[opendtv] Re: Users as Toast: The Blocking of Google TV

  • From: Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:03:25 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:
> We already know for FACT that the first and second parties
> - the congloms and the MVPDs are colluding to keep their
> control over TV distribution and to keep pushing up the cost
> of these services; including the practice of bundling, that
> forces consumers to pay for content they do not watch.
> And we know that the tactics the first and second parties
> are using against what you are calling "third parties," is
> intended to force them to negotiate deals that allow the
> first and second parties to maintain both control and profits.
> I am completely baffled to understand where you see collusion
> among third parties.
Sorry, but that's not the way I see it. The original first and second parties 
were the congloms and the audience. Before Internet TV became an issue, the 
colluding third parties were the MVPDs and CE manufacturers who had a stake in 
building proprietary equipment only for one or more of the MVPDs.
Yes, I agree that the consequences of this are as you describe (bundling, 
increasing prices, etc.). However the blame for this goes to all those 
neighbors you saw running down the street, chasing down the cable truck, back 
in the 1980s. So, don't blame the congloms for trying to make a buck from the 
lemmings running down your street, Craig. The congloms are in there to maximize 
their profits, like any other business, and these "I got you by the short 
hairs" third parties are making it oh so easy for them to do so.
It should have been obvious to these people, what they were getting into. Just 
as it was obvious to me, when the press started hyping up Google TV as some 
sort of inventor of Internet TV. The hype was totally off base and would lead 
to similar shenanigans.
> Are Apple and Google in collusion with respect to the design of
> devices and software that allow you to watch Internet content on a
> big screen.
As I said previously, you don't need anything new to get Internet TV. All you 
need is for the CE manufacturers to fine tune existing software products for 
ease of use, at best. And yet, I showed articles that describe how CE 
manufacturers are supposedly "discovering" that they need to make special deals 
with content owners, and how Google was doing the same sort of thing, and how 
access was limited to only a handful of sites.
If I immediately saw a problem with this overt and unnecessary collusion, why 
would I be the least bit surprised that the congloms ALSO saw a problem with 
it? I'm not surprised. Nor should you be.
> The FCC has no problem with TVs that incorporate proprietary user
> interfaces and remote controls. That's hardware and software Bert.
Okay. Good point. As far as the FCC is concerned, as long as the devices can 
interface with the ATSC standard, the device is neutral.
Now comes Internet distribution of TV. The FCC has not regulated the Internet. 
Therefore, in the past, it has been only the consumers who have insisted that 
their devices be neutral and their ISPs be neutral, making the consumer capable 
of accessing the Internet with standard IETF protocols.
What I am seeing now is that certain people, assisted by clueless press hype, 
are trying to introduce the same umbillical bottlenecks into Internet TV as 
similar third parties did in the 1980s with MVPDs. And of course, I don't like 
And yes, it does frost me to see whining consumers playing the victim in all of 
this, when they are the cause.
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: