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Old 04-05-2008, 04:55 AM   #1321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
Apparently in the case of a device using a Tuning Resolver, you will get asked, much like TiVo's "I-want-to-change-channels-in-a-few-minutes-to-make-a-scheduled-recording. Okay?" query. See the OpenCable Tuning Resolver Interface Specification; page 42 shows some suggested User Inactivity Messages, which are to be displayed when a particular message from the tuning resolver is received by a UDCP (Unidirectional Digital Cable Product, like TiVo). There's also some vebiage in there about sending udcp_status_update() messages to the tuning resolver when remote control command or front panel button presses occur.
If there is a recording in progress, the dialog does not appear, and the channel does not change, correct?
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:43 AM   #1322
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As long as it is a user-initiated recording. It was quite a controversial issue before the spec came out, but I do remember the end-result being that it seems that TiVo suggestions can be interrupted if the channel is needed for another customer's deliberate purpose.
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Old 04-05-2008, 07:30 AM   #1323
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. See the OpenCable Tuning Resolver Interface Specification; page 42 shows some suggested User Inactivity Messages, which are to be displayed when a particular message from the tuning resolver is received by a UDCP (Unidirectional Digital Cable Product, like TiVo)
I'm glad to see they thought of some examples. FYI - in Adobe Reader it is the 42nd page, but it appears to be page 36 of the Document (Reader gives "page numbers" to the index, etc.).
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:05 AM   #1324
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As long as it is a user-initiated recording. It was quite a controversial issue before the spec came out, but I do remember the end-result being that it seems that TiVo suggestions can be interrupted if the channel is needed for another customer's deliberate purpose.
Yes. There is a field in the resolve_tuner_req() APDU called "tuner_use_status" with the following set of values:
0x0 – Live full screen video (no HDD recording)
0x1 – Live full screen video (HDD recording)
0x2 – Live PIP or POP video (no HDD recording)
0x3 – Live PIP or POP video (HDD recording)
0x4 – Recording only
0x5 – Inactive
0x6 – Speculative Recording
0x7 – Reserved
So, when TiVo (or some other UDCP) requests a channel from the Tuning Resolver it has to say why it wants that channel; one reason is "Speculative Recording", like TiVo's "record suggestions" feature. If the system knows that a channel is solely in use on a segment by one or more DVRs which are recording things that they just think that their owners might be interested in then the bandwidth used for that channel will be reclaimed first in a crunch, regardless of whether those recordings are complete or not.

Also note the "Inactive" status:
Quote:
The UDCP SHALL send a resolve_tuning_req() APDU with the tuner_use_status = 0x5 (tuner inactive) for a tuner when that tuner output is changed such that it is not being rendered, recorded, or transmitted outside of the UDCP.
In other words, if the UDCP requested a channel for purposes of recording, it's required to tell the Tuning Resolver when it has finished recording. I suppose that a UDCP might also send this if its user placed it in a "Standby" mode when the channel he or she was watching wasn't being recorded.

The "tuner_use_status" field is also present in the udcp_status_rsp() message, a response from the UDCP to the Tuning Resolver sending a udcp_status_req() packet, which is basically the TR asking for an update on what the UDCP is doing.
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I'm glad to see they thought of some examples. FYI - in Adobe Reader it is the 42nd page, but it appears to be page 36 of the Document (Reader gives "page numbers" to the index, etc.).
Yeah, sorry--I usually say "PDF page 42" to distinguish from "page labelled 42".

Not only did they specify Tuning Resolver related message examples, they give an appendix of use cases (Appendix I, starting on PDF page 45). Listing all intended usage scenarios is part of modern formal software design technique and such a list is particularly useful for development of regression testing.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:31 AM   #1325
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Do future TiVo suggestions appear in the ToDo List? If so, then an interrupted Suggestion would be a change in behavior that might affect users negatively.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:35 AM   #1326
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Do future TiVo suggestions appear in the ToDo List? If so, then an interrupted Suggestion would be a change in behavior that might affect users negatively.

No. Suggestions are not in the TODO list.
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:01 PM   #1327
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No. Suggestions are not in the TODO list.
That´s good, but also since Suggestions are a key differentiating TiVo feature (in TiVo´s opinion and business plan) the disruption of them would disadvantage TiVo.

A person who likes their TiVo to record Suggestions would not get all they hoped for out of TiVo.
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:47 PM   #1328
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You can ask TiVo specifically about what it would suggest (TiVo Central->Find Programs->TiVo Suggestions) and if you have automatic recording of suggestions turned on and check that list frequently you might be surprised when something doesn't show up, but there might be any number of reasons for that (if, for instance, there's no space it won't record it either). I doubt that many people bother to check that list; most probably enjoy the surprise of finding recorded Suggestions that they really want to watch.

