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Dish AutoHop vs Networks Commercial Skipping Discussion

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by phrelin, May 15, 2012.

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  1. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    To those who keep debating the "legality"... that really isn't the issue here. You're missing the larger point.

    Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should.

    I keep saying this... but unless something strange happens, Dish should win any court battles that would stop AutoHop because it all seems perfectly legal to me.

    HOWEVER...

    That is not where this story ends.

    The story ends when we see the fallout. Do channels try to raise rates to recoup lost ad revenue from skipped commercials? Does Dish drop those channels?

    If you are saying "yay Dish!" now for commercial skip... will you still be saying "yay" when your channel gets dropped because they want to double their carriage rates and Dish says no to that? Somehow I'm betting a lot of customers will suddenly switch sides there.

    No matter what, I don't see an endgame here that is good for the consumer. Be careful what you wish for... you might get it.
     
  2. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    Didn't see this already posted, but it looks like DirecTV would be interested in this as well:


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/11/us-media-tech-summit-directv-idUSBRE85A1KR20120611
     
  3. jdskycaster

    jdskycaster Legend

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    ^No need to make it available because Directv customers just love to watch commercials.:)
     
  4. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    What you seem to be saying is that in 1960 when I had no VCR or DVR, I violated a copyright law or some other law by leaving the room during commercials. I didn't watch the program as was desired by my local TV station, the network, and the advertisers.

    The logical problem with your argument is that it would apply to any FF or Skip ability. AutoHop isn't different from those capabilities. The content is still delivered in a linear format from beginning to end. It is there on the DVR in that format.

    By providing a FF or skip button or a Autohop button with the software/firmware that makes the button work, DVR manufacturers (and VCR manufacturers before that) facilitate the skipping of commercials by viewers.

    But those manufacturers don't decide whether to skip commercials. The viewer makes that choice.

    When you construct your phrase as "should be shown to you in lineal format" it implies someone else is showing it to me. There is no someone else.

    I have the video exactly as it was delivered to Dish. If I want to skip the show and watch commercials, I'll do that. If I want to skip commercials and watch the show, I'll do that. If I decide I don't want to watch the show, I'll delete it off of my DVR.

    The issue ultimately must focus on what my pressing the buttons mean and, perhaps, whether the technology that allows me to press the buttons should be made available to me because it is specifically designed to somehow steal from another person.

    Given previous court decisions regarding VCR technology and OTA TV, I don't believe my local Fox station KTVU has a case against me choosing (a) to have an intermediary between the station and me such as a cable or satellite company and (b) to use my skip button or AutoHop.

    Whether Fox and KTVU could make a case against the Echostar/Dish AutoHop technology is unclear. If Dish actually modifies the audio/video stream provided to the uplink facility, maybe. But if they don't, then it's going to be tough to argue that giving me a little better control over my DVR is illegal.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Care to provide proof of such a copyright? US Code or a CFR reference that says copyrighted material must be presented in it's entirety even if a user has decided they do not wish to view the entire presentation? (Noting that such wording would also make any skipping illegal.)

    Find the law DISH is violating.
     
  6. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    I think that's unfair to Inky.

    You're right: he's getting almost no agreement, but I don't see that he- or any DIRECTV® subscriber- wishes ill on Dish for this (or much else for that matter.)

    I've said in the past it may not have been the smartest move, as they will incur $ costs and management focus defending lawsuits, etc., but I am rooting for Dish to make this a success, even though it will hasten changes that we TV viewers everywhere, may not like.
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
    DISH practically lives in court ... there have been times where we practically needed a subforum just for the "DISH lawsuit" threads. I don't know what DISH would do if they were not suing or being sued.

    Voom, ESPN, Tivo, Distants and many more ... DISH and the court system are never far apart. :)
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Sorry, inkahauts, but as a former broadcaster, I must say that your assertion that commercials are part of a program is absolutely in error. Ad spots are definitely not a part of the program, but are inserted by the networks and/or local broadcasters.

    And by the way, it's 'therefor', not "there fore".
     
  9. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    About that subforum with sticky threads for active lawsuits....;)
     
  10. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    You know - we wouldn't all be cheering for this technology quite so hard IF the networks / broadcasters hadn't gotten so greedy and siphoned off almost 20 minutes per hour of programming for ads. 10 minutes per hour wouldn't be that hard to stomach, but 20 ? Let's get real - they are only kidding themselves if they think ANYONE ( including inkahauts) is watching every second of every commercial, whether the ad is one they've seen recently or not...
     
  11. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Some food for thought...

    I know we all like to blame networks for selling ad space instead of airing content... but consider the other side of the equation.

    IF you are a content-producer... and say you get 1 million for an episode of your show... would you rather produce a 50 minute show for that 1 million? OR a 40 minute show for that same 1 million?

    My guess is that the producers and showrunners haven't really complained that much at being able to only produce 40 minutes of content per hour rather than 50 minutes since those extra 10 minutes cost them more to produce.

    IF the showrunners wanted longer episodes, then our DVDs and Blu-rays would no doubt contain those longer "unedited" versions... and yet they usually don't. There are some exceptions, but usually the DVDs aren't containing longer versions of these shows than what airs originally.

