[opendtv] Re: McAdams On: TV Everywhere, Why Aereo Wins the PR War...

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:31:20 -0400

On Jul 15, 2013, at 4:39 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> True enough, however that particular concern should not apply to FOTA content 
> that is sent as FOTI. The Napster problem was every Tom, Dick, and Harry 
> making music available over the Internet without any viable compensation 
> mechanism for the owners. Instead in the Aereo example, there is a viable 
> compensation mechanism, because Aereo is redistributing all of the content 
> "as is." The revenue aspects (ads) included.

Truth is that you can get all kinds of video content "illegally" via the 
Internet. I do not think that Deborah was comparing Aereo to Napster. That 
comment was in regard to the sorry state of "TV Everywhere" today, and in 
particular to the use of authentication to view OTT services. You must pay to 
use the Aereo service, and as it is just a pass through service, any DRM in the 
broadcast bit stream should be preserved, which in turn should make it 
difficult to share. Obviously this is mostly a low level barrier for honest 
people - I'm sure hackers could steal the content from Aereo if they had the 

> So in fact, this is not the same thing as Napster. Napster would be more like 
> people taking ad-free cable channels and distributing them over the Internet 
> via BitTorrent.

It still boils down to the fact that the networks require authentication to 
view many of their services, including the new ABC service in New York.
>> And just how would you define a "Universal UI for  TV content?"
>> Would it include all of the programs you own on physical media, and/or
>> programs you have recorded on your DVR?
>> Would it include the EPG for your MVPD service?
>> Would it include every possible VOD instance of a program, or just
>> those that you can physically and legally access?
>> Would it include every YouTube video?
>> It's not quite as simple as you make it sound.
> Exactly. Even though I wouldn't include YouTube in the mix, the sentiment 
> Deborah articulated is what one might expect from an MVPD subscriber who has 
> been accustomed to just punch a three-number code on some box. And expecting 
> that same simplistic solution to work for Internet TV, forgetting that 
> Internet TV is way bigger than any proprietary, single MVPD. I've seen 
> similar comments from others, wrt Internet TV, so it's not a unique complaint.

A three digit code - how practical is that when there tens of thousands of 
programs out there? My cable system moved HD channels to four digit codes 
several years ago.

You are still living in the last century when we only had a handful of choices, 
and your only option was to change channels. You agree that most programs can 
be viewed "on demand" rather than by selecting a channel where programs are 
offered in time slots. 

Any universal interface to TV and movie content must be based on some kind of 
search engine or very robust program guide/search facility such as the one 
Cisco is reported to be developing. I would note that this does not preclude 
the ability to create simple "icons" to select live channels rather than 
entering the channel code for a particular MVPD.

> The way see it, OTA TV only needed a two-digit channel number for navigating 
> channels, and perhaps a weekly program guide with your Sunday paper. MVPDs 
> had to improve on this, because of the much larger choice they offered and 
> added niceties like VOD in the system. So EPGs were one necessary 
> improvement. But there is no reason now to expect the next evolutionary step, 
> Internet TV, to have to live with the restrictions that worked for an MVPD 
> walled garden!


You need a user interface for watching TV that makes it easy to select the 
stuff you watch routinely, and a robust search capability that lets you find 
content on any server you have legal access to. Thus, if you pay for HBO via 
your MVPD, the search engine should let you find HBO programming on any 
Internet server.

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