Entertainment Industry Looking To Keep Place-Shifting At Home?

from the full-of-shift dept

The Slingbox and other place-shifting products are pretty interesting. The general idea is that like time-shifting unbinds you from watching TV according to the network schedules, place-shifting lets you watch video content from anywhere you can get a net connection, rather than just on your TV or home computer. The Slingbox will even stream live TV from your home — a cool feature if you’re out or traveling. Predictably, right after Sling announced a huge funding round, some people in the TV industry are saying the Slingbox’s rebroadcasting is illegal. Keep in mind this is the same business whose member sued ReplayTV for letting people skip ads, then it’s not too hard to believe they’d want to make it more difficult for pretty dedicated people to actually watch their channels, regardless of their location at any given moment. Sling says as far as it’s concerned, what its product does falls under fair use — but, of course, that’s a concept that many in the entertainment industry would like to do away with.

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Comments on “Entertainment Industry Looking To Keep Place-Shifting At Home?”

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Randy Roach (user link) says:


As both a TiVo and Slingbox user, I find that combining time-shifting an place-shifting is the ideal situation for the consumer.

Slingbox supports only one connection at a time. It is not in any way re-broadcasting. It is NARROWcasting.

I’m disgusted, but not surprised, that the same pplayers who tried to stop VCRs, DVDs and MP3 players would attempt to kill this innovation as well. I guess they better ban coaxial cables too, so I can’t watch TV programing on my PC through the “analog hole”.

Carlo (user link) says:

Re: Placeshifting

Slingbox supports only one connection at a time. It is not in any way re-broadcasting. It is NARROWcasting.

That’s a good point, Randy, and I could have used a better word there, like retransmission. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, but I think it’s a stretch to believe the entertainment industry will agree, as you also say.

A Funny Guy / The Poison Pen says:

Re: Re: Placeshifting

Of note – while a little depressing to think of in this capatialistic world, there is one way to release software and plans for hardware that no one can sure you over.

Give it away and release it on the net through the hacker sites and through places like freenet and usenet. Millions of people will have access to it and in the case of hardware, be able to build.

Many people have the code to defeat macrovision, and i’ve heard of code that can decrypt live cable
and sat signals as well.

While most of you may fear to use these items, you should not….. as they become more and more used the less likely anyone will ever be able to but the genie back in the bottle

For instance – the code that decrypted the encryption placed on dvd’s. Originally placed on alt.2600 ( at least publically the first place ) they were sued and forced to remove it. By the time that happened, so many people had it that there was no way to censor it anymore.

But if you want to bnefit all, you must forget about profit and donate to the public domain 🙂

And make damn sure you do so in a way it can’t be tracked back to you so you can’t be sued

Kajunerd says:

Re: Placeshifting

I can’t agree with you more. I too combine these technologies, but with different hardware and free software. Having a weekend job, i would hate missing out on some of the best shows on television. This weekend place-shifting came in handy for the Superbowl. I didn’t want to miss it for the world. Using VLC I was able to stream it live to my cube at work. And when I get home I have other shows that I recorded with MythTV that I can watch. If the TV industry could (which they can’t) stop place-shifting and time-shifting, they would be just hurting themselves.

Maybe they need to look at this technology in a different way. Instead of having a few mins. of commercials every 15 mins., they could maybe just maybe get rid of the commercials (since we skip over them anyways) and format the commercials into the shows like they did when B&W televisions were around. This way we both win, they get about 30 mins. of commercial and we get 30 mins. of show.

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