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Old 04-26-2014, 03:21 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
Cable companies wouldn't use this technology to compete for $12/mo, they would use it to save the millions they pay in retransmission fees.
A lot of people have mentioned this, but didn't the cable association side against Aereo? In any case, it should be easy for the court if they wanted to, to say Aereo is not a cable company so doesn't have to pay transmissions fees, but cable companies and satellite companies still have to.

Edit: I guess I got it wrong. Cablevision sided against Aereo but American Cable Association sided for Aereo.

Otherwise, I totally agree. It would be nice to have 1 transmission media which is consumer friendly instead of constant encroachment, and I vote for it being OTA since cable is already not.

Did you all know that some OTA carriers carry subscription video channels?
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:50 AM   #92
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Cable companies wouldn't use this technology to compete for $12/mo, they would use it to save the millions they pay in retransmission fees. This while business is f*cked up. They give the content away for free, transmit clear over the air, but they expect that people pay extra for any method of receiving it other then their opinion of approved technology. If their content is so f*cking valuable then they should move to cable and start charging for it. But instead they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to use OUR airwaves for free, to make millions (billions?) on advertising, but if anyone tries to make a dollar making it easier for people to access that content they want a chunk of that as well. It's corporate greed at it's finest.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:14 AM   #93
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Every dollar spent must compete with every other way that dollar could be invested. I believe that will eventually prompt broadcasters to continue down the path toward monetizing OTA more and more. If retransmission fees don't work, then we can expect to see more commercial time per hour, more commercial overlays, etc. The problem is that if OTA channels start doing something, the cable channels will do it as well. I'd rather have everyone pay retransmission fees than prompt broadcasters to pursue these other ways to make more money.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #94
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Why can't it be both a unique and innovative use of technology and a gimmick?
Well, in this case, "gimmick" means an invasion of copyright protection, and "innovative" means exempt from copyright protections. This not meant to be pejorative or commending, it is just the way the Justices were talking.

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And if there is no legal definition of re-transmission, then how can the broadcasters claim they're owed money because the cable companies are doing it?
That's what the case will decide. Since there is no official legal definition, the courts need to evaluate each case and decide whether it does or does not qualify as retransmission. Just like there is no official definition of "reasonable" and a huge number of civil and criminal cases turn on whether what the defendant did was reasonable.

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And unlike any other copyright question, this involves broadcasters getting to use the public airwaves, supposedly "in the public interest".
I don't think that is true. I haven't heard either side claim the use of the public airwaves is a determining factor, other than as a technical issue (i.e. "The signals are freely available for reception"). The broadcasters don't get to use the airwaves for free, as some have suggested. They pay license fees to the government, and spend not insignificant sums on preparing license renewal documentation, which is both technical and legal, and must produce public affairs programming to retain their licenses (this is the "public interest" requirement).

This case turns on one issue: "Is Aereo a retransmitter?" If they are, they have to pay.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:29 AM   #95
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Well from their video it is clear their receiving antennas have good line of sight with little chance of powerful reflections. Antenna placement is a location, location, location kind of thing. Also TV signals are quite strong when you are withing 5 to 10 miles of the towers.
I live about 15 miles from the NYC transmitters, which for a few more months are atop the Empire State Building, at 34th street and 5th Avenue. I have clear line of sight as well. However, I need a large directional antenna to get a clear signal because of reflections from the Palisades (granite cliffs about a mile away). The Queensboro bridge has the same effect in Long Island City as the Palisades do here.

Of course, in a few months NYC TV broadcasts will move several miles south to the new World Trade Center tower. That will vastly complicate the multipath issues.

This is one reason the Aereo solution is attractive...if I want OTA broadcasts I could just put up an antenna. But the difficulty of getting a good signal in a city like NY makes it not worth the effort. It is far easier to just subscribe to cable. Aereo just offers a cheaper option, and one that is viable for residents of the few building in New York that aren't wired for cable.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #96
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This case turns on one issue: "Is Aereo a retransmitter?" If they are, they have to pay.
And I believe that should come down to whether or not they change the format of the transmission anywhere along the line. Which, of course, they do.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:29 PM   #97
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I live about 15 miles from the NYC transmitters, which for a few more months are atop the Empire State Building, at 34th street and 5th Avenue. I have clear line of sight as well. However, I need a large directional antenna to get a clear signal because of reflections from the Palisades (granite cliffs about a mile away). The Queensboro bridge has the same effect in Long Island City as the Palisades do here.

