Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

BBC to Try TV On Demand

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the optimum-test-markets dept.

Television 533

Shevek writes "The UK Independent newspaper is reporting on a new BBC trial: 'Later this month, the BBC will launch a pilot project that could lead to all television programmes being made available on the internet. Viewers will be able to scan an online guide and download any show. Programmes would be viewed on a computer screen or could be burned to a DVD and watched on a television set. Alternatively, programmes could be downloaded to a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) ... By launching iMP, the BBC hopes to avoid being left at the mercy of a software giant such as Microsoft, which could try to control the gateway to online television.' Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM)."

cancel ×

533 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I wanna work for the BBC (5, Funny)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041784)

The down side of this is that the test launch is limited to BBC employees only. Not only that, the employees all get a PDA capable of viewing the shows.

Who do I have to blow to work for a company that hands out PDAs with 512 meg CF to all its employees, just so they can watch TV at work!?

Mirror , just in case (-1, Redundant)

pigscanfly.ca (664381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041963)

Just in case the server crashes and burns (like they usually do),I have put up a mirror.
The mirror of http://news.independent.co.uk/ is at http://mirrorit.demonmoo.com/r_226/news.independen t.co.uk/ [demonmoo.com]
The mirror of http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/media/story.jsp?s tory=517636 is at http://mirrorit.demonmoo.com/r_226/news.independen t.co.uk/uk/media/story.jsp%3fstory=517636 [demonmoo.com]

Re:Mirror , just in case (2, Interesting)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041987)

This is The Independent, one of the major newspapers in the UK. That's like mirroring the New York Times.

Re:Mirror , just in case (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042051)

The troll is not trying to provide an actual, helpful mirror. He is trying to drive business towards his hosting service. I wish people would start modding this idiot down, especially when he makes the same post several times in the same article.

Re:I wanna work for the BBC (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041979)

You have to blow "me".

Ok, who moderated this up? (-1, Offtopic)

Snaller (147050) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042148)

Everone of them should loose their ability to mod forever.

This is general crap. Yes its just some employees, because its a trial! Once the technical stuff works they'll expand the tests to ordinary people! And if that works they'll go generally online, like they have done with the radio.
Tsk tsk.

Re:Ok, who moderated this up? (1)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042179)

Quoth Snaller:
Everone of them should loose their ability to mod forever.
If anyone's wondering, apparently "Snaller" has been declared God King, Arbiter of Fun and "Tsk tsk."

That, or his jockey shorts are a few sizes too small.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041788)

First Post!

NOT A CHANCE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041789)

FOR THE RIST SPOT

Yeah, (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041793)

The BBC License Fee is great if it means that us Americans can get all that great programming without having to pay for it! :-)

Re:Yeah, (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042043)

what makes you think that?

it's only true if UK people start redistributing, in which case it's the same situation as at the moment with kazaa etc.

Re:Yeah, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042101)

You do have to pay for it...with copious quantities of adverts and pay-per-view!!!

Re:Yeah, (2, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042131)

The BBC channels are available for free via satellite, but they are still encrypted. You need a smartcard to view them, which they will only send to UK licence-paying addresses. They may do similar for this.

Quality entertainment (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042171)

I have been having terrific time recently reading these news [mirror.co.uk] .

Good job, lads!

We should hire them and set up a company that would stop the noisy, smelly, criminal and in general undesirable ethnic people from moving into your neighbourhood. Kick the paki or the towelhead around a bit...

Re:Feel free. (0, Troll)

raidient (751898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042173)

You Yanks are welcome. You have helped us enough in the past.

GNAA forever! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041797)

GNAA needs BitTorrent tracker for GNFOS Movie GNAA needs BitTorrent tracker for GNFOS Movie
By GNAA Staff
GNAA (Gay Nigger Association of America) is currently searching for a stable BitTorrent [bitconjurer.org] tracker to host the Gay Niggers From Outer Space [imdb.com] , the official movie of GNAA.
The tracker previously used for distributing this movie (voracity.net [voracity.net] ), went down and we are unable to reach out and touch our loyal fans without this movie.
If you run a stable BitTorrent tracker, and can host the torrent on it, please contact GNAA by using instructions below. You don't have to host the .torrent file itself (we have that covered), or list the torrent on your tracker's download page (you can make it a hidden torrent). GNAA will provide quality seeds and make sure there is at least one available seed for this movie at all times.

