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TiVo PC Could Be a Game-Changer

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the and-you-thought-google-had-the-goods-on-you dept.

Television 191

An anonymous reader sends in an article by Andrew Keen (author of "The Cult of the Amateur") about TiVo's new TiVo PC, which he believes could seal the fate of advertising on online videos. Just as TiVo let viewers zap commercials on broadcast TV, TiVo PC — a TV tuner that can be plugged into a PC — will let Net viewers of the likes of Hulu.com and ABC.com skip commercials in the nascent medium of online video. Keen believes that TiVo's business model involves (besides selling lots of $199 boxes) mining and selling the far richer stream of user behavioral data that TiVo PC will enable.

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191 comments

Wait a second (5, Interesting)

Orleron (835910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289697)

If they mine data for behavior statistics, and they kill advertising.... what will they use the behavioral statistics for?
*scratches head*

Re:Wait a second (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289763)

If they mine data for behavior statistics, and they kill advertising.... what will they use the behavioral statistics for?

Online dating. Everyone always assumed TiVo wanted to collect all this data for marketing purposes, but actually they're just really, really lonely.

Re:Wait a second (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290077)

Heh, it dosen't take marketing statistics to show that


PEOPLE DON'T WANT ADS SHOVED IN THEIR FACES!

Re:Wait a second (3, Interesting)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290313)

It's sad, but some do. A co-worker uses IE, and her home page is MSN.com. It makes me physically ill to watch her start up her browser. I always make a big (semi-joking) deal about averting my eyes. She claims to like ads because they keep her "informed". Sigh...

Re:Wait a second (4, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290985)

She claims to like ads because they keep her "informed"

They do. When you stop seeing ads for luxury goods, it means something. Ads are a reflection of the culture at the moment.

I don't like them and even wish they'd go away but I can understand how poeple
would be interested in reading them. I do enjoy reading ads from, say 100 years
ago; some peoples thresholds are different - they like newer ads too for some
definition of newer.

Re:Wait a second (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290929)

It's true I don't want ads shoved in my face, but on the other side of the coin, I often visit the Apple trailers site and watch odd or funny ads on YouTube and their ilk.

It's not the ads that I mind as much as their presentation. The last time I visited my folks we watched a PAY PER VIEW movie on dish. Every 5-10 minutes the show was interupted for the same effing, stupid, Bounty commerical.

It made me want to go home and research Bounty and it's parent companies simply to ensure I never bought anything of theirs again.

Re:Wait a second (2, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289949)

Product placement, advertising in other media (print, radio, internet), and more targeted advertising.

Re:Wait a second (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289993)

It won't kill advertising. My snailmailbox continually gets ads, some people look. It just means that advertisers are going to have to be less banal and annoying and more entertaining in their own right.

Nobody minds the Budweiser frog ads, or the Geico duck ads. hell, when one of those Budweiser ads comes on I'll wait until that ad is over before I go to get another Killian. The people making that "head on" commercials are in deep trouble with this, though.

Re:Wait a second (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25290255)

Apply directly to the forehead!
Apply directly to the forehead!
Apply directly to the forehead!

Re:Wait a second (4, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290353)

or the Geico duck ads

Somewhere in the world, at two difference advertising agencies, two overpaid campaign managers are explaining to their bosses how ads for car insurance and for supplementary health insurance could have been confused like that.

Thank you.

Re:Wait a second (2, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290657)

The people making that "head on" commercials are in deep trouble with this, though.

But you remembered the "head on" ad so it worked. :)

Re:Wait a second (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290787)

I didn't buy the product so it didn't.

Re:Wait a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291061)

Yes, but if you ever decide to buy a topical headache reliever, you'll likely pick HeadOn over SomeProductIveNeverHeardOfBefore.

Re:Wait a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291019)

But you remembered the "head on" ad so it worked. :)

Really? I kinda thought they wanted to sell stuff and make money. But if the goal was only to have people remember stuff, then maybe it did work....

Re:Wait a second (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290739)

hell, when one of those Budweiser ads comes on I'll wait until that ad is over before I go to get another Killian.

Good to see that the Budweiser ads are working you...

