[opendtv] Re: Punching Above Its Weight, Upstart Netflix Pokes at HBO - NYTimes.com

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 09:13:24 -0500

On Feb 22, 2014, at 6:08 PM, Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> 
> Yes, Craig, that's exactly what I said. And they most likely have the 
> bandwidth, because they already have their VOD service from servers within 
> their network.

See the response to John's message and articles I posted therein. The need to 
move VOD to the IP side of the business because they do not have the bandwidth 
on the live video side, and they have enhanced capabilities when they move to 
IP. But remember, this stuff is still INSIDE their walled garden.

> They would probably only need more server capacity. Remember, this is VOD. 
> What Jphn Shutt said rang a bell. At least some cable systems already use IP 
> for their VOD service (e.g. for sure Verizon FiOS does), so this would be a 
> fairly straightforward upgrade. As to being easy to get OTT sites to your TV, 
> that depends. If you're talking about the handful of sites the CE vendors 
> graciously allow you to browse, perhaps. Otherwise, it's impossible, unless 
> you do what I did or something similar (e.g. Chromecast).

One way or another, you need a device connected to the TV to access ANY digital 
video service, unless you but a smart TV, in which case the TV can access OTT 
sites. You can add the IP support to the MVPD STB, as Comcast did with John's 
Motorola STB, or you can use a PC, Roku, Apple TV, game console, or Chromecast.

I agree that some Smart TVs do not provide full access to any OTT service. My 
new LG set does, as well as allowing mirroring from my iPad, which can access 
any service.
>> Nope!  You do not need a MVPD subscription to access ANY of
>> the OTT sites you mentioned.
> That's what I said, Craig! You do not need MVPD subscriptions to get to OTT 
> sites. You claimed you did. That train has left the station. The genie can't 
> be put back in the bottle.

Stop it Bert. You know damn well what I was talking about. You CANNOT access 
OTT sites that require an MVPD username/password. PERIOD. 

I never claimed that you cannot access sites that are not linked to the walled 

> That's what I said, Craig! The networks are *not* dealing exclusively with 
> MVPDs to distribute their stuff online. They use their own OTT FOTI sites, 
> and they use free or by subscription third party OTT sites which do NOT 
> require any MVPD username/password. This is the case today. Tomorrow, it can 
> only be "more so." Yes, even for ESPN, Craig. It's just a matter of time.

Nobody said the networks deal exclusively with the MVPDs. We went through all 
of this discussing all of the ways they syndicate their content, both in the 
U.S. and in international markets.

But they DO protect some content that is only available with a MVPD 
subscription. And they do sell content to other subscription services like 
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus.

Most of the stuff that is available FOTI, is filled with ads, and has already 
run on broadcast and cable channels. They ARE learning about the value of 
catch-up VOD service, as the spokesman for Comcast mentioned in the panel 

> Thank you for understanding. So, as long as these arrangements are made in a 
> fair and non-discriminatory way, the Internet portion of the MVPD networks 
> would still be neutral. By any definition of the word neutral.

YES. As long as they do not do special deals... Time will tell!

> Things change, Craig. It's certainly foolish for the content owners to be 
> obsessing over the best interests of the technical solution they depended on 
> yesterday. The content owners are ultimately the ones that hold the cards. 
> You're saying that Henry Ford should have been concerned with the survival of 
> local blacksmiths. Instead, Henry Ford should at best have hoped, for their 
> own good, that some of these blacksmiths retrained themselves into becoming 
> car mechanics. Ditto with the content owners wrt MVPD walled gardens. Content 
> owners that don't compete over the Internet will lose out soon enough.

Yes Bert, things change. For most industries the changes brought about by the 
Internet have been rapid and traumatic.

For TV, however, the changes have been SLOW, evolutionary, and most important, 
mostly controlled by the content congloms. They are making a fortune off of the 
MVPDs, AND making good money off of the OTT sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, 
Hulu Plus, and Internet stores like iTunes and Amazon.

The content owners and the MVPDs are using the Internet, rather than being 
eaten by it, as has happened to so many other industries.
> And no, Craig, it's not a matter of waiting until 1/2 the households have 
> dropped their premium tiers. That's not how transitions work. You have to see 
> the trends and make them work for you, BEFORE THE COMPETITION pulls the rug 
> from under your feet.

The congloms are controlling the trends. They are making the Internet work FOR 
It's Netflix, Amazon, Apple et al, that are on the rug; the congloms can pull 
it out from under them whenever they please.

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