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Supreme Court decsion may effect Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eboydog, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    I understand this. I'm actually not necessarily advocating for allowing the cable companies to carry local channels for free (although I would not oppose such a change in policy).

    My argument, in the vein of this conversation regarding retrans fees, has been that the requirement that locals be placed in the very basic tier, and that I must buy that tier if I buy any other video services should be removed. Let the broadcasters charge the cable companies as much as they want. But, let me opt out of buying local channels from the cable company and put up my own antenna. That is my argument here.
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Back when I had Dishnetwork that is how it worked. Once locals became available if you wanted them it was $5/mo more and was optional. They have since discontinued that option, I am guessing that the locals have made "mandatory carry" part of their retransmission contract.

    I am also guessing that in many areas locals now cost allot more the $5/mo and I agree with you because of the nature of OTA there should be an optional package for OTA stations (like HBO). Unfortunately it would require the law be changed to require the breakout package and the chances of that happening are near zero.
     
  3. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    Of course they do! I live in an area where Comcast is my ONLY choice for subscription TV service. If I want a channel like AMC or HBO, I MUST fork over my money to Comcast. There is nothing else. Dish is not an option in my building.
     
  4. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    If anyone had done that, without also bundling in cable only channels, then that would have been a community antenna and so would never have been subject to retransmission fees. But that is not what cable companies did, even back in the old analog days.

    Yes, broadcasters use the public airwaves, and as a member of that public, you are free to erect an antenna and receive their broadcasts. But when a company takes those broadcasts, manipulates them, and tries to make a business out of delivering them to viewers, then they are required by law to pay a licensing fee. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but it is the law. To avoid Aereo paying a fee, the law would have to be changed.
     
  5. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It has been the policy of the federal government since the earliest days of television that local channels be given preferential treatment and their existence and viability protected. This was to provide immediate news coverage in the event of an emergency (hurricanes, floods, tornados, terrorist attacks). Again, you would need to lobby to change that policy to change the way broadcasting laws are written.
     
  6. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Like I said, I know a lot of people refuse to acknowledge that cable companies don't have monopolies on subscription television service. Maintaining the fiction that they do may make you feel better about your complaining, but it doesn't actually rationalize your complaining.

    Remember: Monopoly has nothing to do with you personally. A company has a monopoly only when they are the only provider of a commodity in a market. The commodity that cable companies offer service in is subscription television service. You aren't a market. There isn't a single municipality in the nation where a commercial cable company has a monopoly for subscription television service.

    If you insist on disagreeing, then get the government to sue on your behalf and break the monopoly. You won't be able to. Not because the government hates you. Rather: Because the cable company doesn't have a monopoly, even though you want it to be such that they do.
     
  7. zalusky

    zalusky Active Member TCF Club

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    There is a traditional monopoly as your discussing and there is a co-operative monopoly. Comcast has been telling companies like HBO to not offer their products directly to the consumer market. They can offer through it the big guys. HBO and friends know where they get the lions share of their income and they don't want to upset that cart.

    Can you think of any other reason they would not offer that service directly in addition through the Cable/Sat/Phone channels. They are are afraid of retaliation.
     
  8. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    You can split the hairs as much as you want, but all that matters is how the government splits the hairs. If you think your definition should prevail, prove it by having the government break or regulate the monopoly you object to. I've been reading such posturing for decades, first with regard to MSOs and now with regard to ISPs. It's all fine-and-good as an intellectual exercise but if you want it acknowledged as a legitimate perspective then make your definition have merit through prevailing in the courts.
     
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    If there is an absolute monopoly or not is not necessarily the correct question. Our laws prohibit more than just absolute monopolies. Just ask AT&T and T-Mobile; if they had combined there would have been 3 solid nationwide mobile providers, the government decided that wasn't sufficient.

    The question when it comes to pay TV and high speed internet should be is there sufficient competition to allow market forces to work correctly. I would say no and would go further and say we would be better off with highly regulated monopolies for both pay TV and high speed internet access while treating them like a utility.

    Instead we went with some pipe dream that it would be feasible for multiple companies to provide these services competitively.

    Well it is pretty clear that for the vast majority of the country that isn't economically possible. Heck for large areas of Rural America it is just like electricity and telephone, if the government doesn't force coverage it isn't going to happen.
     
  10. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Like I said, I've seen folks express the uber-consumerist perspective repeatedly for decades. I know the difference between what the regulators block and what they do not.

    The reality is that the last thirty five years have seen less and less acceptance of government taking that sort of thing on. The fact that you wish it to, in this case, because you are a consumer in this scenario, isn't going to make the difference in the halls of government. What's necessary is a radical reversal of the trend, toward more government regulation. I don't see that happening soon.
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree with you and for pay TV I am not sure I even believe there is a reasonable way for the government to increase regulations.

    I do think high speed internet is different and the government is spending money to increase access. But I also think they are banking on advancements in wireless tech to save the day.