If you are interested in helping GNAA with your tracker, please contact us. Naturally, you will be given a complimentary membership in GNAA, which you can accept or reject. Your decision will not be held against you.

About GNAA
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [klerck.org] ?
Are you a NIGGER [mugshots.org] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [gay-sex-access.com] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

First, you have to obtain a copy of GAY NIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it.

Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA "first post" on slashdot.org [slashdot.org] , a popular "news for trolls" website

Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on EFNet, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is EFNet, and you can connect to irc.secsup.org or irc.isprime.com as one of the EFNet servers.
If you do not have an IRC client handy, you are free to use the GNAA Java IRC client by clicking here [nero-online.org] .

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

TV on demand is the future... (5, Interesting)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041804)

TV on demand is the future, once you get a taste of it, it's hard to go back.. Luckily for the content providers, TIVO and ReplayTV have already demonstrated the market. Sure TIVO isn't really TV on demand, but it helped define the market.

--
Hot deals! [retailretreat.com]

Re:TV on demand is the future... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041875)

what helped define the market for me was BitTorrent. There was nothing like being able to download TV shows from the night before while at work, and watch them during the time of day when all that is on are reruns of older shows.

I was able to watch them without interruption, in great quality (as I refuse to subscribe to CATV or buy a double-fucking digital receiver), at my choice of when to watch it.

I really think that it would be an excellent idea for it to be brought here and used by the major networks. I suppose they would never accept it because of the possible loss in ad revenues... Sad really.

Re:TV on demand is the future... (4, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042000)

I used to use TiVo, and now I use a homebrew system built around SageTV [www.sage.tv] . The thing continuously records TV from my cable box. Whenever possible it grabs shows off my "favorites" list. Over time it builds up a library, because not only does it go after first runs of my preferred shows, but it gets reruns as well.

Because you can fast-forward through commercials, over time I've gotten in the habit of never bothering to watch TV "live". Instead, I just let it record and whenever I feel in the mood I go catch up on some of my TV watching. While this is not TV "on demand" is is definitely the next best thing. I always have a huge selection of things in the library to watch. It's more like "on demand with limited selection based on configurable preferences".

All that being said, I can place a dollar value on on-demand television, based on what I pay per month for my cable service and how many shows I watch per month. I would happily pay $1 per hour of standard network/cable network TV if I could have it on demand and commerical-free, $2 per episode of premium-channel series shows (like Dead Like Me or Deadwood or Carnivale), $3 for a movie, and $4 for a new release movie.

great gravy (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041816)

I've been watching movies-on-demand for almost 2 years now. (time warner)

so yeah, this technology isnt exactly new. well mabye for the bbc anyways.

They already have... (2, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041818)

the bbc already has a thing for the latest news, at reasonable quality. news.bbc.org.uk

Not sure if this will work (2, Funny)

symbolic (11752) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041822)


I am not an active TV watcher - I have it on most of the time, but only passively. If I have to "make" it work by "demanding" it, I'm likely to find another source that's easier - a "flip-the-switch-and-go" kind of thing.

Re:Not sure if this will work (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041922)

Obviously this isn't designed for you. You can stick with the old style, I'm sure it won't go away for some time yet. Some people (I would say a lot of people) have particular programs they want to watch, and would like to decide when to watch them.

Re:Not sure if this will work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041929)

Go away you stupid moron troll. Never seen such a low digit flamebaiting, idiot of a troll. How do you use the internet since it is surely a lot more work than just flipping a switch.

On-Demand is already growing quickly in the markets that have it here in the US so you're anecdotal stupidity doesn't really matter, does it?

Re:Not sure if this will work (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041965)

So do you not have a vcr either? Never rented a movie?

Wouldn't it be much better if you could just "flip-the-switch-and-go" watch your favorite show at any time of the day or night, instead of watching the skipper hit gilligan with his hat for the 3000th time?

