". The line between a TV and a computer has become so thin, that I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with a DRM system/License that TV makers have to have in order to ensure the device is an "actual TV", just like HDCP compliance. But as long as they get all the money for broadcasting poorly produced shows (realities, which lack actors and writers) and get lots of profit, they will litigate as much as they can, because all that money has to get into the pocket of some executive.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Completely off topic, but... Which reality show nowadays does not have writers? Seriously, the "confessional" sessions they do with these reality show "contestants" (which are paid something to be on the show whether they win or not) are purely scripted. They ask leading questions to get the answers they want out of them, and then don't air the questions being asked. For example:

        Producer/Writer: "What would you say to Contestant X if she took your hairspray, phrase it like you were talking to her."
        Conte

  • by eagl (86459) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:37PM (#35614584) Journal

    Good god, if a tv show intended for viewing on a tv inside a home was allowed to be shown on one of those newfangled gadgets that are electronical and have viewing screens that show magical MOVING IMAGES while inside a home, who KNOWS what might happen NEXT! We gotta stop this NOW, before someone thinks of a way to somehow magically store those shows to see them later inside that same house, or, god forbid, see the shows on TWO TVs in the same house at the same time!!!!!111eleventyone

    everyone panic and someone for the love of god CALL THE LAWYERS!

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:38PM (#35614596) Homepage
    Person A has paid for the service. They have the right to get the TV. The channels are upset that they are only getting paid once when they see other businesses have managed to cheat and get paid twice.

    The fact that other companies have found a way to rip consumers off does not give you the right to do the same.

  • Yes, if your suite can stop the passage of time you can win! As soon as you enter the future, you're finished.
  • by unassimilatible (225662) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:39PM (#35614610) Journal
    This is way less of a threat than the Slingbox [slingbox.com], which has been around for years. I've been streaming my TiVo and cable content to myself over the Net for 5 years. And of course they have iPad and iPhone apps now...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by E-Rock (84950)

      The difference is that most people don't know they can do it or just won't put in the effort to set it up. Now, it's install a free iPad app from the AppStore I already use and connect to the home WiFi I'm already using.

      It's like how USENET is the biggest channel for illegal programs and media, but most people don't know how to use it. So it flies under the radar.

    • by Jerry Rivers (881171) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:51PM (#35614822)

      Yup, I do the same thing. I have a Slingbox hooked up to my sister's cable service in Canada so I can watch programming I can't get here in the states. Works like a dream, yet I don't hear any bitching by the content producers.

    • by devent (1627873)

      Hm, if I would watch TV anymore the Slingbox would be quite useful.
      Just looked what I could watch and the only decent movie is Star Wars V, which I have on DVD and a rip on my media server, also I watched it already like 50 times.

  • If they have more eyeballs on their programming at more times of the day watching the ads, and TW is still paying their programming costs, what are they losing?
  • Summary: 'If we litigate, we have a chance to win.'

    Win what? There is no prize for being the last one to innovate. Ask Atari, AOL, and DEC.

    -d

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Summary: 'If we litigate, we have a chance to win.'

      Win what?

      Money.

      Specifically, the money they feel they should be getting paid every single time you watch a program, and on every single device.

      Content providers would love it if we reached the level where every time I watched a movie I had bought on DVD, they get paid for it. Watch an episode again on your PVR, they get paid for it. Re-read a book, they get paid for it. In their ideal world, a single viewing is licensed as a one-time event, with each per

    • The title of "asshat."

      Oops.. better check again. They already have that one.

  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:41PM (#35614656) Journal

    How SCOTUS decided that:

    Rio merely makes copies in order to render portable, or 'space-shift,' those files that already reside on a user’s hard drive.... Such copying is a paradigmatic noncommercial personal use.

    If I buy Time Warner Cable, and have Time Warner Internet, and get shows from Time Warner and this app requires the above, wouldn't displaying the stream on an iPad instead of a television simply be space-shifting the stream.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How SCOTUS decided that:

      Rio merely makes copies in order to render portable, or 'space-shift,' those files that already reside on a user’s hard drive.... Such copying is a paradigmatic noncommercial personal use.

