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Intel's Attempt At A-La-Carte Television Hits Delays

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the watch-as-you-go dept.

Cloud 102

bill_mcgonigle writes "Updating the previous story, Forbes and Gigaom are now reporting that Intel is running an internal startup aimed at offering an internet-connected set top box with a-la-carte 'cable' channel subscriptions. They also apparently plan to record everything and offer all content on-demand. While some are skeptical that content providers will give up their cable cash cow and they've run into licensing problems already, perhaps the economic effects of cord-cutters will finally make this business model viable."

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102 comments

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42456725)

For New Years, I fucked CmdrTaco's ass. It was the tightest asshole I'd ever fucked it was amazing. Especially when I painted his colon with my semen! At the same time Kathleen Malda nee Fent, was getting pummeled in a black cock gangbang. The night was fucking rocking!

Hahaha (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42456749)

Like that's gonna work with all of the greedy content providers* licensing agreements. Just the other day I was at a woman's house and we were deciding what to watch on her Roku box. Hey, let's watch this on Netflix! Oh, we can't, that's DVD-only. Let's watch it on Amazon! Oh, premium membership (or whatever the fuck the problem was) only. It seemed that wanting to watch every movie that was a cult classic or otherwise worth watching held us hostage from some kind of restriction, which is inexcusable beacuse outfits like Netflix have had quite awhile to get their shit together and still have no native Linux client.

If Roku can't do it, what makes you think that Intel magically will?

* aka Jews

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Hahaha (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457079)

Roku CAN do it. You just might have to PAY FOR IT. Not that Netflix is totally free on it's own. It is merely cheap.

Of course you are going to have few options if you are only willing things that are free and ad supported (Hulu) or have a pittance monthly fee (Netflix).

Depending on your use case, the PAY FOR IT option might even be a lot less than what you would pay for cable. Ala Carte is already here. It's just done by the show rather than by the channel.

Re:Hahaha (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457109)

Like that's gonna work with all of the greedy content providers* licensing agreements. Just the other day I was at a woman's house and we were deciding what to watch on her Roku box. Hey, let's watch this on Netflix! Oh, we can't, that's DVD-only. Let's watch it on Amazon! Oh, premium membership (or whatever the fuck the problem was) only. It seemed that wanting to watch every movie that was a cult classic or otherwise worth watching held us hostage from some kind of restriction,

What kind of restriction are you talking about? You said the movie was available on Amazon streaming (but you'd have to pay for it), and Amazon streaming runs fine on Linux.

Is it paying for the content that you object to?

which is inexcusable beacuse outfits like Netflix have had quite awhile to get their shit together and still have no native Linux client.

Why would they? It would gain them a tiny number of users but incur large support costs - MS has 3 mainstream operating systems to support: XP, 7 and now 8. Linux has dozens of distributions they'd have to support... and that's after they've spent the money to train their support staff on Linux. If they wanted to provide a Linux client, they'd just do it - they already have one since the Roku runs Linux.

Re:Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42459651)

The kind of restriction where "pushing the shut up and take my money button on your remote" doesn't work. The consumer doesn't care why the fuck this is, they can't buy it.

$1,000 per year for one show (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461743)

Is it paying for the content that you object to?

No, it's HBO demanding that people pay $1,000 per year just for Game of Thrones [theoatmeal.com] that I object to. Instead, I have chosen to do without. It's also the fact that certain decades-old movies and TV series aren't available to the public for any price that I object to (such as Song of the South and Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea).

Re:Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42461005)

Like that's gonna work with all of the greedy content providers* [...]

* aka Jews

You can take your anti-semitic attitude and shove it up your ass.

Just give up pay TV content (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456761)

We had cable until COX took Turner Classic Movies off of analog cable and put it on digital cable, at which point we had enough. Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and Sci-Fi/SyFy were already on the way down but hadn't hit rock bottom yet.

We don't miss it. Between XBMC, free content or ad-supported streaming content via our network-connected Blu-ray player, and free content via web browser, there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

Cut the cord permanently.

yep (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457035)

Originally $150/mo going towards various TV things, now down to $35/mo myself as well. $0 soon enough.

Roku + torrents + spotify + netflix + pandora + amazon prime -> no use for TV whatsoever.

Re:yep (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457083)

At one point during the "digital transition" my TV connection stopped working for month. Eventually it got fixed but I realized I didn't really miss it. Now I pay $24/mo instead of $70 and I can watch the occasional sports program, which is pretty much all I care for. Still not ready to cut it off completely but the cost is now pretty minimal.

Re:yep (5, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457245)

Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released. I would have even paid for it. Web accessable. I log in. I type in a show. Say I want it. Tada. Shows magically appear on my hard drive.

I can put them on my phone, my tablet my laptop. XBMC indexes them they're available on my TV and projector.

Re:yep (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457549)

Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released. I would have even paid for it. Web accessable. I log in. I type in a show. Say I want it. Tada. Shows magically appear on my hard drive.