Re:Wait a second (1)

olyar (591892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290993)

This struck me as funny because Killians is made by Coors [wikipedia.org]

Not sure if you intended the irony or not.

My impression was that you were implying that the advertising from the big guys doesn't affect you because you just go get your "non-big guy" beer.

Re:Wait a second (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290901)

If they mine data for behavior statistics, and they kill advertising.... what will they use the behavioral statistics for?

*scratches head*

To determine which address to send the DMCA threats to...

Please Tell Us All (1)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289717)

Few things here:

1. Does it blend?
2. Could this technology remove advertising from any potential web content, or just a key sector of the internet to focus users in only one direction?
3. When TiVO has slaughtered "the advertising golden goose that has enriched the broadcasting industry for the last 50 years," who is invited to the table for Golden Goose Liver Pate TM?

This isn't sustainable (4, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289729)

Game changer? More like a game-trasher. I purposely do not block text or image ads (only flash) on websites because I know why they are there. Ads exist in video and websites to fund the content. If everyone blocks ads in video sites, the video sites will simply go away. TiVo does not have a sustainable business model here.

Re:This isn't sustainable (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289815)

The existence of adblock hasn't caused the collapse of the web yet. If anything, giving the viewer power to view or not will encourage advertisers to make ads people want to see. I can only see this as an improvement.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290923)

What, you don't want to see annoying, strobing "punch the monkey" banner ads????

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

everyday17 (1032612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290969)

What, you don't want to see annoying, strobing "punch the monkey" banner ads????

Those are impossible! Every time I punch the monkey he just gets back up and starts running again.

Re:This isn't sustainable (5, Insightful)

WamBam (1275048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289843)

I like Hulu enough to sit through 30 seconds of advertising which I think is a fair trade for the programming they offer. I just can't think of a reason why I should spend $199 for a device that will eliminate 2 minutes of commercials.

TIVO was a great replacement for a VCR and no doubt had a hand in pushing 'on demand' content on to the web as well as through our cable boxes, game systems and so forth. But now that they created a market that they no longer have exclusivity over, it seems that this new device is some sort of half-assed effort to get back into the game.

Re:This isn't sustainable (5, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290139)

I like Hulu enough to sit through 30 seconds of advertising which I think is a fair trade for the programming they offer.

Seriously. How commercial-intolerant would one have to be in order to get annoyed with Hulu's commercials? If network TV had that level of advertising, I'd never skip a comercial again, even with convenient 15/30-second skip buttons. I'll go further, in fact. For a 40- to 50-minute program, I'll take a full five minutes of commercials, perhaps one minute for every ten minutes of content. Sponsors willing to participate in that could expect me to give them significant consideration when I'm making purchasing decisions.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25290351)

I agree with Babbster, I can stand some commercials, but not 3 minutes worth of loud annoying crap. It seems 15-30 seconds of ads on online tv is fine with me. I would rather the short ad-break then to not have a legal alternative to broadcast tv.
yes I use adblock and every other form of ad blocking software because online ads are very annoying and I pay for bandwidth. I'm not paying for over the air tv (technically) so I understand their business model.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290379)

Hulu is one thing because its a free service, but I don't see why I should be willing to sit through any TV commercials when I pay out the ass for cable.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290631)

There is no way this will work on Hulu. Hulu notices you are using Ad-Block and locks you out. If TiVo can figure it out, why isn't there a Firefox extension that does it?

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290927)

It doesn't lock you out. Or not me anyway. I get a message that says to disable my adblocking software, but the program shows up normally after 30 seconds.

Re:This isn't sustainable (3, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291065)

It doesn't lock you out. Or not me anyway. I get a message that says to disable my adblocking software, but the program shows up normally after 30 seconds.

I've had it lock me out, [ubuntuforums.org] and I've also seen it shows a blank screen for 30 seconds (It does this on Windows). Either way, it penalizes you for using an ad-blocker. In fact, the commercials are shorter than the 30 seconds it penalizes you for using Ad-Block, making Ad-Block completely pointless on that site.

So I return to my point. How can TiVo get around these commercials and no one has made a Firefox Extension that can do the same thing?

Re:This isn't sustainable (2, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290837)

How commercial-intolerant would one have to be in order to get annoyed with Hulu's commercials?