Of course, in a few months NYC TV broadcasts will move several miles south to the new World Trade Center tower. That will vastly complicate the multipath issues.

This is one reason the Aereo solution is attractive...if I want OTA broadcasts I could just put up an antenna. But the difficulty of getting a good signal in a city like NY makes it not worth the effort. It is far easier to just subscribe to cable. Aereo just offers a cheaper option, and one that is viable for residents of the few building in New York that aren't wired for cable.
You make a good point but Aereo than becomes just another cable co to you and your reception would now be from a RJ45 jack not coax cable and Aereo should pay for the programing, just like any cable co now has to, if they did there would be no court case.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:45 PM   #98
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Here's something interesting written last September by a couple of lawyers.

"Retransmission consent is but one strand of the complex web of carriage regulations that Congress either brought into being or left in place when it adopted the 1992 Cable Act. For example, even as it created a new retransmission consent “right” for broadcasters in 1992, Congress preserved the compulsory licensing regime established in the 1976 Copyright Act,7 under which content owners receive a statutory fee from cable operators in connection with the cable retransmission of broadcast signals. Indeed, Congress made clear that broadcasters' new retransmission consent right was entirely distinct from copyright, and was meant to promote the availability of local broadcast signals.8 The 1992 Cable Act also introduced the requirement that all broadcast signals be carried on the basic, most widely distributed tier of cable service (in areas where the cable system does not face effective competition), and the requirement that cable subscribers purchase the basic tier as a condition of accessing other services.9 And Congress declined to alter the FCC's territorial exclusivity rules, which allow a local station providing network or syndicated programming to prevent the local cable system from carrying that programming as broadcast by an out-of-market station.10"


The full article (where all those numbers at the end of sentences are clickable) is here:

http://www.bna.com/how-the-fcc-can-p...ssion-consent/
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:45 PM   #99
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The fees Aereo charges are just for setting up and maintaining your antenna and cloud DVR, **not** for the video content.
I believe the reason the SCOTUS will strike down Aereo is those fees. There is no firewall (for lack of a better word) between the money they presumably charge for the equipment, and the money they say they don't charge for the content.

So bottom line, they collect fungible money for content, and current law prohibits that. Unless agreed upon thru retransmission contract. Which Aereo doesn't have.

I can't see any scenario where Aereo comes out ahead in this case.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:12 PM   #100
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The 1992 Cable Act also introduced the requirement that all broadcast signals be carried on the basic, most widely distributed tier of cable service (in areas where the cable system does not face effective competition), and the requirement that cable subscribers purchase the basic tier as a condition of accessing other services
This, more than anything, needs to be changed.

I honestly don't care about local channels, retransmission consent, or anything else. Cable companies are breaking out the costs for local broadcast channels, but we as customers cannot opt out. If cable companies could offer service WITHOUT local channels, you'd probably see a lot of folks opt out.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:53 PM   #101
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This, more than anything, needs to be changed.

I honestly don't care about local channels, retransmission consent, or anything else. Cable companies are breaking out the costs for local broadcast channels, but we as customers cannot opt out. If cable companies could offer service WITHOUT local channels, you'd probably see a lot of folks opt out.

I don't even think I've even met anyone that doesn't watch the local channels. Whether it is the local news, local sports or the Network programming. Everyone I've run into watches something from a local network at some time or another.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:28 AM   #102
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I don't even think I've even met anyone that doesn't watch the local channels. Whether it is the local news, local sports or the Network programming. Everyone I've run into watches something from a local network at some time or another.
I watch one show that I can get from OTA - Greys Anatomy.

Cable only shows are
Comcast sports network
Bates Motel
Dallas
Justified
Nurse Jackie
Shameless
Mad Men
Walking Dead
Bill Maher
Drop Dead Diva
The Newsroom
Who do you think you are
Girls
Daily show
Masters of Sex
Homeland
Fargo
True Detective
TechKnow

Then add Netflix

Ok I am going to add 24

I used to watch This Old House and friends but now there schedules are so crazy I have sort of given up.

So you tell me how valuable local stations are!


Now play nice!
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:48 AM   #103
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Once OTA channels go under, from lack of viewership and therefore lack of money, they suddenly won't be there when there is a natural disaster.

