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Digital TV Approaches

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the Mommy,-what's-a-VCR? dept.

Television 283

renard writes: "The LA Times is running a story, which I have not seen mirrored elsewhere, on how the TV manufacturers are banding together to encrypt digital television. The stated goal: you watch when - and only when - the broadcasters say you can watch. No duplication (well - maybe analog); no time-shifting. Our friend Rep. Rick Boucher raises the question of whether this will undermine consumers' fair use rights. Undermine? How about `obliterate'?" One quibble with the article - when it talks about Firewire, it actually means the Digital Transmission Content Protection spec., which is implemented over Firewire. So your television may exchange data with various other boxen via Firewire connections, but data passing over them will be encrypted and will only pass with the permission of the copyright holder.

cancel ×


What we should do. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#217982)

The B-52 really couldn't be stopped. Since taking off, they had maintained strict radio silence, and they had taken everyone by suprise.

Coming in so low that they barely avoided the buildings, the crew knew they would probably loose their lives in this run, but this bombing was important. Finally, America would have Justice! Hollywood would be a crispier than overcooked McDonald's French Fries within the hour.

Major "Kong" King teared through the sky with a passion on to what would soon be the final resting place of him and his crew. Although he did not know exactly why he was commanded to bomb this seemingly unimportant city, he knew one thing--he hated Hollywood and everything related to it. He wasn't sure why he hated Hollywood so, but it had always been that way. Even his mother and father had nurtured his hatred of this city. Soon, he would take out his anger with a devestating, multiple-megaton blast.

Sweat began to pour from King's brow.

Target? In sight.
Bay doors? Check.
Nuclear device? Armed.

His eyes narrowed with an intensity few men have ever matched. With a simple command to his navigator, he launched The Device onto the unsuspecting populace of Hollywood . Within seconds, they were burnt to such an extreme that Chernobyl would seem like a mild sunburn after a relaxing day at the beach.

In the last moments of his life, Major King thought of his mother. He went pee, then an overwhelming sense of warmth encircled him. Hollywood was no more. He was happy. And rather dead.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

Riktov (632) | more than 13 years ago | (#217984)

It's illegal, and it's robbing the ones who created it by allowing you to sit around and watch it without even looking at their ads--their one source of lifeblood.

Please, someone mod that post up -- as "Funny"...

Re:As they have a right to do. (2)

cduffy (652) | more than 13 years ago | (#217985)

No, it's not the same.

If I'm given one copy of a set of information, I see no moral issue with making as many copies as I like -- as long as I don't redistribute them. Thus, this is not at all the same as Napster or Gnutella.

I entirely agree that distributing (or accepting from others) unauthorized copies of material is wrong -- but making additional copies for your own personal use and not distributing them? This by no means violates the (original) spirit of copyright, even if it does violate the letter.

Timeshifting falls into the latter category, and thus the former; thus, I see any attempt to subvert it as dangerous.

This is critical (5)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#217987)

Many of you are against encrypting digital television signals because of some ephemeral notion of your "natural right" to fair use, as though fair use weren't an artifact of positive law (passed by Congress) in another act of positive law (copyright law itself). But let's assume for a moment that you're correct, that there is a fundamental right here that's being abused by the industry. I'll grant you that, if you think it'll help your case. But it won't, and I'll tell you why.

Rights aren't absolute, no matter what Ronald Dworkin tells you. Your right may trump my interest, but your right cannot trump my right; trumps cannot trump each other without reference to a hierarchy of trumps (which is lacking in this instance).

That's all well and good, you say, but how is it relavent here? What right of mine are you abridging by having this turf-war with the television industry? Why, the most fundamental right of all: the right to continue existing without molestation by other moral agents.

You see, it is critical that digital television be encrypted. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, television signals are being broadcast from our television towers to our homes, but not just to our homes, no. Into outer space.

There is an archaeological record of our daily human experiences being broadcast to extraterrestrials as we speak. Forget Species. The greatest horror won't be when aliens get our DNA sequences; it'll be when they get our reruns. Some time in the distant future, an intrepid band of extraterrestrial warriors will reach that distant blue planet that has been polluting their atmosphere with high-frequency radio signals, and they will know exactly how to destroy us at our precise weak spots; for they will have studied the Three Stooges ("Poke 'em in the eye!") and Survivor ("Give 'em money and they'll self-immolate!").

It will be a bleak day for humanity, and I will not countenance any industry policy that allows it to transpire. It is critical that we take steps today to encrypt our television signals so that if they ever fall into enemy hands, they will appear like mindless garbage and a waste of time to try to comprehend.

Thank you.

Your fair use right... (4)

Karpe (1147) | more than 13 years ago | (#217989)

has been revoked by the united corporations of America. It's bad for the economy. Get over it.

It's said how a country with such a beatiful history of defense of citizen's freedom rights is being changed by transnational conglomerates. The fact is that much of the role of the USA in the world economy is determined by these companies (You can't imagine how much intelectual property we get from you. Movies, Music, Cable TV, product brands. That means dollars flowing in your direction. Your government is pretty aware of that).

I guess that if the american citizen has to choose between it's civil rights and a good economy, he will choose the economy, afraid of losing his job. Fortunately I don't know the american citizen enough. :) Unfortunately, the decision may not be in citizen's hands, but politicians, and they will choose the economy.

Digital Spoo (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 13 years ago | (#217993)

Shades of Clockwork Orange! Viewers will be strapped into chairs with their eyes forced open to watch commercials on their shiny new digital tamperproof televisions. Only to be released long enough to earn money and buy the goods they are hawking.

It's only 1's and 0's folks. Why get upset about the greedy, power mad digital distribution cartels (e.g. RIAA & MPAA)? I say vote with your credit cards and don't buy those DTV's--even when they are your only choice.

TV was called the Boob tube a long time ago. This implied that it was somehow nourishing to fat happy couch potato babies. Soon the TV entertainment and manufacturing industries will feed us Digital Spoo with their new tool. The wise TV industry execs says "Ah, they've sucked on the analog glass tit for so long they won't even notice when we have them suck on our new digital glass... er, ah tool. Yeah, that's it tool. And they'll swallow too."