I can put them on my phone, my tablet my laptop. XBMC indexes them they're available on my TV and projector.

Sweet, i got usenet, i will try it out. someone mod this nice person up.

Subliminal DIstractions (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457631)

Sickbeard is the "DVR" app that cable companies should have released.

I would use it, but the front page of shows is sending me a powerful message to stay away:

Breaking Bad
Criminal Minds
Destroyed in Seconds

Re:Subliminal DIstractions (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457747)

Your aversion to that particular content doesn't justify your aversion to the software.

That's almost like saying "I don't like google.com, so I'm not going to use Firefox, since it can access that website."

Re:Subliminal DIstractions (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year and a half ago | (#42460489)

Whooooosh!

Re:Just give up pay TV content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42457069)

Yup, you can pop an antenna on the roof too. I get about 20 OTA channels. MythTV+XBMC = $0 monthly fee. The only real charge I have is the $25 to SchedulesDirect which is optional.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (2)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457111)

That's what we did. Between MeTV, "This", RTV, Bounce, Tuff TV, Create (rebadged as Life here), PBS World, and a bunch of other subcarrier channels there's often actually something that I want to watch, which is more than I found with extended analog cable.

There have been ads on TV for companies to install antennas on houses. This makes me laugh, given the fade that industry saw for many years.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

Macrat (638047) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457741)

Of course you are assuming people are within range of an OTA tower.

Who is unserved by OTA TV? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461831)

Of course you are assuming people are within range of an OTA tower.

Yes, it has become fashionable to assume people are in the vast majority. There is an implicit claim that terrestrial free-to-air TV reaches the vast majority of people in the major anglophone markets. If you dispute this, I'm willing to take a look at your evidence.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42457129)

There are two remaining reasons I have for wanting cable. Baseball and live HD news stories of things like tsunamis or other major events that can only really have full impact with a full HD stream. Sure, there arent a lot of sport fans here and my two reasons differ from everyone else's two reasons. But these two things make it hard to cut the cord completely. Just because what you want is available online doesn't mean it is for everyone, and I'm willing to pay for it.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42460081)

There are two remaining reasons I have for wanting cable. Baseball and live HD news stories of things like tsunamis or other major events that can only really have full impact with a full HD stream.

That's only a matter of time. Since 2009 the BBC has offered 720p resolution streams of non-live HD content, and it's only a matter of time before that's extended to live Internet streams.

At present, most non-HD streams are 832x468, which is about the same as broadcast SD TV. (The quality of that varies by channel, and time of day/programme.)

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457147)

there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

Well, there are sports. They are produced for TV, so they have big long pauses where there is nothing to do BUT watch ads.

Speaking of which, those of you who pay $299.95 for one season of NFL Sunday Ticket Max(!!) what do they show during all the commercial game delays?

Re:Just give up pay TV content (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42457165)

Christ, for $300 they'd better show nothing but stock tips from the future and Anne Hathaway wardrobe malfunctions.

What kind of moron pays $300 to watch a bunch of sweaty, overpaid, and debatably-heterosexual guys hug each other? I don't understand sports.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457327)

Christ, for $300 they'd better show nothing but stock tips from the future and Anne Hathaway wardrobe malfunctions.

What kind of moron pays $300 to watch a bunch of sweaty, overpaid, and debatably-heterosexual guys hug each other? I don't understand sports.

It's probably aimed at sports bars, who can make extra money from the fact that people will come in to see games they can't watch at home.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457433)

Well, that would be against the TOS:

"TERMS OF SERVICE AND LICENSE TERMS FOR 2012 DIRECTV NFL SUNDAY TICKET APPLICATION AND SERVICE: ...

LIMITATIONS ON USE. All Content is provided for your private non-commercial use and home viewing. You may not display, and the Content may not be viewed, in areas open to the public or in commercial establishments."

And: "commercial locations require an appropriate licensee agreement"

Re:Just give up pay TV content (2)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457739)

Interesting. Morons-only it is then.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457801)

Companies can pay DirectTV, Comcast, etc. for public display. We got specific sports packages under such agreements because that's what our customers wanted to see.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457907)

Are you allowed to say how much it costs?

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458077)

Me, as in, the customer? No way. You pay what they tell you it costs based on the number of tv's, programming selected, etc.

Sorry if I somehow confused that.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458141)

I might be confused, but I thought you had bought a sports package for a bar or something, and I was curious how much they charged you.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (3, Informative)

ZombieThoughts (1735956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458207)

I worked at a sports bar bartending, but I also set up their audio/video and computer systems. The price is based upon maximum occupancy.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457325)

We get Dish Network's ESPN GameDay package, which is much less than that price but does give us all of the ESPN- and ABC-filmed college football games that aren't otherwise airing in our area.

During the commercial breaks, they show just the funny ESPN college commercials. They do get a little old. Of course, since we're recording, we start with at least a 45-minute delay and don't have to watch that many of them.