Maybe the answer is to make at least one channel in each market a government-operated channel, perhaps carrying local, government-sanctioned news. Sound familiar?
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:27 AM   #104
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I don't even think I've even met anyone that doesn't watch the local channels. Whether it is the local news, local sports or the Network programming. Everyone I've run into watches something from a local network at some time or another.
I don't watch anything on local channels.

Now you've met someone.

And what relevance does that have to the question at hand? Whether or not most or all people watch local channels doesn't matter. I should have the choice of if I'm going to pay for it. Also, my primary reason for not wanting to buy local channels from the cable company wouldn't be so that I didn't have access. It would be so that I could use my antenna to watch what I can get for free.

I live plenty close to town that I pick up all the locals with an antenna. Why should I be forced to pay for what I can very easily pick up for free just because I also want to get ESPN and TNT and HBO?
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:20 PM   #105
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I don't watch anything on local channels.

Now you've met someone.

And what relevance does that have to the question at hand? Whether or not most or all people watch local channels doesn't matter. I should have the choice of if I'm going to pay for it. Also, my primary reason for not wanting to buy local channels from the cable company wouldn't be so that I didn't have access. It would be so that I could use my antenna to watch what I can get for free.

I live plenty close to town that I pick up all the locals with an antenna. Why should I be forced to pay for what I can very easily pick up for free just because I also want to get ESPN and TNT and HBO?
Likewise here, if I could get a cheaper monthly rate by having a the local networks removed from my cable service I would do it in a heartbeat. The only things my local networks offer in my area is as bad as 35 minutes of show content with 25 minutes of commercials. Don't even get me started with how my cable company inserts SD commercials into a HD broadcast which totally screws up the TiVo fast forward. Personally I believe local broadcast channels will eventually fade away in a few more years, too many sources for the same content from national sources on the Internet.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:25 PM   #106
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You make a good point but Aereo than becomes just another cable co to you and your reception would now be from a RJ45 jack not coax cable and Aereo should pay for the programing, just like any cable co now has to, if they did there would be no court case.
Wow. Total lack of understanding of the law there. Aereo isn't re-transmitting, hence why they are 100% in the clear legally.

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I watch one show that I can get from OTA - Greys Anatomy.

...

I used to watch This Old House and friends but now there schedules are so crazy I have sort of given up.!
Yeah, this is definitely the trend. I've found myself watching more and more HBO and less and less of anything else.

TOH is easy with a TiVo... The schedules are a bit nuts, but I have been able to keep up with them because of TiVo...
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #107
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Wow. Total lack of understanding of the law there. Aereo isn't re-transmitting, hence why they are 100% in the clear legally.
...
I don't understand your statement above, (Aereo isn't re-transmitting) that is your opinion, not any fact or it would not be in the highest Court.

Why is Aereo any less re-transmitting then that of a cable co ??, You can't even put up an antenna in a sports bar without paying to show the programing to your customers. OTA is for personal use only, unless you pay for commercial use of the OTA signal. Some grey area in the Aereo case, that is why it is in the Court, IMHO they will not win, but that only my opinion, and I am not on the Court.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:03 PM   #108
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Wow. Total lack of understanding of the law there. Aereo isn't re-transmitting, hence why they are 100% in the clear legally....
Wow. Total lack of understanding of the technology and the law.

They receive an 8VSB signal, decode it into the original MPEG 2 data, and then retransmit this data via IP packets (which are encoded using one of several possible streaming protocols). They only way this could NOT be a retransmission would be to deliver the 8VSB signal to the viewers TV or DVR tuners.

Therefore, they are in violation of the law. Their only hope is that the SCOTUS carves out a special exception for them on the grounds that the end result is the same as having relayed the original ATSC broadcast.

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Old 04-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #109
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I don't watch anything on local channels.

Now you've met someone.

And what relevance does that have to the question at hand? Whether or not most or all people watch local channels doesn't matter. I should have the choice of if I'm going to pay for it. Also, my primary reason for not wanting to buy local channels from the cable company wouldn't be so that I didn't have access. It would be so that I could use my antenna to watch what I can get for free.

I live plenty close to town that I pick up all the locals with an antenna. Why should I be forced to pay for what I can very easily pick up for free just because I also want to get ESPN and TNT and HBO?
I would save more money dropping all the ESPN channels than dropping the local channels. The ESPN channels cost alot more. I don't even know why there are so many ESPN channels. I only watch the main one. Yet I'm forced to pay for all the other ones that I will never watch. The local programming cost is minor compared to the cost of the ESPN channels.

