[opendtv] Re: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

  • From: Henry Baker <hbaker1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 18:49:13 -0800

I have a JVC VCR that uses the Gemstar(?) patented code that the LA Times
religiously publishes in their TV guide and the JVC cleverly looks for the
time code on the PBS channel to make sure that the clock never blinks 12:00.
With these two things, it is very easy to queue up a number of shows to watch --
almost as easy as using TiVo.

What amazes me is that only PBS ever went to the effort to broadcast the time
code; the major networks completely dropped the ball.  I suppose that they
were under the mistaken impression that VCR's would keep people from watching
their shows.  Actually, the VCR (and more recently TiVo) has made watching
certain shows possible, since they always occurred at the wrong times, or
opposite another program that we wanted to watch.  Silly, short-sighted 

At 10:00 AM 11/27/2004, Cliff Benham wrote:
>Time shifting with a VCR is the reason most people bought them.
>One tape manufacturer even brought out a cassette specifically designed for
>timeshifting reuse again and again. For that to happen, a lot more than 
>two people
>have to be timeshifting.
>The old Johnny Carson joke about the VCRs that continuously blink 12:00 is
>just that: A JOKE.
>If you really believe that only one or two people in the world have 
>mastered the
>art and science of  VCR timer setup, you are truely out of touch with 
>Since the early 1990s VCRs have automatically set their clocks and composed
>their own channel maps when you connect the cable and plug in the power so
>you don't have to mess with it. They get the time data from the local 
>PBS station
>and they sample the entire cable or off air lineup automatically and 
>store the channels
>in memory.
>How can you not know about this?
>johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>I can accept that there are two people in (North America/the U.S./New York
>>State/NYC/Manhattan or even your city block) that do this, Mark.  I also
>>suspect that the VCRs in your household don't blink 12:00 continually.
>>But, not 2% of the populace, nor 2% of total viewing hours.
>>I suspect that making this type of use easier is one of the drivers to the
>>(at this point) non-success of Tivo.  I note that they have less than 1%
>>of the populace or total viewing hours.
>>If the VCR blinks 12:00, it's useless for timed recording, so you at least
>>have to be home to start the recording so you can later view it. 
>>Otherwise, the activity becomes more burdensome.
>>What's the business model for insuring that VCRs (or TV's have the correct
>>John Willkie
>>>>Have you, for example, EVER used a VCR to watch TV programs?
>>>I can't speak for Tom, but my wife and I do so often.  We've never had a
>>>problem.  We've been doing it since 1978.

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