At halftime they cut to ESPN radio over screens showing scores and stats of all the day's games.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457291)

At the beginning of the economic downturn, I took a pay cut (it was that or go look for a job -- good luck with that) and as a consequence we dropped several things, including cable TV. I bought an outside antenna (not allowed by our HOA, but I dared them to try to make me take it down, and they declined) and a roku box, and that plus netflix kept wife and daughter happy. (I watch close to zero tv, so it didn't matter to me either way.) Cable at the time was full ride with two DVR set top boxes, and dumping all that was like getting a raise. I'm now almost back to what I was making then, but we've gotten used to not having cable. My only regret is the money I've wasted on cable all those years, and what I could have done with it instead.

This sometimes means that wife or daughter are up to a year behind on some pay channel show, but eventually everything worth watching gets released in some non-cable form, and it's just not worth the $$ just to see something the moment it gets released.

Cable ranks up there with an AOL account as something that people think they need, but really don't.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457547)

I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month. We went through M*A*S*H, Star Treks TOS and TNG, a bunch of Doctor Who and Torchwood, Inspector Morse and Lewis, and we're halfway through Farscape, with La Femme Nikita and Babylon 5 to follow.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458885)

I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month. We went through M*A*S*H, Star Treks TOS and TNG, a bunch of Doctor Who and Torchwood, Inspector Morse and Lewis, and we're halfway through Farscape, with La Femme Nikita and Babylon 5 to follow.

Hell, it can pay for new content in HD as well.

Sure you have to wait a bit, but Season 2 of Game of Thrones will be out soon, and really, one month of cable and HBO will cover both sets as blu-ray. Free and legit, easier to justify than those who torrent it, too.

Now if some channels weren't so anal, so they could let services like iTunes carry it practically the next day. Hell, a good month of cable can pay for many iTunes season passes or the Amazon equivalent. 3-4 months will probably cover everyone's shows for a year. (Legally, with no piracy "I don't wanna pay for it because they charge too much" bullsh*t).

Sports and political talk shows (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461911)

I have found that the cost of one month of cable can pay for one or two seasons of a show a month.

That of course depends on what kind of programming you prefer. Political talk shows don't come in "seasons", and though professional and college sports are broadcast in "seasons", there's no market for box sets because the market is so spoiler-sensitive that it has to be broadcast with less than a 60 second delay. One family in my sample keeps cable for ESPN and the other sports channels, and another keeps cable for MSNBC, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, and C-SPAN2.

Re:Just give up pay TV content (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42459085)

We had cable until COX took Turner Classic Movies off of analog cable and put it on digital cable, at which point we had enough. Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and Sci-Fi/SyFy were already on the way down but hadn't hit rock bottom yet. We don't miss it. Between XBMC, free content or ad-supported streaming content via our network-connected Blu-ray player, and free content via web browser, there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore. Cut the cord permanently.

Dish cutting AMC was the last straw for me. Now I survive on Netflix streaming, Hulu and and Redbox along with what I buy in DVDs, Blu-ray and iTunes. I save a bundle every month and I don't miss all the lame cable channels. When you have 300 to 500 channels and nothing worth watching it's time for on demand!

Re:Just give up pay TV content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42460977)

Why in the fuck would you watch the Learning Channel, The History Channel, and Sci-Fi/SyFy?

You are part of the problem with regards to shitting programming on those shitty channels.

Product placement (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461789)

there's no reason to pay for content that still comes with ads anymore.

Yet people pay for content that is ads. "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" by The New Seekers is a Coca-Cola commercial, "Summer Girls" by LFO is an Abercrombie commercial, and "Replay" by Iyaz is an iPod commercial. The 1989 film The Wizard is one big ad for Nintendo products that raked in $14 million at the box office.

Guaranteed success! (2)

swimboy (30943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456775)

I bet the first thing you'll be able to watch on this device is "Duke Nukem Forever: The Movie".

Misguided in so many ways... (5, Insightful)

picoboy (1868294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456827)

Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agreements? Are they this completely incompetent as to think that Internet TV has anything at all to do with their fabulous semiconductor technology, instead of realizing it has everything to do with negotiation and leverage?

The kool-aid must run strong...

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42456907)

The kool-aid must run strong...

That basically sums up any retort from the 'hurr durr Google is our friend' crowd eh?

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457071)

the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever

Or as little as a few days.

Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

Well the product isn't even out and you're foretelling failure?

And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agreements? Are they this completely incompetent as to think that Internet TV has anything at all to do with their fabulous semiconductor technology, instead of realizing it has everything to do with negotiation and leverage?

Look at ITMS: an electronics/software company managed something similar to what you are saying cannot be done.

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (4, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457163)

The content industry wont let cable do it, and the vast majority of the operators want ala carte.
If they wont let cable do it they would never ever let an over the top provider do it. Intel has no understanding of this market.

