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Guest Message by DevFuse


Why can't we have European style DVRs in the US?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   JWKessler



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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:46 PM

This is an interesting story on Slate on DVR technology. Apparently the program providers believe there isn't much demand in the US to fix this problem.


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#2 OFFLINE   inkahauts


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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

Well its not the DVRs, its tribune and the channels that don't want this. They want you to watch live and that's all their is to it. Plus that would cost Money. They don't like to spend money, especially if it only encourages you to record and skip commercials.

#3 OFFLINE   KyL416


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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:35 PM

A lot of it has to do with our model of TV. In Europe most OTA stations are national and the few local channels are standalone local services with very little, if any, national programming. i.e. Outside of the optouts used for local news and weather, BBC One has the same schedule nationwide.

In the US we have to deal with networks affiliated with local stations with different ownership all doing their own things which on average carry national programming for about 6 hours a day, even less when it comes to Fox and CW. i.e. even though Fox might carry a certain game through a rain delay, local affiliates with no ties to the teams playing might opt to switch to an alternate game for the rest of the broadcast instead of going back to the rain delayed games. Then what happens when the game is over? In Europe with the national model every station does the same thing and it's very easy to push an update, provided everyone is hooked into the system. In the US a station could start their local news and delay everything that follows it, they might have started their local news on their sister station at the regular time and join it in progress whenever the game is over leaving everything else intact, or they might just show a bunch of promos until the next programming is scheduled to start.

You also have to deal with different cable and satellite providers with different technology powering their headends, settops and DVRs, especially when it comes to remuxing the video and audio streams from the stations. i.e. if you look at a raw transport stream of clear QAM channel you don't see the embedded EPG and other PSIP data that is available on the OTA channel while in Europe much of that content is passed along to allow stations to send these updates in real time. One of the benefits of everyone using the same DVB-T, DVB-S and DVB-C standard.

Europe's distribution model also makes it much easier with a lot less variation and most content originating from one source making it much easier to push these updates in real time. In the UK you have very few choices for TV nationwide, Sky satellite, Virgin Cable or Freeview OTA and some hybrid systems like BT Vision (a mix of Freeview and other content delivered via telco) and Freesat (Sky's free to air content mapped to alternate channels). Most of them pull in their channels from Sky, with some content delivered via fiber and microwave links. In the USA, we have a lot of different cable and satellite providers, and despite Comcast's and Time Warner's recent efforts, as of now no cable company has a national footprint. All of them get their stations from varying sources, master C-Band and Ku-Band feeds, direct OTA, fiber, microwave link, rebroadcasters like HITS and Olympusat, and some smaller providers even have the option to use DirecTV and Dish. In the US there are also multiple transmission formats and receiver requirements like DSS, DVB, Digicipher, PowerVu, Tandberg and VideoCipher while in the UK everything on Sky is DVB-S or DVB-S2.

Edited by KyL416, 22 June 2013 - 03:22 PM.

#4 OFFLINE   Jim5506


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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:05 PM

Program providers in the US do not want us recording THEIR programs. If the Supreme Court had not upheld fair use even the VCR would have been dead, much less the DVR.

Why do you think we have DMCA - because the programming belongs to the providers and they deign to allow us to watch it from time to time - heaven forbid we should be able to record it and be free to watch it anytime and skip commercials or - the anathema - have a device that can ship the commercials for us.

Europeans have different copyrite laws and restrictions, its a different ball game over there and over there the government has different degrees of latitude to allow or dis-allow such behavior.
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