Been there, done that (5, Interesting)

GraWil (571101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041823)

I lived in the UK for 4 years and just returned to Canada. I only wish the CBC was as good as the BBC. I do find their style of news to be way to similar to the big, sensational US news outlets but, otherwise, the content is great! Heck, I'd probably even pay my license fee from Canada!

Re:Been there, done that (1)

earlytime (15364) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042164)

If you think you've got it bad in Canada with CBC, you should come hang out in America and check out ABC.

Even fox is better. As much as I can't stand fox, at least they've got the simpsons.

Nanny State (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041831)

I'm convinced that all the real Brits were either killed in war or left for other countries. Come on Britain! Get rid of your nanny socialist state and join the rest of the Western world

10 per month per TV? Good thing? (0, Troll)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041833)

Give me a break. My total cable bill is less than that here in the U.S.

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041862)

Hate to reply to my own post, but that is ten Pounds per month (the pound character got cut off).

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

phunkymunky (725609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041936)

The licence fee is per household, rather than per TV. Also, the BBC is completely free of advertising: how many TV stations can tout that around the world??? :)

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041998)

My mistake - BBC's site wasn't too clear on the topic [bbc.co.uk] . Still, it's completely ridiculous - what if I don't WANT to watch BBC? Why should I still pay for it? As for commercial-free stations - I get 2 or 3 of those with my service, though I completely satisfied with around 50 other channels that run ads, for a price that is still less than what BBC asks.

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

phunkymunky (725609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042066)

The BBC is without a doubt the best TV outfit in the world: are the commercial free stations any good??? The BBC is an independant company with no political agenda unlike corporate-run channels in the US, so the 131/year is definitely worth it. Plus, I just avoided paying my bill for the past 6 months so I saved over 60!!! Its not the BBC that asks for the money: its the UK government. We have to pay road tax to drive a car too, shame our roads arent as good as our TV!!

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042123)

So if the licence fee is worth it, why are you avoiding to pay it? Regardless of BBC's "best-in-the-world" quality (which is a dubious claim to begin with), the point is that it's ridiculous that the government makes you pay for it, when OTHER viable options are available.

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042098)

The BBC is a public service. Think of it like you would the NHS (the UK's National Health Service). You may never get ill, and if you you may go to a private health care provider, but it's always there just in case.

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042028)

Well I can think of about 40 that I get here in the US. 7 HBO's, 5 Cinemax, etc.

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041961)

Where do you live? Alaska? I have never heard of even the most basic cable being less than $15-20. Aren't taxes that much by themselves?

Re:10 per month per TV? Good thing? (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042015)

Comcast's basic cable here in Philly suburbs is $10 a month. With taxes it's $11.

License fee (5, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041837)

Just to remind everyone, the BBC license fee is a tax on every television set in the UK.

(I don't live in the UK, but I would pay it if I could get this kind of innovation)

A Question for UKians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041870)

So, I understand you guys pay a license fee based on how many TVs (or TV tuners?) that you own.

But can someone please tell me: do you also have to pay for all the radios that you own?

And if the answer is no -- why is that? Isn't this inconsistent?

Re:A Question for UKians (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041915)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/licencefee/ No fee for the radio sets.

Re:A Question for UKians (3, Informative)

aldoman (670791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041938)

No, you do not pay on how many TV tuners. You pay per household.

No, you don't have to pay for radio anymore. Radio makes up less than 1% of the BBCs total spending, so I guess they figured the cost of billing people for radios was over the amount they'd actually get.

Also, portable TVs are exempt from the license.

Re:License fee (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041895)

Uh, no totally wrong. You pay the license fee for recieving the BBC services (actually, a small slice goes to local TV stations of commercial nature). You pay 110GBP a year for it, and that licenses your whole house for that year. You can have as many sets as you want. However, you can purchase a TV without any tax apart from VAT (sales tax to you americans). The TV licensing people will work out if you are trying to flunk the paying the license fee as most places now require you to fill in your address for the house you will be using it for if you purchase a TV..

Re:License fee (2, Informative)

sjgm (769067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042075)

All retailers must [tvlicensing.co.uk] obtain your details if you're buying a TV. Most retailers will also take your details for a video recorder as well (as it implies that you have a TV).