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (2)

headhot (137860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457145)

Exactly my thought. They technology has been around to do this for a decade or more. Every tech company with a set top box has been dreaming about and trying to work out an agreement with the content industry to no avail.

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457311)

> So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

It doesn't really matter. Arrogance aside, it's good for us the consumers that they're trying, even if they succeed partially or not at all. It's yet another sign to the content providers that the business model is changing. The industry survivors will have found a way to change with the times.

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (1)

irving47 (73147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457627)

Yeah, I was going to say the same. It's good Intel is trying... But as stated, the content providers like NBC are going to require the cablco's to include Bravo and USA and Syfy if you want MSNBC or vice versa. We'll probably end up with all this either in court or an FCC ruling...

Package of all NBCUniversal channels perhaps (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461957)

the content providers like NBC are going to require the cablco's to include Bravo and USA and Syfy if you want MSNBC or vice versa.

If it's a matter of bundling all of one content provider's channels, then why don't they let cable operators sell packages "all of Turner's basic channels", "all of NBCUniversal's basic channels", "all of Disney's basic channels", etc.? I can see requiring a subscriber to buy the Turner package before HBO, as Turner and HBO are both owned by Time Warner, but why should one have to buy Disney's ESPN to get Time Warner's HBO?

Re:Misguided in so many ways... (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458363)

Anyone else read the arrogant comment attributed to some unnamed source at Intel, stating that Intel was frustrated with "everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it's going to do it themselves and do it right." ?

So, not surprisingly, Intel has now run into "delays" in securing agreements with content providers (in this case, the word "delay" means a quantity of time as large as forever). Why on earth would Intel believe that they have the consumer electronics clout to pull this off where Apple and Google continue to fail?

And who in their right mind at Intel decided to blast the media with their arrogant claims before they actually secured the elusive content agreements? Are they this completely incompetent as to think that Internet TV has anything at all to do with their fabulous semiconductor technology, instead of realizing it has everything to do with negotiation and leverage?

The kool-aid must run strong...

Simple. Intel will just add an instruction set to their processors that make bit torrenting easier, faster, and more reliable. That would scare the media companies into playing ball. ;)

Can this work without owning the fiber? (2)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456831)

I mean, net neutrality is nice and all, but I hardly think that Google and ATT will just roll over and let Intel use their backbone fiber without a fight.

They'll relent eventually (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456881)

When almost everything consumers already have hooked up to their TVs (game consoles, TiVos, blu-ray players, hell even the TVs themselves now) are able to stream media over the internet, it's becoming less and less necessary to have a cable subscription. It doesn't take long to get over the "OMG I CAN'T WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE OF [new show] TONIGHT" feeling, and once that is gone the wealth of streaming-available content is overwhelming.

Assuming they already have a broadband connection (which most people do), for under $20/month plus the initial outlay for an antenna, people can have access to Netflix ($7.99), Hulu Plus ($7.99), YouTube (free), and broadcast TV (free). Unless someone is really addicted to one particular cable channel, that's an extremely hard offer to beat and will offer far, far, far more choices than anyone could ever get through.

As more and more people realize this and get rid of their cable subscriptions, more cable networks will put their shows on Netflix/Hulu/Youtube and cable TV will fade away.

Re:They'll relent eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42457025)

Firstly, I'd love to find your $20/month ISP. I can get dialup around here for that price, but that's about it. Triple that cost if you don't have it "bundled". Add in your Netflix/Hulu, and I'm back up to $20/month less than my normal cable bill.

Secondly, the biggest detriment to most people I know even considering this is sports. It's nearly impossible to follow your team(s) without the local FoxSports channels and ESPNs.

Re:They'll relent eventually (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457095)

People usually subscribe to an ISP for other reasons.

So it's not like your ISP bill is some "dedicated cable bill". It's something you're already paying for. The marginal cost of Internet transport of your video entertainment option is ZERO.

Find another straw to grasp at.

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year and a half ago | (#42460035)

I am up here in Canada - where competition for cable access to the internet is non-existent due to government failure on the part of the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. Therefore my options are to get my internet connection from Shaw Cable or over my phone lines from Telus. There are no other options worth considering. I am a Shaw customer at the moment. It costs me $54 a month to get my internet connection. That is with no TV channel services or phone services. There is (I believe) one lower tier of service but its essentially just enough to browse the web. The level I am at is sufficient for things like Netflix or playing online games.
So yeah, I am very jealous of anyone who can get the same internet connection for $20 per month :P
If the CRTC wasn't a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations its supposed to be the watchdog for it might be different of course.

Re:They'll relent eventually (3, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457157)

the mpaa and riaa are still suing people who download stuff online so don't get your hopes up. If I was a stockholder I would be pissed at movie and tv companies missing the boat in moving to internet distribution. Only music is half way decent because Apple (and Amazon) dragged them kicking and screaming while throwing huge wads of cash at their faces (which I am actually surprised they accepted, the riaa only cares about control). Idiots.

