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Guest Message by DevFuse

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AT&T, DirecTV back MPAA's DVR-blocking initiative. DTLA & Tivo want conditions set fi


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64 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:13 AM

Thanks, Ken S for the submission:

Hollywood's controversial request for a waiver on Selectable Output Control (SOC) has finished the first phase of its cycle. Monday was the last day for comments on the big studio's petition for a lift of the Federal Communications Commission's ban on SOC. About 20 prominent parties have filed on the issue. Not surprisingly, TV content streamers AT&T and DIRECTV stand out among supporters of the plan, but there are nay-sayers and skeptics too.

Here's the article...http://arstechnica.c...initiative.html


Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
those of DBSTalk.com, DIRECTV, DISH, The Signal Group, or any other company.

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#2 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:54 AM

The first time I can't time-shift a premium channel program (not PPV) or regular network show is the day I cancel my paid TV service, permanently. :nono:

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#3 OFFLINE   Draconis

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:55 AM

Interesting...

#4 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:57 AM

I fully expect a good number of you to disagree with me.




I think this falls in the same category as Movies Now. Even though it impacts absolutely zero of the content currently offered, people will argue that it limits their usage. People will complain about not having the ability to record a show that otherwise would not be available for viewing.

If the studios want to be able to release movies for distribution on DirecTV in a timeline similar to theatrical release, would it not make sense that they limit the usage to that of a theatrical release. It is illegal to record a movie when you watch it in a theater. If the timeline is limited to this period, it will have zero impact on current content.

The studios own the content. They can certainly write the rules regarding the use of said content within the bounds of the law. They always have the option of not showing the content if the legal requirements (like SOC) are not favorable.

In short, you have to accept these rules if you want to see these movies in your home in that time period. Otherwise, they will stick to the status quo and you will only see those movies at that time in theaters (with very similar restrictions and possibly higher price tag).

Now, as consumers we have some leverage as well. The studios have to make this attractive to us. Obviously, recording it seems to be off the table from their perspective. So the price should be attractive compared to theater or it will not sell.

#5 OFFLINE   drx792

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:59 AM

this doesnt look good. I noticed the article stated that it could give the option to downscale HD. WHY!!!!!?? what in gods name is the purpose of that! If anyone implements this it shows no respect towards their customer base that pays for HD service!

#6 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:00 AM

The first time I can't time-shift a premium channel program (not PPV) or regular network show is the day I cancel my paid TV service, permanently. :nono:


Every real document I have read concerning this (not a third-hand opinion piece) has stated that this relates to PPV-type movies before they would ever be released on PPV. This means paying to see a movie while (or just after) it is available in theaters and well before it was release in a traditional PPV model or on a premium channel. It would appear to have no impact whatsoever on the status quo for normal PPV (on a normal timeframe) or on premium channels.


This is an alternative to going to a theater, not a change to PPV or the premium channels.

#7 OFFLINE   skyboysea

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:02 AM

The way it is now, new releases get on DVD way before they get on PPV making, in my opinion, PPV useless (why pay $5 for PPV when I can rent the same movie for less).
If this option will give Directv the opportunity to offer more new releases I have no problem with it.

#8 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:03 AM

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#9 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:04 AM

well at least it's only for pre release stuff.. but you have to wonder if more would come after.. If I can't record my regular stuff I guess I just quit watching..

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#10 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:09 AM

well at least it's only for pre release stuff.. but you have to wonder if more would come after.. If I can't record my regular stuff I guess I just quit watching..


And you wouldn't be alone. If they tamper with the status quo on previously available material, they would be opening themselves to fairly harsh review for fair use.

#11 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:09 AM

This is an alternative to going to a theater, not a change to PPV or the premium channels.


The thing is, I already have viable alternatives, and I can time-shift, pause, or record them to a DVD burner for later viewing if I want to. That's what "fair use" under the U.S. Supreme Court Betamax decision says I can do.

All this will do is encourage people to stay out of theaters (already not the most profitable of businesses) and watch in the same limited ways, albeit without the bad popcorn and gum under the seats. Not much of an improvement, given the loss of the rest of the good parts of the theater experience.

No thanks - I will wait for the HBO/Showtime premier, or watch it on DVD or Blu-Ray later.

And again, if this is extended to regular network programming or the premiums, I'm canceling my service. Period. I will find plenty of other things to do with my time - which, basically, is why I have 5 DVRs in my house in the first place: to watch things AROUND my schedule and at my convenience.

The consumer electronics industry gets this principle; the content providers just don't.

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#12 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:13 AM

If the studios want to be able to release movies for distribution on DirecTV in a timeline similar to theatrical release, would it not make sense that they limit the usage to that of a theatrical release. It is illegal to record a movie when you watch it in a theater. If the timeline is limited to this period, it will have zero impact on current content.


This is an alternative to going to a theater, not a change to PPV or the premium channels.


This sums it up vey well:

Toe in the water, Camels nose under the tent flap, Door to door salesman's foot in the door.


It is the first step in incrementalism. DirecTV supports it now because it will allow them to provide more PPV content, ergo more profits for them. But how long until it is applied to premium movie channels and then regular cable programs and then network TV?

I would rather wait a few months for it to hit regular PPV or a premium than go down this slippery slope.

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Why can I get to the "Adult's Only" area faster than I can get to the "ToDo" List?  DirecTV, that is messed up!!!


#13 OFFLINE   bhelton71

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:15 AM

I fully expect a good number of you to disagree with me.




