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NBC To Offer On-Demand Movies Via P2P

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the getting-closer dept.

Movies 173

RX8 writes "NBC Universal has signed a deal with Wurld Media to make some of their movies available for download via a secure P2P network in 2006. There hasn't been a price released yet, but the movies include what you would get on their existing video-on-demand and pay services plus around 100 older movie titles. Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires."

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24 hours? (4, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14065969)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Oh no, my Slashdot P2P trial has expired! :( HELP!!!!

Re:24 hours? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066007)

Pretty sure this is a dupe from more than 24 hours ago. Do /. subscribers need to pay again?

OT: Your Grammar tip of the day SIG (0, Offtopic)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066107)

Should also mention that you can replace "They're" with "They are" and it still makes sense.

That's how I can figure out which one to use.

Re:24 hours? (5, Insightful)

im_mac (927998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066384)

Users will be able to view the material for 24 hours once they begin playback on their computers; once downloaded, the material will be stored on the user's computer for 30 days to act as a resource in the Peer Impact network

Let me get this straight. I can only watch it for 24 hours but it'll remain on my harddrive for 30 days, 29 of which it is inaccessible to me? Sounds like I should be charging NBC a rental fee.

Movies available on P2P (4, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14065974)

NBC...I have a phone call for you.

The year 2000 is calling, and wants its idea back.

Re:Movies available on P2P (4, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066028)

No kidding. I don't think these execs really get it. P2P got huge because the downloaders were getting stuff for free. I mean it's good that they are tapping the resource and at least attempting to do something 'modern', but if I'm going to pay money I want real on-demand... not getting on their P2P network and waiting to download the whole thing from peers. I guess you might be able to get it faster than a subscription service like Netflix (considering mail time), but then again you don't have a DVD, you have a video file which you have to play on a computer (or output to your TV if you have that setup).

Plus the 24 hour thing. What if I can't watch it right away? I would be mad if it expired after 24 hours. I hate DRM but if they are going to use it they should at least protect it in such a way that you can wait to view it or even watch it multiple times on the same computer.

Re:Movies available on P2P (5, Insightful)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066094)

If the file expires in 24 hours, what incentive is there for peers to hold the expired file and seed it? This sounds dumb.

Re:Movies available on P2P (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066509)

You would be uploading at the same time as downloading. With P2P, you do NOT have to finish the download to start an upload.

Re:Movies available on P2P (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066560)

Yes, but most consumer-grade connections are asymetric, so it takes longer then the download time to reseed. My share ratio for Bittorrent is usually arround .4 when a download completes. It was close to 0 when I got OpenOffice 2, but that was also an incredibly fast mesh, being release day and all.

Note to MPAA and RIAA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14065986)

If it expires, I won't be buying it.

Entertainment is to be done at my leisure. I choose the terms, not you.

Simple as that.

Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (3, Interesting)

Matt Ownby (158633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066044)

Actually, I believe the MPAA/RIAA and you _agree_ to terms.

I agree with your point, though... having downloadable content expire is quite lame.

I can go to McDonalds and rent a new DVD for $1 for a 24-hour time period. Why would I want to download a movie (which would undoubtedly be lower quality than a DVD) for more than $1 (which is what I assume they'd charge) ? I mean, what is the advantage here? Are they new movies that are out in theaters? Because if you can just get them on DVD, where is the value?

Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066059)

You beat me to it. I feel the same way.

rental made sense when there was a physical object, it does not make sense with data.

Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (2, Insightful)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066208)

If it expires, I won't be buying it.

If it needs to be returned, I won't be renting it.

Come on. Everyone knows that it isn't true that an expiration date will keep people from paying for a movie online on-demand anymore then people will stop renting movies from Blockbuster because they have to return the DVD. There'll be millions of people who will pay for a movie that expires. Just not you. And NBC doesn't care about you, so there.


Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (1)

aslagle (441969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066260)

I guess DIVX [wikipedia.org] doesn't mean anything to you, then.

<Insert pity comment about history, learning, and repetition here.>

Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (1)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066532)

I guess DIVX doesn't mean anything to you, then.


First of all, NBC p2p offering doesn't come on physical media. I guess that should count for something right there. So there's less physical costs, which right off the bat makes it more attractive. Second, I'd consider it more like Comcast's On-Demand programming, which already is accepted. So it's off on a good start.