Re:They'll relent eventually (2)

jroysdon (201893) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457481)

I'm not a lawyer, blah, blah. However, last I checked, they can't sue you for downloading, only uploading (by default, most BitTorrent clients are going to upload).

Even if they could go after you for downloading, there are plenty of Binary USENET providers that offer bundled VPN service.

Plenty of DVR solutions have been out for years [lifehacker.com] which will automate downloading of all your favorite shows via USENET services. Game over for the media companies a long time ago for anyone with a technical clue.

Now that Comcast removed the download caps again, it's very viable.

The only holdover most guys have are sports, and old people want live news.

Sued for downloading CC music on what grounds? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42462011)

the mpaa and riaa are still suing people who download stuff online so don't get your hopes up.

I can see this for movies: a producer needs MPAA money to afford the production values that most people expect in a feature film that isn't one of a few novelty movies such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. But as for music, on what grounds can the labels in the RIAA sue people who choose to download recordings under a Creative Commons license or other recordings whose copyright is not owned by an RIAA member?

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457171)

My wife and I gave up cable over six years ago. Once you go through the "de-tox" you really don't miss it that much. The only thing that still gets me is there isn't a good alternative for is sports. Mostly I miss college basketball (football is on broadcast TV). I would love an A-La-Carte cable option. I would pay $20 per month for the 5-10 channels I want most (ESPN 1...n and some stuff for the kids). I just won't pay north of $100-200 a month for the whole package.

Re:They'll relent eventually (2)

wynterwynd (265580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457569)

Strangely enough, I kinda missed the commercials.

It's a little awkward being in a conversation where someone says "Oh yeah, like that commercial with the guy and the duck and the jetpack!" and everybody else laughs for some reason you can't fathom. You then have two choices: 1) Smug up the place with comments about how you cut the cord and it's so much better and blah blah hipsterblah 2) Fake it and chuckle along weakly in a quiet, merry lie.

Plus, some of the commercials on the tube are really amusing. And even if they're bad, I think seeing the same ones over and over and OVER AND OVER in a single one-hour show (Hulu, take notes) is really freaking annoying.

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

Novogrudok (2486718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461441)

> Strangely enough, I kinda missed the commercials.

Me too! I have a DVR to record movies and an occasional show from the cable TV. Usually I fast-forward through ads, but sometimes I watch ones that look funny.

Re:They'll relent eventually (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457333)

I think the important point is that the clock is ticking, both for the infrastructure and content providers. The ones that continue to cling to the old business model have a limited lifespan.

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

crow (16139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457373)

What we need is for the networks to start offering channel subscriptions streaming without a cable company. Sell directly to the consumers. It would be easy for some of the local sports channels (like NESN or YES) to do this. Others would probably insist on the same package deals that they push on the cable companies (so, perhaps, Viacom would let you stream all of their channels for $9.99/month).

Now the question is whether they would get more money from people subscribing directly, or less due to the number of cable subscribers dropping (because if everyone made the same offer, many of those people wouldn't subscribe to a given channel). Right now, they seem to believe that the answer is less, so they're hanging on to the current model as long as they can.

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458375)

It would be easy for some of the local sports channels (like NESN or YES) to do this. Others would probably insist on the same package deals that they push on the cable companies (so, perhaps, Viacom would let you stream all of their channels for $9.99/month).

The problem is that number would likely be $19.99/month, while regional sports channels would want around $10/month, and Disney would wan't $29.99/month for all it's content (ESPN, etc.).

Even with "low" prices like $10/month for all of Viacom, you'd end up at pretty much the same prices as today if you wanted just one channel from a content owner, since you'd have Universal, Disney, Discovery networks, etc., each wanting their $10. Although you might be able to get away with $40/month or so if you wanted stuff from mostly the same content owners, it's likely that a typical family would be at the $70-90/month price point, which is pretty much the same as today.

The other problem with this would be that you would need a box that every content provider would be happy with, which likely would mean no software choices, and possible restrictions on viewing (like "show only available live or 24-72 hours after live").

Re:They'll relent eventually (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457565)

A large part of the problem is simply overcoming inertia and a lack of awareness.

I heard a story a few months back from my parents. Around that time they had a couple in their mid-to-late 30s over for dinner, and over the course of the conversation, the wife apparently made a comment about how expensive cable TV is, asking my parents what their approach to it was. My parents informed her that they used an antenna to pick up broadcast TV, and that though the selection wasn't as good, it was entirely free and the reception was nearly perfect with newer antennas.

The wife (I kid you not) wasn't even aware that you could do such a thing, and when she heard of it, she was convinced it must be illegal and that my parents were stealing from the TV companies (i.e. something akin to hooking up your neighbor's cable TV to your house). It took her husband and my parents several minutes to convince her that not only was it perfectly legal (ironic side note: my dad is a pastor), it was the way TV had predominately worked up until just a few decades ago, and that the option had never disappeared to do so. What's boggling is that she's old enough that she should have remembered a time before cable TV being commonplace.

