Copy protection

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jilter, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Aug 2, 2009 #101 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Glad you replied, I was and still am trying to tone things down a notch and still get information. To recap, this whole thing started I think when I brought up Internet as a possible competitor to cable in the premium TV market and the possibility that the ISP side of their business could be wanting to imposing caps to kill some competition before it grew too big. Its gets real complicated real quick because what has traditionally been 2 very separate and distinct markets are starting to merge (Premium TV and Internet usage side). To complicate them further The Major providers of Premium TV (Cable Satellite, and now the phone companies (with Verizon Fios and ATT U-verse) service are also the big players in broadband internet as providers. If that wasn't the case an ISP that was truly independent of premium TV content wouldn't care that the bits going thru there lines were HD video, they would be in the business to make money making sure those bits get from point a to point b. It is the conflicting markets, TV vs internet, that these companies own, that concerns me. The TV side of the cable company which is what we have been disusing has traditionally been their cash cow, the data side of the company was icing on the cake. I am not accusing the industry of anything at this point, but when they make that large a change in their pricing policy you have to wonder why? I think that in recent years the people that traditionally had their High end TV service and also had their High end internet service were dropping the TV service and their internet usage spiked and this worries the TV providers. And I feel a reasonable conclusion could be they want to save their big money maker from what they are seeing as a threat. That is where the talk of monopolies came in. I don't think we will ever come to an agreement on if they are or aren't. I think they (the cable companies) are some kind of monopoly because of the overwhelming market share they have, or at least all the current big players are acting in cartel like fashion to circle the wagons. If I understand your reasoning you don't think their can be a monopoly because no matter where you live satellite is an effective competitor. I guess we will just have to disagree about it. Hopefully that summarizes what we have been discussing (It is how I saw it anyway) free of all the posturing and emotion and with implying anyone is a cry baby or a troll.

    At this point can we just say we disagree on the matter and not imply anyone is wrong or right? Or do you want to debate further as long as we are respectful I actually enjoy a well thought out argument, it challenges my own thinking on a subject.

    You might be right about the separable security thing with satellites. Oh and a piece of information I used satellite for like 12 years and I did forget about them in this discussion (but it doesn't matter), and I still think that if a cable company can influence where I live to get a different provider that they are a monopoly. ;)
     
  2. Aug 3, 2009 #102 of 146
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    However, it doesn't take an MBA to recognize that a small number of consumers started using the Internet pipe to derive a new type of value from it (and a type of value that places an extraordinary load on the resources), and so the pricing changes represented the standard practice for for-profit companies to capitalize on additional value their customers derive from the services they consume.

    Which is a shame, because that leaves you, and anyone who decided to go along with your mythos, believing in something that simply will not be what they experience in reality. I can only do as much as I can do to help, though.

    Sorry, but I'm not going to kowtow. They're not monopolies. They are not ignored by regulators, but instead only a small part of the service is regulated. That's deliberate. My believe in that reality hasn't changed, nor has my belief that it is bad for folks to peddle a perspective that fosters people feeling entitled to dictate to companies not only what they'll be offered, but how much they'll pay for it. We don't need to discuss it any further if you don't want. We've both made our points and we've reached a stopping point perhaps. However, if someone decides to peddle that entitlement mentality again, either later in this thread or in another, I will correct that perspective. Sorry if that's not optimal for you.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2009 #103 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Its not kowtowing to say that we differ on an opinion. If you don't want to enlighten me as to why you think they are not fine you are entitled to your opinion, but it wont convince me that you are correct. I'm entitled to my opinion and I could point to a definition and give examples where other companies that held/hold similar market share (Microsoft) were found to be abusing their market position to gain an unfair advantage. Monopolies are not illegal, abusing the power of a monopoly is. IMO to argue that a company that has well over 80% market share is not a monopoly or has monopoly like powers is absurd on its face. A better argument would be that the cable companies are NOT abusing their market share, but that is another story.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2009 #104 of 146
    wackymann

    wackymann Member

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    I don't care what it's called or the reasons for it, but in my town, we only have Comcast cable TV. And I have no access to satellite TV due to trees. We will be getting Fios about a year from now, and I will be very happy to have another choice for my cable provider! Comcast service is fine, but it is expensive. Some local competition will almost certainly help me keep my costs down.

    And to stay sort of on topic for this thread, I will most likely go with Fios if they don't copy-protect almost every channel like Comcast does.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2009 #105 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck well then it is probably a duck. And IF Fios ever comes here, I will be signed up the first week the are available.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2009 #106 of 146
    MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    clearly the fact that I REPLY to your bickering (and arguing BACK) shows I do have issues too. laughing.

