Limited Selection, Walled Gardens, Unskippable Ads... What's The Benefit Of TV Everywhere Again?

from the train-wreck-in-action dept

While Mark Cuban's insisting that TV Everywhere is brilliant, it's difficult to see what the benefit is for users. We already noted that the whole program seemed to be something of a mess with no one agreeing on standards, meaning that there might be a bunch of different ones. Oh, and then there's the whole plan to include way too many ads and not let users skip any of them. Meanwhile, Broadband Reports notes that the various players appear to be bickering with each other over who pays for what... and who gets compensated for what. The whole thing is a recipe for a disaster. As Broadband Reports summarizes, "bickering between broadcasters and TV operators, limited selection, walled gardens and unskippable ads" are the sort of things that drive people to other options, such as file sharing -- which is what TV Everywhere was supposed to prevent.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    From your first links

    "Its unfortunate that there are some incredibly greedy people who think their entertainment needs should be subsidized."

    http://blogmaverick.com/2009/09/15/why-you-want-tv-everywhere-now/

    The only greedy (well, they're selfish actually) people are the cable companies that receive a government granted monopoly on the rights of way to use and build cable infrastructure so that they can charge a fortune for television and fill it up with nothing but advertisements.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    They can keep their trash

    I gave up on the Copyright Cartel in providing entertainment. What wasn't too ignorant to stand was filled with ads, and $15 a month to skip 'em simply rubs me the wrong way (Mythdora is less expensive, but doesn't work with High Def).

    I fail to see how letting me record what I would like to watch is hurting them. So what if I give it to a friend to see too? How is that any different than using a VCR?

    Then there is their whole attitude that if I can do things I want to do with their content, they'll go broke. Huh? No, this is all about business models that no longer work and fat paychecks. When you knock down the fence (barriers to participate), gatekeepers (charging a toll on those that want through the fence) lose their monopoly rents. Always have.

    Good riddance to them. I haven't watched television since March, and my HiDef TV makes a great monitor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Doctor Strange, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 6:57pm

    I fail to see how letting me record what I would like to watch is hurting them. So what if I give it to a friend to see too? How is that any different than using a VCR?

    Ah, the Boolean Mentality strikes again. The question is only "possible or impossible," there are no intermediate degrees.

    The reason you don't know the very obvious answer to this question is because the answer is all about degrees. That it is possible to tape something, edit out the commercials, and give it to a friend is only a small part of the question. The real question is, how easy and attractive is it to do this?

    Taping stuff on a VCR is a pain in the ass. You have to get a tape. You have to set it at the right point so you don't record over something else on the tape. Constant fast-forwarding and rewinding fucks up cheap-ass VCRs pretty fast. You have to remember to set the speed right. You have to make sure you have enough tape left. If you don't want the commercials, you have to fast-forward through them which is a minor pain, or edit them out, which is very difficult on a regular VCR. Making copies requires at least two VCRs, and each subsequent copy degrades the picture. Even with two VCRs, you can only make one copy at a time, and it takes as long to make a copy as it does to watch the show in the first place. So, with two VCRs, making five copies of a movie for five friends takes 10 hours.

    I think the about 90% of my taping anything on a VCR occurred in the early 1980s on one of the very early VCRs, until it quickly became clear that it was just more trouble than it was worth. Seriously, do a large portion of VCR owners actually use the record function often? Did they ever? How many DVD recorders that hooked up to TVs (not computers) were really sold? Was there any outcry that DVD players had no recording functionality?

    This, of course, explains the hullabaloo behind Betamax in the early 1980s and why it eventually became a nonissue: everyone thought that taping and copying stuff would catch on, but it turned out that (with this specific technology) the VCR became, for all practical purposes, a VCP - player only. DVDs - even with recorders that hook up to the TV - were also playback devices. DVRs strike a slightly different compromise: they make recording easy, but make transferring that recording to others, or editing it, difficult. I'm sure you remember the ruffling of feathers about the 30-second-skip button, though.

    But take away every single one of those disadvantages, and people who make money distributing content are finally in for the nightmare that they thought might happen in the Betamax days. Recording is one-touch. Editing, if necessary, can be done by a 14-year-old on a laptop. Copies do not degrade in quality. Copies of two-hour movies can be made in seconds locally, and minutes if you distribute them over the Internet (with BitTorrent, the more copies you make, the faster it goes).