Re:Note to MPAA and RIAA (2, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066474)

"Entertainment is to be done at my leisure. I choose the terms, not you."

I wish they'd just cram a few commercials into movies and release them out in the wild. There are some movies out there that I just won't spend the $4 to rent them, but I'd tolerate the commercials.

hmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14065995)

Only viewed for 24 hours? That must lead to a closed-format player and format; it'll be iTunes all over again; pirated material will not only be free, but the products will be better.

Starts fine... (1)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14065997)

Starts of nice, then I read a horrible, horrible sentence...

"Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires."

What were they thinking?

Re:Starts fine... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066056)

What were they thinking?

That it works just like existing cable video-on-demand systems? That it's not too different from renting a movie from Blockbuster? It's not such a bad idea IMO.

Re:Starts fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066132)

it's starts OFF nice, not starts OF nice...

Re:Starts fine... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066343)

I could see a week, maybe... but 24hrs from what, a lot of movies take that long on bittorrent as it is... beyond this, WTF should *I* seed their movie that I can't even watch after the 24hrs is up...

Surprise - Too Little, Too Late (2, Interesting)

Jeff Mahoney (11112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066004)

Once again, a big media company comes out with an idea so they can claim to have a legitimate path for viewers to take advantage of -- but yet still totally miss what they are actually looking for.

Until these companies actually meet the demands of the people who are looking to download TV/Movies, unauthorized p2p networks will continue to own the market.

Re:Surprise - Too Little, Too Late (4, Interesting)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066062)

You think that the only killer feature of P2P networks is free content? My friend, you miss something, I think.

True P2P networks offer tremendous bandwidth efficiency for the distributors of content, which is especially important when you're delivering large content (like, say movies and other media). Think of how quickly Bittorrent downloads of Linux distros took off--it made it so much easier for gazillions of people to get a brand-new release at the same time. No more waiting a week for the Debian FTP servers to be pingable again.

Plus, the distributor saves money on bandwidth charges, since many of the users will get the content from each other instead of the central servers. Whether this in turn increases the costs of the users remains to be seen, but it probably won't affect their connectivity bills much more than using open P2P networks to get stuff on their own.

Re:Surprise - Too Little, Too Late (3, Insightful)

Jeff Mahoney (11112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066520)

No, that's not the point of my post at all. I wasn't addressing the usefulness of a p2p network in this case - rather on the limited usefulness of the content itself.

There are a few separate issues with how they want to roll this out, and they all revolve around DRM.

1) The limited lifespan. Most people can deal with this, since as someone else mentioned the "On Demand" services and Blockbuster effectively limit the time you're allowed to enjoy the content.

2) Attaching DRM to the content means there is a lack of an open standard. I can't very well write a viewer for the content myself, and any attempt to do so would result in angry lawyers contacting me. While the average user doesn't need to be able to author their own viewing application, it means that the developers who write software for operating systems other than ones from Microsoft or Apple can't either, so everyone else loses too.

These don't seem like big issues to the average home user, but the fact is that most people who are downloading TV shows or movies now aren't average home users. Why would these users give up the freedom and functionality they have now, and pay for the privledge of doing so? This deployment isn't going to meet their demands, and thus the use of unauthorized p2p networks to distribute the content in a format more palatable for those users will continue.

Standard Codec ? DRM ? (4, Insightful)

Yoshy (665711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066010)

The 24 hours part is bad news, not because I'd like to keep the movies but because it means that it will only available to Windows.

Wrong moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066137)

please fix.

fair is fair (4, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066018)

Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires.

And they can only spend my money for 24h before the payment expires, ok?

Are you serious? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066145)

Do you demand your rental fee back when you return movies to Blockbuster? When you quit Netflix, do you expect your dues refunded? Does your cable company not bill you every month?

Don't think of this as buying a movie, thing of it as renting. Don't rent if you don't plan on watching it within the day. Price to high? Rent somewhere else. Simple.

Re:Are you serious? (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066304)

Do you demand your rental fee back when you return movies to Blockbuster? [...] Don't think of this as buying a movie, thing of it as renting.

Can they rent the movie to someone else if I don't return it?
Don't think of it as renting, because it isn't.

Re:Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066443)

Oh, christ, that is stupid. Next you'll shout information should be free, it costs nothing to make digital copies, blah, blah, blah.