But not watching any local channels I would think is unusual. Just from the local sports teams, many people watch the local channels at one time or another because of them.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:59 PM   #110
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Once OTA channels go under, from lack of viewership and therefore lack of money, they suddenly won't be there when there is a natural disaster.

Maybe the answer is to make at least one channel in each market a government-operated channel, perhaps carrying local, government-sanctioned news. Sound familiar?
The answer is to stop allowing Cable Companies to have monopolies.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:04 PM   #111
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I would save more money dropping all the ESPN channels than dropping the local channels. The ESPN channels cost alot more. I don't even know why there are so many ESPN channels. I only watch the main one. Yet I'm forced to pay for all the other ones that I will never watch. The local programming cost is minor compared to the cost of the ESPN channels.
Planet Money did a pretty good podcast about how cable bills got to the point they are at. They specifically talk about ESPN.

They compare cable pricing to that of a grocery store. Imagine going to the grocery store and being told you must buy an orange for every apple you buy? You would walk out of the store and go to the store down the street. Unfortunately, this can't be done by most people when it come to cable.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/...our-cable-bill
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:13 PM   #112
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Planet Money did a pretty good podcast about how cable bills got to the point they are at. They specifically talk about ESPN.

They compare cable pricing to that of a grocery store. Imagine going to the grocery store and being told you must buy an orange for every apple you buy? You would walk out of the store and go to the store down the street. Unfortunately, this can't be done by most people when it come to cable.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/...our-cable-bill
I must say though. I do pay alot less than I did when I had DirecTV from 2001 to 2007. I was paying them around $120 a month and had fewer channels than I have now with FiOS. While TV with FiOS is costing me around $70 a month right now.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:26 PM   #113
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I would save more money dropping all the ESPN channels than dropping the local channels. The ESPN channels cost alot more. I don't even know why there are so many ESPN channels. I only watch the main one. Yet I'm forced to pay for all the other ones that I will never watch. The local programming cost is minor compared to the cost of the ESPN channels.

But not watching any local channels I would think is unusual. Just from the local sports teams, many people watch the local channels at one time or another because of them.
I understand that you'd save money by dropping ESPN. And, we're just a step away from having an argument about a la carte.

The difference between being forced to buy my local channels and being forced to buy ESPN is that 1) the local channels built their business using the public airwaves that they got for free. airwaves that belong to you and me, but I have to pay for the privilege to watch them. 2) and, this steams me even worse, is that *I can pick up every single local station for free with an antenna*. How is their signal worth more because it reaches me over coax instead of me grabbing it out of the air?

And again, just because *you* can't see why people would not watch locals, doesn't mean that we aren't out there. There's no local sports teams in my market. The news here sucks, bad. And network primetime TV is garbage.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:58 PM   #114
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I understand that you'd save money by dropping ESPN. And, we're just a step away from having an argument about a la carte.

The difference between being forced to buy my local channels and being forced to buy ESPN is that 1) the local channels built their business using the public airwaves that they got for free. airwaves that belong to you and me, but I have to pay for the privilege to watch them. 2) and, this steams me even worse, is that *I can pick up every single local station for free with an antenna*. How is their signal worth more because it reaches me over coax instead of me grabbing it out of the air?

And again, just because *you* can't see why people would not watch locals, doesn't mean that we aren't out there. There's no local sports teams in my market. The news here sucks, bad. And network primetime TV is garbage.
What OTA channels are worth too you or any other individual is irrelevant. The same is true for any individual cable channel.

You get the packages being offered by your cable company because your cable company has decided that those package are providing the most profit for the cable company.

They could refuse to pay for your locals but they made a business decision to pay for them. You can thank Satellite for that, if your cable company was the only option they would refuse to pay for locals and your locals would have no choice but to allow the cable company to carry them for free (actually your locals would force the cable company to carry them - but it would be for free).

