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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Intel to Offer A La Cart?


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#426 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

One of the things about this debate that is interesting is the idea that a la carte is about channels. Channels are a nearly century-old concept that came about because of physical realities/limitations of analog broadcast. Today, even broadcast channels are convenient relics in the form of virtual collections of digital content. This is where streamed content becomes a mechanism for offering a la carte. There is no reason someone couldn't self create a personal channel given content availability...


All true...but the term "channel" now means a set of content made available by a distributor through a given access point. Hence, the IPTV sources on Roku are called "channels" even though they are non-linear, non-broadcast sources of content.

For most of this discussion, the word "channel" should be construed in the Roku sense.

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#427 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

...Somebody is making truckloads of money.


Of course, Continuum costs quite a bit to make, as does many of the other programs on SyFy. Ghost Hunters costs more than you think as well...location shooting is expensive. It is cheaper than a traditional scripted show, no argument, but it is not cheap.

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#428 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

...Broadcom also makes cell phone chips and competes with Qualcomm. They both sell to multiple phone manufacturers. If one or the other gets ahead in features that, in turn, makes phones based on it ahead of features, which in turn drives more consumers to that. So how in the world does that not affect the chip supplier?...


Of course it does...in terms of how the allocate money to R&D, where they focus their development, etc. Just like the fact that CBS is currently trouncing NBC in the ratings will drive NBC to try new content while discarding the old. What the consumer does not have much influence over is the terms under which Broadcomm and Qualcomm make their products available to manufacturers, just as viewers have little influence over how Viacom and Comcast sell the CBS and NBC content to DirecTV and other MCOs.

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#429 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

All true...but the term "channel" now means a set of content made available by a distributor through a given access point. Hence, the IPTV sources on Roku are called "channels" even though they are non-linear, non-broadcast sources of content.

For most of this discussion, the word "channel" should be construed in the Roku sense.


I'm not sure about that. Those are completely different models and have different costs and consumer appeal.

A la carte still means linear channels typically purchased one by one or as a like group (as in HBO being considered one channel for a la carte purchases).

Roku type channels are more provider than real channels and vary from all you can eat shows/movies or individual purchases. The Amazon "channel" has both via Prime and non-Prime channels (or non-Prime customers). Throw in season purchases as well.

No way does Joe Six Pack think of buying a season of Doctor Who on Amazon as "a la carte" and it is to Joe Six Pack we must examine any appeal of any model/product line.

Can we agree to keep models separate or the whole thing blurs into a muddy mess.
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#430 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

...
Somebody is making truckloads of money.


Yeah and contrary to popular belief by many anti sports people, it's the regular cable networks who are greedy with high cash flow margins and not sports networks like ESPN.

http://www.tvnewsche...t-retrans-value

"In addition, sports networks typically have lower cash flow margins than general entertainment and other genres," the reports says. "ESPN, for instance, which makes up almost 15% of industry revenue, has a cash flow margin of just 25.3%."


Looks like it's the non sports channels that are the greedy ones.
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#431 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

I'd just rather see that pile of money get us MORE content by working together instead of less content for more money ... which is the eventual result of a la carte.


A la carte is just a perceived means to an end.

I haven't seen much change in the quantity or quality of content. I already pay for channels upgrading to HD with my $120/yr HD fee.

In a large mature industry like this one would expect increases to be around inflation.

Facts: Since 2009...
  • DirecTV has gone up 24%
  • inflation was about 7%
  • median household incomes gained about 1%


#432 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

Yeah and contrary to popular belief by many anti sports people, it's the regular cable networks who are greedy with high cash flow margins and not sports networks like ESPN.

http://www.tvnewsche...t-retrans-value


Looks like it's the non sports channels that are the greedy ones.


It is not so much the greed of ESPN et al, but the overall "greed" of sports in general. I think SR has mentioned several times the large contracts that the sports channels are giving to teams, leagues and conferences. Just look at the recent TW/Lakers/Dodgers deals.
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#433 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Just like the fact that CBS is currently trouncing NBC in the ratings will drive NBC to try new content while discarding the old.


And this is new? CBS has been way ahead of NBC for a long time I suspect. It sure is on my playlist.

NBC needs to try an entirely new strategy, not just new content. They fling stuff out there and then kill it before it ever has a chance.

#434 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

Of course, Continuum costs quite a bit to make, as does many of the other programs on SyFy. Ghost Hunters costs more than you think as well...location shooting is expensive. It is cheaper than a traditional scripted show, no argument, but it is not cheap.


Typical SyFy formula for "science fiction":

Take a futuristic science fiction story concept and place it in the dumpiest location you can find, make it really dark so you can't see the joke that it is, sprinkle in a minute or so of cgi each episode and call it good.

Lots of times it looks like it was made with a consumer camera and edited on a Mac in somebodies basement.

All that stuff may be expensive but that doesn't mean it should be.

Typical road or utility projects are expensive too. It cost money to have 4 supervisors standing around watching 1 worker.