There is an economic scale at work here. Blockbuster will charge you $3 for the exact same thing that Best Buy will charge $20 for (read: a DVD). What's the difference? One you you get to keep, one you have to give back. Just cause its bits on a hard drive rather than bits on a disc, you think the value changes?!?!?

In the end, you'll eventually have two choices. One price to download the movie for a 24-48 hour viewing window, and roughly 5x that price to download it with no expiration date. Again, simple.

Will the audio be encoded in Ogg? (1, Funny)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066023)

If not, I won't use the service.

Re:Will the audio be encoded in Ogg? (1)

unbeatable73 (726493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066242)

How the hell is this flamebait? He prefers his movies in Ogg, and if they aren't he won't buy them. I don't have a problem with that, and I'm not going to flame him because he likes a certain audio format better than another....

TITO (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066024)

(white) Trash In, (tv) Trash Out

Jerry Springer and the dating shows 5th Wheel and Blind Date

That'll be worthwhile... They could probably offer only one episode of those shows and no one could tell.

Anyone think they want it to fail so they could lobby Congress to DRM all TCP/IP transmissions?

Why can't these media companies get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066026)

We don't want content that becomes unplayable. We don't want to rent. We want to own. Once we own we can put it on any device we want, when we want, how we want. We can remix and apply creativity. We can burn to disc or backup device to protect our investment. We want to spend a relatively small amount of money in order to BUY (not rent) content that becomes part of our permanent collection.

Get back to us when you are willing to deal with 21st-century reality.

Rental is dead? (2, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066200)

We don't want to rent. We want to own.

Which is, of course, why Blockbuster, Netflix, pay-per-view, and other business/services/technologies don't exist anymore. Er...waitaminute...

Seriously, most people only want to watch most shows/movies once; since rental is usually much cheaper than purchase, they rent (whatever the media). Sure we'd rather own, but seeing something a second time is far less important than seeing it once at low cost.

Of course, if they made ownership only slightly more expensive than rental (1.25x rather than >4x), they'd make more money, buyers would be happy, and most people would still rather see/buy something new than re-watch what they've seen.

Re:Rental is dead? (1)

payndz (589033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066428)

Isn't Blockbuster on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection? Doesn't sound like they're doing that great right now...

Of course (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066030)

While I'm glad they are taking some steps forward, you can be sure someone will take their DRMed torrent, pirate it, and release it on traditional torrent sites. But nonetheless, if they can find a pricepoint that works with their crippled offering, more power to em.

Old tech beats new tech (3, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066032)

My 20 year old Toshiba VCR is looking better and better every day. I have yet to find anything it could not record when using the analog video/audio jack feeds....

Re:Old tech beats new tech (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066096)

Shhh. They can hear you when you post here! If you think that they won't push to "outlaw" all older technology that doesn't have "safe-guards" in place, you're crazy. While they might not win that doesn't mean they won't try everything in their power, including their increasingly successful smear campaigns, to get you to turn over your contraband.

Explodes. - No, expires. (4, Funny)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066034)

"...users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires."

I was expecting to read "explodes" rather than "expires". I'm glad I was wrong.

But now I worry that by posting this I might give them ideas.

Actually it may - remember Sony... (1)

Pac (9516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066280)

Depending on the kind of DRM enforcement they choose, the movie itself won't explode but it may well render your computer open to all sorts of nasty things. Including, but not limited to, forms of hijacking that allow the attacker to burn your monitor.

When are they going to get it?? (2, Insightful)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066047)

Didn't they realize that such rental schemes would fail when consumers roundly rejected DIVX? Why do they keep trying to force a product we clearly don't like down our throats?

Re:When are they going to get it?? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066210)

"Why do they keep trying to force a product we clearly don't like down our throats?"

Yes, that's exactly what they are doing. Forcing you.

As the market at large becomes more accepting of downloaded video material, one of these services will become profitable... NBC is hoping it's them. Plus, they already have brand accetance, so it's not some newfangled acronym for the Mom&pops out there. They're not targeting the slashdot crowd.

Why Movies? Do TV. (4, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066050)

Why not their television programming?

If they posted the programming with advertisements intact, eventually they may be able to ask more for advertising, or treat it as a separate advertising space altogether. Plus, the torrents for their shows are going to be out there anyway. This way there is an official torrent that most people are going to want because: they can expect a certain level of quality and there is no risk to them. AND it also increases awareness and availability of their show.