How much variety is there in Hulu's commercials? Will I see a repeated commercial in one hour of viewing? In three hours?

And will I see commercials I haven't been exposed to dozens of times in the last week on regular television?

Do they advertise Hulu on Hulu?

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290981)

I haven't actually used Hulu or any of the other sites to watch a full length program (I have on a few rare occasions caught a bit that was clipped off due to a show being delayed slightly or if I didn't pad a show enough).. but if I used Hulu regularly, I probably *would* record it to my non-Tivo hard drive recorder so I could skip the ads. If Hulu only has a commercial at the beginning, I wouldn't, but I presume it has commercials in the middle, just like other sites.

If I could get Jeopardy online, I would watch at least some of the ads.. My local station has been preempting a lot of episodes lately.

Re:This isn't sustainable (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290151)

At 50 bucks an hour, you'd have to eliminate almost 4 hours of commercials to come out ahead in terms of opportunity cost for your time. 240 minutes of commercials.

If the device eliminates 2 minutes of commercials, it would have to do that just 120 times to pay for itself. Why would you NOT buy the TiVo device.

Re:This isn't sustainable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25290287)

I have to agree. I had never watched anything on Hulu until just last night (for reals). I missed the most recent Family Guy and everyone at work said it was hilarious. So I watched it.

Funny thing is, the commercials were so few and far between (I think there were four 30 second commercials total) that I wasn't bothered by them at all and I actually WATCHED THEM (I never watch commercials except during the Super Bowl).

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290367)

Same here, when I watch shows on the CBS or NBC websites they generally have 4-5 thirty second commercials. Usually for the same product every time. It's certainly not worth 200$ for me to avoid having to watch that. I can't imagine anyone for whom that would be a reasonable purchase unless you just venomously hate advertising for some philosophical reason.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290409)

Put me in the category of people who don't want to sit through
the commercials AND don't want to be restricted to viewing
content on a desktop PC. Seeing stuff on Hulu tends to inspire
me to buy the relevant DVDs.

TV on DVD can be dirt cheap. Transcode it to h264 and it makes
great fodder for a virtual jukebox.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290257)

Game changer? More like a game-trasher. I purposely do not block text or image ads (only flash) on websites because I know why they are there. Ads exist in video and websites to fund the content. If everyone blocks ads in video sites, the video sites will simply go away. TiVo does not have a sustainable business model here.

They sell hardware for 200 a pop. Sounds pretty sustainable to me.

If professional movie makers go away, there will be no reason to maintain an arbitrarily crippled set of tools to sell consumers so the professional tools don't get undercut. Same thing goes for music and photography.

As it stands now, the good tools are marked WAY up, such that they can only be purchased by those who are making a business out of them, while the reasonably priced tools are intentionally crippled. When there is no way to make a business out of these tools, no one will be able to afford the ridiculous markup, so they will have to drop their prices and compete fairly. After that happens, the public at large will be able to buy good tools, and create good things with those tools driven by a desire to communicate and share something that comes from within, rather than using market research to create lowest common denominator schlock and earn a buck letting propagandists weave their message into it.

I expect there will be more and better creative works available when that happens. Life will improve.

Re:This isn't sustainable (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290555)

They sell hardware for 200 a pop. Sounds pretty sustainable to me.

They sell a hardware software bundle that is not unlike what
Hauppauge was doing with it's Brooktree based cards 10 years
ago. This is nothing to get excited about. It's the same thing
that everyone else is already doing.

Put a random USB ATSC tuner in a bag with SageTV or VistaMCE
and you've got the same thing as this bundle.

What Tivo is selling is not a complete solution. It's just
something to install in a "desktop PC". It's not even clear
that it would work well in a slim frontend configuration
(like MythTV on an AppleTV).

The $1000 question is why you would want to use this rather
than any other PVR software and how this will integegrate
with other Tivos?

SageTV with their cheap HD extender is the thing to beat.

Re:This isn't sustainable (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291041)

1) because you get the Tivo interface
2) reviews have said that you can transfer the recordings to other Tivos, so it integrates just like any other standalone Tivo.

No answers. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289757)

TFA asks a lot of questions but provides no answers whatsoever.