Re:Big deal ! (1)

jjoyce (4103) | more than 13 years ago | (#218001)

Amen. I don't own a TV either, and I'm just as glad. It amazes me how much people I know are glued to the TV and what a TV culture we have. People are always talking about what happened on Survivor or whatever. I spend a lot more time reading, listening to music, and throwing a baseball around in the park.

I watch some TV when I'm visiting my parents and every time I see that I have been missing nothing important at all.

I see all these posts about people's freedoms. How free are people who are slaves to their TVs?

When will they ever learn? (5)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 13 years ago | (#218003)

When will the manufacturers ever learn that putting strong copy protection in to consumer devices simply does not work. It does not work because the first people who will adopt a new technology are the technology-savvy users, users who do not want to be told by the big media companies how they are allowed to use their technology.

DAT died for anything but professional (read: Not copy protected) use in the early 90s. DIVX's failure is well known among the Slashdot crowd. Don't think for one second that DVD would have caught on the way it has if mod chips to defeat region coding were not so readily available. CPRM caused such an uproar that it was forced to be stopped, despite the refusal of many major media outlets (ZDNet,, etc.) to discuss CPRM.

I do not see digital TV replacing analog TV until a form of digital TV without the onerous restrictions becomes available.

- Sam

Who you gonna buy, what laws you gonna allow? (3)

maggard (5579) | more than 13 years ago | (#218006)

You've got a choice: Buy a TV / hard drive / solid-state-music-player / whatever that has encryption or don't buy one.

Most folks, all things being equal, will purchase the unfettered product.

The way manufactures, content folks etc. prevent this is by getting laws set preventing non-encrypted hardware. This is the case with DAT, DVD, etc.

However this is not yet the case with television and isn't likely to be. The public is getting wise to these tricks and lawmakers are starting to clue into the changing attitudes.

Furthermore this isn't putting limits on a new technology but attempting to reign in an existing one.

US Congress-critters are getting tired of feeling like TV's-patsies giving away spectrum and receiving nothing in return, no HDTV, no additional services. To now attempt to require content-protection on TV sets, that ain't gonna fly.

This hits Joe Sixpack in the couch with his remote in hand & as powerful as the lobbyist's are they don't match a nation of TV junkies.

Don't expect to see this sort of law get passed easily; it's too easy to make a cause cellebre against. It'll be an uphill battle & a very highly publicized one. I for one don't think it'll make it.

Without a law the model breaks down. Gonna buy a new TV set with all the new features? Manufacturers will quickly discover that the models with content-protection don't sell and those without do.

Are TV manufacturers in the business of protecting IP (except for Sony?) No - they just want to sell as many boxes as possible and don't have any stake what you do with 'em.

Short term: Companies will try to get away with anything they can. The long-term: In this case they probably won't but it'll be a fight. In the meantime get ready to write your own Congress-critters & tell them how you expect them to go on this issue.

Re:well maybe analog? (2)

enterfornone (7400) | more than 13 years ago | (#218008)

I think as long as there is demand for recording devices there will be a supply. There is no ways they can stop people recording stuff, if you can decrypt it to watch it you can decrypt it to record it.


Re:well maybe analog? (2)

enterfornone (7400) | more than 13 years ago | (#218009)

Recording copyright material is already illegal. The question is can it be prevented. I don't think it can.


Re:well maybe analog? (2)

enterfornone (7400) | more than 13 years ago | (#218010)

Don't buy their product. If other people want to that's their business. It's not as if you have some god given right to watch TV, if you don't like the terms that they supply their product under don't use it.

Fucking hell slashdot's 2 minutes between comments gives me the shits!


well maybe analog? (3)

enterfornone (7400) | more than 13 years ago | (#218011)

Well since everyone can record analog signals there's really no point to this.


Encryption (1)

b1ng0 (7449) | more than 13 years ago | (#218012)

The encryption scheme in question is DTCP [] . Here is an information version [] of the specification which excludes technical details.

It's been said before and I will say it again: if it can be viewed/played then it can be recorded.

Re:Time shifting (1)

t (8386) | more than 13 years ago | (#218013)

Wow! A whole quater a day for no ads...

Re:When will they ever learn? (1)

t (8386) | more than 13 years ago | (#218014)

Personally I can't wait! I've been wanting Digital TV to come out with serious copy protections for awhile now. Why you ask? Because the sooner it is here the sooner it will implode. The sooner all the dipshit ceo's will realize that they've gotta do what the consumers want. Maybe this is the push that the US population needs to cause everyone to get a life.

Re:OK, Enough (1)

t (8386) | more than 13 years ago | (#218015)

No we don't. Let them fool themselves. Let them drive their customers away. Instead of napstering or watching tv, why not go out and see a live band. Hell, see the sky outside your house.

Re:coincidence? (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#218020)

It could just be because firewire is vastly superior technology. Nothing forces anybody to use stupid encryption technology over it.

All this protections bothers me (5)

flamingdog (16938) | more than 13 years ago | (#218024)

I don't get it. All this worry over all this copyright protection is just plain dumb. The fact remains that if you can see it or if you can hear it, it can be duplicated.

First off, music:
If you can hear it, it can be duplicated. For one, theres always the age old method of RECORDING it with a microphone. And actually, yes, you can get a nice quality sound from that especially with some tweaking. Hell, I still have a 1/8th to 1/8th cord I use to rip tapes to mp3. Just plug it from the headphone jack to the microphone jack. Works wonders. There are MANY other methods that I really don't feel like getting in to.

Second off, Video:
DVD ripping will ALWAYS be possible as long as it can be played on your computer. I have a million and a half programs that clock in at under a few megabytes that can rip video directly from a desktop. Hell, I use those to copy the realvideo movies that I can't download but want to watch without downloading again. On TV? Again, just use the age old method of screen camming. And again, you CAN attain a VERY nice resolution with the proper equipment. Again, there are also about a million methods of manual copying that I haven't mentioned.