I also find it surprising how often I have friends who complain about poor finances, yet the notion of cutting their cable had never even occurred to them. To them, it's a part of living, just like having their electricity and water turned on. To me, that boggles the mind. When I cut my cable a few years after college, I quickly discovered that I generally preferred waiting until seasons were done, that way I could watch more episodes at a time, and that there were VERY few shows I was interested in that I was unable to procure legally for FAR less than I would have been paying for cable.

Re:They'll relent eventually (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457629)

What about sports and their blackouts like with NBA League? :P

Yes, but (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42460787)

True except for one five-letter word: Sport. Yes, yes; great unwashed, bread and circuses for the masses, but until that nut can be cracked, the majority in the US won't be cutting the cord.

Er, if it was easy it would have been done already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42456903)

I'm not sure if this whole thing is some kind of joke, troll or parody.

Recording everything and offering it a la carte is 9/10ths like simply offering the entire catalogue. If cable companies were interested in and or able to offer their entire catalogue on a channel-by-channel basis they would have done so already.

Re:Er, if it was easy it would have been done alre (1)

VanessaE (970834) | about a year and a half ago | (#42461225)

And yet, any good torrent tracker with a couple thousand active users can do the same thing - for free yet. So why can't a big corporation with thousands of times as many resources as those users do the same thing, especially if they expect you to pay for it? Simple answer: they're stupid.

(Disclaimer: I don't watch TV, nor do I pirate it. I buy the content I want on Blu-Ray or DVD)

I still can't get real BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42456957)

Not that BBC America crap. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.
Whatever. I waited and waited for a la carte on cable. Because honestly, I just don't care about sports; I don't want to pay for ESPN or NESN or the other 90% that's crap. Not directly, not indirectly. Do not want.
In the mean time there's Hulu, and most of whatever else I want from Netflix streaming. All for less than what I might be paying for "cable tv." If you ask me I think the cable tv companies should just give up trying to provide content. They suck at it. If they go out of business, I'm sure someone else will spring up to provide internet; that'd suit me just fine.

Re:I still can't get real BBC (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457225)

Get a VPN service and use the iplayer to get BBC content. Sadly, they have to negotiate rights for the UK only for a lot of content. The iplayer standalone app is great too, episodes are downloaded automatically so the buffered issues from streaming through a VPN are bypassed.

Re:I still can't get real BBC (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457239)

About the only thing I am willing to pay for is the sports. But no one will sell me just the sports. I am not willing to pay the extortion fee all year to get a couple games a week for 5 months a year. Whether it is sports or something else, most people aren't interested in any more than a small percentage of what is provided on cable TV. They have just been convinced that it is worth paying for. For example, my parents have about 200 channels. There are only 168 hours in a week. Even if all they did was watch TV 24-7 they couldn't even watch one hour per week on each channel. They also sleep and have jobs so they have cable TV on a couple hours a day max.

Re:I still can't get real BBC (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42458005)

What I want to know is why BBC American can't just leave their shows at 50fps, and deliver content as 1080i50 and 720p50? Modern HDTVs, even American ones, can display 1080i50 and 720p50 just fine over HDMI. IMHO, 50-60hz temporal rate conversion is pointless when the TVs can deal with the native framerate anyway. It's like the fetish web designers had around 1996 of pre-converting images into ugly dithered web-safe colors, instead of just letting the browser deal with it when necessary. Leave 50 as 50 and 60 as 60, and let the TV sort it out the way God and Engineers intended.

Re:I still can't get real BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42458909)

I honestly don't understand it either. What's retarded is my old CRT monitor did, it allowed everywhere from 25Hz to 120Hz at almost every resolution and cost a fraction of what a modern LCD TV cost. All of that processing power in newer TVs is being vasty under utilized thanks to widespread over-engineering and retardation.

Title VI - CC, Emergency Alerts ETC. (1)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42456963)

Just wait until someone tells them they have to meet those requirements too. Trust me, with modern streaming technologies that is a tricky bit of legal mandate to comply to, and quite expensive too.

Re:Title VI - CC, Emergency Alerts ETC. (1)

headhot (137860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457169)

Its been done. Ive seen it work.

Re:Title VI - CC, Emergency Alerts ETC. (1)

RevDisk (740008) | about a year and a half ago | (#42467391)

Users will have to enter that they are in the US or not. If so, state and zip. Done. Streams from a list of specified "emergency broadcast" servers if anything comes up.

You should see the stuff they can do with SMS alerts. Quite nice. I got a few for flash flooding, which came in handy.

My electric company is starting to do the same thing for power outages. You can tell it to give you a play by play, or tell it to shut up for X hours. "Your power is out. - Crew on location. Should be up in an hour or so. - Power restored." Granted, it's opt in and only one provider. But I talked with some of the geeks. It was not that hard or expensive to implement.