#435 ONLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:30 AM

Typical SyFy formula for "science fiction":

Take a futuristic science fiction story concept and place it in the dumpiest location you can find, make it really dark so you can't see the joke that it is, sprinkle in a minute or so of cgi each episode and call it good.

Lots of times it looks like it was made with a consumer camera and edited on a Mac in somebodies basement.

All that stuff may be expensive but that doesn't mean it should be.

Typical road or utility projects are expensive too. It cost money to have 4 supervisors standing around watching 1 worker.

As you cheapen the cost of production you also reduce the production value. I can tell a show that was written for network TV, superstation TV, cable, and web. They all have their look and feel, and as production quality drops, so does viewership, which in turn reduces the marketing value.

If those are linear functions, or if reducing the cost is faster than the rate of marketing value, all is good. New equipment can make that happen.

But writing, acting, directing, etc. often reduces the marketing value much faster than the rate for reducing the cost.

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#436 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

And this is new? CBS has been way ahead of NBC for a long time I suspect. It sure is on my playlist.

NBC needs to try an entirely new strategy, not just new content. They fling stuff out there and then kill it before it ever has a chance.


That wasn't my point. My point was the parallels between Broadcomm/Qualcomm competition and CBS/NBC competition. You have made the case that the TV industry has no competition, and I have been pointing out where it does. You have assumed that you are the network's customer in the same way Nokia is Qualcomm's. I was pointing out that Nokia is more comparable to DirecTV and you can influence a network's business dealings about as much as you can Qualcomm's.

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#437 OFFLINE   Tubaman-Z

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

Typical SyFy formula for "science fiction":

Take a futuristic science fiction story concept and place it in the dumpiest location you can find, make it really dark so you can't see the joke that it is, sprinkle in a minute or so of cgi each episode and call it good.

Lots of times it looks like it was made with a consumer camera and edited on a Mac in somebodies basement.

All that stuff may be expensive but that doesn't mean it should be.

Typical road or utility projects are expensive too. It cost money to have 4 supervisors standing around watching 1 worker.


FWIW - Continuum is made/produced in Canada where it has completed its 1st season. SyFy licensed it to show in the US. But your point on the quality of many shows airing on Syfy (my personal favorites Warehouse 13 and Farscape notwithstanding :) is valid. To the topic at hand...SyFy is available for streaming via PlayOn. Limited content is available via Roku.

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#438 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

As you cheapen the cost of production you also reduce the production value. I can tell a show that was written for network TV, superstation TV, cable, and web. They all have their look and feel, and as production quality drops, so does viewership, which in turn reduces the marketing value.

If those are linear functions, or if reducing the cost is faster than the rate of marketing value, all is good. New equipment can make that happen.

But writing, acting, directing, etc. often reduces the marketing value much faster than the rate for reducing the cost.


Everyone in the ecosystem that creates and delivers a product deserves to make a good living. I would add that the statement applies to any industry anywhere.

What is wrong with the current system is that the consumer has very little feedback unlike just about any other product. Most things are tied up in knots. The only people that don't pay for SyFy are those that don't have TV service or are on the lowest tier package.

I am willing to pay more for better content. The lack of a free market prevents content creators from getting that money.

It's a stupid system.

And BTW, I've seen the cheapening/devaluation of labor. I used to do software engineering! Ask engineers about the many jobs that were shipped to India/China and the remaining jobs demanding 2 or 3 times the output for the same money.

Maybe that is the root of everything - increasingly unjustifiable redistribution of wealth.

#439 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

I am willing to pay more for better content. The lack of a free market prevents content creators from getting that money.


But you can today. Buy all your choice of entertainment on DVD or Blu Ray or PPV.

And stop claiming there is a lack of free market. It is an unintelligent use of the term. A free market refers to a lack of GOVERNMENT restriction. While the market is regulated, when it comes to how content is provided, there is little government restriction other than who gets the airwave rights. The content itself is purely market driven.

You decry the lack of a free market in several posts then want more government regulation in others. You cannot have it both ways.
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#440 ONLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

Everyone in the ecosystem that creates and delivers a product deserves to make a good living. I would add that the statement applies to any industry anywhere.

What is wrong with the current system is that the consumer has very little feedback unlike just about any other product. Most things are tied up in knots. The only people that don't pay for SyFy are those that don't have TV service or are on the lowest tier package.

I am willing to pay more for better content. The lack of a free market prevents content creators from getting that money.

It's a stupid system.

And BTW, I've seen the cheapening/devaluation of labor. I used to do software engineering! Ask engineers about the many jobs that were shipped to India/China and the remaining jobs demanding 2 or 3 times the output for the same money.

Maybe that is the root of everything - increasingly unjustifiable redistribution of wealth.


There are two parts to this. You presume you are the buyer of content. As Diana points out, it is the marketers that are the real buyers. So you're control is limited as a non buyer.

But... You still have lots of control by your choices of what you watch. If you don't watch shows, they get less money. That is market control.