"I'm not gonna say anything inspirational, I'm just gonna fucking swear a lot"

Re:Right to be able to time-shift? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 13 years ago | (#218027)

but where exactly does our right to "fair use" come from?

Good question. This is what the law reads:

Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include --

1.the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2.the nature of the copyrighted work;
3.the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4.the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. (Emphasis added)

While IANAL, it seems to me that this is very different from the concept of 'Fair Use' that is thrown around on Slashdot - that is mostly limited copying for education purposes is allowed as 'fair use'.

The following links give some examples of 'Fair Use'.

ho hum (2)

J.J. (27067) | more than 13 years ago | (#218034)


When will they learn?

If they make it, we'll break it. Period.

Lies, and Damned Lies (5)

scotpurl (28825) | more than 13 years ago | (#218038)

First, most of the music that is distributed over the internet (music wise), is MP3 files, which are not perfect digital copies of the original. They are highly compressed, high-loss, low-quality versions of the original. In short, they are sort of an analog copy of the digital original.

Second, pirates do not, will never, need to break encryption to create pirate copies. Pirates get copies of originals (that's from inside the industry), be it film negative, multi-track studio tapes, or whatever, and make their copies from that. That is exactly how songs and films appear in public before they have even reached, or gone beyond, their debut.

Third, a pirate just needs the same mastering equipment that the studio owns. And a factory to churn out those copies.

Fourth, the digital nature of things has not changed the laws. The laws about copyright are stronger now than they ever have been, and somehow that's not enough. I beleive that the ultimate goal is pay-per-view, with the retention of ownership and all rights in perpetuity, which may go against the U.S. Constitution, but certainly seeks to reverse a few Supreme Court rulings.

Fifth (and finally), if there is piracy, pass new laws to increase the number of police officers. Pass new laws to stiffen existing penalties. We have a legal system. The legislative branch creates law, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch does political favors to their appointers. Be that as it is, this is a problem of enforcement of existing laws, not the lack of laws.

Re:Huge royalties for Apple? (1)

Another MacHack (32639) | more than 13 years ago | (#218040)

No work except having helped invent it. Companies charge royalties for patented hardware inventions all the time, but it's "cool" to bash Apple, so that's the only time people bitch.

Maybe this would help Public Television (1)

shoor (33382) | more than 13 years ago | (#218041)

I suppose Public Television would have no reason to put any restrictions on their broadcasts. Of course, it seems they could use more funding.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 13 years ago | (#218042)

I don't think he was attacking you. He just wanted to know if it makes a difference whether you miss the commercials because you're fast-forwarding or making a sandwhich, going to the bathroom, reading Slashdot, whatever. Wouldn't you be stealing?

Re:As they have a right to do. (2)

revscat (35618) | more than 13 years ago | (#218045)

It's the same situation as illegally copying mp3s or downloading movies off of gnutella. It's illegal, and it's robbing the ones who created it by allowing you to sit around and watch it without even looking at their ads--their one source of lifeblood. How would you like it if your source of income was subverted based solely on the cry "Information wants to be free!!!"?

It's time for this new piracy-happy mentality to die. Seriously.

Too bad it won't. Look man, no matter how loudly the sanctimonious lawyers for the MPAA, et al., scream the genie is out of the bottle. Digital is here, and if it's digital, it can be copied easily. Copyright protections only deter, they don't stop. And in the era of the Internet, it only takes one person to break the copyprotection for the entire world to have access. This cannot be stopped.

This is really starting to show striking similarities to the War on Drugs. Consider: The RIAA has for the most part neutered Napster. So what has happened? Aimster [] , Gnutella, Freenet, and good-ol IRC have seen increased use. And guess what? Every day more and more people become more and more educated about the back alleys of the net, and they're able to find stuff more and more easily. This, too, will not stop.

So here's the deal, man: Either a) we set our sites towards totalitarianism, or b) we rethink the way our current intellectual property system is set up. I think I prefer b).

- Rev.

Re:Looking into the crystal ball (2)

seanw (45548) | more than 13 years ago | (#218049)

Orson Scott Card actually wrote a good short story about just that scenario.

This man (named Hiram, I think) was living alone and had been psycologically evaluated by the goverment as a socially inactive type, so his television was kept on 24/7 to comply with some law designed to keep him mentally healhy. programming was also specified by the government (there was only one channel).

I won't give away the end, but it's worth a good read. It's in his Maps in a Mirror collection.


Re:Looking into the crystal ball (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 13 years ago | (#218052)

Damn. and me without my mod points (yes, I DID read 1984).

Re:Right to be able to time-shift? (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#218053)

That might be a hard question... if technology like that had more than a very remote chance of existing. However, it doesn't. If it ever materializes, the laws can be changed. (hopefully in a more democratic way than they are now)

That's only half the story though. The other half is that the big companies would like to get the market to accept their data format, and only their data format. Once they do that, they can not only have a gatekeeper that keeps pirate copies out. But then they can also keep independant works out of the hands of normal people, either through explicit policy, or through red tape.

Re:This is critical (1)

Oniros (53181) | more than 13 years ago | (#218057)

By the time our TV signals reach the aliens we will all be dead from pollution :) Or maybe the sun will have gone nova.

Of course, maybe the aliens already know all about it! Didn't they get Elvis already? ;)

Re:Who you gonna buy, what laws you gonna allow? (2)

alannon (54117) | more than 13 years ago | (#218058)

There's a flaw in your argument, unfortunately. The consumer electronics market out there is not even close to a free market. In a free market, quality and features will be as near as possible to what the customer wants in order to convince them to buy your product. But what if those features and qualities are harmful to another part of your business? Sony is a perfect example. Because they are a content producer as well as a consumer electronics manufacturer, they can leverage their position in both markets to force features into the products that users don't necissarily want. They're willing to take a hit in sales on their electronics side in order to protect their profits on the content side.
There is also a pretty good chance that the vast majority of consumers will not know enough about the technologies in question to be able to understand their impact until after they purchase the product. By then, it's too late. In this first round of digital TV products, this will be particularly important because there AREN'T any products out there that would allow you to record a digital TV stream anyways. By the time that products like those come out, it might be too late, since most people would have purchased a TV that didn't allow them to use it.