Intel's idea (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457021)

Oh man I *so* hope this kinda thing takes off somehow, even if Intel's specific version of it doesn't make it... keep plugging away at it, because this is what cable TV *should* be. Without all the craptastic bundling - if a chan or a show isn't popular, then let it die. Let alone, driving a wedge between content and infrastructure.... but thats probably a job for the regulators.

Duh (4, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457127)

Intel managed to make themselves look completely clueless and oblivious to the market. If it were so easy, Apple would have done this 5 years ago with the AppleTV, that was their plan to begin with.
Ala carte over the top is the holy grail that every tech company has been chasing. Google, MS, Apple, Sony, Netflix, Tivo, Roku, Nitendo, anyone with an box with an internet connection and a tv output.
All of them have been stymied because it would be the end of big contents business model. Making people pay for content they don't want or need and running adds on it.

Re:Duh (4, Interesting)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457279)

Exactly, and they won't change until enough people cut the cord. When there are enough of us, they will be forced to change their behavior. As I see it, they can get nothing from me or they can offer me the product I want for a reasonable price. For me that product is A-La-Carte programming for around $1 per channel per month (except ESPN which I would probably pay several times that).

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42458815)

I must agree. The content owners must be brought to heel by tough consumers. When that happens performers, publishers and copyright holders are going to take a large pay cut.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42461391)

ESPN gets about $5 per month from each cable subscriber, whether they watch it or not.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42465821)

I have had legal, inexpensive a-la-carte premium channels in the past. For those that had first gen satellite USSB-TV, it was only $4.99 for the first of HBO, Showtime, etc., then $2 for each more. (they had packages like cable also, but I didn't get those). I had movie channels with no commercials for the price of one movie ticket. It was great. Miss those days.

Re:Duh (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42459141)

Intel managed to make themselves look completely clueless and oblivious to the market. If it were so easy, Apple would have done this 5 years ago with the AppleTV, that was their plan to begin with. Ala carte over the top is the holy grail that every tech company has been chasing. Google, MS, Apple, Sony, Netflix, Tivo, Roku, Nitendo, anyone with an box with an internet connection and a tv output. All of them have been stymied because it would be the end of big contents business model. Making people pay for content they don't want or need and running adds on it.

Wow! No more reality TV? Where do I sign up! I gave up my cable TV in July over the Dish hissy fit with AMC and gave up on broadcast around the first of October. I have several streaming services as well as what I want to buy. Everyone else is left out in the cold including all those advertisers selling those anti fart medicines and adult diapers. My expenses went from a $120 a month to less than $20 a month not counting the $20 or $30 a month I spend to buy movies and TV series. I'm paying less than half the amount and I watch what I want. Hell I had cable and I still missed the new season of Breaking Bad and Madmen so what did I loose???

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42473827)

Apple tv never had any intentions of ala carte channels. That would be madness. Apple's infrastructure and previous business model is set up to sell you things in little digital "packages". I think you just read a bunch if hype tech articles that were dumbed down for the masses and misinterpreted them to be wholly true.

Let's put it this way...you seriously thought Apple would ditch iTunes for a set top box?

gnaa swag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42457149)

Dem gay niggas got swagger GNAA till death nigga

Re:gnaa swag (-1, Troll)

SwagNigga212 (2805953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457191)

Hell yea they got swag nigga

at least put sports on there own and have theme pa (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42457593)

at least put sports on there own and have theme packs for the other stuff.

informAtiv3 FUCKERFUCKER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42458429)

Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42459289)

So how is Intel going to solve the broadband problem?
all those nifty stuff - but the pathetic slow speed and high price ISP.

Never gonna happen (1)

jonwil (467024) | about a year and a half ago | (#42459297)

So long as the content producers make more money from linear channels (regardless of the distribution medium, be it cable, satellite, fiber, whatever) than they would make through a-la-carte content distribution (subscriptions, individual program purchases, whatever) they wont change.

Remember that for any given piece of content, there is almost certainly a non-zero number of people who are paying for the content (through their package) but who do not consume the content. The amount of money that content producers would loose from people who pay for their content but dont consume it would far outweigh any profit they make from people who actually pay for their content (including those paying for it now because its available a-la-carte but who weren't paying for it before when it was only available as a linear channel)

Also, remember that the online subscription content by and large would not contain ads like the TV channels generally do (or certainly not the same $ value of ads as the TV channels have)

So as long as it remains more profitable to make the content available through a linear channel and force people to pay for content they dont want to get the content they do want, the content providers will continue to do that.

They keep losing customers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42459307)

I wish the TV studios would wise up and start taking the business they are losing....but it seems unlikely.

Until then, everyone can all get our TV shows off the torrents, archive them to hard disks, and play them on HD Media Players.

Live Sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42461133)

I didn't RTFA (so despite being AC, I'm not new around here.)

How do they intend to address the issue of Live Sports?

I don't care about seeing first run shows when they first run. I'm happy to catch Dexter, et al. months later on DVD.