Personally, I doubt Hulu is going to let Tivo access their service and then skip the commercials unless Tivo is paying them every time a user does that. It would be suicide for Hulu.

ABC, NBC, etc etc are all in the same boat, except that it's not suicide and merely stupid for them.

I also doubt that user viewing preferences matters at all in an environment that can skip commercials. Unless they are looking for the demographic that won't watch the commercials no matter what... I can't imagine what use that data is.

Re:No answers. (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289885)

As I understood TFA, he's just saying that being able to record shows on your PC with TiVo's device will eliminate the need for people to watch those shows via Hulu. Other than that, it was mostly blah blah blah TiVo blah blah.

Re:No answers. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290613)

As I understood TFA, he's just saying that being able to record shows on your PC with TiVo's device will eliminate the need for people to watch those shows via Hulu. Other than that, it was mostly blah blah blah TiVo blah blah.

Yeah... but you can already do that with real Tivo and that's
a "complete" solution. You can also do this with a cableco
provided PVR. You can also do this with the various Linux,
Mac or Windows PVR software options.

Re:No answers. (3, Insightful)

speroni (1258316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290135)

I doubt Hulu is going to have a say in the matter. I imagine a system where you set TiVo to record the video from your PC instead of from your cable box, then allows you to fast forward at your leisure.

Something where the output is recorded not so much downloaded onto the tivo.

Re:No answers. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290153)

This is a FUD article from someone with a vested interest against TiVo and who either has not a clue what he's talking about or is intentionally confusing two things.

This is a PC based DVR, not a DVR for online video. You aren't going to be recording Hulu off this, just your standard TV.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25289765)

An anonymous reader writes sends in an article...

Is this ungrammatical phrase just a mistake by kdawson, or did the submitter try to prank it by using the submission name "An anonymous reader writes"?

If it's the latter case: isn't pranking Slashdot's grammar redundant?

Re:I wonder... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290083)

It's a mistake by kdawson. The editors here do actually edit, often to the detriment of the submitted text =P. Many stories I've submitted bear little resemblance to what I actually wrote when they get posted.

"An anonymous reader writes sends in an article" is the kind of mistake I've made in my (usually NSFW but the latest isn't) journals.

If it was pranking, it would read A submitter named "An anonymous reader writes" sends in an article...

(NKB and NSB boxes checked)

frist psot! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25289793)

gurglefraggle!

Why? (3, Informative)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289833)

TV tuners are by no means anything new, the only difference this really has is that it has the TiVo name. I dare say that most people who want to plug a tuner into their PC already know this and can probably install software that does everything this does, except for free.
I can't see it changing anything, as far as I'm aware, there isn't a teribly big market for TV tuners (there's a market all right, but it's nowhere near as big as say graphics cards or even sound cards, I'd bet - most people simply don't like being hunched over their monitor to watch TV and those that want to watch it on their actual TV would be better off with a standard TiVo box, or similar, anyway).

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290333)

You're missing the power of the brand. I've got a TV tuner in my PC, and when I record things, the best way to explain it to people is "like a TiVo, but on my computer". It's not terribly simple, especially on a college campus where the TV lineup isn't as straight forward as entering your cable company and zip code.

If TiVo makes the TV tuner work really well, I imagine they could capture a good bit of the market. I imagine people could care less who makes their graphics card, but if they see "TiVo, but for my PC", it might make them think about getting one.

Re:Why? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290471)

I suppose so, it's hard to gauge the importance of the brand because I'm from the UK and TiVo doesn't really have a significant market here that I'm aware of (Our Cable/Satellite TV companies supply their own boxes that do the same sort of thing).

Re:Why? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290849)

The Tivo interface is nice (and that's basically ALL you're buying here, since Pd-based DVR's like BeyondTV and MythTV have been around for years). But so much on a PC-based DVR is dependent on the right hardware and configuration. You can't just used any old videocard if you want good results, for example. Most videocards don't even have the kinds of inputs and outputs you need for this sort of thing, and almost none of them do hardware video encoding (the way the Hauppauge cards do). So you can't just slap "Tivo PC" onto your standard PC and have it work like a stand-alone Tivo. Not even close.

