[mythtv-users] tv_grab_au (rex): some channels missing

Peter Schachte schachte at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Fri Sep 8 04:09:25 UTC 2006

On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 09:04:17AM +0800, tj wrote:
> It's amazing when HDTV was touted as the next-gen TV experience a few years
> back, I spent thousands and countless hours getting all this to work... And
> then what? For the FTA to shoot themselves in the foot? Why are they trying so
> hard for the masses to  stay off FTA?

You need to look at it from their point of view.  The networks have
evolved their practices over half a century or so, and were probably
asuming that they'd be able to keep them unchanged and keep making
money.  When VCRs appeared, they realized that people who record their
programs to watch later could fast forward through commercials at 7x
speed, and when advertisers realized that, the party would be over.
Clearly the sky was falling, so they fought VCRs in the courts.  They
lost that battle, but the sky didn't fall in, because most people
couldn't figure out how to program a VCR, or couldn't be bothered fast
forwarding through the ads.  And even for those who did record and
fast forward through commercials, the logistical problems of
organizing and managing a collection of tapes meant that they wouldn't
record very many programs.  Most viewing was still live.

Now the networks face the spectre of PVRs with multiple tuners and fat
hard disks, where people can record everything they want, watch it
when they want, and skip through commercials 30 second at a time
(worse, with MythTV, skip whole commercial breaks without lifting a
finger).  Now the networks face the very real prospect that most of
its viewers won't watch their commercials at all in the not too
distant future.  Clearly this really is threatening to their current
business models, so of course they'll fight it with everything they've
got, and of course they'll try to prevent the appearance of a good
free EPG.

But of course they'll lose in the end, though they may be able to hold
it off for a few more years.  Eventually they're going to have to work
with advertisers to embed advertising directly into programming, or
find some other way to make people want to watch advertising.
Otherwise advertising agencies will start producing engaging content
(with an advertising message) themselves and upload it somewhere, and
everyone will get their programming over the internet from youtube or
something like it, and broadcast television will be exclusively
public television.

Peter Schachte              Any man under 30 who is not a liberal has no
schachte at cs.mu.OZ.AU        heart, and any man over 30 who is not a
www.cs.mu.oz.au/~schachte/  conservative has no brains.
Phone: +61 3 8344 1338          -- Winston Churchill 

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list