[mythtv-users] Is skipping ads really a good idea?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Jun 19 21:50:43 UTC 2007

On 06/19/2007 05:16 PM, David Brodbeck wrote:
> On Jun 19, 2007, at 1:26 PM, Michael T. Dean wrote:
>> We're going to need some significant upgrade of infrastructure to
>> support that.  I saw an article a couple of years ago saying that
>> NetFlix shipped in one day more than twice the data that could be
>> carried by the internet (and that was with SDTV DVD's).
>> Short of using some "almost" on-demand technology (i.e. multicast to
>> everyone and let some IPTV DVR record it for later playback), we're
>> probably going to have a long wait for 'net-based on-demand TV.
> Maybe.  But compare to the way music is distributed.  Sure, if you  
> add up all the bits on all the CDs sold in a day it probably adds up  
> to some massive number.  But people have shown they're willing to  
> trade off quality for convenience, and the result has been a trend  
> towards compressed music formats that download quickly.
> Likewise, I doubt anyone's going to be shipping DVD-quality MPEG2  
> files around the Internet.  They'll use another form of compression  
> that trades off quality for a smaller file size.  Videophiles will  
> probably still insist on getting real DVDs for the better quality,  
> just like audiophiles still insist on vinyl LPs, but they'll likely  
> be a minority.

So you're saying that just as HDTV is starting to catch hold here in the
US, people are going to give it up and go to sub-DVD quality just so
they don't have to go out and--oh, wait, the antenna/cable/satellite
receiver just brings it in for me...  So, where's the convenience
benefit?  The only one I can think of is not having to own a DVR (that
brings in high-quality video for playback when I want it).

I'll take the DVR and quality video (that gets found for me
automatically by my DVR) over lower-quality video.  And, since I don't
believe there will be any way that I'll be able to get everything from
the same site, chances are the 'net-based on-demand would require that I
go out and find something to watch when I'm ready to watch something.

OK, which studio released Ocean's Thirteen?  Maybe I'll go to their
website and purchase the right to watch it once...  Talk about things I
don't care to know.

Also, when people have to part with their money on an "on-demand" basis,
they see it as expensive (regardless of the fact that many of these same
people have no problems spending $90+/month on a cable subscription). 
Think DIVX (no, not DivX ;) or DivX, I mean DIVX).  If you don't know
what I'm talking about, that just further supports my position. :)  DIVX
failed because of the "pay-per-use-after-48hr" concept (even though it
was meant to compete with BlockBuster, et. al., not with DVD's). 
However, some of the same people who were adamantly opposed to DIVX
because of the "pay-per-use" thing are subscribers to NetFlix and their

Anyway, you may well be right, but I hope you're not.  I'm personally a
big fan of multicast, can't-be-traced-to-individual-viewers,
DVD-quality-or-better video.  And, in spite of my insistence on having
privacy, I don't watch anything I'm embarrassed to admit to watching.

Then there's the whole Flash-based video-on-demand from the networks
thing.  I missed a couple of episodes of Supernatural (a serial, where
order is important) and have been trying to decide whether it's worth my
time to sit down in front of my 19" monitor and boot up Windows (as it
won't work in *nix--even with the proprietary Flash player) and watch
the episodes from CW's*** POS Flash-based player (which seems to think
full-screen and browser-window-sized are somehow the same).  Most
likely, I'll just read summaries/recaps on the 'net, then watch the
episodes I've got in full HDTV on my 67" TV and--eventually--see the
ones I missed through repeats.  If I have to hook a Windows box up to my
TV, there's no way I'll ever use that kind of on-demand programming. 
I'd gladly give up TV first.  (I actually had to look up which network
Supernatural is on to write this up.  That's another thing I don't care
to know.  I'm sure the network would be very disappointed to here this,
but really, I couldn't care less who broadcasts it.  I just want to
watch the show.)


*** The players from the other networks are no better (they're all
Flash-based garbage and I haven't found one that allows Linux users to
play back episodes).  And, as a matter of fact, some don't even make
episodes of their shows available on the 'net.  I see this as doomed to
failure because of out-of-touch executives who overestimate the value of
their content (and who underestimate the effort true pirates are
prepared to expend) making decisions that are best for them but actually
make this "convenience" far more effort for the customer than other
means of delivery.

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