Re:Why? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290693)

I am always fascinated by this sort of rhetoric.

My computer monitor is bigger than my first TV and has been for a long time.

If you're willing to watch Hulu then watching a PVR recording on the same machine shouldn't be such a big deal.

Re:Why? (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291089)

My computer monitor is my 42" Plasma TV... sounds like a perfect option to me (though I already have a setup that works for me, so why would I need Tivo's solution?)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25290729)

You do not even have to install much with Vista. It INCLUDES a very similar service to tivo, Media Center. It would have to be bad ass to get past the 'free' one included on new PCs. I used Media Center with XP and it was 'ok'. It was usable and with the 360 extender it was plugged right into my main TV. Now however I am FREE of TV. It is out of my life. I buy the seasons of whatever I want on DVD and save the 60 bucks a month in fees then watch at my leisure. I can even get on craigslist and trade season X for Season Y.

Oh and you do not even need 'ultimate' to get it.

...but JESUS CHRIST is a LIFE changer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25289947)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.
ATHIEST KID: Mom, I'm going to go fuck a hooker.
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, son.
ATHIEST KID: Afterwards, I'm going to go smoke pot with my friends, since it's "not addictive."
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, come home soon!

The athiest kid leaves the room. The father comes home from work several minutes later.

ATHIEST DAD: Hey!
ATHIEST MOM: Hi, honey! I'm pregnant again. I guess I'll just get another abortion, since "fetuses don't count as human life."
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, get as many abortions as you want!
ATHIEST MOM: Oh, and don't go in the bedroom.
ATHIEST DAD: Why not?
ATHIEST MOM: There are two gay men fucking eachother in there.
ATHIEST DAD: Why are they here?
ATHIEST MOM: I wanted to watch them do it for awhile. They just aren't finished yet.
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, that's fine with me!

Suddenly, their neighbor runs into the house.

ATHIEST NEIGHBOR: Come quick, there's a Christian outside!
ATHIEST MOM: We'll be right there!

The athiest couple quickly put on a pair of black robes and hoods. They then exit the house, and run into the street, where a Christian is nailed to a large, wooden X. He is being burned alive. A crowd of athiests stand around him, all wearing black robes and hoods.

RANDOM ATHIEST: Damn you, Christian! We hate you! We claim to be tolerant of all religions. But we really hate your's! That's because we athiests are hypocritical like that! Die, Christian!

THE END

Scary, isn't it?

I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25289953)

I'm pretty much comfortable with the level of advertising at Hulu. I dunno why I'd need program to get around it. Television, well that just makes sense. The commercials are intrusive. Hulu though, well for once I think they got it right.

wtf? (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25289975)

This article seems nonsensical to me.

a TV tuner that can be plugged into a PC -- will let Net viewers of the likes of Hulu.com and ABC.com skip commercials in the nascent medium of online video.

What? Why do I need a TiVo TV Tuner box to watch online videos? Stripping commercials from online streaming video sounds like a software task. And saving the streaming video so that you can jump past the commercials doesn't require any special TiVo magic (whether hardware, subscription, or software). Will we see software and utilities that allow you to skip ads on online video? Probably. But what does this have to do with a TV-Tuner card for your PC?

The article also asks some nonsensical questions:

Does the arrival of the TiVo PC set-top box represent the final convergence of television and Internet video?

No. TV-Tuner cards and online video have existed for awhile. I don't see how a TiVo box changes anything. Yes, it might make "TV on your computer" more accessible to the masses... but that isn't a "final convergence" of anything, really. Sure, the lines are blurring between TV and Internet. And TiVo is part of that inevitable change. But this box isn't a revolution.

What will be the impact of TiVo's new device on the online video economy?

None. It's a TV-Tuner card, isn't it? (People watch Hulu because they don't want to pay for the equivalent cable channels.)

Will TiVo be remembered as the company that helped slaughter the advertising golden goose that has enriched the broadcasting industry for the last 50 years?

Doubtful. TiVo hasn't demolished TV ads yet. Strangely, PVRs in general haven't either. And AdBlock hasn't demolished web ads. These are all part of the arms race which keep ads sufficiently non-annoying that a sizeable fraction of the population doesn't bother avoiding. There will always be people who avoid them. But most people don't bother.