Re:OK, Enough laws (2)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 13 years ago | (#218062)


The problem is too many laws and government acting as proxy for the highest paying industry. The solution isn't more laws, but less.

Legalize Freedom!

DeCSS? (2)

The-Pheon (65392) | more than 13 years ago | (#218069)

Just wait till i code DeDTCP!

(This is a joke, DTCP is the protection specification that they are 'going' to use. )

Right to be able to time-shift? (3)

dirk (87083) | more than 13 years ago | (#218076)

I'm sure htis will be marked as a troll by some people, but where exactly does our right to "fair use" come from? I know all about time-shifting (and support it), but I have never seen anything that says they must make it so you are able to make a backup copy, only things that say they can't stop something from being produced because it can make a backup copy. I know it's a weird thing, but those really are 2 different things. It's like saying if I can, I have the right to make a copy, but they are not required to make sure I can make a copy.

"Fair use" is very important, but I can completely understand where they would not have to take into account whether or not you are able to copy it. Imagine if sometime in the future there is a technology that is great, except it cannot be copied (not through encryption, but because of some flaw in the technology or whatever), what happens then? Do we throw out a good technology (that many people may want) because the companies can't ensure that people can copy it? Or do we let them use it, as the only thing "fair use" ensures is that they can't outlaw things that let you exercise you're "fair use" privilege? So, is the "right to fair use" actually ensured by some law or court ruling or something similar, or is it only that they can't stop things that would enable people to use their "fair use rights"?

Aw, what a shame... (1)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 13 years ago | (#218079) if TV had anything worthwhile to watch anyway.

Re:Lies, and Damned Lies (1)

Memophage (88273) | more than 13 years ago | (#218080)

> Fifth (and finally), if there is piracy, pass new laws to increase the number of police officers. Pass
> new laws to stiffen existing penalties. We have a legal system. The legislative branch creates law,
> the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch does political favors to their
> appointers. Be that as it is, this is a problem of enforcement of existing laws, not the lack of laws.

The same logic applies to the "War on Some Drugs", and we all know how successful that's been. You can spend trillions of dollars enforcing a bad set of laws and never make a difference.

I don't understand (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 13 years ago | (#218082)

I can understand why they don't like copying dvd or vhs movies. But broadcast tv? I don't get it. Its not like the quality's that great and then with the commericals too. (Wouldn't the adveristers like it if people were recording shows and showing them to friends -- commericals and all.) I mean if ya can't catch the orginal broadcast, they want you to wait for the rerun????? Who cares if someone tapes last week's "Friends" and watches it again?

No Sale (2)

bill.sheehan (93856) | more than 13 years ago | (#218083)

I don't think I've watched a TV show at the time it was broadcast in a year. Thanks to ReplayTV, I get to see what I want, when I want. (And the 30-second commercial skip is a godsend, too. Somebody really should explain to advertisers that the demographic who watches BBC America is not the demographic who buy cheesy Chia pets.)

The benefit of digital TV is a sharper, clearer signal - but only, apparently, if I'm watching the original broadcast. No, thank you. I've been liberated from "Must See Monday" and "Trapped in Front of the Tube Tuesday." I'm not going back.

Television is called a medium because anything well done is rare.

god damm this took to long to find. (1)

jon_c (100593) | more than 13 years ago | (#218087)

Here [] is the most technical paper I could find on the subject. it was NOT easy to find, anyway. It looks like (from 500 yards) a lot like SDMI's dingy.

Along the search I also found another artical [] on the subject, though it's pretty damm old (like 98), it seems that's when the MPAA got interested in the idea.

my option: fuck em' they can't stop people from recording what they have in their living room. However they can STOP via LAWYERS [] , that and people that can't offord to fight it, and that PISSES ME OFF []


Re:Count me out (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218089)

Personally, I won't be getting cable TV either - for that matter, I don't see much of a reason to get a TV at all. I'll be spending my time at libraries and bookstores.

Honestly, is there anything in TV and movies that isn't in books? Other than the obvious, and that doesn't matter much to me.

Count me out, too.

Re:All this protections bothers me (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218090)

How do you record Realvideo streams? I'm interested in that one.

Re:This is critical (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218091)


+1 Funny

"It is critical that we take steps today to encrypt our television signals so that if they ever fall into enemy hands, appear like mindless garbage and a waste of time to try to comprehend."

Oh, well it must already be encrypted, then.

Re:Who you gonna buy, what laws you gonna allow? (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218092)

"Gonna buy a new TV set with all the new features?"

No. Or an old TV, either. 99% of the great stories out there are in books, and the stories that are in movies and books are better in the books anyway. I don't even have to support book publishers, either, if they get evil - I can buy from used bookstores.

It is really sad, what the entertainment industry has managed to pull off, but everybody seems to be forgetting that this isn't a choice we have to make.

Apple or Microsoft? Linux.

Digital TV or analog TV? Books.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218093)

The Linux community is way different from the Napster/Gnutella community. Remember Linus cheering for Metallica?

Diss music sharing if you want to, but please don't take it out on Linux. The vast majority of the so-called "pirates" out there use Windows, and a lot of Linux users agree with you 100%.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218094)

I think he has a good point. Watching TV but not the commercials, listening to the radio but flipping the station whenever the music stops, reading a book at the library but never buying it from the bookstore, buying books and CDs used instead of new, listening to illegal mp3s from irc...

What's the difference? Please, I'd really like to know what you think.

Re:Give me liberty or give me analog (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218095)

Now, what MS Office needs is Tivo software and a card...

"The last thing I need is some helpful box popping up saying that I'm copying too much."

You just know it's going to be a paper clip or something. :) Oh, Office Trek II: The Wrath of Binky.

Re:Big deal ! (1)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218096)

Aye, that's the truth. I gave up TV cold turkey some time back. My only problem now is...