      If I buy Time Warner Cable, and have Time Warner Internet, and get shows from Time Warner and this app requires the above, wouldn't displaying the stream on an iPad instead of a television simply be space-shifting the stream.

      Probably, but that didn't (and still doesn't) stop these copyright trolls from trying to re-litigate this crap over and over and over again. See also:

      - trying to make the VCR illegal: Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios [wikipedia.org]

      - trying to make home audio recording equipment illegal: Audio Home Recording Act [wikipedia.org] (they got a royalty on every DAT blank out of that, even if you were using it to record YOUR OWN BAND)

      - trying to make PLAYER PIANOS illegal: White-Smith Music Publishing Company v. Apollo Company [wikipedia.org]

      Not

  • This should come at no surprise to any one. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Of course they're going to panic when they see control of the distribution channels slip away from them. What these idiots don't understand is that if they adjusted their business model, they could make a decent amount of money with current technology. Maybe that's why they're idiots.

    I'm sure they'll come up with some bullshit argument as to how this is "stifling competition". That seems to their answer for everything. Kind of like "OMG TERRORISTS!".

  • To Quote Stewie Griffin:

    What's this? There's something wrong with the house! I don't like change!

    That Time Warner App is a sad and pathetic first step in comparison to even things like Hulu. Those customers are PAYING for the PRIVILEGE to watch their shows! It doesn't matter if they watch it on their TVs, Computers, Ipads. The commercials are still being piped in (which is all those execs should care about), who gives a crap if they watch TV while walking from room to room.

    Cry me a river TV execs, build a damn bridge, and get over it.

  • With competition like this, I'm starting to think Netflix producing its own content is a great move.

    • With competition like this, I'm starting to think Netflix producing its own content is a great move.

      Is this how Sci-Fi, Bravo, A&E, TBS, etc., all started to produce their own shows? I welcome this from Netflix, Hulu, Microsoft, or any other vendor -- give us more science-fiction. How do I tell them this with my dollars?
  • by robmiracle (1938904) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:44PM (#35614724)
    for their subscribers. For a company that is loated and hated by most of their customers who feel trapped in a dictatorship of ever escalating pricing, poor quality and lack of innovation, this iPad app is a serious step towards them doing something great for their customers.
    • by Matheus (586080)

      I had no problem with TWC when i had them... right up until the much more evil Comcast came in a forced them out of our market... grr.

    • Because they're providing what their paying customers want, for once. God(s) in heaven, we can't have that.

    • If you worked for a cable co such as TWC (I'm an ex-employee), this is nothing new. In-fighting between your local Cable Co and the broadcasters is an age old non-stop holy war. Both the providers and the conduit want a cut of the profit. The only thing new is that you guys on Slashdot are just now figuring this out. So the next time your sporting event gets blacked out, or your rates change, it's quite possible that your local Cable Co is passing the costs down to you along with other inflationary expendit

  • by mario_grgic (515333) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:46PM (#35614740)
    I have been doing this with a Slingbox for 8 years now, and I can (theoretically, since I have not really watched TV in at least 5 years now, beyond some BBC news here and there) watch my cable TV anywhere in the world either on my computer or mobile device. I don't remember anyone ever suing Slingbox.

    Besides, you would think people wanting to watch your crappy, commercial riddled programming would be a good thing? But no, these fuckers are so set in their ways that any change is perceived as threat.
  • this TW app (which works pretty well), is not any different than Slingbox (its more restrictive than Slingbox, both in channels and in tying you to your home network, unlike Slingbox). So its not even "place shifting" or time shifting.

    what's the beef?

    • They're just upset they didn't think of this distribution model first, they didn't contract TW out of doing anything like it with their services and they weren't able to rip off consumer by providing it through their own distribution channels first.

      Certainly, who would pay them for their channels to be streamed from their website if they can just stream it to their iPads for free* (free in the sense that you're already paying for it) on their TW accounts!

      Which is the other issue, if this story didn't have i

    • by powerlord (28156)

      And its also less restrictive than a Slingbox, you don't need to dedicate a Stream from your Cable Co. (either hijack your main video feed, or pay for/use a secondary feed).