    Yes, I know syndication cuts episodes down even further for more commercials... but I'm talking about the original first-run airing.

    So... I kind of think the producers and the networks are in synch here... where the network agrees to pay for the timeslot and not necessarily the length of the program delivered to them... and of course a shorter episode allows the network to sell more ad space which they like so they might be willing to pay more for a shorter episode than for a longer one.
     
  12. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Has nothing to do with me being a directv sub at all. I'd be saying the same thing if directv did this. It's bad for us all. And they could have got around all this if they did what I suggested too. They knew they where picking a fight with this too, so they knew what they where doing was questionable in their minds from a legal standpoint.

    I don't think I will get much agreement on this and don't expect it, because it is an awesome feature and who wouldn't want it as a consumer? Many will spin it in dish favor because they want the feature.

    I don't think the networks do very much right these days but for once I do believe they are completely right on this because it is completely different in how it works for skipping commercials today by every other method out there and if dish wins nothing but bad will come form it for everyone everywhere.

    Years ago when replaytv launched this I had also thought it was bad. They should have just given us all a skip button to jump to the end of a commercial break rather than automatically skipping them all without user input, and I'll reiterate that again for dish. That gets around the legality question completely. Instead dish is pushing something in hopes of gaining more bargaining power but doesn't see how this is just the wrong way to go about getting more bargaining power.
     
  13. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    The viewer doesn't choose the start and stop points of the skipping dish does. Can you agree with that statement?
     
  14. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I did note that In my post and also noted that those vcrs where not owned and controlled by the provider. Plus that wasn't really a skipping of comercials it was an automated fast forwarding of the commercials. That's also different.
     
  15. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Actually I think that was a swipe at dish for the benefit of the networks and him implicit on stating he won't touch that to the networks.

    They seem to be going in the opposite direction by now offering local commercials to nation cable channels like all cable companies do.
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    First, I have said many times that only the end user may decide what to skip or how to alter what is viewed. That tosses out your first sentence.

    Second, why should it matter where dish alters what you view, if it's at the uplink site or at the DVR, if they are altering it, they are altering it. (set aside the debate of they are actually altering it for a second while you consider what I just said.)

    Third if dish is the one determining the start and end point of what part of the program to skip, how can you say that is the same as using ffwd or skip? It's not at all. Again, take the they are only skipping commercials out of it, because I have never heard of any law saying that it's ok to alter the viewing stream, as long as its not the main program. It's you can't alter any of it if you are the provider without consent. Dish has no consent that I can tell.

    And dish is that someone else if they are picking the start and end point of what parts of the program to skip from the original linear format, and they are doing it without any guidance other than go ahead and do it from the customer.

    The key thing you said is that the viewer decides to skip the commercials. That may be the end result, but they are telling dish to figure it out and skip the commercials, and choose what points those commercials start and end, and dish is not allowed to do that, even if the customer says its ok, because the customer isn't the one that can approve that.

    This isn't about dish giving you better control over your DVR. This is about dish altering what you watch if you ask them to. They do all the work and change the viewing stream.
     
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    So when dish signs a deal to rebroadcast a local FOX station, they only have to air the actual main program, and can sell all their own ads? They only buy the rights to rebroadcast the actual main show? It seems like you are saying what the network is providing to dish and what a production company is providing the network are the same thing, and i cant see any contract being written that way. Please do some more explaining as to how a contract for dish to rebroadcast a station allows them to alter parts or the programing and limits it to commercials or other non main program programing.I have not been talking about the actual specific program that is being broadcast, but the entire channel as what dish has purchased to rebroadcast. I doubt you can show me a contract that says they can pick and choose what to broadcast that an individual station provides them, without express authorization.

    And hey, sometimes, apple just disagrees with proper English grammar. Oh well. :)
     
  18. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I haven't watched a scripted program live in many many years. I skip all commercials for the most part.

    You could not be more right about how they are shortening the programs and then ticking everyone off even more by claiming that if sat can charge customers for their signal they should be getting a piece of that, rather than realizing it costs dish and DIRECTV millions of dollars a year to rebroadcast their signal, and I doubt there is any way any station could prove dish or DIRECTV are making money directly off the money they charge for local channel broadcasts.

    It's really &)&/(;&#*\£!|% what the networks do.

    By the way, do we have a court date yet? I'm eager to see if there are any injunctions in place before the start of the next fall season. I thinks that is the main reason dish released this at the start of summer. That way if there is an injunction, it won't tick off to many customers because I doubt this will get to much use till the fall season premieres.
     
  19. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    True it's FW but it does automatically mark the start and end of the commercials and the FW occurs without any action by the viewer. In this way it's identical to AutoHop.

    Not that it really matters how it's accomplished (I know you think that's the important part but as far as the broadcasters are concerned, the net effect would be the same whether it's FW or skip).

    I believe unless the courts side with the broadcasters, which I see as unlikely, it will be bad for the consumer. It'll cost us even more out of pocket each month. IMHO, that's where this is all leading.

    Mike
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You have yet to prove that anything DISH has done is illegal.

    Please cite the law that DISH is violating by allowing their customers to choose to automate a skip at the beginning of a commercial by giving them the choice at the beginning of the program instead of at each break. Show us the law.

    When this gets to court the court will be looking at the law.
     
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