I might as well admit it, I'm addicted to Slashdot!

No, that's got neither rhythm nor rhyme. Phooey. Ohwell, I'm sleepy. G'night.

Re:well maybe analog? (2)

PerlGeek (102857) | more than 13 years ago | (#218098)

As long as there is a demand there will be a supply, but that supply may be made illegal. Alcohol was still availiable during the Prohibition, after all. My worries are that it will be made illegal to record data, not impossible. We already know that the industry can make it illegal, now it's just a matter of when.

Re:well maybe analog? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#218099)

The more we use that argument the more we tell them that it's ok for them to take away our rights, because, hey, we have more. It's not ok to just sit back while huge companies roll over us. I don't know what to do about it myself, other then not buying to stuff, but I don't think that will really affect anything, there are enough stupid people in the world who WILL buy it.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\

The optic nerve is still wide open (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 13 years ago | (#218100)

Rampant pirating will still occur as people view precious encrypted content with their corneas and obviously vulnerable optic nerves. Unscrupulous people will no doubt exploit this vulnerability to violate copyright (recollection, dreaming, etc.) and so the optic nerve must be encrypted too!! These violations must be stopped!! If not for our own sake, then for our community and if not for our community, then for the sake of our children.

Re:Time shifting (1)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#218118)

It also costs $8 a month.

Re:This is critical (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 13 years ago | (#218122)


Get a grip! (1)

Rylfaeth (138910) | more than 13 years ago | (#218126)

If the worst case scenario is implemented, you won't be able to record your PERFECT *digital* television signal... you will still be able to record an analog signal though, which is more than sufficient for bootleg purposes. If you can record perfect digital copies, what's the point in getting like a DVD set of a season of a show? I dunno, I just get the feeling that you guys are constituting "fair use" as "I bought my digital TV, which entitles me to watch any signal I damn well please" when in reality it is "I bought my digital TV which displays any signal that comes through it". If someone were taking away your fair use rights, it would disable your TV until their show came on... you don't see people suing ISPs for not *giving* them access just because they have a modem...

Huge royalties for Apple? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 13 years ago | (#218129)

If every future television set will require firewire this is a huge win for Apple! Are the royalties still $1 per device? (I vaguely remember hearing they are less now... but still, this is money Apple needs to do no work for.)

Re:Time shifting (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 13 years ago | (#218130)

And now that you mention it, it doesn't really carry quality programming.

Re:well maybe analog? (2)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#218132)

I think as long as there is demand for recording devices there will be a supply. There is no ways they can stop people recording stuff, if you can decrypt it to watch it you can decrypt it to record it.

I'm not so sure. This is really the work of MPAA and cable companies, CES fought it quite some time IIRC. But as far as 'if they can decrypt it...etc', maybe not. Where the MPAA and cable group wants to do is encryption TO THE MONITOR as well, not just to the set top box. Hence, tossing in a vcr, etc, won't work once the analog set and those connections are gone. They're thinking long term this time...they want to get TOTAL control. They're smart enough to know it'll take time before all analog tv's/vcr's are gone, but then they'll have what they originally wanted from the betamax case that the supreme court wouldn't give them. It's basically a slap in the face of the 9 supremes as much as anything else. I certainly hope this type of thing is included when dcma cases gets to the supreme court, where they undoubtedly will. (add it to the foot-in-mouth thing the sdmi group did threatening to sue academic papers)

Re:coincidence? (1)

Decimal (154606) | more than 13 years ago | (#218134)

It could just be because firewire is vastly superior technology.

Don't forget that "firewire" is Apple's trademark for IEEE1394. Sony's iLink is practically the same thing.

Re:What's the real motive here? (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#218135)

Or the studios could just explain how the new format has such superior quality to what everybody is already using, even though it's the same shit in the end.


Excellent! (1)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 13 years ago | (#218136)

One less thing to do. Now I can get back to my recreational reading.

An even better idea; let's encrypt phone calls with digital phones (sorry, analog not supported), so answering machines don't work!

Why stop there? Encrypt all written text (need those secret decoder contact lenses), so copy machines don't work.

Yup, we can stop all those nasty copyRIGHT infringements. Oh, and all technological progress while we're at it. Doh!

OK, Enough (2)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 13 years ago | (#218137)

Enough of this DMCA/Digital Transmission Content Protection/SDMI/etc crap. We need specs, regulations, and laws that protect the consumer, and we need them NOW.

Check in...(OK!) Check out...(OK!)

Re:As they have a right to do. (2)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 13 years ago | (#218138)

The duplications and 'time-shifts' (read: piracy) are simply copying without the authorization

Then why the hell did the Supreme Court rule that time shifting is a perfectly legal example of fair use?

Check in...(OK!) Check out...(OK!)

Re:Looking into the crystal ball (1)

YetAnotherDave (159442) | more than 13 years ago | (#218139)

Remember the old 'Max Headroom' series?

TV was the means of controlling the masses, and havign an 'OFF' switch was punishable by law (sorry, can't remember excatly how)

Life follows art, truly...

Re:heres my take on encryption... (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#218145)

it will just take time and resources before someone will come up with a way to crack it on the fly

Uh huh.

Lets see, how long has the project to crack RC5-64 been going on for? And they have a tremendous amount of computing power at their hands.

I'm not saying it _can't_ be cracked, I'm just stating that it's not as simple as waiting around a few months while your computer covers the keyspace.

Re:well maybe analog? (2)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#218146)

Well, yes, you could take the digital signal, put it in your TV, and take the analog out from the TV and plug it into a VCR (or TiVo, if you're so inclined), but that's not the point. If you payed all that money for digital television, then you would want to record that great digital signal and not an analog conversion of it. Going through a D/A conversion introduces undesirable loss, and therefore would undermine the purpose of getting the digital equipment/service in the first place.

Re:Looking into the crystal ball (3)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#218147)

The next advancement in this trend will be TVs that you can't turn off. And then TVs that pick up signals from your end.

Sounds double-plus good.