Re:License fee (5, Informative)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041956)

Actually, no. It's a tax on every household with a TV set in the UK. You can have as many TVs as you like, you still only pay once. I'm not sure of the system for businesses though. (NB: I live the UK)

Re:License fee (1)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042107)

"You can have as many TVs as you like"
-not wishing to be pedantic, but what the heck, being pedandic comes naturally to me...

I think the basic license covers up to 3(?) sets then you pay more after that. However, it's at least 12 years since I had a TV so things may have changed since then.

Trouble is (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041840)

They'll go and use RealMedia or WMV and still be at the mercy of some other company.

I doubt they'll use XVID or other open standards. Would be fairly neutral if they released MPEG-2 files, however these would be gigantic.

Re:Trouble is (5, Informative)

Motor (104119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041863)

So maybe there's more to Dirac [slashdot.org] than just a cool open source project.

Read Slashdot Often? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041911)

You might be interested in /.'s BBC coverage from last week then, in which the BBC has created an open source, wavelet-based codec which ramps from low to high throughput with better than MPEG2 video quality.

ms drm (3, Interesting)

maharg (182366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042090)

from
http://p2p.weblogsinc.com/entry/6729473382759138 / :



The most significant revelations were concerning the protection of the content. All content will be DRM'd, only available for a limited period time, once downloaded. As expected, it will also only be available to UK broadband users. In a break with the BBC's long-standing support of Real, Microsoft DRM will be used for the technical trial, but it appears that no final decision has been made.

As was known previously, the EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) will cover fourteen days; seven looking forward and seven backward. The programs that have been broadcasted will be downloadable to the computer simply by clicking on them. A preview of a piece can be watched before committing to download a complete show.

Not likely to be Worldwide... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041843)

The BBC will likely do something to limit the International use of this service, as having the shows freely availalbe over the Web might negatively impact their ability to sell their programs in other places, and some of the shows aired by the BBC belong to other companies and they want the exclusive rights to the show in their home territory.

The article refers to this being a challenge, but one they plan on getting over...

Re:Not likely to be Worldwide... (2, Insightful)

aldoman (670791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041976)

Indeed. I expect they will do a similar thing to their BBC Broadband streaming thing, where they peer with ISPs which means little to no bandwidth costs and also means that you have to be in the UK. Good idea i think.

Freedom of Choice (4, Insightful)

tobechar (678914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041844)

It is great to see a company that is willing to provide choice to its customers.

Perhaps this will force American media companies to offer a few better options to their customers.

Re:Freedom of Choice (1)

Triskele (711795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041933)

Unlikely I'm afraid as the BBC is not a company. It's a corporation. (In the UK, corporations are public owned companies.)

Re:Freedom of Choice (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042054)

While the BBC is a publicly owned corporation, corporation doesn't have to mean publicly owned. Why would they call it "corporation tax" if it did?

Re:Freedom of Choice (1)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042094)

...are public owned companies.

Translation: Government-run, taxpayer subsidized companies, which is double-plus good.

putting media/news in the hands of proper citizens (5, Insightful)

dj42 (765300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041850)

It's a considerable boon to the future of de-centralized media to see a company like the BBC giving this a shot. If Internet users can acclimate towards using an Internet-based tv show broadcasting service, that could put media in the hands of those that deserve it, rather than those that have money and/or are already established as major players in the media industry. i.e. web sites like Slashdot could begin to leverage their user-base into targetted commercial ads, allowing the formation of "television" style shows online. Plus, the last thing we need is a software company like MS in control of the media because it's software is the platform to connect to all the sundries of devices.

Re:putting media/news in the hands of proper citiz (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042103)

I don't want to split hairs here; but it's the British Broadcasting "Corporation" not *company. And they aren't even a corporation in that sense. They are a governmental body, funded through the TV licence in the UK.

In other words, it isn't a "company" bringing us this innovation it's the socialistic government enterprise of an advanced european welfare-state.

No, this isn't a communist vs capitalist troll, it's just an area where capitalist media organisations (in their current incarnation) just have too much inertia to innovate like this.