Add to this the fact that part of TiVo's strategy is to deliver ads to customers somehow... I hardly think that this new box changes much for the ad industry.

Re:wtf? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290133)

Agreed. This guy doesn't understand the difference between using a TV tuner card and watching online videos via a website. By not understanding this distinction, his entire article and all the arguments it makes are nonsensical.

Re:wtf? (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290179)

He's barely coherent, but I think what he's saying is that if Joe Consumer, who currently watches shows via Hulu or nbc.com, will stop doing that and start using his brand new Tivo device.

Totally agree that it's all nonsense though. He's apparently pissed that nobody from TiVo called him back.

Re:wtf? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290207)

For once, D(on't)RTFA. Really. If you thought the summary was confusing TFA will make it even worse.

About the only facts in it are: TiVo is releasing a computer peripheral. The peripheral will cost $199. The peripheral uses TiVo's subscription service. Continuing the subscription will cost $99 annually.

Re:wtf? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290191)

Have you ever heard of that web site? Neither have I. Today's /. stories seem a mixture of very good nerd stories ("Two Europeans Indicted In US For 2003 DDOS Attacks", "Next-Gen Mars Rover In Danger of Cancellation:) and anti-nerd, almost jock like crap like "How Mobile Phones Work Behind the Scenes" (we're nerds, we already know how they work) and this one.

Nobody's perfect, I'll cut kdawson and timothy (and the firehose drinkers) some slack.

Optional Commercials (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290007)

It will be easy for Hulu and other sites to block this TiVo from skipping commercials. If it comes down to it they can switch to their own proprietary streaming software, though hopefully it won't become a DRM mess.

What I'd like to see if for commercials to be optional. Say that NBC takes in 25 cents from advertisers when a viewer watches a 30 minute show. Give the user an option to create an account, enter a credit card, and turn commercials off. Every show watched would be added to the account, with the card being charged every so often. If a user doesn't want to pay, they could accept ads. They might turn off ads for their favorite drama, but accept ads for a comedy they are watching while folding laundry.

Re:Optional Commercials (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290415)

Great idea. I'd sign up for that in an instant, as long as they stop the #$%^ing blatant 'product placement' as well, as in the most recent Simpsons episode.

Zap hulu commercials? (2, Insightful)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290027)

No no no, no one needs to zap hulu commercials. I mean it'd be nice, but not $199 nice. Current hulu advertising breaks are quite short an bearable.

What tivo COULD do is provide a couch-based way of using hulu, with an alternate UI that's remote control friendly. Make it work for youtube, and it'd be a good back-up plan at parties, where guests could show "teh internet funnah" to others around on the TV with minimal fuss.

But xbox 360 and that other netflix movie watcher box are going in this direction too. Market is going to be crowded. That's good for me!

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290331)

I was at a party a while ago where the host used his Wii browser to show some cool youtube videos. Sounds like a good idea to me, and a much better use of 199 dollars.

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290771)

I was at a party a while ago where the host used his Wii browser to show some cool youtube videos. Sounds like a good idea to me, and a much better use of 199 dollars.

An even better use of $199: Buy some friends who don't think "dicking around on the net with a Wii" is how you have a party. ;)

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290797)

Speak for yourself. Drinking beer and watching some WFC videos is a good time for most men.

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290825)

WFC is definitely a matter of taste, but
"A good time" != "A party"

Shit, I'm a neckbeard unix geek, but even I know that sitting around sucking on a beer and staring passively at a screen isn't a party. You need to be SOCIAL.

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290871)

Perhaps it's because you're a neckbeard unix geek that you've never been in a situation where watching a video is an active, social situation.

Re:Zap hulu commercials? (1)

Reivec (607341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290441)

I already do this. I simply have a media PC and use the logitech DiNovo keyboard to load hulu on my TV over HDMI. Looks great and allowed me to cancel my cable. :)

Author an Idiot! (4, Informative)

jdc180 (125863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290031)

The Tivo Software for the PC is simply a reproduction of the Tivo software in the tivo boxes that works on your Windows PC. It's not going to allow you to skip or record online videos, it will allow you to skip and record TV.