    I have brother in deeply rural MN (his closest neighbor is more than a mile away and he has to go 10 miles before he gets to a corner with a few houses together) and he has access to reliable 12Mbps (he could pay for up to 25Mbps) wireless (WiMax I think) high speed internet via a directional antenna thats cost less than my DSL (which is my only option) that cannot maintain anything more than 1Mbps most evenings and I live 1.5 miles outside of a village in a fairly well populated area of Rural Western NY (there are 4 villages & about 20,000 people within 8 miles of my home).​
     
  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Perhaps, but I think that's given them too much credit. I think they're banking on advancements to make the complains go away, not necessarily caring that they get resolved in the consumer's favor. There are simply a great number of people in government today intent on allowing business to have the upper hand, over consumers, over employees, over neighbors, whether we like it or not.
     
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    We're right back into the arguments of the case. Either the Supreme Court finds Aereo legal, or we know that they are heavily biased in favor of the broadcasters (more likely result), since the law is very clear that what Aereo is doing is completely legal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is also extremely biased against Aereo, and against the law, they have come out and said that they support the broadcasters.

    If you include the conversion of an MPEG-2 stream that is 8VSB modulated to IP packets, then a Roamio with TiVo Minis is illegal. Then Windows is illegal, as it can convert 8VSB modulated MPEG-2 to an MPEG-2 IP stream.

    The differentiation that the broadcasters are trying to make, even though it's bold-faced bullsh*t is that because Aereo's antenna is not at the users' home, it is re-transmission. The problem is, their argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense, since Aereo is really no different in technology than some of the new OTA DVRs that offer remote streaming (or a TiVo Roamio with TiVo Stream), it just does it in a centralized location. TiVo Roamio and the other OTA DVRs are legal under Sony, thus Aereo must be legal.

    The only differentiation that you are making is the location of the demodulation of the MPEG-2 8VSB encoded stream. I'm guessing that they also re-compress it to MPEG-4, but this is also irrelevant.

    The main one is the bulk of the cost. I think it's up to $6/mo. There are packages now that don't include sports programming, but they aren't very popular, as most people, like myself, need their fix of some sport that is partially broadcast on ESPN. Mine is NCAA basketball.

    NO! You are getting two different things completely confused. The law does NOT force any cable company to pay anything for any channel. What the law says is that either:

    a) MUST-CARRY: Any local broadcast channel may force carriage of it's channel by the local cable providers by providing the channel to them at no cost (this may happen with PBS or other independent channels)
    -OR-
    b) RETRANSMISSION CONSENT: The broadcast channel may negotiate with the local cable companies for carriage, but once the broadcast channel asks for any money, they can no longer force carriage, and if the cable company does't want to pay, their channel won't be carried.

    Now I know under retransmission consent, part of the deal can be ad injection by the cable company, I think under must carry the cable company cannot manipulate the channel. I don't know how significantly viewed channels affect these, as I don't think that Comcast could, say, get in a carriage spat with the local CBS and just carry an SV CBS from another market, as that would create competition between affiliates and O&O channels, especially in markets that are oddly assigned (like Fairfield county, CT, which is part of the NYC DMA, but could just as easily carry Hartford-New Haven channels as the primary (HD) locals), but I'm not sure on this.

    That being said, as part of a private deal for carriage of cable content, I don't see why a network with numerous cable channels like NBC or ABC/ESPN couldn't force-bundle the local with the cable content...
     
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    That's self-serving claptrap: The law is very clear that what Aereo is doing is illegal. Reasonable people disagree about this, so the SCOTUS decision very well may clarify the law, not indicate bias akin to the bias exhibited in your comment. There is no question that the SCOTUS is politically biased, but not that they're biased toward some companies and against others.
     
  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    If the law was very clear either way, they would not be in the supreme court. The lower court has already ruled in favor of Aereo.
     
  16. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    And that points out why there is a SCOTUS, and why this case is going to be decided there. It is a matter of reasonable disagreement.
     
  17. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You are 100% correct...that would be retransmission as well IF it is used by anyone except the licensee (i.e. the subscriber to a cable service, or the entity that received the OTA broadcast).

    Suppose I set up a bunch of Slingboxes, wired up to some ATSC tuners, each tuned to a given channel in my area, and for $8 per month gave people access to those Slingboxes, and put up a web page so that they could select which Slingbox/channel they wanted? I guarantee that as soon as someone noticed, I'd get a cease and desist letter from the broadcasters. This is exactly what Aereo is doing, just with their own hardware instead of Slingboxes.
     
  18. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    No, that is very far away from what Aereo is doing. (I agree that your scenario is illegal).

    Aereo is capturing the signal with a particular antenna that the user is renting. It is the user's signal from the moment it is captured. Any change of form and retransmission after that is a particular user changing the form, and users are allowed to do that.

    The legal question is whether you are allowed to rent a remote antenna and store the signal remotely.
     
  19. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Where I live Time Warner has a monopoly, de facto if not de jure, on cable TV and cable internet. All the alternatives to them are something that's not cable.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    You make it sound as though putting it on the same wire as CNN and other non-broadcast channels, instead of keeping it strictly local OTAs somehow magically makes it all different regarding to what, if any, compensation broadcasters are entitled because someone in their market enlists technical assistance in receiving what they otherwise could get for free.

    "Manipulate" strikes me as not a neutral, non-emotional way to describe the process.
     

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