Heck, if they did this I might even watch some of their shows.

Re:Why Movies? Do TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066349)

Because their affiliates would each unload a brick from their rear, and then promptly stone them to death.

Would that include episodes of "Joey" (2, Funny)

ShibaInu (694434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066054)

NBC can barely get folks to watch its shows for free, so now they are going to charge for a version that expires? I assume this would be more aimed at the Universal Studios titles...

To all the naysayers: (3, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066077)

Everyone seems to be griping about the time limit. I know it goes squarely against the DRM-hating /. masses, but not only is it valid but people will buy into it.

They've already been doing it for years with movies On Demand, now you can do the same thing on your computer. There are time limits for On Demand and Blockbuster, now it's the limit for your authorized download.

Big whoop. Just because it gets downloaded to your computer doesn't mean you have the right to watch it as many times as you want, as often as you want, for the rest of your life.

Get over it already.

Re:To all the naysayers: (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066116)

"Big whoop. Just because it gets downloaded to your computer doesn't mean you have the right to watch it as many times as you want, as often as you want, for the rest of your life.

yes, it does.

Re:To all the naysayers: (3, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066135)

And look how Blockbuster is turning out, along with their 'late fees'

One would think with the amount of TV shows being sold on DVD that they'd think there would be a happy digital medium to this. It's OK to sell DVDs, but if it plays on a computer it must explode and go away. I don't get it, the content on my computer isn't going to be as good as a DVD unless I want to download 10GB of stuff, which I don't.

Re:To all the naysayers: (1)

size1one (630807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066224)

"They've already been doing it for years with movies On Demand, now you can do the same thing on your computer. There are time limits for On Demand and Blockbuster, now it's the limit for your authorized download."

Yes, but you also get the movie when you want it. It will take at least several hours if not several days to download a movie, especially if the network is not popular. People want to watch movies when they have the time available, not the other way around.

Re:To all the naysayers: (3, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066466)

There are time limits for On Demand and Blockbuster, now it's the limit for your authorized download. [...] Get over it already.

People can get copies of their stuff without paying them a cent for it. Get over it already.


Then they should stop fucking with us by imposing arbitrary and artificial annoyances such as a 24h deadline.
You have to return the PHYSICAL media when you rent, that's why we accept that limit: We don't want others to hang on indefinatly to the stuff we want to watch, so we accept that we must return the disc/cassette so that it will be available to others, and so others do the same in order for the content to be available to us.

But we COPY the content when we download it. It will get deleted when we're done with it, when we need the space, not when they decide they don't want us to have it anymore. Not to mention that in peer-to-peer realities, keeping the copy makes it available to others, not the other way around.

Their DRM will be circumvented, their content will be redistributed, for free, without their stupid limit, on "pirate" p2p networks, and it will be their damn fault for being TOO GREEDY.

Re:To all the naysayers: (1)

HPNpilot (735362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066524)

"Get over it already."

The only thing I've gotten over is my initial excitement of their announcement.

Right now I use NetFlix and two local video rental stores. NetFlix gives me as much time as I want and I get 3 days from the local stores. I need this flexibility as my schedule is frequently unpredictable. If I want something really fast, I have it in my VCR or DVD player within 15 minutes. More obscure stuff comes from NetFlix. Now some company tells me I can download? Great! But wait... After a long download (longer than it would take me to get to a video store and back), I only have 24 hours to watch it? And what if I want it on my big screen TV? Will they allow my computer to output it as a high quality signal? Remember, that to allow this would mean I could potentially record it, do you think they'd allow that?

I have had enough headaches with DRM over the years, starting with the non "D" scheme cooked up by Macrovision. For years (and still in some family setups) I had to get boxes which removed the Macrovision signals, not to make copies (doesn't make sense to make copies these days) but to just watch with decent quality.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but once I buy something I want what I paid for. If I don't like the terms, or I don't get what I should have (in my sole opinion!), I will stop purchasing and my hard earned cash will be spent on other things.

You may pooh-pooh the 24 hour thing, but it is enough to keep this consumer away.

Re:To all the naysayers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066600)

Just because it gets downloaded to your computer doesn't mean you have the right to watch it as many times as you want, as often as you want, for the rest of your life.