And it's worth remembering, sometimes paying taxes to a government body (a properly set up one) gets you a kick-arse service, and a whole heap of kudos and nods from the rest of the world. Why go for laize-faire capitalism or stalinistic dictatorship.... when you can have the mix of both as you choose. And the evidence seems to be that it's better to pay more taxes than most of us do.

RULE BRITANNIA!!

Will there be a converter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041858)

To convert the British programmes into the programs we use in America?

Re:Will there be a converter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041931)

Where do you think "The Weakest Link" and "Coupling" came from?

Re:Will there be a converter (2, Insightful)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042138)

"Where do you think "The Weakest Link" and "Coupling" came from?"

And, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," "Men Behaving Badly," "Dear John," etc. Then you could add failed Americanized pilots of British shows such as "The Office," "Red Dwarf," and "AbFab." Wasn't there an American version of "Faulty Towers" too?

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

lindec (771045) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041860)

This is an interesting move, especially considering the events transpiring regarding digital televion, TV ripping and the like. I find it refreshing and interesting that while the recording industries (namely the MPAA) push broadcast flag legislation through, in an attempt to end behavior like this, the BBC makes it computer viewable. Also, sites that are providing ED2K links and torrents to TV Rips are beginning to feel the wrath of the DMCA, so I wonder how much this will change things? Probably not much... but hey, I try to be optimistic.

All TV programs are already available on the net (3, Informative)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041871)

But all TV programs are already available on the net,

#tv-torrents [milfclan.com]

Great idea! (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041881)

That way I can watch just the BBC shows I like and only pay for what I want to watch.

No more paying for Video Tape or DVD copies of BBC shows and waiting for them to ship. Just pay and download, and then burn my own copy to a Video CD or DVD disk. I guess they have controls so that only one copy can be burned?

Video Rental stores ought to get into this gig, get the license to distribute the movies digitally and sell them on their website.

Might as well, would be a much better quality than those idiots who bring video cameras to movie theatres and then upload those videos to file sharing networks. ;)

Re:Great idea! (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042159)

>I guess they have controls so that only one copy can be burned?

that might not be necessary, if you make a good value, easy to use product you automatically bypass potential for piracy by making it easier to just do things the legal way.

you end up asking yourself "should I go to some dodgy place and look if anyone happens to have burned a copy of $program and then pay them for it, or just download it myself for "free" (if you're paying for internet access and a TV license anyway it's free at point of use, like the NHS)?"

what happens about the licience fee? (5, Interesting)

flyingdisc (598575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041892)

In the UK, if you own a TV you are required by law the pay the 100 pound licence fee each year. Only if you are able to demonstrate that you don't own a TV are the fees waived.

This will raise some intersting questions: Apart from resulting in nonTV owners (and hence non licience payers) accessing the BBC it would this not lead to much wider dissemination of the BBC TV outside the UK. Wouldn't this damage the existing syndication relationships that the BBC has set up. I am amased that any broadcaster risk distribution over the internet. Certainty thinking outside the box.

Re:what happens about the licience fee? (1)

Triskele (711795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041994)

In the UK, if you own a TV you are required by law the pay the 100 pound licence fee each year. Only if you are able to demonstrate that you don't own a TV are the fees waived.

Well you don't live here then ;-) There seems to be a lot of FUD over the BBC licence fee. Every household that owns one or more TV sets must pay for a licence (various exemptions for disabled, pensioners etc). The onus is on the licence authority to prove you do have a TV not on you to prove not. They have a big database these days of all people who've bought TVs but students with s/h tellies can often get away with it.

Re:what happens about the licience fee? (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042189)

"Wouldn't this damage the existing syndication relationships that the BBC has set up."

Anything would be an improvement upon the Beeb's current foreign distribution deals. BBC WorldWide priced "Doctor Who" so high that even BBC America won't even show it (anymore). In the early 90s, the same thing happened to the PBS affiliates which caused "Doctor Who" from being shown all across America to nothing in a blink of an eye. Now all PBS seems to be able to show from the Beeb are endless repeats of "Are You Being Served?" and "Keeping Up Appearances."