    But for whatever reason you do seem to like to pick at many many posts even when "unprovoked".

    anyway back to the discussion at hand. sorry for taking off topic.
     
  7. Aug 4, 2009 #107 of 146
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    And bicker's response?


    I bet it is something like (paraphrasing) " So, cut your trees down." :p
     
  8. Aug 4, 2009 #108 of 146
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Some people clearly aren't reading the messages that they're replying to. :rolleyes:

    Stop trying to blame others for your circumstances, which are due to your own decisions. Your decisions about what technology to use or where to live don't incur obligations on the part of service providers. The world does not revolve around you.

    There is effective competition for subscription television service in every municipality in the country. Every single one of them.
     
  9. Aug 4, 2009 #109 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    I agree

    Despite having a 80%+ market share, the land line cable companies, of which in many places in the country, there is only 1 serving a particular market area, don't have a monopoly. The don't have "sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it." They don't control the whole thing only 80%+. As pointed out by some you have a choice if you don't like it you can always move to an area servicesd by another provider, who probably has a monopoly in that market area. Seems like sufficient control to me.

    And in a world of ironies I can think of instances where cable does not have a monopoly. They don't have a monopoly in the really rural areas of the country that they don't serve. In those areas Satellite has a monopoly.

    Despite the name, you don't have to be the only game in town to be a monopoly, you just have to have enough market share to significantly dictate the terms that people have access to it. If you don't believe me just ask Microsoft.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2009 #110 of 146
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Why doesn't your franchising authority, state government, the federal government, or the courts agree?
     
  11. Aug 4, 2009 #111 of 146
    wackymann

    wackymann Member

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    They're not my trees...

    But I don't really like the idea of getting TV from a satellite anyways. Cable is a much more robust method. I don't like the idea of rain/snow affecting my reception, nor do I want a dish on my roof.

    If Comcast would remove some of their draconian copy protection, stop charging ridiculous rates for my cable card access, and used less compression, I wouldn't care at all when Fios arrives in my town. All three of these issues will supposedly improve with Fios, so I'm looking forward to it!
     
  12. Aug 4, 2009 #112 of 146
    Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

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    I know this is just stirring things up again, but here's an interesting article (which appears to be from 2005):

    http://www.ipbusinessmag.com/departments/article/id/139

    Basically it says that a where there's a second choice for cable service, competition works to reduce prices, but where the only competition is satellite, it doesn't (much). This doesn't change that the markets in question were found to have effective competition in the form of satellite, but it's an argument for the availability of satellite not having been the best basis on which to decide this.

    It also seems to say that at least in 2005, there were still markets where there had not been a finding of effective competition (one of the charts shows prices for such markets).
     
  13. Aug 4, 2009 #113 of 146
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    There is Cox, TWC, Charter, Cablevision, Verizon, DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Brighthouse, MediaCom, Insight, SuddenLink, etc. No one MSO has more than 80% across the nation. So nationwide, there is competition.

    However, the cable companies have an unofficial agreement (implicit collusion?) to not compete with each other locally. So in that case let's go to the numbers. We have to use national numbers and fit them into any given market, which is flawed but the best I can do for now:

    Cable: 145 million subscribers
    DirecTV: 18 m
    Dish: 14 m
    FIOS: 2.5 m
    U-verse: 1.6m

    Cable has 80% of households in a given market, but there is also the Internet, Netflix, Blockbuster, etc. So locally they have a weak monopoly which is getting weaker.

    However, even if DirecTV, Dish, FIOS, etc. continue to grow in numbers, all that will do is create a local oligopoly. Economists use game theory to predict what will happen, but it's basically non-price competition. You won't see prices go down, but they usually offer slightly different services from each other. Maybe MRV is one of these services.

    So let's get back to the original topic. FIOS has implemented MRV with a few limitations. Cable has MRV, but may be limited in many markets. Dish has limited MRV (one DVR, two TVs). DirecTV is going to have it, but its limitations are unknown. So if MRV is really important to you to have now, get FIOS. Or wait a while and maybe switch to DirecTV. If you can't get them, move to somewhere that gets them, as there is competition nationally.

    The thing is, Tivo could implement MRV correctly, they just choose not to. The cable companies could also offer MRV on their boxes. But there is an even bigger oligopoly that owns all the media content (Disney, CBS, NBC, News Corp., & Time Warner). If the MSO ticks them off, they're in big trouble. Hence, MRV is not developed for their boxes and the copy protection flags are turned on.
     