Yes, I do . . . . It's called "BitTorrent"

When does the clock start ticking? (4, Insightful)

Morgalyn (605015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066095)

24 hours? Is that from the point of purchase, or the point of completed download? Because if the movie is of a quality worth paying for, that's a significant difference for a lot of users.

Besides, that's an awfully short period of usage. Why would anyone do that versus renting the movie? It would have to be very cheap. What about the ability to pause the movie, or watch it more than once? Is this going to be like those failed one-viewing DVDs that came out a while ago?

Re:When does the clock start ticking? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066232)

It says once it's been downloaded right in the summary

IMO, it should be 24 hours once you first begin viewing it.

Re:When does the clock start ticking? (1)

Morgalyn (605015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066503)

Oh, I know it said that in the summary. I tend to not put too much faith in the summaries when it comes to the finer points, though, you know? "Once it's been downloaded" could be "once the first packet has been downloaded" or "once your receipt has been downloaded" and not necessarily "once all of the data has been downloaded and verified". I should have been more clear :)
If they are going to enforce a 24 hour time period, I think you are right. The only decent thing to do would be to start the clock at viewing time, and for multiple reasons.

Re:When does the clock start ticking? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066599)

"I tend to not put too much faith in the summaries when it comes to the finer points, though, you know?"

Good idea. Come to think of it, I should probably not put too much faith in the articles either. :)

Re:When does the clock start ticking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066586)

Am I to be expected to sit there waiting for it to finish downloading? What about those of us who leave their computer online to download?

Rental Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066108)

I know I don't speak for the majority of slashdotters but I could care less whether it expires (although 24 hours is a short period of time) as long as there is a significant discount compared to renting; electronic distribution does not provide the same experiance as renting a movie and (being that it is a P2P network) they're using my internet connection to distribute the material to other users. If it was $1.00 I wouldn't mind if it expires in 24 hours (after I watch it, not after it downloads), what annoys me about services like this is that they will charge you rental (or often purchace price; there are lots of $5-$10 DVDs out there) and then tell me that it expires.

Re:Rental Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066488)

but I could care less whether it expires

Oh, so you do care about how long it expires then? Oh? What's that? You meant you couldn't care less. Carry on, then.

Repeat of history (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066114)

So it looks like we are headed for a repeat of history, where Apple has a store with 80+% of the market and actually makes money, while everyone else wonders why the hell consumers are unhappy with a video solution that is worse than VHS.

Since the movie/TV industry had years and years to learn the lesson, it's especially odd that they seek marginalization with such ferver.

24 Hours sounds reasonable (2, Insightful)

sj88 (930814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066134)

...except for the fact that downloading takes an unknown amount of time. It's like a pay-per-view, except you don't know when you'll receive the movie.

Oblig. Linux comment (1)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066155)

Evidently this 24-hour deal will employ some form of DRM. And when I think DRM, a few things come to mind:
1) Non-free format
2) Won't work with Linux

So, I'll just continue to use zip.ca, or, *gasp* physically *go* to the *video store*!

Why 24 Hours? (1)

tyler083 (775626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066157)

Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires.

I know companies need a time limit, but why 24 hours? If it's any decent quality it will take me most of an evening to just download the movie. AND then hopefully I'll have time to watch it the next evening before it just stops playing as it will have been 24 hours since I downloaded it....

I didn't read the article, but I'm giving them then benefit of the doubt that the 24 hours starts only after you have downloaded the entire movie.

You're not there yet (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066221)

movies include what you would get on their existing video-on-demand and pay services plus around 100 older movie titles. Once the material is downloaded, users can only view it for up to 24 hours before it expires.

Limited selection.
Pay for it.
Need to contribute my own P2P bandwidth to get it.
Must watch it in 24 hours (obviously badly DRM encumbered.

That's not an appealing package yet to tempt me to your service.

Re:You're not there yet (1)

size1one (630807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066305)

That sounds like the exact opposite of bittorrent:

Large selection.
Don't pay for it.
Do whatever I want with it (without having to defeat DRM)

That is exactly why this service will fail.

I've already paid for cable service, I see no legal issues with downloading these shows.

Will people give them their bandwidth for free? (2, Insightful)

mTor (18585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066233)

If I pay for a movie/show, I don't want to give my bandwidth for free. They should pay me for giving my bandwidth to them!

Nice try, NBC!