    Then there is their whole attitude that if I can do things I want to do with their content, they'll go broke. Huh? No, this is all about business models that no longer work and fat paychecks.

    Why is this confusing for you, when you already understand all the elements of the situation? You act as if the fact that you can do what you want, the fact that they're going broke, and the fact that the business models no longer work are somehow dissociated. That you can do what you want with their content IS WHY their business models no longer work. All those business models were about their ability to do something you fundamentally couldn't: they could make cheaper, higher-quality copies, distribute a greater variety of content to you, make an attractive browsing experience in retail stores, etc.

    But now you've taken away all these "inefficiencies," which is why people paid them in the first place. That their business models no longer work IS WHY they are going broke.

    Good riddance to them. I haven't watched television since March, and my HiDef TV makes a great monitor.

    Good for you. Just don't be a hypocrite and watch their content on that Hi-Def monitor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 8:15pm

    seems odd to me also, Ive never heard of it until today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Mojo Bone, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 10:29pm

    Does anyone remember the promise of cable? "You'll pay for the TV that's free now, but there'll be no ads and no censorship." Make that happen, and I'll sign up tomorrow. While you're at it, make it illegal to market a bunch of bullshit that's totally unrelated to what I'm trying to watch during the show. Let me actually see the credits, I appreciate the artistry of film and film music, and want to know who the players are. Allow me to control which channels my children and I are exposed to, including the titles of the programs. By all means, offer pay per view, but don't force me to scroll through all of it when I'm just trying to see what's on, and while you're at it, I'd like my channels cafeteria-style. Is it too much to ask? I think not. I also think the future of television will belong to the first cat that figures this out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Yogi, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    I remember

    Mojo - I absolutely remember that promise and how quickly that promise was reneged on. Surprise - the public got screwed by big media again.Their downfall is making me giddy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 3:50am

    The future of television is something like NinjaVideo.net.
    A streaming online collection of every episode of every season of a television series without advertising breaks every few minutes; with the freedom to watch the episodes in any order, to fastforward to the scenes you want to view.. to pause play and rewind.

    The genie is out of the bottle, the technology is out there and the general public will choose the format that best suits them - not the format that suits the corporations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Bradley Stewart, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 4:26am

    Lets Just Shove A Roll Of Quarters In

    When I was a kid I was sitting in a restaurant with my family and the restaurant had a Jukebox. My mother just hated the music being played. She commented I wish I could throw a few quarters in that machine and buy a little silence. I wish that I could do the same thing with all the annoying adds on the internet. I would be happy to pay to get rid of all this annoying junk. Since for the time being we all seem to be stuck with this stuff lets have a board of review rate the adds for entertainment value. Once a month we all get to pick the reviewers that picked the adds that are least offensive to us and those are the adds that we have to watch for that month. This would have benefits for both the sellers and the consumers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    math is fun, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Lets Just Shove A Roll Of Quarters In

    Who will rate the subtracts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    ..., Sep 19th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Unskipable ads ?

    Will I be required to purchase a new TV Everywhere approved Barcalounger which disallows getting up during the ads?

    Will this TV Everywhere disable the remote mute, volume and change channel buttons during the ads?

    There are many ways to skip the ads, is it considered stealing the content?

    Soon they will want to charge a fee for each person sitting in front of the content monetization device or CMD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Sep 19th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Unskipable ads ?

    The TV everywhere barcalounger will include built in toilet facilities so you are not allowed to get up to go to the bathroom. Once you pick a show, you will not be able to change channels, volume, or mute or even turn off the TV until the program is over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    Good riddance to those gatekeepers who interfere with my ability to consume media in the way I choose. I hope the whole industry dissolves and the systems of funding and distribution are entirely rebooted. In the meantime, I'm not ashamed to pirate stuff, which I would have paid for if someone made me an offer that didnt insult my intelligence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Not at liberty to say, Sep 19th, 2009 @ 11:21pm

    Re: FIRST POSTER AKA IGNORANT FUCK

    ... Well lets see... Cable builds a new infastructure designed to provide you new programming, interactive features such as VOD (offered for free with 1000's of viewing options), television based caller ID, time shifting options like DVR's, launch more and more HD stations that cost providers and cable companies more then standard stations... have raised your internet from a mere 1.5mbps down, 256kbps up to 16megs down 3 megs up.. oh yeah without raising the price of internet, infact they dropped it. Yeah your right cable raised it's price again this year... by 2%... in return i got 3x the amount of ondemand content, another internet boost, 20 new HD stations... and I didn't have to pay more for any of it, except the price change.