  14. Aug 4, 2009 #114 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    I haven't been contending that they are doing anything illegal only that they are a monopoly. So why doesn't my franchising authority, state government, or courts agree? Mainly because it isn't illegal just to be a monopoly, you have to abuse the power of that monopoly (unless we are talking "Minority Report" type stuff in which case sue the heck out of them). Also isn't it that franchising authority that said, "having cable TV serves a public good, much like free OTA TV, but it costs a butt load of money for the Cable Company to do we are purposely going to eliminate competition in an area as an incentive to get cable TV services" in other words a LEGAL monopoly, one that has legal backing. kind of like what that wiki article about monopolies talked about. I've been trying to contend that with an 80+% market share and the local franchising by government that they are a monopoly and a least when they make major changes to to their business plan that change should at least be examined to ensure that it isn't abusive. Your contention is they are not a monopoly so they can't abuse the power of an 80+% market share no matter what they do.

    And what this all started out as "Copy protection" on premium TV channels on cable, was brought up because of possibly instituting caps on data to eliminate competition from a new source, namely the internet. Since the cable companies have largely rethought those caps (Probably because of a threatened law suit), there is nothing to file a law suit against. All of that is a separate argument from "is the cable TV company a monopoly?".
     
  15. Aug 4, 2009 #115 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    As previously stated NATIONwide has nothing to do with the local markets. It is an uncommon occurrence to even have 2 cable companies and satellite, let alone the 8 land based competitors, that is why it is a local market and local franchising. Unless you mean all should be available. When considered locally I used the WAG (Wild ... Guess) 80% to differentiate between land based traditional cable (Cox, ComCast, BHN, etc) and all others (including Fios U-Verse, Sat, etc). One could argue its a weak monopoly, but weak or strong locally it is still a monopoly.

    The reason all this is important is because the major players in Premium TV distribution (Cable TV, Satellite, and Telephone are also the big players in the DATA delivery market (ISP's). Here is a question to consider. If someone stated to use the data delivery side of your business, which traditionally had been offered at low rates for unlimited use, to compete with the TV side of your business which is where your core business is and where you make most of your money, could you use a method like instituting data caps on you data networks to protect your TV business? You said they had a weak monopoly and getting weaker because of things like the internet. Are data caps a concern now? Is that anti competitive? When the markets were separate (TV and Internet) it wasn't a concern, but the market is changing to data delivery. I view it as a business that is struggling with that change and grasping at anything they can to keep their business the way it is, instead of changing with the times, innovating, and giving customers a reason to use them. Here's an idea, Turn you business upsidedown. Instead of paying for the number of bits, pay for the speed of the bits, offer faster speeds (compared to a lot of places in the world our networks are slow). Speed up the networks and make it your selling point. What would you pay for a 10 M bit up/down connection?
     
  16. Aug 4, 2009 #116 of 146
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    And the beating of the dead horse continues. :rolleyes:

    No matter how much folks try to deny the reality, the reality won't change folks. They're not doing anything wrong. Live with it. nuf sed.
     
  17. Aug 4, 2009 #117 of 146
    rocko

    rocko Cuckoo for TiVo

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    Howzabout you two get a room or take it to email?

    Thanks.
     
  18. Aug 4, 2009 #118 of 146
    JeffRapp

    JeffRapp New Member

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    But see, this right here is the problem at hand. Cable Co's want everything to be value-added. Consumers just want a dumb pipe. There's obviously not much money to be made beyond basic subscribe fees for dumb pipes - and these are the exact growing pains that wireless providers are trying to fight. Consumers see internet service more and more as a utility, a commodity. We want it to behave like the power company does. They don't change our billing plan when we buy a new refrigerator - we just get charged more if it uses more electricity. But this is where the ISPs need to be careful. We've been trained to treat electricity as a resource. The more we use, the more it costs. However, ISPs have traditionally (post dial-up era) advertised internet access as "Unlimited." If they want to charge by the byte, then they're going to have some major problems on their hands.
     
  19. Aug 4, 2009 #119 of 146
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    So let consumers provide sufficient financial incentive for suppliers to just offer a dumb pipe.
     
  20. Aug 4, 2009 #120 of 146
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Well we finally agreed on something. 2 things actually. They aren't DOING anything wrong (depending on your opinion by, either by being a monopoly or not being a monopoly). and second that there is a dead horse here somewhere. I'll stop beating mine if you stop beating yours.

    PEACE :up:
     

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