Dear NBC, (4, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066235)

I am willing to pay exactly $0.00 for this "service" you're planning on offering. Copy protection is a form of product defect, and I do not purchase products I know to be defective. You may wish to confer with Sony on this issue.

On the other hand, if you are willing to offer movies and programs in an unencumbered format (DiVX, MPEG, QuickTime, Ogg Theora, whatever) with no usage restrictions, and no special download clients required, then I'd be very willing to consider as much as $3.00 per show/program downloaded. I'd especially be interested in the old NBC Mystery Movies from the 1970's, including McCloud [imdb.com] , Columbo [imdb.com] , and McMillan and Wife [imdb.com] .

Please correct your offerings accordingly.


Dear Ewhac (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066547)

Copy protection is a form of product defect, and I do not purchase products I know to be defective.

Do you consider your car to be defunct? Because it employes a form of protection - a key and lock. Very similarly, the video files employ a key and a lock... the files have a DRM lock and the video player can act as a key to a legitimate user for legitimate purposes. Its not broken, it does exactly what it claims to do - it plays in the media players described for the time period advertized.


cheeze (1)

Rodney.Quills.Dinkin (932254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066253)

Of course you can disable the 24hr time limit easily, or just download these off alt.binaries.hdtv for free. However this is at least finally a good idea from a major TV network to provide free stuff (albeit, temporary)

Small step, but in the right direction (2, Insightful)

bechthros (714240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066268)

To all those who said that P2P "pirate" networks would never bring about significant changes in the business models of big *AA... want some salt with that crow?

Sure, it's restricted, and it expires, but as long as the black market is out there, the white market will slowly bring itself up to speed until the need for a black market lessens more and more. Eventually the result will be something that works for picky consumers like us and for content providers. All file-sharers everywhere should not underestimate the significance of this move.

Wurld media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066271)

Aren't they a scumware company?

Why even mention P2P? (2, Insightful)

TheRealFritz (931415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066273)

In this context, P2P is really meaningless, since it offers no advantage to me, the consumer. The only advantage it offers is for content providers, because they can serve more costumers because customers bear part of the bandwidth cost.

So since I'm providing bandwidth, do I get a download credit? If I keep files in my share long enough, I should be able to download more files without cost to me, since I'm providing a service to the content providers and they should be compensating me for it.

Innovation at play: http://www.gloryhoundz.com/ [gloryhoundz.com]

I'm paying for what exactly? (1)

jburroug (45317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066274)

I'm not entirely sure why I would want to use such a crippled service Honestly if Basically it sounds like they are offering to 'let' consumers: pay to download a movie, pay for the bandwidth to do so (not to mention wait a few hours for it to come in) then pay for the upload bandwidth to share for 30 days and then get a movie that will self-destruct 24 hours after I first press play. And since most users don't have Freevo/MythTV type setups to watch downloaded videos on their TV's they will go through all this effort to watch their movie in a tiny windows media player screen.

Seriously if I'm going to have to go through all that effort to get my hands on a video file I'd at least expect to be able to keep a copy for personal use, however crudded up with DRM the file might be. Who in their right mind would use such a 'service' much less pay for the privledge of using it. As it stands now Netflix is a far easier way to get rentals and much more flexible than the way this service sounds. Of course plain old outlaw P2P or alt.binaries is still the most, ahh, cost effective way to get current releases in flexible, open formats with no commercials or other restrictions.

*sigh* I'd love for just one network or studio to start releasing paid, downloadable programming in an open, non-DRM'd format, and then make a killing on it. I for one would pay a few bucks an episode, or pay a subscription, for The Daily Show for example or for some of the amazing multi-part documenteries Discovery/TLC/THC put out. But only if I can get them in a format that I'll be able to watch on any platform I choose, whenever I choose and for as long as I choose. I'd accept crippled content for a free ad-sponsored service, but never for anything that I have to pay for.



This is a dumb idea..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066281)

...... as you can watch that Lost episode that you downloaded via iTunes over and over again. I suspect they'll try this for six months, not make any money and beg Apple to carry their content on iTunes.

Yet Another Big Brother Plan (1)

Ted Holmes (827243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066288)

The end of this "Big Brother" attitude from controlled media is written upon the wall (but not in the papers). The digitally connected masses will soon remove the mass from media. Here's why:

1. The balance of power has already shifted to the masses in a sort of first mover advantage. The backlash coming from the entertainment industry is reflexive. It happens *after* networked mobs creatively, unexpectedly, disruptively take technology into their own hands. The tension between the entertainment industry and the online world simply represents that shift of power and control away from mass media.