Ultimately, unless TiVos become much more popular than they are (or cable providers should add speculative recording to their DVRs), if this ever happens, something is wrong; bandwidth in the SDV pool should never get that scarce. However, if it did happen it'd be a shame if a huge bunch of TiVo Suggestions being recorded on unpopular channels should stop someone from getting to watch or record something that they really, really wanted to see.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:21 PM   #1329
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That´s good, but also since Suggestions are a key differentiating TiVo feature (in TiVo´s opinion and business plan) the disruption of them would disadvantage TiVo.

A person who likes their TiVo to record Suggestions would not get all they hoped for out of TiVo.
The intent of this design is that speculative channel requests will be denied or preempted if there are insufficient resources for non-speculative requests from other devices, i.e. if other subscribers' non-speculative requests would otherwise be denied.

This is in effect no different from the way that TiVo operates already - it will record suggestions if and only if there is no conflicting non-speculative request. This new standard simply expands that paradigm to take in the entire neighborhood, not just your one machine.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #1330
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You missed a spot

You missed one of the important steps in communication (added in bold):
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Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
with 2 way communication (OCAP, propiretary box, or the dongle):
-your box "hey headend I want to watch channel X"
-headend "OK I put it on qam slot 99.3 look there, and here is your decryption key"
-your box would tune to channel 99.3 then some time later:
-headend "hey are you still watching that channel?"
-box "yep my owner hasn't changed channels, shut me off, or not touched a button on the remote for 90 minutes so he must be watching"
-and the headend leaves the channel on.
Unless, of course, the channel is presented in the clear, which sometimes may be the case, even with SDV.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:32 PM   #1331
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Unpopular

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However, if it did happen it'd be a shame if a huge bunch of TiVo Suggestions being recorded on unpopular channels should stop someone from getting to watch or record something that they really, really wanted to see.
(Emphasis mine.) As time goes by, eventually almost every channel will become "unpopular". With thousands or even tens of thousands of channels from which to select, and VOD being the norm rather than the exception, eventually there may not be any channels with a lion's share of the market. When that day comes, for the most part the only marginally "popular" channels will be those which are being recorded by DVRs, including TiVo Suggestions. It will be incumbent upon the CATV provider to maintain their plant so that the number of receivers on each node is small enough that the available bandwidth can service the needs of every sub on the node. As you said:
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bandwidth in the SDV pool should never get that scarce.
Which means the CATV provider will need to keep ahead of viewing stats. As long as they are diligent about this, there won't be a massive problem with this issue.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:49 PM   #1332
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You missed one of the important steps in communication (added in bold):
Depends what level of abstraction your are looking at. The host device (TiVo) that is handling the SDV interface calls is never handed the decryption key. TiVo tunes to the channel given by the SDV request, realizes it is encrypted, and hands off the stream to the CableCARD, which then does its black box conditional access and decryption, and eventually hands back the decrypted stream (re-encrypted if CCI=non-zero) to TiVo. In the process of decrypting the stream, the CableCARD does recover the decryption key, but that key is not exposed to the TiVo code that is handling the SDV. TiVo has no idea whether a decryption key was retrieved or not, just that it has been handed back a stream it can use.

Last edited by sfhub : 04-06-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:08 PM   #1333
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Depends what level of abstraction your are looking at. The host device (TiVo) that is handling the SDV interface calls is never handed the decryption key.
True. The point is, another user won't be able to "piggyback" off the newly established stream unless his unit also handles SDV. Various schemes have been proposed via which a user would like to use a secondary STB to do the requesting and then let the TiVo gulp down the stream. I was treating the TiVo and CableCard as a single system.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #1334
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(Emphasis mine.) As time goes by, eventually almost every channel will become "unpopular". With thousands or even tens of thousands of channels from which to select, and VOD being the norm rather than the exception...
We've been sampling the cable providers' special spiked Kool-Aid, haven't we? I don't see this scenario ever happening without some kind of automated channel composition mechanism. You can't sell advertising in a pool of "thousands of channels" when you can't expect for more than a few people to ever be watching such a channel in any given market. I'd bet real money that we'll never see more than 500 linear programming channels.