    Lets talk about a monopoly...
    if you offer a product that only you can offer and other companys are BARRED from coming in and offering the same...
    You sir are showing just how ignorant you are...
    Are you aware that there are PLENTY of overbuilders out there... oh i'm sorry overbuilder might be too big of a word for you, you should google it and find out what it means...
    Well most companies just can't come in and effectively compete because providing cable... imagine this... costs a heck of alot of money. add having to build a network from the ground up... yeah only a few companies have that type of bank roll... ATT U-Verse and Verizon - FIOS are good examples...
    Oh and don't forget... Satelite is also and entertainment/tv channel provider... but most people wave them off as not being the same and/or inferior...
    It's not the cable companies fault that it's competiors suck and are really not good at providing entertainment.

    I have a family of 5... if i was to go out and take them to a movie 1 night a week thats 12$ x 5 just for tickets... (thats 60.00$, math hurts i know)
    add soda/popcorn whatever... i'm lucky if i spend 80$ and walk out...
    what do you know that is more them i'm spending then on my cable package i got for the entire month... so i can have movie night @ home with my family every night if i wanted to... and be off much cheaper...

    but i understand, it's always better to point fingers and complain about others making more money then you...
    somehow... by providing what people want, doing it at quite a value.... they are committing a cosmic sin and shall forever burn in hell...

    GOOD LUCK BUDDY
    you are probably one of those IDEOTS that also want to be able to order channels ala carte because they feel they pay so much because of all the useless channels on the lineup... "Hello Face... meet my friend Palm..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    ..., Sep 20th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: FIRST POSTER AKA IGNORANT FUCK

    Wow
    Nice rant

    Let me guess, you work in the cable biz.

    Sometimes I act like an idiot, but I'm no IDEOT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    The Buzz Saw (profile), Sep 20th, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    no care for customers

    Reading through comments on MC's article, I find it hilarious that he repeatedly shoots down various complaints by saying, "Well, these other businesses do it too. Get over it." It's that sinister form of salesman coercion where he tries to TELL you that you will buy it and like it rather than let you form your own opinion.

    Whatever happened to the days when businesses actually CARED about what customers want?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Frank, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Re: Moronic Rant

    "and I didn't have to pay more for any of it, except the price change."

    Brian: Do you listen to yourself when you talk?
    Peter: I fade in and out...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Robert A. Rosenberg, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re: Lets Just Shove A Roll Of Quarters In

    When I was a kid I was sitting in a restaurant with my family and the restaurant had a Jukebox. My mother just hated the music being played. She commented I wish I could throw a few quarters in that machine and buy a little silence.
    In fact, I remember some Jukeboxes where that was possible. Scattered though the records were ones with 3(?) minutes of silence (or it might have been "White Noise"). You selected them like any other record and when they arrived in rotation, there would be your requested silence before the music resumed (a longer period if there were no requests for any of the records between two Silence Record Requests).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    Minor point of clarification: I'm not aware of any cable franchise agreement being a government granted monopoly. If you want to overbuild, you have every right to accept the same terms as the local cable company and overbuild to your hearts content.

    The fact that two companies with duplicate plant can't exist in most communities is a financial issue - not a government granted monopoly issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: FIRST POSTER AKA IGNORANT FUCK

    Wow! The arguments on both sides seem reasonable, but the anger level there is off the chart!

    Is there something else that has been bothering you lately? Your response seems way out of proportion.

    I mean, I'm familiar with the tendency of the Internet to allow people to vent, but this is off the charts.

    Whatever arguments you made, they were diminished by the fact that 80% of my brainpower was thinking about what kind of anger management counseling would benefit you most.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    You're right in the letter of your comment, but I think you are dead wrong in how it applies to outcomes.

    "[new entrants have] every right to accept the same terms as the local cable company and overbuild..."

    So, what happens if those government-written "same terms" create the perfect conditions for a natural monopoly?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_monopoly

    Without those "same terms" there might be some competition, for example an overbuild in the more densely populated aread of a city. But complete coverage requirements (terms)would erase that opportunity - for better or worse.

    How is the net effect any different than an government-granted monopoly?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This