[mythtv-users] Myth on WD HDTV Media Player for $99

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sun Oct 11 17:51:57 UTC 2009

On Sunday 11 October 2009 11:28:22 Scott D. Davilla wrote:

> Actually you did indirectly when you bought the TV. There was never a
> NTSC license per say but the cost of implementing the technology was
> rolled into the cost of the TV. There are numerous patents regarding
> NTSC and you better believe that any TV using those methods paid a
> license to use it. Which of course you paid back when buying the TV.

I don't think there is any "license" to use NTSC, the patents you mention are 
all about methods, not the system itself.

Something mandated by the US government (like NTSC) should not be patented or 
licensed, or you have a government passing a law requiring you to do business 
with a specific supplier. That would be like passing a law requiring me to 
buy a Chevrolet and not a Ford if I want to drive anywhere.

> >Something so ubiquitous should not be proprietary and patentable. The
> > entire software patent issue is getting insane.
> What's more insane is having to pay for the specs that describe the
> details :) The IEEE has done a great disservice to everyone. They
> have no problem creating a standard that requires payment of a
> license to someone or some group. That's what really created this
> mess.

True, IEEE is a trade group dedicated to making money for its members, not to 
helping anyone else. Having profit-driven groups setting standards is a 
ticket to disaster. Look at the mess the Rambus situation created.

> >People certainly deserve to be paid for their work, I don't believe that
> > all software should be free, but I should be able to use a product that I
> > have paid for.
> Again, simple, use the product on a device that's licensed to play
> it. You might feel that either the DVD maker or the DVD driver maker
> "should" have included this license but that's not reality, they did
> not because that would have raised the cost of said product. If you
> disagree, then don't buy said product and vote with your wallet.
> Here's another thought, what if someone started a fund that would
> enable the purchase of a unlimited use decode license for mpeg2/h.264
> under linux. I would guess that would be a several million dollar
> item. How much would you give? How many linux users would do this?

Depending on the specifics I'd probably contribute, but most Linux users 
probably would not. How many Linux users contribute to support the distro 
they use? I (and others) have tried to support MythTV financially, apparently 
there is no interest in receiving such support.

There have been attempts to get Linux systems licensed for MPEG2, and other 
such technology. They were stopped by the MPAA types who see Linux users as 
a "bunch of pirates".

It's hard to "vote with my wallet" when market forces conspire to make it 
impossible. How do I vote for Linux systems playing MPEG2/h264?

Brian Wood
beww at beww.org

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