Now if we get the rest of them to go along. (3, Insightful)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041893)

It's about time. The only way I watch TV any more is through downloads or season DVD's who has the time to play the network games when they bounce your favorite shows around every other week chasing ratings numbers.

I'm ready for this any time... (3, Insightful)

MysticalMatt517 (772389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041894)

We recently dropped our cable subscription down to the $10 /mth 19 channel deal, and we're thinking about dropping that. The problem is that we only ever watched one or two channels and we didn't get enough viewing time to make it worth our $99 /mth cable bill.

I would love to be able to just watch the shows that I want, when I want them, and pay strictly for what I watch. I don't want to pay for a bunch of crap I don't want. Why should I be forced to buy HGTV when I'm an overweight fat slob who spends 99% of his day behind a keyboard? All I wanted was Tech Tv (although it's gone downhill bigtime).

StatsCan proves it: FreeBSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041900)

In groundbreaking news, the central Canadian statistical agency based in Orangefork, Saskatchewan has finally published the results of a 5-year study investigating the deterioting state of the FreeBSD community.

Sponsored by the Association of Novell Users in Montreal and the Liberal Party of Canada, this intensive study encompassed 14 users in 3 provinces, using a total of 23 hours of interviews, phone conversations, and instant messaging. A background in computers was not necessary in order to participate in the process.
75% of the users declared that the impact of FreeBSD in their lives has been reduced in the last 12 months or has been non-existent. 20% were undecided, while 5% confused the term with "freebasing" and were reluctant to speak about it unless her probation officer was present.

Speaking in anonymity, Frank Dreschel from University of Stoufville who resides at 67 Woodgate Drive, feels that the results are not surprising. "You know, I always felt that FreeBSD was forced upon me by my predecessor. It is especially sad considering that my job has nothing to do with information technology at all, since I'm part of the housekeeping staff. Perhaps you should talk to some of the engineering students?"

Which is nice

I would happily pay the license fee (5, Insightful)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041916)

Even though I am American, I would happily pay the 121 pound annual license fee. [bbc.co.uk] IMHO, the BBC programming is much more intellectually stimulating, and costs far less, than cable/satellite TV in this country. Most of the shows I do actually watch are BBC productions that are airing on PBS.

Re:I would happily pay the license fee (2, Interesting)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042099)

I agree. I don't know why no cable company has worked out a deal with the Beeb yet to carry BBC1, BBC2, etc... I'm sure they could work out the financial details.

BBC America is a joke. It's like PBS with commercials.

me too. (1)

Schwartzboy (653985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042146)

I've never thought about it until recently, but here's the list of BBC-produced programs that I enjoy watching for one reason or another (many of these have wrapped up already, but it takes a while for me to become aware of them since I'm all the way across the stinkin' pond...):
  • Vicar of Dibley
  • Absolutely Fabulous
  • Father Ted
  • A Fine Romance
  • As Time Goes By
  • Ballykissangel
  • Bless Me Father
  • Last of the Summer Wine
  • My Hero
  • Chef!
  • Likely a half-dozen more that I'm not thinking of right now...

Now, for the sake of fairness, let's have a list of US TV programs I will watch on purpose:
  • Firefly
  • Buffy
  • Charmed
  • Star Trek: I'll Watch Almost Any Series but DS9
  • Greg the Bunny
  • The Tick


Conclusion? The BBC will at least give some series a fighting chance instead of killing them in their infancy. Does this mean that the British shows are always higher quality? Not necessarily, but I'd be a lot happier to pay the TV tax than I would be to pay for American cable...
I, for one, welcome our new cyber-BBC programming overlords.

Broadcast flag (5, Insightful)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041927)

There you have it!

You don't need no restrictive technology to make money out of media content, just find an easy-to-use distribution vector and a fair price. Who will want to sweep through a couple of hundreds of low-res DiVx files on Kazaa to download a show when you can get it premium quality for a price this low?

I wonder what is the ROI (Return on Investment) of the boradcast flag when compared to this...