2. What will the entertainment industry be when consumers en masse, produce their own "as good or better than" diversions? Blogs spontaneously exploded news into millions of niches, leaching the mass from news media. Cheap high tech multimedia production tools wielded by thousands of grass roots reporters are absolutely capable of producing high quality fare.

The mass entertainment and news industry will soon compete with high quality virtually free grass roots alternatives from the digitally connected masses, and take its rightful place as another niche. What "mass" will be left to market to?

3. Litigation takes a lot of time. Since technological advances also accelerate events [blogspot.com] , inflexible, knee jerk systems will eventually be overwhelmed with the speed of disruption. There will soon not be enough time to react before the next volley. Future shock paralyses the most inflexible systems first. So, ultimately, in a digitally networked world, control is distributed to the masses. But the question keeps returning:
Is Big Brother a Possible Future?Will some central organization, representing narrow interests be able to control what citizens share electronically? I don't think so. The imminent emergence of open source personal self-replicating fabricators [blogspot.com] will spit out an ever growing complexity of items, all of which will be embedded with personalized computational intelligence. So, no consistent control over hardware standards will be possible. Chips will not answer to a centralized institution.

As self-replicating fabricators rapidly spread to thousands and then millions of people, they will mutate and evolve; enlisted to upgrade and propagate their own next generation. Mobjects from the collective creative energy of Smart Mobs. This spells the end of the consumer/ producer divide. What will mass marketing be without a mass market?

OOPS. Re:Yet Another Big Brother... (1)

Ted Holmes (827243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066376)

Oddly this post fits perfectly in this discussion, but it was intended for the next topic.

Stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066291)

P2P is a collective effort. You do your share, and you get alot in return. THEY want to use YOUR resources for THEM.

If I buy a movie online I want to be able to watch it whenever I want, and for any ammount of time.

So I pay AND provide their distribution network? (2, Interesting)

dr7greenthumb (752231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066363)

It's good to know that I get their product for 24 hours but they get my bandwidth for 30 days. I don't mind using my bandwidth to share with my peers using P2P when it's an open torrent but if they want me to pay for the show and continue distributing it for them for 30 days, they are crazy. If we're stuck with the expiration rule, the clock should at least start when the user stops sharing it. Either that or subsidize my broadband.

low res probably (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066365)

Let me guess....

It will either be at a horribly low resolution like 320x200


at a crappy bitrate like 700kb/s

I'll start buying movies online when the quality is DVD or BETTER, and NOT before that.

Who cares, online movie rentals are available now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14066470)

Online video rentals are nothing new. You can already download rentals from http://movielink.com/ [movielink.com] It's direct from their servers rather than a bandwidth killing p2p, and the restrictions seem to be less. I've had fairly decent experiences with them so far.

Another step towards removing our fair use rights (1)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066482)

Let's see... If I buy a movie on PPV, I can record a copy for personal use (for example, showing the girlfriend the next time she's over), using either my trusty old VCR, or my (formerly new & sparkling) PVR system, and if I go the PVR route, that means a quick and easy burn to DVD for archiving, vs. the lower quality, but still watchable VCR.

If I go to rent a movie, it's much more a gray area as to whether I can temporarily archive a copy for personal use, but the potential stil exists. Obviously it's not ok to copy what you rent to keep a personal copy, but the gray area comes into play (IMHO) if I haven't had a chance to watch the movie yet, and my rental duration's over. I still have the option of ripping down a copy of that tape/DVD to watch when I can watch it (after all, I've paid my fee's to rent the movie - It's up to me when I actually watch it), and then erasing that copy once I have watched it.

Or, I can go the route that the big media vultures want me to go... Meaning that I pay the same fee as for the two previous methods, but I have to watch that movie within 24 hours, or it'll "disappear", effectively locking me out from watching it, whether I got to see it during that initial 24 hour period, or not.

What makes more sense here? Keep the existing freedoms and flexability that we have regarding such items, or pay the same amount of money for far fewer features and options... I don't know about you, but I personally see this as yet another way that the media companies are trying to bait us consumers into giving up our rights.

