[opendtv] Re: Invention: The TV-advert enforcer

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 17:55:05 -0400

John Shutt wrote:

> Bert,
> What if the Broadcasters, mean and greed lot that we
> are, got the FCC to mandate Philips "TV-Advert
> Enforcer" chip to be installed in all TV sets, STBs,
> and recording devices?  Who are you going to buy your
> television from then?
> Lest you think this is far-fetched, I simply point to
> the Broadcast Flag.

Excellent points, but I have no problem with any of that, as long as the
FCC do their job.

On the Broadcast Flag, which we have discussed many times, notice that
the *words* used by the Michael Powell FCC were extremely clear on what
consumers have to be allowed. Time shift recording must be unimpeded.
The broadcasters and CE vendors can magically prevent redistribution to
the Internet, but not to a consumer's legitimate time-shift recorder.
And not to forget the analog hole was left in place, as far as the FCC
is concerned.

If the FCC does its job right, that means enforcing this rule with
fines, if need be. So you don't get overly anxious CE vendors cavalierly
abridge our rights as consumers (I sound like a gun yahoo with the 2nd
Commandm ... I mean Amendment).

And on the side of the broadcaster, because they too have the right to
make the business work, I have long favored a compromise position in
which fast-forward would be allowed, but not outright skipping. This can
work in everyone's favor. Fast forwarding forces the viewer to PAY
ATTENTION to what's going by, so he actually does see the ad, but at the
same time it doesn't take away the viewer's control. DVDRs and PVRs do
fast forward much better than VCRs did. No wild distortion, as you got
in the cheaper VCRs.

So if the FCC does its job right, I should still be able to buy
perfectly functional CE boxes, with no mind-bending 1984-esque features.

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