The opposite: tuning -out- Televisions. (1)

Dief_76 (171262) | more than 13 years ago | (#218148)

Carl Sagan wrote about an invention in his novel 'Contact', where a handy tinkerer came up with a chip that, when installed in TV, would instantly mute it whenever an ad came on. An example of selective viewing that benefits us, but I wonder how the big companies would react to this? Possibly the same way as in the book.. lawsuits, counter-products, and general gnashing of teeth and wailing. ;)

Going to far (1)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | more than 13 years ago | (#218158)

So far the average joe hasn't been to concerned with copy right laws. He may have been a little bit concerned when he first learned of Napster, but mostly he has just ignored this entire thing. I guess he has been to busy having 2.3 kids and living to an average age of about 70. Eventually (I hope) someone will go to far with this and the average Joe will finally do something about it. If he can no longer tape things off of the HBO connection that he stole fair and square will he finally ask what happened to fair use (or as he knows it -- that law thingy that allowed him to use his beta max back in the 70's.) Only time will tell.

heres my take on encryption... (1)

mesach (191869) | more than 13 years ago | (#218170)

If someone can come up with it, Someone out there will be able to crack it... it will just take time and resources before someone will come up with a way to crack it on the fly.

Anything that can be created can be taken apart.

Re:Count me out (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#218171)

Maybe they think they're doing Industry a favor, but by excluding the public from this decision, they're destroying the very market they wish to exploit. They won't sell any of them to me, that's for sure.
There are very few programs I watch at broadcast time. Without full quality digital timeshifting digital broadcasting is worthless to me and I wont buy it.

Proof of just how clueless the content people are (1)

vslashg (209560) | more than 13 years ago | (#218176)

I love this quote:

"We've watched what happened in the music world . . . and we are determined to avoid that here," said Preston Padden, executive vice president of government relations for Walt Disney Co.

These people really, truly believe that with the right mix of technology and laws, they'll be able to make solid copy protection. They'll broadcast data over RF into your house, and you'll only be able to watch it on their terms.

Never mind that it only takes one person out of millions to make a copy before the genie is out of the bottle. Never mind that any encrypted media has to be decrypted before it can be viewed. It's just comical, is all.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

MegaGremlin (216264) | more than 13 years ago | (#218181)

> The duplications and 'time-shifts' (read piracy)

'time-shifts' (read: found to be legal by the US Supreme Court in 1984)

Looking into the crystal ball (4)

Gaijinator (218180) | more than 13 years ago | (#218184)

The next advancement in this trend will be TVs that you can't turn off. And then TVs that pick up signals from your end. And after that (which I predict will occur in 2009), we'll go back 25 years to 1984.
"Remember, your friends will stab you in the back for the price of an Extra Value Meal."

Re:well maybe analog? (1)

rampant_gerbil (221545) | more than 13 years ago | (#218186)

I think the concern is over what happens when analog signals are no longer broadcast in parallel, when manufacturers stop building analog boxen, and when analog VCR's are about as common as gramaphones. How will you tape the game during that coding binge then?

Wont matter in Australia (1)

graystar (223824) | more than 13 years ago | (#218188)

It wont matter much in Australia, our government has crippled digital TV so much no one will be using it anyhow.

Difficult? (1)

Ultimo (237838) | more than 13 years ago | (#218190)

"FireWire technology does 'make it much more difficult for hackers,' said Peter Mell, a computer security expert at the National Institute of Standards and Technology"

When will they learn that "much more difficult" and "really fucking easy" are synonymous? There is an almost unlimited number of us, to the few they can hire. If they don't make it absolutely impossible, it'll be broken within months.

I can play too (5)

sonofepson (239138) | more than 13 years ago | (#218191)

OK, fair is fair. I'm going to start encrypting the checks I use to pay my cable bill using the public key from a small bank in Alaska. If the cable company wants to cash it they can use the bank I choose.

After all I wrote the check so I retain the copyright to it, and that is how I wish that work particular work to be used.

If they cut off my cable I will declare that the lack of service is an attempt to circumvent my copyright protection and sue.

So There.

Give me liberty or give me analog (1)

Crayola (250908) | more than 13 years ago | (#218194)

If the price of digital broadcasts is increased restrictions over how I can record, leave me with analog. I occasionally dump my TiVO'd recordings off satellite onto tape to keep around. The last thing I need is some helpful box popping up saying that I'm copying too much.

Of course, once encryption schemes are in place, there's nothing to stop the NFL from deciding to make all their games only viewable by subscribers.

Anything goes over private bands, and pay-per-view can charge what it wants, but anything going over public airwaves should be free and unencumbered by small-minded paranoid schemes.

This has nothing to do with piracy (2)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 13 years ago | (#218195)

I see a lot of posts on here shouting "this is useless against piracy! You can't stop the copying of digital information! Pirates will find a way!"

People - please! This has nothing to do with piracy. It never has had anything to do with piracy. This is about control of the average viewer.

We (those of us who copy information without authorization of the copyright holder) are insignificant when compared with the bulk of average consumers. We could copy TV signals, DVDs, and MP3s until we turned collectively blue in the face, and it wouldn't even register on the revenue statement (neither figuratively or literally :).

Even the big boys out in Hong Kong represent little more than a nuisance to the content industry. There are millions - perhaps billions of consumers who "legitimately" buy content. And they are the ones that the content industry are hoping to affect.

By training the public that everything is licensed, that copyright is absolute, that encryption is necessary, they are setting the stage for increased profit. They need to subvert control over every aspect of use, not duplication, to further increase profit margins.

Think pay-per-view. Think subscription. Think replacement media. Think time/use limited content. These are cash cows - and the more the public gets wracked with "content protection is OUR RIGHT," the more they will believe it.

The good news - this doesn't affect us in the slightest. We're smart. We can override the use controls. We can hide.

The bad news - the rest of the world can't. The arts will suffer. Content will homogenize. Billionaires will become trillionaires.

I guess it's not all that bad. :) I mean - this is the way it has to be. Just ask the record industry.


