[opendtv] Re: Whether collusion is necessary

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 23:15:25 +0000

Dan Grimes wrote:

> I'm curious about a couple of things, Bert:
> 1.  How do you propose a TV could be built that accesses the web as a
> non-device specific web-browser so that any content that gets to a PC
> would be viewable?  It seems to me that if this was possible, it would
> done already.  If it is possible, it sounds like a good business
> opportunity.

It was done already, by Sony, in a Vaio STB I looked at a few years ago. In 
that case, the STB cost something like $1600, which is way too high even for 
Sony! But it did play BluRay as well, had all the typical TV connector options, 
pre-installed PVR software, large HDD, etc. And I could access all of the same 
sites I knew about already then, both domestic and international. So this is 
not rocket science.

Honestly, in this day of tablets, I don't see anything difficult about building 
an Internet "thin client" into TV sets or other TV appliances. Devices that 
mostly include an IP stack, web browser(s), the popular choice of codecs and 
streaming protocols, not a lot of disc space necessary since local TV content 
storage should not be necessary. The CPU should not have to be an expensive x86 
processor, although that would be a good way to be indistinguishable from a 
standard PC. In case that's really a factor here.

> 2.  If I understand your arguments correctly, it seems to me that you
> believe the content owners are not trying to block devices.  Or if you
> believe they can and do, that it is the device manufacturers that are
> the problem, allowing the content owners to do so.  Could you clarify
> your position?

Yes, I think you've stated my position well. Clearly, both effects are 
happening. The content owners did block GoogleTV devices. But I found that 
COMPLETELY understandable. Google would have done better to allow their 
TV-oriented search engine to be installed by anyone, on any PC, rather than 
making it the only possible search engine for Internet TV appliances that went 
to their solution. And the CE manufacturers should have been smart enough NOT 
to jump to this one GoogleTV solution, as if nothing else could possibly do the 
job right.

However, it's undeniable that devices like Roku, AppleTV, your own Via thing, 
our LG BluRay player, et al, are designed to access just a handful of Internet 
sites. And none of those sites include the sites I go to on a regular basis. So 
hey, if the device manufacturer won't even allow you to reach the very vast 
majority of Internet TV sites, why would anyone blame the congloms for supposed 
"blocking"? The congloms certainly haven't limited the sites my Dell PC can go 
to, right? If Dell doesn't go begging to them hat in hand, why should Sony? 
Makes no sense.

I thought it was rather humorous how Craig said that those few sites, like Hulu 
Plus, Netflix, etc., are the sites where the majority of people go. Like, duh. 
Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!


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