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#441 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

And stop claiming there is a lack of free market. It is an unintelligent use of the term. A free market refers to a lack of GOVERNMENT restriction. While the market is regulated, when it comes to how content is provided, there is little government restriction other than who gets the airwave rights. The content itself is purely market driven.


You're operating with blinders. Look up free market. It is government OR MONOPOLIES. Or, as another poster pointed out a better word with similar meaning for market realities, OLIGOPOLY. Which TV services are.

I'm done with these arguments as my words keep getting twisted into definitions that are incorrect in an attempt to blunt the argument. Looking back at my posts there a lot of valid points that everyone just ignores rather than coming up with a useful argument - because their isn't one. In my days in corporate america when management did this we called it what it was - deflection. It's been interesting but I've had enough.

#442 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Well, take care.

Next time you posit your POV, try to omit the analogies, which, however clever and right on for a segment of the discussion, always go astray. And time gets lost discussing the analogy, not the central issue.

Interesting to note that most monopolies and oligopolies start out with many providers, and through competition and sometimes through manipulation and agression end up with a handful of providers, or one, as in the case of JD Rockefeller and oil.

With TV, initially there were a number of providers, soon whittled down to the big three networks. Delivering only OTA. Then came local cable companies and DBS- the BUGs, later the small dishes. Then FIOS, then internet. So over the past generation, we've seen delivery proliferate; just the opposite of oligopolistic behavior.
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#443 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

You're operating with blinders. Look up free market. It is government OR MONOPOLIES. Or, as another poster pointed out a better word with similar meaning for market realities, OLIGOPOLY. Which TV services are.

I'm done with these arguments as my words keep getting twisted into definitions that are incorrect in an attempt to blunt the argument. Looking back at my posts there a lot of valid points that everyone just ignores rather than coming up with a useful argument - because their isn't one. In my days in corporate america when management did this we called it what it was - deflection. It's been interesting but I've had enough.


We do not have a free market economy. Also, there is no monopoly.
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#444 OFFLINE   studechip

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

We do not have a free market economy. Also, there is no monopoly.


Strictly speaking, no one has a free market economy. It's virtually impossible to achieve. unixguru is correct when he said tv services are an oligopoly.

#445 OFFLINE   studechip

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

Well, take care.

Next time you posit your POV, try to omit the analogies, which, however clever and right on for a segment of the discussion, always go astray. And time gets lost discussing the analogy, not the central issue.

Interesting to note that most monopolies and oligopolies start out with many providers, and through competition and sometimes through manipulation and agression end up with a handful of providers, or one, as in the case of JD Rockefeller and oil.

With TV, initially there were a number of providers, soon whittled down to the big three networks. Delivering only OTA. Then came local cable companies and DBS- the BUGs, later the small dishes. Then FIOS, then internet. So over the past generation, we've seen delivery proliferate; just the opposite of oligopolistic behavior.


There are many tv service providers, but most aren't available to any one person. There are rarely more than three choices, Directv, Dish, or cable. Some have Uverse or FIOS, but the last two aren't widely available. You could call ota a choice, but it's got little content compared to satellite or cable. Internet could also be considered a choice, but it's not that easy for someone who isn't tech savvy to access a wide variety of programming. Most people use the internet for checking their email and going to Facebook!

#446 OFFLINE   wmb

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:02 PM

Here is a quote from an article at the Financial Times...

TV has immense staying power and will coexist with digital video for years, but if fans are going to illegal sites for episodes they cannot find legally, content owners are needlessly missing out on potential download, subscription and ad revenue.

They are also annoying their customers. As James McQuivey of Forrester Research puts it in his book, Digital Disruption, “what has changed is consumers’ ability to get what they want. This has led them to expect that their needs and wants can and should be met”.


http://www.ft.com/cm...l#axzz2LUizMIJH

#447 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

Ghost Hunters costs more than you think as well...location shooting is expensive.

I'm pretty sure there is a breakdown somewhere on how much it cost to do The Blair Witch Project. All you need is a cheap consumer camcorder with IR capability and a few fancy looking charts and graphs on computer monitors scattered about to look like instrumentation. The production part could be thrown together on a notebook computer or two. What money there is is probably tied up in "talent".
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#448 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

Interesting...

Intel's Cable Destroying Media Project Is Blowing Away The People Who See It

Read more: http://www.businessi...4#ixzz2PzH3IY6f
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#449 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:21 AM

Interesting...

Intel's Cable Destroying Media Project Is Blowing Away The People Who See It

Read more: http://www.businessi...4#ixzz2PzH3IY6f


This puts to bed the idea that it'll save money.

As CEO Erik Huggers told attendees at the All Things D media conference in February, this isn't a service for cord-cutters or anyone who wants a cut-rate cable package...


If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#450 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:13 PM

This puts to bed the idea that it'll save money.


Not only that, but the enthusiastic description,

he says it has "a gorgeous interface," a "simple remote," a better video recording system, and better social features.


leaves out two rather important factors: Content and PQ.....
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