I have posted in another thread that this whole channel setup regardless if it is cable or OTA should be destroyed. We will never see a la carte "cable" without a government mandate and over site. Better off to just replace the whole thing.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:04 PM   #115
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What OTA channels are worth too you or any other individual is irrelevant. The same is true for any individual cable channel.
It has nothing to do with what it's worth to me. Again, this isn't an a la carte situation. It's a distinct issue from bundling of cable channels. Local broadcast stations built their business using airwaves they got for free, along with the fact that I can put up an antenna and legally get the content for free.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:36 AM   #116
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They receive an 8VSB signal, decode it into the original MPEG 2 data, and then retransmit this data via IP packets (which are encoded using one of several possible streaming protocols). They only way this could NOT be a retransmission would be to deliver the 8VSB signal to the viewers TV or DVR tuners.
Precisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
Therefore, they are in violation of the law. Their only hope is that the SCOTUS carves out a special exception for them on the grounds that the end result is the same as having relayed the original ATSC broadcast.
Or that the SCOTUS doesn't understand this technological aspect.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:38 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
They receive an 8VSB signal, decode it into the original MPEG 2 data, and then retransmit this data via IP packets (which are encoded using one of several possible streaming protocols). They only way this could NOT be a retransmission would be to deliver the 8VSB signal to the viewers TV or DVR tuners.
Precisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
Therefore, they are in violation of the law. Their only hope is that the SCOTUS carves out a special exception for them on the grounds that the end result is the same as having relayed the original ATSC broadcast.
Or that the SCOTUS doesn't understand this technological aspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aadam101 View Post
The answer is to stop allowing Cable Companies to have monopolies.
Cable companies don't have monopolies on subscription television service. I know a lot of people refuse to acknowledge this, because they themselves have fewer personal choices because of their own personal biases and preferences, but the law is clear and consistently applied in this regard.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:18 AM   #118
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It has nothing to do with what it's worth to me. Again, this isn't an a la carte situation. It's a distinct issue from bundling of cable channels. Local broadcast stations built their business using airwaves they got for free, along with the fact that I can put up an antenna and legally get the content for free.
If what you are saying is that cable, Satellite, Aereo, whoever, should be able to rebroadcast OTA channels without paying a rebroadcasting fee because of the nature of OTA broadcasting (free & add supported) then I am in agreement with you.

However that is not what the current laws allow. From a cable company business point of view carrying local OTA stations is not much different than carrying any other cable only channel. The cable company pays the lowest fee possible with the one difference being the law mandates the network channels be in the basic cable package, so the cost of OTA channels has to be built into that package.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:53 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Diana Collins View Post
Wow. Total lack of understanding of the technology and the law.

They receive an 8VSB signal, decode it into the original MPEG 2 data, and then retransmit this data via IP packets (which are encoded using one of several possible streaming protocols). They only way this could NOT be a retransmission would be to deliver the 8VSB signal to the viewers TV or DVR tuners.

Therefore, they are in violation of the law. Their only hope is that the SCOTUS carves out a special exception for them on the grounds that the end result is the same as having relayed the original ATSC broadcast.
At the time, way, way back when, when the concept of re-transmission of a broadcast signal arose, the definition was pretty much the same as that of transmission--analog modulation of a carrier wave coupled into an antenna that sent it out into "the ether".


So we have a situation where the actual definition of transmission and re-transmission has grown with the development of newer technologies or advances in older ones, and the law lags behind, leaving the courts to decide whether new ways of doing things are violations of the original intent of the legislatures and legislators who wrote those laws.

If you're going to argue that de-modulation and re-modulation define re-transmission, then why, a few years ago, would a (hypothetical) cable company, that received an analog NTSC TV broadcast and just fed it into a booster amp ahead of splitters ahead of more boosters ahead of more splitters until it eventually reached the antenna input of a cable subscribers television, owe the station anything, as I'm sure the station would have argued?

The problem is the ridiculous notion that broadcasters using the public airwaves to send out their signal get to tell the public, in the geographic area the broadcaster is licensed to serve, how they may and may not receive that signal.
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Last edited by unitron : 04-28-2014 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Changed broadcaster to broadcasters
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:00 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by aadam101 View Post
The answer is to stop allowing Cable Companies to have monopolies.
That is a totally separate issue from broadcasters expecting to be paid when anyone, in the geographical area which they are licensed to serve via over the air signals, employs an outside party to assist in the reception of those signals.

If there were 5 different cable companies whose cables ran past your house and you were free to do business with whichever one you wished, the broadcasters in your area would still expect you to pay, through whichever cable company to which you subscribed, for getting the same signal over that cable which you are entitled to pull out of the air with your own equipment for free.
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