If VOD becomes the norm (a possibility), then DVRs (and Tuning Resolvers) become useless. The cable providers will be allowed to treat all VOD programming with "Copy Never" protection because you lose the timeshifting excuse for allowing copying. In any case, the Tuning Resolver isn't going to give subs access to VOD.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:19 PM   #1335
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You missed one of the important steps in communication (added in bold):

Unless, of course, the channel is presented in the clear, which sometimes may be the case, even with SDV.
thanks for pointing that out- I didn't realize fresh keys got exchanged all the time like that.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:37 PM   #1336
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thanks for pointing that out- I didn't realize fresh keys got exchanged all the time like that.
Actually, I don't believe that they do. There's nothing in the Tuning Resolver specification to allow a key to be delivered. Messages sent to the CableCARD will establish decryption keys; the TR's resolve_tuning_response() will identify the tuning information with the source-ID given to the CableCARD for the channel--the CableCARD's maps will tell it whether its authorized to decrypt the channel or not. (So far as I can understand it).
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:48 PM   #1337
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yep

sfhub pretty much explained that earlier but i didn't htink it was worth adding another post to say so.

maybe I should have...
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:23 AM   #1338
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This is in effect no different from the way that TiVo operates already - it will record suggestions if and only if there is no conflicting non-speculative request. This new standard simply expands that paradigm to take in the entire neighborhood, not just your one machine.
The difference is the former is of TiVo´s own design and the latter introduces the possibility of a third party intruding and disadvantaging the TiVo operation.


Also, now that it has been mentioned that a list of future suggestion recordings can be viewed by the user, there is even more possibility for disappointment.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:18 AM   #1339
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...

Also, now that it has been mentioned that a list of future suggestion recordings can be viewed by the user, there is even more possibility for disappointment.
The ability to look at suggestions has been there from VERY early on. Like in 2.x variants if I recall. And for all the years it's been there- just being on the list has NEVER been a guarantee that a suggestion would record. Way back with 2.x some of the boxes had 14 hrs of recording ability- for many people shows they explicitly wanted didn't get recorded or were deleted early- never mind suggestions.

If people use that feature they quickly learn that suggestions might show up and might not so if something looks interesting they should ask it to record. I’ve looked at the list at times and for the life of me I can’t figure out how it translates into what actually winds up on the box later.

so while there is certainly more possibility for disappoinment- I dont think it's huge numbers of people that will be bent.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:06 AM   #1340
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so while there is certainly more possibility for disappoinment- I dont think it's huge numbers of people that will be bent.
That is probably right.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:11 AM   #1341
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Personally, I think that it's extremely cool that there's some consideration of speculative recording was built into the Tuning Resolver design. Without it, I'd have been perfectly comfortable with TiVo being forbidden to record its suggestions from channels presented as SDV (of course, I don't use automatic recording of suggestions--I already watch far, far too much TV without TiVo's help--so it'd be no skin off mine ).

As TiVo and the NCTA have claimed, TiVo was intimately involved in the design of this thing, and if in nothing else, it shows in the inclusion of that feature.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:19 AM   #1342
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Personally, I think that it's extremely cool that there's some consideration of speculative recording was built into the Tuning Resolver design. Without it, I'd have been perfectly comfortable with TiVo being forbidden to record its suggestions from channels presented as SDV (of course, I don't use automatic recording of suggestions--I already watch far, far too much TV without TiVo's help--so it'd be no skin off mine ).

As TiVo and the NCTA have claimed, TiVo was intimately involved in the design of this thing, and if in nothing else, it shows in the inclusion of that feature.

what you said
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:19 AM   #1343
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TiVo was intimately involved in the design of this thing,
But what if "intimacy" with cable meant taking it up the === a couple of times?
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:10 PM   #1344
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I'm considering buying a TiVo and getting rid of my TWC SA8300HDC with awful Navigator software. The gotcha is SDV and I know very little about TiVo. (Never owned one... but have used cable-company provided DVRs for several years.) I've been scanning this and other TiVo forums and I know there's a dongle that someday may come out enabling TivoHD to get SDV channels... but given the history of troubles in this area, I'm not counting on it any time in my lifetime or that something else won't come up that gets in the way of it working.

So what I don't see in all of my searches is any discussion of any kind of component or technology that exists *now* that will allow a TiVo HD (or heck, any HD DVR product) to record an HD output from and drive a cable company-provided HD set-top box like the series 2 TiVos can do with standard definition set top boxes. Does anything like this exist? (But of course, recording an HD signal instead of just the SD signal.)

Is there any kind of third-party device that can convert HDMI or component output back to a coax input that TiVo HD can record in HD? What about a software update and device that enables TiVo HD to send out remote control sequences to the HD cable box to change the channel?

It seems to me that the ability for TiVo to record from and control cable and satellite provided set top boxes has been the single key technology that enabled TiVo to exist and be viable in the marketplace. Why on earth would this function be removed from the newer models even with the cable card capabilities.
Though it doesn't involve the use of TiVo, you might be interested in this new product from Hauppage--it makes MPEG4 high-definition recordings from high-definition component video. It will record audio from either optical S/PDIF or stereo RCA; I'm assuming that for the former you'll get full 5.1.

Hollywood's nightmare of losing stuff through the "analog hole" continues .