I do like to watch sports when they happen, though.

Are there subscription services for things like NFL games?

Re:Live Sports (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42462523)

How do they intend to address the issue of Live Sports?

Buy a ticket to a home game and watch it in person.

Re:Live Sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42466465)

Great, so they'll get to go watch the game, but what about me? /comedy

More to the point: Your suggestion doesn't work for me since there's no team in my vicinity. Or even country. One Buffalo Bills game a year in Toronto doesn't really cut it.

I'm willing to pay (some) money to watch Live Sports via streaming. HD would be preferred. Is there such a service available?

Toronto Argonauts (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42466969)

Your suggestion doesn't work for me since there's no team in my vicinity. Or even country. One Buffalo Bills game a year in Toronto doesn't really cut it.

Don't you have the Argonauts [wikipedia.org] in your country's league?

It occurs to me that we are looking at this wrong (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42464073)

Instead of trying to force the content providers (networks) to allow ala carte, why don't we go directly to the content creators, the people who produce shows that may be picked up by the networks, and present them with a convenient, well-integrated outlet to consumers that bypasses the networks entirely?

I know, to a certain extent this is already being done, but I'm thinking that Intel (in this example) should be going directly to Chuck Lorre, J. J. Abrams, Tim Kring, et al, and say "how would you like to survive the inevitable downfall of network television? And make a lot of money?"

The content providers are just middle men. It seems like they could be eliminated.

Re:It occurs to me that we are looking at this wro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42466279)

I know, to a certain extent this is already being done, but I'm thinking that Intel (in this example) should be going directly to Chuck Lorre, J. J. Abrams, Tim Kring, et al, and say "how would you like to survive the inevitable downfall of network television? And make a lot of money?"

This is the kind of thinking I was expecting to see from someone in the internet delivery of audio-video entertainment business -- hire a known director or producer to create new content for delivery.

However, just hiring a known entertainment name to create content for your business is not enough. You also need to fund the expenses that studios have -- soundstages, cameras, sets, costumes, catering, etc. -- while producing the content. Unless you want new science fiction stories filmed through a laptop camera and recorded with headset microphones for YouTube, that is.

Remember also, that most companies want results now, not three or six months later from now. It takes time to find a storyline that catches traction with viewers; Intel would rather distribute content that has mind-share, not spend time developing it.

Also, known content creators want to get paid. A lot. While they would be more likely to deliver a program that is popular in a shorter timeframe, their cost may not make it profitable short-term.

Netflix is looking to license independent content [investopedia.com] ; Amazon is pursuing a similar strategy [marketwatch.com] . It would take longer to build up a brand for quality independent content, but far more productive. If it were successful enough, you might even license it to the cable companies.

Re:It occurs to me that we are looking at this wro (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42468633)

You have good points; it wouldn't be easy, but I still think it's doable. However:

> However, just hiring a known entertainment name to create content for your business is not enough. You also need to fund the expenses that studios have -- soundstages, cameras, sets, costumes, catering, etc. -- while producing the content. Unless you want new science fiction stories filmed through a laptop camera and recorded with headset microphones for YouTube, that is.

I'm hoping you meant that as hyperbole. As a matter of fact, production and post-production costs have been dropping for quite a while. You may have heard about the House season finale that was shot entirely with a Canon 5D. I wouldn't have done that, but a Canon C-300 (about fifteen grand plus lenses) is within reach of a small studio. (or rent it for $400 a day) Looking at what has been done in webisodes (notably Sanctuary before Sci-Fi channel bought it and killed it) it's easy to see how a decent production can be done for a reasonable price. "a laptop camera and headset microphones" is so last century. Look at the first (and sadly, probably only) episode of the scifi drama "L5".

But your underlying point, that the money to produce the shows has to come from somewhere, is correct. However, there is another layer in all this that we haven't mentioned yet. Traditionally the money for pilots are provided by studios, which, if they sell, get paid by the networks to continue. The studios are usually completely different entities from the networks. I'm saying, the studios don't really need the networks anymore, they have the opportunity to make similar deals with the new content providers, Intel, Apple, Google and the like. And in fact, to the extent they continue to work with the networks only, they're going to eventually be at a competitive disadvantage. The world is changing.

hope it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42468795)

currently we have comcast with all but a few channels, netflix, and hulu plus. you'd think that with all these subscriptions, I would be able to access anything I want whenever i want but that could be farther from the truth.
i have to dvr things that don't get put on demand, due to shitty licensing deals.
sometimes previous seasons aren't available when the next season starts, so why would i watch your show, when i can't start from the beginng!?
so what i do is torrent ~90% of everything i watch. sometimes i get the whole of previous seasons watched then catch up in real time on tv, which is where they make their lion's share anyways. i do think that once something is aired or added to one of the steaming services, it should always be accessible, forever. if i had the ability to capture it myslef, i should be able to get similar files from anywhere, anytime.
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