All men are great
before declaring war

Re:As they have a right to do. (3)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 13 years ago | (#218196)

The duplications and 'time-shifts' (read: piracy) are simply copying without the authorization.

While this is a true statement, it is not relevant. The supreme court of the United States has determined that authorization of the copyright holder is not required to legally timeshift material.

It's the same situation as illegally copying mp3s or downloading movies off of gnutella.

No, it isn't. It's different because it is not illegal (see above).

It's illegal, and it's robbing the ones who created it by allowing you to sit around and watch it without even looking at their ads--their one source of lifeblood. How would you like it if your source of income was subverted based solely on the cry "Information wants to be free!!!"?

Again - it is the supreme court which ultimately determines the legality of doing things, not you. While it may be "robbing the ones who created it" in your view, that view is not similarly held by the court.

On a more personal note, I would not appreciate it if my income was subverted based solely on the cry "information wants to be free," but rather than fighting a losing battle agains the supreme court, I would modify my business plan to avoid this "subversion of income."

Hope this helps to clear things up.

All men are great
before declaring war

Re:coincidence? (1)

Betrayal (263036) | more than 13 years ago | (#218198)

Well, actually, if you look at this cnet article - [] you'll see that Microsoft has decided to release USB 2.0 support for Windows XP as a separate patch.
Which isn't to say that everything's quiet behind the curtain. Similar "protection" schemes can probably be tunneled on top of USB as well as on top of IEEE1394.

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

Betrayal (263036) | more than 13 years ago | (#218199)

He just wanted to know if it makes a difference whether you miss the commercials because you're fast-forwarding or making a sandwhich, going to the bathroom, reading Slashdot, whatever. Wouldn't you be stealing?

This isn't just a question of possibility, but also of convenience. Advertisers know that a certain percentage of the viewers are taking a leak/flipping channels/whatever when the commercials are on, but they also know that since it is somewhat inconvenient to do so, many will sink into that trance-like state that is crucial for delivering their message. Although fast forwarding through time-shifted commercials isn't different in principle, in practice only a very small percentage will watch them.

This is very similar to the current legal battle against DeCSS. The MPAA is fully aware that the source has spreaded through the internet and that any half-competent geek can use it to create copies of DVDs. But the point remains that it is still very inconvenient to do it. By fighting it (or its distributors, in the case of 2600) they make sure that no commercial entity will create DVD players or proprietry software that uses DeCSS in an easy to use way.

On the one hand, this is really where Free software can thrive - the guerilla force to spear-head legal changes. On the other hand, it might enforce the already poor name hackers have made for themselves.

Big deal ! (1)

The Fanfan (264958) | more than 13 years ago | (#218204)

Do as I do : don't have a TV. All of a sudden, you will find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands to play with your favorite PS2, code a bit there and ther, surf the web, read books (ya know those weird thingies with a lot of paper inside), meet with friends, learn cooking, have sex and assorted fun, listen to music, you name it.

TV is a brain-munching parasite, worst than ESB. With satellite, cable and 100 channels of shit (© the Pink Floyds), it doesn't even have anymore the excuse of being an unifying societal experience as it was 30 years ago, you know, a common something that could bring all sorts of people together, however insignificant was this shared "culture".

Throw this TV away. Have a life.

Re:Where do you plug your PS2? (1)

The Fanfan (264958) | more than 13 years ago | (#218205)

Arrrrhh, good question. And nop, it's a very ordinary PS2. I just use my and its 21" desktop display : S-Video -> video capture -> 30 fr/s + stretch at 1600x1200. Works quite well.

Re:Where do you plug your PS2? (1)

The Fanfan (264958) | more than 13 years ago | (#218206)

BTW, it works quite well yet but for fast games, latency is a problem (about 2 fr, 60ms) ;-)

I don't recommend that solution. Better look for a monitor with a TV input or a projector. That what I'd do now

coincidence? (1)

walter-harold (303055) | more than 13 years ago | (#218224)

microsoft dumps supporting usb 2.0 in favor of firewire. . .what's buzzing behind the curtain?

Re:coincidence? (1)

walter-harold (303055) | more than 13 years ago | (#218225)

i should better explain my suspisions. they were more along the lines of how microsoft would decide for us what was going to be standard for us; piggy-backing on to the TV's standard makes for a good way for the comouter to connect to the TV & who's in the position to get data back to the mfg. (and eventualy marketing divisions)?? microsoft.

Count me out (5)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 13 years ago | (#218232)

Between letting the broadcasters use digital TV to not deliver HDTV and letting the cable companies not carry the analog signal once a station broadcasts in digital, coupled with the requirement that all analog broadcasts cease in 2006, the FCC has lost it's collective mind.

Maybe they think they're doing Industry a favor, but by excluding the public from this decision, they're destroying the very market they wish to exploit. They won't sell any of them to me, that's for sure. I'll miss television, but with my growing DVD collection and more content available over the internet, I doubt if I'll miss it much. Hell, between the PS2, GameCube, and X-Box I won't have time for television!

Won't AT&T Broadband be suprised when I tell them "Thanks for bringing me @Home, now you can cancel my cable TV subscription."

YES (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 13 years ago | (#218239)

finally my TV can monitor everything i do
why don't the feds tie this in with carnivore
and require that every new tv set be installed with a remotely operable video camera !@#! so that they can survey everything we say and do 24/7 .. for our protection of course

do not adjust your set

big brother can only control what you see if you.. (1)

Benjiman McFree (321140) | more than 13 years ago | (#218242)

only if you purchase an access controlled device. I still haven't bought a dvd player! I like control, not being controlled.

Hamlet and Digital tv (1)

carlcmc (322350) | more than 13 years ago | (#218243)

To record, or not: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler to suffer on one's couch

Through endless commercials 'cause we can't record,

Or to undertake a propendous thing--go to the kitchen.

And by eating stop them? To eat: to starve;

No more; and by a lunch to say we end

The tryanny of the thousand terrible shows,

That we are subject to, 'tis consummation

Devoutly to be wish'd. To eat, to glut;

To gorge: perchance to hope: ay, and what blessed hope;

For in that blissful hope, that Elisabeth will return to Survivor.