Again, it's not TiVo, but it's something .
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:43 PM   #1345
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We've been sampling the cable providers' special spiked Kool-Aid, haven't we? I don't see this scenario ever happening without some kind of automated channel composition mechanism. You can't sell advertising in a pool of "thousands of channels"
You are assuming several things:

1. Revenues for the content will be derived from advertising.
2. The content will be expensive to produce
3. The content will all be based upon profits for the content providers
4. Producing content requires commercial backing.

To which I reply:
1. This is already a markedly downward trend. Most of the HD channels and a significant number of SD channels on the local CATV lineup bear no advertising. It wouldn't surprise me for the number of available premium channels to exceed 200 before long. Since the cost of delivering additional content is plummeting so fast, there's really no reason not to do so.

2. The prices of video gear are dropping like a stone. It wouldn't surprise me if within 10 years more than 90% of the available programming is produced by sources other than networks and movie studios, including amateur, organizational, and enterprise sources. Here in San Antonio there are already several large enterprise video producers, and in fact a couple are customers of mine. As of yet they are not ordinarily producing any content for CATV distribution, but that's very likely to change in a hurry.

3. A great deal of content right now is already produced for reasons other than directly obtaining profit from the content. A modest amount is even being already distributed on CATV systems. Here in San Antonio, there are public access, government access, educational access, and several religious access channels. I expect such venues to grow markedly as the cost of delivering the content drops to the point where even an individual of moderate means can afford to produce their own channel without recompense. I also expect the number of enterprise offerings to soar, delivering everything from sales channels ala QVC to employee and customer informational videos for small to large businesses.

4. While this is largely true right now, the cost of producing content has already fallen well within the reach of middle class individuals, and with SDV, providing a path for even personal content on the CATV system can eventually be within the reach certainly of small organizations and clubs, and perhaps some day within the budget of even an individual middle-class amateur videographer. One day there may be a Miketys channel on your local CATV system, just as many people (like me) now have websites. I expect the UI to access to them will be virtually indistinguishable from a web browser of the day, or in fact it's likely a single browser will do both.

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when you can't expect for more than a few people to ever be watching such a channel in any given market. I'd bet real money that we'll never see more than 500 linear programming channels.
I'd bet real money in ten years there won't even be 20 linear programming channels. There will likely be some number of regular schedules - after all there are some advantages for both the CATV provider and the subscriber for having some scheduling, especially with a DVR.

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If VOD becomes the norm (a possibility), then DVRs (and Tuning Resolvers) become useless.
No, not useless, just of less utility, particularly during "prime time". Being the norm doesn't mean it is universal. As I mentioned above, there are still efficiencies and advantages to be gained on both sides to maintaining schedules for some programming. If any content has a high likelihood of being received by more than 1 receiver per node, then that content willl be well served by having a regular schedule attached to it, even if it is also available via VOD.

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The cable providers will be allowed to treat all VOD programming with "Copy Never" protection because you lose the timeshifting excuse for allowing copying.
Yeah, that could happen. As consumers, we have to make sure it doesn't happen. On the other hand, with most of the program content not being commercially derived, what would be the point? Note that even now, my local CATV provider has essentially VOD services for every major broadcast channel.

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In any case, the Tuning Resolver isn't going to give subs access to VOD.
Yes, but the tuning resolver is at best a temporary stop-gap. I'm talking about ten years down the road, give or take.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:04 PM   #1346
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Okay--if you're thinking 10 years down the road, then it's impossible to disagree. The speed of technological advancement is such at this point that it's difficult to rule out any possibility.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:05 PM   #1347
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for years and years- maybe decades the pundits have been talking about thousands of cable channels becoming a reality for many of the same reasons. True cable channels have limits that dont exist int he world you describe. But we have't gotten anyplace near 1000 channels so I just dont see things changing that extremely that fast. But maybe I'll owe you a beer in 10 years and I'll be shown wrong yet again - LOL
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:31 PM   #1348
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for years and years- maybe decades the pundits have been talking about thousands of cable channels becoming a reality for many of the same reasons. True cable channels have limits that dont exist int he world you describe. But we have't gotten anyplace near 1000 channels so I just dont see things changing that extremely that fast. But maybe I'll owe you a beer in 10 years and I'll be shown wrong yet again - LOL
I think what you're seeing in the way of viral video -- the YouTube's and the videocasts and even the Bittorrents -- are exactly what have become the "thousands of channels." We simply had the technology to bypass the idea of a fixed, linear arrangement of those channels in favor of an on-demand model.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:32 PM   #1349
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You are assuming several things:
Like that you don't have a horse in this race?
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:18 AM   #1350
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I think what you're seeing in the way of viral video -- the YouTube's and the videocasts and even the Bittorrents -- are exactly what have become the "thousands of channels." We simply had the technology to bypass the idea of a fixed, linear arrangement of those channels in favor of an on-demand model.
Yes, all the sucky stuff will follow that model. All the good stuff will continue to follow the profit-driven model.
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