  • I thought they were talking about Canadian media companies.

  • Winning! (Score:2, Funny)

    by mosb1000 (710161)

    Sounds like they've borrowed their definition of winning from Charlie Sheen.

  • If I have an app that allows me to watch TV on an IP enabled device, what's to stop someone from writing an application that redirects (aka "rebroadcasts") the content to someone outside of your home network? Now you've got a way to circumvent the cable companies all together because now I could pay for the channels and then rebroadcast the content to all of my friends.

  • Keep it up channel owners and I'll completely stop watching TV. Most of what you have out now is crap but there's a few gems in there. It wouldn't pain me much to stop watching it all together, already stopped buying music a long time ago and haven't gone to a movie in over two years.
  • I guess it's ok if you are the channel cutting out the cable network (HBO, Starz, Showtime on Netflix) but not the other way around... /shrug

    typical

    Of course this is like watching two guys you hate beat the shit out of each other. You can't help but to cheer the fact they are beating each other senseless.

  • I don't watch much TV anymore and what I do watch I find...ummm...online from...legitimate, yeah that's it, legitimate...sources (in Russia).
  • 'If we allow this without litigation, everyone will do it tomorrow,' says an anonymous source.

    Everyone's already doing it today you moron. Illegally. And you're making no money off it. STOP FORCING THE PUBLIC TO PIRATE YOUR CONTENT SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU'RE STUPID.
  • People using hacking devices called coax cables to create rogue secondary viewing locations?
    People leaving the bed room door open, so they can watch the TV in the living room while being in the bed room?
    People watching TV on devices that are under user control?

    'If we allow this without litigation, everyone will do it tomorrow,'

    Exactly!

  • Turn it off! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mallyn (136041) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:20PM (#35615294) Homepage
    It's free;

    And go out and play! Do hobbies!

    I've been 'free' for 32 years.

  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Friday March 25, 2011 @03:26PM (#35615406) Journal
    Apparently these hacks missed the whole DVR revolution? They never ever heard of slingbox?

    As far as I can recognize TV viewers fall into the following categories.

    * Traditional TV watchers who structure their lives around watching specific shows at a specific time.
    * DVR TV watchers who sit down and watch a previously recorded show. Maybe at some specific time (such as after the kids are in bed, etc) maybe not.
    * Content consumers who watch their show of choice on their device of choice, may it be a tablet, laptop, smartphone, etc.

    It's quite possible there's a Venn diagram of the latter two.

    The executives want the first kind, stubbornly tolerate the second kind and absolutely hate the third kind (it would appear). What it comes down to is that their revenue model is breaking and they can't adapt fast enough.

    I'm of the opinion that we need to move to an ala-carte system where you'd pay for the channels you want.
  • by Lost Race (681080) on Friday March 25, 2011 @05:06PM (#35616710)

    Time Warner says the contracts they've signed with the channels allow broadcast to any device in the home â" 'I don't know what a TV is anymore,' says one company exec â" but the channel owners fear that this will disrupt current and future revenue streams and that they need to stop it now.

    Oh the horror, that technology might actually improve people's lives without first being productized, monetized, marketed, legislated, litigated, and consecrated by all the proper authorities.

    Technology has the power to break down so many barriers, to streamline so many stupid little inefficiencies in daily life, but a few big businesses are so invested in wringing profit out of those barriers and inefficiencies that we just can't seem to get rid of them -- instead we go to great lengths to preserve and enhance the barriers instead of just rolling right over them! (e.g. DRM)

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday March 25, 2011 @05:08PM (#35616728)

    In most people's houses in the US, the only tangible difference between a streaming TV show and a broadcast TV show is that the signal uses different protocols. They even both come over the same cable from the same provider.

    My actual TV (samsung LN52A750) is really a computer. it has an ethernet connector and apparently runs some form of Linux. An iPad (not that I would ever own one) is more locked-down and DRM-ridden than my TV actually.

    Apparently you won't even be able to save the show on the iPad for later viewing, just view it in your own home. _Exactly_ identical to your TV service other than its on demand.

    I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

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