Will this be availabe to non-UK citizens? (2, Interesting)

ckathens (631781) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041939)

I'm a big fan of BBC programming and reguarly download it from the Usenet currently (recent favorites: The Office and The Worst Week of My Life). Because this is based on UK licensing fees, I wonder if it will be available to those of us in the rest of the world? Or perhaps we can pay a small fee to be able to download these episodes as well? This is the way I hope TV is going. My schedule is such that I am in bed before most of the prime time TV is on so the only way to watch it is to download it (or get one of those TiVOs).

Pax Britannia (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9041943)

TV and teeth on demand! How the hell did they lose the empire?

bit torrent (5, Interesting)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041968)

why not provide shows on bit torrent?

is it because it's harder to advertise?

would people be offended by short adverts played at the beginning of the video files? (eg This Bit Torrent file is brought to you by...)

networks could distribute the seeds across their affiliates to reduce bandwidth cost, etc.

Please Please Please Succeed! (1, Interesting)

tizzyD (577098) | more than 10 years ago | (#9041999)

I can only hope that this service gets extended to a wider (hint hint nudge nudge -- read US) audience. As a subscriber to BBC America and frequent traveller to the UK, all I can say is that BBC America is a sad and poor rip-off. I want the bite only the BBC can make, including "Have I Got News For You," "England's Dirtiest Homes," and real comedy like the original "Coupling" (not to be confused with the absurb American pap they tried to sell us over here).

If it doesn't, I'm going to set up a home-made video box over there just to record stuff, so that I can download it to my PC. "Footballers' Wives", here I come.

Re:Please Please Please Succeed! (1)

PoshSpod (549405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042167)

OK, we'll trade for iTMS.

Seriously, Footballer's Wives and Dirtiest Homes are at the bottom of the darkest pit in quality TV terms. Agree with you about Have I got News for You and Coupling though.

Top Gear (1)

ShishCoBob (516335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042007)

Quick! Someone get all the Top Gear episodes and send them to me.

Re:Top Gear (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042192)

Yes, I love that show. It is the catalyst towards my builing a mythTv box.

Great but a pity (2, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042010)

Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM).

Just a pity they can't leave people the fuck alone if they don't want it. [marmalade.net]

Re:Great but a pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042169)

Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM)

And it's also going to be using Microsoft codecs and DRM. Which basically rules out Linux users... unmitigated good? I think not.

anyone can download the shows? (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042016)

that is pretty good, though I have very little I like on the BBC besides their news, that is a nice thing.

BBC starts paid online news subscription (3, Informative)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042017)


A couple of days ago, I clicked to view a video on BBC news website and it told me that I have to buy a subscription as international user. I was a bit surprised since so far, BBC had been free and even free from ads.

This page [bbc.co.uk] says that: "Broadband video news from the BBC is only available to international users by subscription. Find out how to get the latest broadband video news from the BBC here [real.com] .

Will the content be Free or Owned? (3, Insightful)

no_choice (558243) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042021)

It doesn't explicitly say, but the tone of the article suggests that the BBC's mentality is not much different from the **AA bunch.

"If we don't enter this market, then exactly what happened to the music industry could happen to us... everybody starts posting the content up there and ripping us off."

What would be wrong with the public freely sharing the content? They are subsidizing the creation of it with their tax payments.

Why don't allegedly "public" broadcasters, like the BBC in Brittan or PBS or NPR in the US, produce and release content under Creative Commons type, or other Free licences? That way the public could use, share, and redistribute the content freely. People could even re-edit the content and create new and interesting works. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Isn't the idea behind public broadcasting to serve the public, instead of seek profits?

Instead, the "public" broadcasters have developed the same control-freak mentality of the rest of the media that effectively opposes the very idea of a public domain and favors every byte having a DRM restricted ownership sticker. If that is the case, what is the point of the public subsidizing these broadcasters... and why should they even exist?

Re:Will the content be Free or Owned? (2, Informative)

RidiculousPie (774439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042130)

The BBC in part funds it's creative content by licensing their content in other countries, and through videos of their old content.

This money is vital for supporting new programmes.

Ideally the BBC would release their material under free licenses, but this would impact the production of new material.

Also not all the programmes shown on the BBC are produced by the BBC (for instance Have I Got News For You is made by Top Hat Productions).