************** To be, or not to be: that is the question:.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come ****************

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 13 years ago | (#218249)

Do you get up to go to the bathroom during TV commercials?

Re:Time shifting (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 13 years ago | (#218250)

Is that such a bad thing? HBO seems to be having little difficulty cranking out quality programs without commercial interruptions.

Shooting their own feet off (1)

6EQUJ5 (446008) | more than 13 years ago | (#218254)

Don't take that as an anti-gun statement, I'm all for all sorts of firearms... But really if these companies are going to put so many limits on the use of their product, then great -- I won't buy it! I have a life, I'm not going to pay to watch entertainment that's little more than advertising and political propaganda. I'll surf the net for porn instead, or go drink at a nice bar, or maaaaaybe even read a book or a journal. Or I'll spend time at the driving range. I like guns.

Re:Looking into the crystal ball (1)

anakog (448790) | more than 13 years ago | (#218255)

The next advancement in this trend will be TVs that you can't turn off

... or ones that work even when turned off. It has already started []

What's the real motive here? (1)

reposter (450888) | more than 13 years ago | (#218256)

It seems clear that this whole hullabaloo boils down to stopping people from copying movies. This is in the movie studios' interest. But with the exception of Sony, are there any monitor manufacturers who are in bed with movie producers? If not, why would a manufacturer want to go to all the trouble and added expense?
I think the only answer would be customer demand. So how can the movie studios create this demand? By releasing movies that will ONLY be playable on conforming equipment.

But this is going to be a huge hurdle, much bigger than the introduction of DVDs. With a DVD, at most you have to buy a DVD-ROM drive or a DVD player that now costs under $200. But this new protected videostream is going to require you to buy a new protected DVD player AND a new protected TV. (Or for PC folks, a new video card and a new monitor.) Now you're paying at least $500, probably closer to $1000. That's pretty severe! These movies are going to have to be awfully good to make it worthwhile for anyone who isn't rolling in money.

The eventual disappearance of NTSC broadcasts is going to be tough enough to sell even when "all" most folks have to do is buy a set-top box. But tell everyone that they must replace every TV they own, and I don't think they'll go for it.

Therefore, I think the only way for this to go through in a big way is for the movie studios to get together and buy all the major monitor manufacturers. Good luck, fellas.

These are the same assholes.... (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 13 years ago | (#218257)

Who promised us HDTV years ago. I still don't have it. And now, I don't want it anyways. Besides the occasional sports event and Simpsons episodes, there isn't much I want to watch anyways.

How long is it going to be before people from NBC come into your house, put you in a straightjacket and clip your eyelids open ala "A Clockwork Orange"? After all, they are paying for the ads, so we damn well better watch them, right? Even if we don't want to?

"I'm sorry sir, you can't take those clips off your eyes...that would violate the terms of the amendments that President Gates tacked onto the DMCA. And no, you can't gouge them out either. Enjoy the next half hour of brainless sitcom we are about to show."

We (the human race) hereby proclaim... (1)

littlebasicid (452671) | more than 13 years ago | (#218258)

In the course of human events, it becomes neccessary to break the chains which bind us to our tried and true product suppliers. We therefore feel the need to make new stuff which will make us feel smarter, be it useful or not. We will
<BR>1 destroy all rights to our privacy to satisfy our need to this.
<BR>2 Not give a monky's crap whether we really want it or not, if it "breaks barriers".
<BR>Let's face it. We've become idiots to make ourslelves feel smart. Think of what is to come!
<BR>1 Advances in your fridge. Pay about $33,399 to know the exact temperature of every item in you fridge, just hook the 'convenient' metal wires into them.
<BR>2 Super Toilet! Every time we flush, it shoots the crap back for a second, only to know we have mastered the 'Return/Feedback' aspect of technology.
<BR>3 Sleeping. Let everyone who wants to see it, see a streaming movie of you sleeping.
<BR>It began with the Television.
<BR>It's Come to this.
<BR>Make new stuff with out a real decision.
<BR>We think ourselves to be in bliss.
<BR>Will this really happen? Has it already? U B the Judge.

yeah right ! (1)

chop.2.0 (452750) | more than 13 years ago | (#218260)

and then they will tell you that you can not cancel your cable service without loosing your internet service. so you will be adding 13 bills to your cost of internet service, for the basic cable you don't want.

been there when I setup directTV. that is how i achieve redundant tv with manual failover.

there's a dick in every direction, the only question is who's your're gonna suck!

the following transmission was brought to you in lowerCamel case, all rights reserved.

Re:Big deal ! (1)

leroi_hardi (452751) | more than 13 years ago | (#218261)

To record or not record? To own the work of others and inflate its worth beyond reason? To broadcast on a license THAT WAS GIVEN TO YOU BY the Deathstar government to perpetuate the enslavement of the masses? Not that any of me mates here on /. would give jimmycrack, but American broadcasters, ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX, have yet to produce ANYTHING of value. Kill their brains and sell 'em dreck seems to be the plan. When will get blip-verts? Channel 23 rulez! Yeah, whatever. Compare anything on US broadcast service to: Channel 9 OZ Frell the yanx ! BBCA Say no more, nudge, nudge. Say no more. Yes, it is truly sad that out of some 400 channels on D----TV, only about 4 seem worthwhile. But, boy, those 4 . . .

Re:As they have a right to do. (1)

llamas (452761) | more than 13 years ago | (#218262)

I'm not sure that inconvenient is the right word when it comes to commercials. It seems that there's an even chance that viewers are waiting for the commericials so that it will be more convenient to grab a snack, hit the bathroom, throw in some laundry, etc.

It might be more accurate to say that if the viewer does not have something they are waiting to do, they are more likely to watch the commercial if they do not have the means to fast forward through it.

But, how many people wouldn't, or couldn't, watch the show at all if they couldn't time shift it? It seems to me that the increased number of viewers, no matter what percentage fast-forward through the commercials, are worth the broadcaster's while.


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