[mythtv-users] Supporting schedulesdirect.org

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Thu Aug 9 16:27:15 UTC 2007

On Thu, Aug 09, 2007 at 09:22:10AM -0400, Jeff Simpson wrote:
> My thoughts:

My uninformed replies:  :-)

> The original problem, as I understand it, is that people were either
> using Zap2It service to support their commercial products, or people
> were re-distributing the data they downloaded, which they are not
> licensed to do. So question 1:

The latter is clearly bad, but not what I heard was happening.  As
noted in my other posting, the former doesn't seem criminal as long as
each user had a separate account.

>  - How does schedules direct solve that? It seems like paying $X/month
> for an account won't prevent people from re-distributing the data
> illegally. In fact...

It will if the data bundles are signed.  :-)

> - Apart from the terms of agreement, what prevents a user from signing
> up for an account, downloading the data every day, and allowing others
> to get the data from him for free?

See above, and see also [[Canary trap]].

> - Are accounts per-machine, per-household, or something else? What
> prevents me from pooling together a few thousand of my close friends
> on mythtv-users to get one account?

I would *hope* they're "per-household"; we'll likely find out in a day
or two.

> - Since labs.Zap2It and MythTV were both free services, anything that
> went wrong was considered just another expected glitch in the free
> software world. If schedulesdirect is going to be a paid service,
> expectations are going up. What kind of customer service, reliability
> and data quality should we expect for our payment?

Likely this will be in the terms of service, which will probably see by
the end of the weekend.  Practically, though most of the problems I saw
were DD not Z2l, and we can't necessarily change those.

> - Obviously it is in mythTV's best interest to have a working
> schedule-grabber for north America, but is schedulesdirect going to
> have a completely separate tech support mailinglist/forum, or will it
> just be part of mythTV like labs.zap2it was? Since it's a commercial
> service, is it fair to rely on the community for tech support needs,
> or is it really a non-profit sort of service provider?

I would suspect they'll run their own ML/forums (vBulletin is worth
paying the money for, guys).

"Rely"?  No.  But I'm sure some people will help out informally anyway;
it's the nature of the beast.

I will...

> The biggest thing I'm worried about is being undercut by TIVO. The
> draw of mythTV is flexibility and cost. If the schedulesdirect fees
> end up being the same or MORE expensive than a Tivo fee, I expect that
> I and many others will be switching to tivo.

As has been noted before in the list this week: the capabilites, and
the expansion capabiliy in particular, of Myth vs TiVo is such a large
disparity that all I can say to such people is "don't let the door hit
you in the ass on the way out".

> When are we going to have a working system to test with? We're only a
> few weeks from the blackout date, and it would be nice to have some
> parallel systems in place so that we can make sure everything is
> working before "going live".

Based on other things they've said, I expect "days", which is nice,
since I'm just about done rebuilding my sis's box.  :-)

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      jra at baylink.com
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates     http://baylink.pitas.com                     '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://photo.imageinc.us             +1 727 647 1274

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