Socialized Entertainment (0, Flamebait)

leereyno (32197) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042037)

I'm opposed to the per-tv "License Fee" charged by the British government on philosphical grounds.

Extracting a tax for simply owning a television set creates a captive audience and the quality of the programming suffers as a result. For every Monty Python's Flying Circus there are countless shows that wouldn't make it past the pilot phase here in the states. If the quality of programming on BBC-america is any indication, brits are being robbed.

I'm curious about something, and maybe some of you british slashdotters can answer some questions for me. What else is there on the air other than the BBC? How many channels do brits generally have to choose from? Is cable TV common, and if so what kind of channels are there on it? Do you get HBO? ESPN? I was told when I was a little kid that the BBC was the ONLY channel available over there. I find that hard to believe. Imagine if the only channel americans had to watch was PBS.

Lee

Re:Me first (3, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042053)

> Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM).

WHY OH WHY are the only fuckers who realise this not resident in the UK? the public tide in this country (UK) is more anti than pro, and Labour/TB have been doing their level best to destroy the BBC's credibility*.
I on the other hand am very pro-BBC. The only slight problem I have with it is that the fee is the same for everybody (i.e. a poll tax).

* Whether or not Andrew Gilligan exaggerated his story, the government (and Alistair Campbell non-gov) made an enormous issue out of it in order to discredit the BBC, as the charter is coming up for renewal soon. The bastards.

gov monopoly is better than private monopoly? (1)

toiletmonster (722398) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042081)

Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM)

so a government monopoly is somehow better than a private monopoly?

Re:gov monopoly is better than private monopoly? (1)

caek (571864) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042194)

It's not a monopoly. There are other media outlets. One of the outlets is better funded than all the others, and this may be unfair, but that doesn't make it a monopoly. You want me to grab a dictionary?

A good thing indeed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9042087)

Yet more proof that the BBC license fee is an unmitigated Good Thing(TM).

The BBC seem to operate under the principal that if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

Definitely a Good Thing (2, Interesting)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042112)

Man, I hope this catches on in the U.S. with cable stations like Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel. Those two and a handful of others are the only reason I still subscribe to cable. And it pisses me off to no end that I have to pay $40/month for a "standard package" which includes 60 or so channels I DON'T watch.

Individual cable broadcast companies taking this initiative will bring about the same effect as the a la carte cable service many Americans have been asking for. Anyone with broadband Internet access will have access to only the shows they want, on demand, and priced individually.

Quality? (1)

-tji (139690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042122)

The only indication of quality in the article was this:

Mr Highfield said the quality of the programmes will be so high that the experience of watching a show on a PDA will be similar to viewing an in-flight film on screens in the backs of seats on passenger aircraft.

In-flight movies are not a real high bar to set..

I would be interested in getting episodes of "The Office" this way, if they were available in their native 16:9 format (encoded in 16:9, not letterboxed), and in a quality comparable to DVD.

Why the grass seems greener on the other side (3, Insightful)

mst76 (629405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042154)

There seem to be quite a few Americans here who think BBC produces better quality programs than US tv. But remember, when you view something from abroad, it is usually selected because it is the cream of the crop, it does not nessesarily reflect the overall quality of BBC television. I'm sure few of you would care to see hours of snooker or cricket. Likewise, foreign countries usually buy the best American shows. Foreigners who only see the Sopranos, West Wing, etc. may conclude that US tv is of pretty high quality.

Who? (4, Funny)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042156)

Great, now I can start another lost episode of Dr. Who, when ever I want.

Anyone know what format? (1)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042177)

"BBC hopes to avoid being left at the mercy of a software giant such as Microsoft"

In that context, what format are they using? Anyone know?

They use Real format right now but aren't they switching to WMA?

Why should paying government be inherently better? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 10 years ago | (#9042195)

Why should paying a license fee to the government be inherently better than paying Microsoft? Or, in general, any closed source company?

When I was in Europe, all I could say is "please god Please let me get back to my 500 channels of McDonalds, Wal-Marts, and pure-T drivel, because this shit I"m having to watch over here is BOR-ING."

Government doesn't do a better job than private enterprise.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?