I realize that pricing's not been set yet either, but come on... Unless the movies are less than $1.00, I'm not even going to consider this. A better offer, albeit one which I would also avoid, would be to let the movie be viewable until it has been viewed once. This way, if something comes up, and I don't get to watch the movie during that 24 hour period, I still can go back to it at a later dat and get my moneys worth. Of course then you get into the nitty gritty details of what constitutes a watched movie (Did you "watch it all the way through", "What happens if I stop the movie 5 seconds before the end, or during the closing credits", etc).

Sorry... I've said it here before: I'm all for paying for the ability to download and watch shows. You can even stick a commercial or two in the mix to cover your costs! But once you start removing my freedoms, as far as what I can do with the product I've purchased, I'm going to go elsewhere.

Charge per minute (1)

polv0 (596583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066608)

Rather than spending $5 to download a movie that is going to 'expire' in 24 hours, what about a constant per-minute rate for an on-demand, live, un-recordable broadcast? Suppose that the average film is 100 minutes long, then a $.05 per minute rate would achieve the same effect as a $5 rental, but if I decide to stop watching halfway through, i've only spent $2.50, and I can shell out the $2.50 a week later when I want to pick the film back up.

A local version of what I've watched of the film could be stored and encrypted on my computer, to accomplish the p2p scalability. Best of all, if I decide the film sucks, I can stop watching it and save myself some cash.

Don't be confused by the hype... (1)

KrackHouse (628313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066506)

Most of us associate P2P with a lack of DRM. But they use our bandwidth to distribute movies thereby saving them money while using the same old crappy DRM and we're supposed to be happy?

Getting Sony's rootkit via a P2P network doesn't make you any less infected.

Would it kill them to extend the expiration? (1)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066550)

So it expires 24 hours after playback begins, not after download, which isn't as bad as it could be. Still: Would it kill them to make it expire after a month? Are they really afraid that I'll watch the movie more than once during that time, cheating them out of revenue for something that probably wasn't making any money at all for them before they offered it via p2p?

Moreover... Jerry Springer?! Why would I even bother to download that? You could pay me to download it via a superfast iTunes-like service with no DRM and I still wouldn't be interested.

This seems deliberately designed to fail. What their motivation could be, I have no idea.

The End of FCC Censorship? (1)

KrackHouse (628313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066557)

The good news is that they can use this technology to bypass the FCC and rich, campaign contributing religious folk who don't know how to use their V-Chips. Thousands are already downloading TV shows with Bittorrent and RSS listings services/apps but the shows are still limited because they're tainted by the fear of big brother. This could change that.

Some sort of DVD (1)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066562)

This is AWESOME! Maybe next they can release some sort of cheaper-priced DVD that expires after 24 hours. That would be super-keen.

Paying for P2P Content? (2, Interesting)

CheddarHead (811916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14066618)

P2P is well suited for distributing free material, but I don't really see it as suitable for distributing paid content. It seems like the whole business model is broken.

With free material everyone understands that by contributing disk space, bandwidth, and electrical power (to run their computer when they're not using it) they are helping share the burden of distributing the material. Why would I want to do this if I have to pay for the material anyway? Some might argue that I'm helping to keep the price down, but in reality I'd just be padding NBC's profit margin.

Additionally, I normally turn my computer off when I'm not using it (save's power, less vulnerable etc). Now if I was participating in a free P2P community I might leave it on as my contribution to the community but I'm not going to burn extra power to support someone else's paid download. I'm sure others would act in a similar fashion, so the number of available nodes to help with your download are likely to be very limited. Seems like this would result in very slow downloads.

Also, I can only watch the movie for 24 hours, but will it stay on my harddrive taking up disk space? Seems like it has to in order for this to be a P2P service. If everyone just deletes their expired movies, than anyone purchasing the movie would have to download it from central NBC servers. It doesn't sound like a very workable P2P setup.

Finally there's the issue of the 24 viewing window. As others have stated, that's just not enough. I don't want to own the movie forever, but I'm not going to spend hours downloading a movie I paid for and then feel pressured to watch it before it expires. With current on demand services I get the movie immeadiately so it's easier to plan for my time. If I download a movie tonight to watch tomorrow, who knows what might come up. I'd be pretty pissed if I paid for and spent hours downloading a movie and then couldn't watch because it expired. They would need to make the limit at least a couple days, if not a week.

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