I think this falls in the same category as Movies Now. Even though it impacts absolutely zero of the content currently offered, people will argue that it limits their usage. People will complain about not having the ability to record a show that otherwise would not be available for viewing.

If the studios want to be able to release movies for distribution on DirecTV in a timeline similar to theatrical release, would it not make sense that they limit the usage to that of a theatrical release. It is illegal to record a movie when you watch it in a theater. If the timeline is limited to this period, it will have zero impact on current content.

The studios own the content. They can certainly write the rules regarding the use of said content within the bounds of the law. They always have the option of not showing the content if the legal requirements (like SOC) are not favorable.

In short, you have to accept these rules if you want to see these movies in your home in that time period. Otherwise, they will stick to the status quo and you will only see those movies at that time in theaters (with very similar restrictions and possibly higher price tag).

Now, as consumers we have some leverage as well. The studios have to make this attractive to us. Obviously, recording it seems to be off the table from their perspective. So the price should be attractive compared to theater or it will not sell.


I agree in general this is a lot like Movies Now. And the idea sounds good for providers like DirecTV - gives them a competitive edge if they can offer movies prior to general release. And as a premium services allows a higher price point. Bravo!

What I am uncomfortable with is the potential precedent this could create. This sure smells a whole lot like "well lets get our foot in the door with something attractive". Then we immediately proceed to can't record Ghostbusters from TNT since you could record it to DVD later.

I am somewhat surprised that providers like DirecTV and ATT are willing to hand over control of their equipment to the studios in this manner with no conditions. I 100% agree with DTLA "First, the waiver must be limited to early-delivery high-definition movies, and for a limited time." - and I would add - only first run . There should be conditions and these two look naive.

#14 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:16 AM

Here are some related threads from last month about this topic:

Does DIRECTV favor MPAA proposal to lift DVR Control Ban?

FCC may make DVR design harder, and limit functionality with SOC

#15 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:17 AM

The thing is, I already have viable alternatives, and I can time-shift, pause, or record them to a DVD burner for later viewing if I want to. That's what "fair use" under the U.S. Supreme Court Betamax decision says I can do.

All this will do is encourage people to stay out of theaters (already not the most profitable of businesses) and watch in the same limited ways, albeit without the bad popcorn and gum under the seats. Not much of an improvement, given the loss of the rest of the good parts of the theater experience.

No thanks - I will wait for the HBO/Showtime premier, or watch it on DVD or Blu-Ray later.

And again, if this is extended to regular network programming or the premiums, I'm canceling my service. Period. I will find plenty of other things to do with my time - which, basically, is why I have 5 DVRs in my house in the first place: to watch things AROUND my schedule and at my convenience.

The consumer electronics industry gets this principle; the content providers just don't.


To a lot of people the theater experience amounts to watching a DLP projection of a movie with overpriced food. The home theater quality is starting to rival that of the theater but with a better price (maybe) and much better food.

It is not the consumer's place to support theaters if they don't feel the value is there. It is the theaters' responsibility to represent a value to the consumer.

Fair use does not extend to material not available. It is hard to record a show that is not offered.

Obviously, if they limited recording of premium channels or basic channels in any way, many of us would send in our DVRs and cancel services immediately. Since the DVR and HD DVR crowd represents DirecTV's best customer base (highest spend per account) it would be foolish for them to support that notion in any way. But this isn't about movies you get now through PPV, premium or basic channels. This is about material released on a different timeline.


If you want to push for the same interpretation of fair use on all new offerings, you will have fewer new offerings. The theaters would gladly thank you for supporting their business model. Supporting the continued enforcement of fair use on currently available content is a different discussion entirely.

#16 OFFLINE   Upstream

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:31 AM

Interesting that DirecTV is lobbying in favor of the limits.

I wonder if this is approved, and customers start complaining that they can't pause a movie on their DVR, whether DirecTV will claim "it's not our fault, the studios insisted on it," just like they do with 24-hour PPV.

#17 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:39 AM

Interesting that DirecTV is lobbying in favor of the limits.

I wonder if this is approved, and customers start complaining that they can't pause a movie on their DVR, whether DirecTV will claim "it's not our fault, the studios insisted on it," just like they do with 24-hour PPV.


DirecTV is in favor of a different product offering as a new source of revenue.


And PPV limits are obviously the fault of DirecTV, Dish and every other provider out there adhering to the same limitation. They all conspired to irritate their customers as part of a massive conspiracy. They all flew to the meeting in their black helicopters.

If you want to find a villain for the 24-hour limit, look to the studios that put the limits there.

#18 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:40 AM

If it is supported by anyone, it should have specific limitations regarding the time after initial theatrical release when said restrictions could be in place.

#19 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

In this day of higher and higher gas prices and costs at the theaters themselves, I think it would be great to see, for example, the new Batman movie at home in the first few weeks or month of it's release. At least there would be a chance of me seeing it then as I've taken a pass on going to theaters for a couple of years now unless it's something I REALLY want to see.

If that means I can't record it, and would have to deal with the 10 minutes of commercials at the beginning as we seem to be doomed to now in the theaters anyway, so be it. Run a new release this way for a couple of weeks, then it drops out of circulation until the time it comes out on DVD.

I can certainly see a purpose for that and would be fine with what restrictions they are imposing.

Beyond that point - keep your dirty, filthy, grubby hands off of my ability to record and watch what I want, when I want!!!

#20 OFFLINE   bwaldron

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 11:23 AM

Toe in the water, Camels nose under the tent flap, Door to door salesman's foot in the door.


Yep. I don't like this at all -- not because it would immediately affect me, but just one more little slide down the slope.

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