Re:Author an Idiot! (1)

rakeshagrawal (252260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290093)

I agree with you. The author rode into this story on a unicorn. (and I founded SnapStream, makers of Beyond TV, one of more popular PC DVR programs out there)

There's nothing original about this product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291067)

TiVo PC is just Windows Media Center Edition from a different company. Why pay for the software when you can get it bundled with the operating system? The real missing piece to almost all PC solutions is the lack of CableCARD. The last time I checked, there were only one or two PC's that CableLabs had certified.

Keen Seems to Misunderstand Tivo PC (5, Insightful)

OG (15008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290049)

He seems to believe that Tivo PC is a method of accessing online content, but it's not. If you have a TV tuner card in your PC, it lets you use the Tivo software with that card. That's all.

There's nothing you can do with this new product that you can't already do with MythTV or similar products. People who are going to save programs, edit out commercials, and post the final product up on the web are already doing it. This won't facilitate such behavior.

Keen doesn't seem to have a clue as to what this product actually does.

Re:Keen Seems to Misunderstand Tivo PC (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290735)

This incoherent garbage should have never been accepted on /., much less on the front page.

"TV Tuner" to skip ads in online video? (1)

stevenm86 (780116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290081)

Wait... what? A TV tuner that skips ads in online video. Someone explain, how does that work, exactly? A TV tuner to skip commercials in broadcast TV, now that I can understand. Myth has a very decent commercial detector. But this thing skips ads in online video... how does it become a tuner? Besides, adblock plus seems to be doing a fantastic job in blocking most youtube ads anyway.

Re:"TV Tuner" to skip ads in online video? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290773)

Have some sort of robotic downloader "watch the content" and store that.
Once you have this "recording" then you treat it like any other "recording"
that might have come from a PVR150 or an HDHomeRun. Slice it, dice it, or
allow the end user to skip through it in 30 second intervals.

Re:"TV Tuner" to skip ads in online video? (1)

stevenm86 (780116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290919)

Replay Media Catcher (commercial software) sort of already does this. It sticks its grubby little fingers into the TCP layer and grabs up the packets of the flash video streaming to the player. The neat thing is that the video is usually a continuous stream, with the player inserting ads in the middle... so if you were to do something like that, no further processing of the video would be required.

Re:"TV Tuner" to skip ads in online video? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291005)

What I envision would be a "web recorder" that goes out to the
web and grabs stuff and puts it onto your media player so you
can watch it from the couch. Mebbe have some rules. Treat
sites like channels and apply all the same scheduling logic.

Call me crazy... (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290085)

but why would the marketplace buy a TiVo PC? Regardless of commercial-zapping potential. Sure, $200 is decent, but there've been business models along those lines before that haven't gone anywhere (e.g., the ol' buy-a-computer-with-two-years-of-AOL-and-get-it-damn-cheap). I fail to see a true differentiator here -- at least, one that would sway any significant percentage of home computer users.

Stop the damned advertising (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290121)

I don't want to see ads anymore. If I never see another, my life will be much improved. I'm perfectly happy to pay for good content if that's the way to get it. Of course, I'm happier to get it for free, but ads are not free. Their toll is psychic.

So right now, I block ads. Few if any make it past noscript and adblock plus combined. The rare times I use a different computer, it's like walking into Vegas. How obnoxious.

Actually... (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290127)

I've been using a lot of these services. Honestly, for the flexibility to watch the shows when I want how I want, I'm more than willing to watch advertisements, especially if they're targetted at my demographic.

I really like having free and legal on-demand streaming television shows available from trustworthy sources. I would like to see these services continue and expand. I wouldn't buy TiVo for the PC, because I want to promote it, make execs think they're really onto something.

not necessarily (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290173)

TiVo let viewers zap commercials on broadcast TV, TiVo PC A friend used to transfer his TIVO'd Daily Show recordings onto DVD's for me. You can't FF on a DVD the way you can on tape. So, I saw commercials I otherwise would not have seen. Theoretically he could have edited out the commercials, but there is so much you can ask of a friend. It really is not clear how this all shakes out.

Re:not necessarily (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290303)

Try the >> button instead of the >| button.

I've yet to encounter a DVD player that didn't have a x2 x4 x8 fast forward.

It so happens the my ferret pulled off and hid that particular button from my remote but the functionality is still there.

Troll alert (4, Informative)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290181)

For those unaware of who this is, this is the guy who compared user-generated content to communism.

I'm not kidding. [weeklystandard.com]

Re:Troll alert (4, Informative)

BruceCage (882117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290349)

Ah yes, the guy who wrote the book titled "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture" [amazon.com] or the full subtitle of "How blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the rest of today's user-generated media are destroying our economy, our culture, and our values".

Some more great quotes from Andrew Keen in an interview with Paula Newton on CNN [youtube.com].

"I think we've got to learn to read and listen to professionals rather than ourselves, because ultimately they're the ones who are experts, they're the ones who know how to collect the news, they're the ones who know how to make great music and compelling movies not ourselves. "

"The beauty of mainstream media is that you have editors, you have gatekeepers, who are relatively objective, who are professional, who ensure that the majority of the news is unbiased."

Perhaps one of these days I'll actually read into this guy some more under the guise of "Know Thy Enemy", but at the moment I have better things to do with my time.

He's also given a talk at Google [youtube.com] by the way.

Andrew Keen is a professional crank. . . (1)

Slicebo (221580) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290209)

All you ever need to know about Andrew Keen can determined by reading this post at his blog:

http://andrewkeen.typepad.com/akfiles/eleven.htm [typepad.com]

Then read Justin's post, and the accompanying comments, at classicalvalues.com:

http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2006/04/andrew_keen_sto.html [classicalvalues.com]

Re:Andrew Keen is a professional crank. . . (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290769)

Or the blurbs [bbc.co.uk] about his book:

Andrew Keen's new book, The Cult of the Amateur is the latest addition to the Newsnight book club. In it, the author expresses his concern for the profligacy of online amateurism, spawned by the digital revolution. This, he feels, has had a destructive impact on our culture, economy and values.

He says, "[They] can use their networked computers to publish everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels".

He complains that blogs are "collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture".

He claims that Wikipedia perpetuates a cycle of misinformation and ignorance, and labels YouTube inane and absurd, "showing poor fools dancing, singing, eating, washing, shopping, driving, cleaning, sleeping, or just staring at their computers."

He warns that old media is facing extinction - "say goodbye to experts and cultural gatekeepers - our reporters, news anchors, editors, music companies, and Hollywood movie studios."

TV is linear, online is not; use banners (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290329)

Advertising within videos shown online is always going to be a failure. Online videos are not linear. We can fast forward, skip around, or go to another page.

TV is linear, at least without TiVo or MythTV. You have to watch what's there, so you mute and leave the room for commercials. (Does anyone like commercials? The witty ones are fun -- the first time of 800 times you'll see them.)

They need to adapt to online reality. Sell banner ads and Google ads, or Amazon referrer links. That's the online reality. TV is for dinosaurs ;)

Over-reaching speculation gets you nowhere (1)

ProsperoDGC (569875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25290681)

TiVo PC is not capable of allowing viewers to skip commercials on Hulu.com and the like. Read the reviews (like this one [pcmag.com]) for proof. It's a device to enable recording of broadcast/cable TV shows on a Windoze box. That's it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with recording net-streaming video, or anything else that regular TiVos currently can't do. This kind of over-reaching speculation is irritating, distracting, and unhelpful. Andrew Keen is, I think, a little too keen (haha, do you see what I did there?) to create controversy and a little less inclined to check his facts.

Call to Opt-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25290785)

Just call TiVo to have them remove you from their statistics gathering.

Funny, funny stuff (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291053)

Guys like the linked blogger are so out of touch - they're so full of themselves. Like with this quote:

"I did contact TiVo to learn more about its intentions, but -- surprise, surprise -- they never got back to me."

The blogger implies that the obvious reason for this is because Tivo is afraid to talk to him. Somehow he doesn't understand that maybe, just maybe, Tivo has no idea who he is and doesn't want to spend all their time answering questions from every blogger on the net?

It's pretty much the same situation as when some nut-job keeps yelling about how the "scientific community is afraid to debate him". No, they just don't see the point in wasting two hours of their lives for no good reason.

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