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Television The Courts

High Court Allows Remote-Storage DVR System 112

Posted by kdawson
from the score-one-for-the-cable-guy dept.
Immutate and several other readers noted that Cablevision will be allowed to go ahead with deploying a remote-storage DVR system, when the US Supreme Court declined (without comment) to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that went against movie studios and TV networks. (We discussed this case a few months back.) "Cable TV operators won a key legal battle against Hollywood studios and television networks on Monday as the Supreme Court declined to block a new digital video recording system that could make it even easier for viewers to bypass commercials. The justices declined to hear arguments on whether Cablevision Systems Corp.'s remote-storage DVR system would violate copyright laws. That allows the... company to proceed with plans to start deploying the technology this summer."
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High Court Allows Remote-Storage DVR System

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  • I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:40PM (#28523029)
    I don't understand why cable networks think that we need to pay for their content twice. I mean, I'm already paying for their content via the cable subscription fee so why should I even have ads? Either get rid of the licensing fees or get rid of the ads. This is like paying for a "premium" website only to get hit by pop ups on every page. I mean, I could even understand an ad or two at the start and after the end of the program, but why do they think they need to have 9 minutes of ads for every show when I'm already paying for their content?
  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:41PM (#28523037)

    Yikes you mean you can record a show off of tv and watch it at a different location? Wow what an innovation... oh, wait, I used to do that with Video Tape (VHS) all the time... time shifting shows too... location shifting them is no different...

    Before you know it you brain cells will have to pay a fee for SEEING a show. Oh wait, that's known as a movie theater...

    Before you know it you'll have to pay a fee every time you REMEMBER a show you saw on TV. Now that's scary.

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:43PM (#28523055) Homepage Journal

    Because they can.

    If a significant number of people quit their service and gave the feedback "there's just too many ads for a pay service" then maybe something would get done about it. But they don't.

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:55PM (#28523147)
    The problem with that is... cable bundling. Theres about 5 networks I watch regularly, and out of them about 2 have way too many ads that I would give up watching them if I could send feedback. However, if I cancel those networks, I end up canceling the 3 other networks that I do watch.
  • by speedlaw (878924) on Monday June 29, 2009 @08:59PM (#28523183) Homepage
    So the content providers sue the cable company for remote caching of shows. They really won this. Now, if the show is on a server somewhere, things like ad skip can't be disabled. There's no web page of hacks and work arounds for the "cable box". While the cable company was looking at this as two million remote boxes in homes versus a server farm, the content providers, stuck in 1965 where they played and you watched when they said to, freaked. They will figure out they won this as soon as they charge 5 cents per delayed broadcast...all passed on to the viewer, of course. Oh yes, that "dvr" fee is not going away, even if the DVR does.
  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pentium100 (1240090) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:02PM (#28523207)

    I don't know how this stuff works in the US, but where I live, the cable operator just catches the TV programs off the air or via some cable or satellite (I don't work for a cable company so don't know for sure), converts it to analog and sends both analog and digital versions trough the cable to my home. There is no difference between a channel that I can get off the air and the same channel on cable (except the reception quality). The commercials are part of the original program, so if the cable company were to remove them, it would leave a 5-10min gap of nothing where the commercials were.

    Why use cable then? Because of the higher reception quality and the ability to see foreign channels that would only be available via satellite.

    My cable company has a single channel of their own, but nothing interesting (to me) is there so I don't know if it has commercials or not (it only operates part of the day, the other part is ads with music, but it's easy to avoid them - just don't watch that channel)

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:11PM (#28523281)

    Because the Cable Company (e.g. Time-Warner) is charging your for *access* to Content Providers (e.g. TBS) who sell ads. Time-Warner gets paid for the access, TBS gets paid for the ads.

  • MythTV is awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew@@@zhrodague...net> on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:11PM (#28523283) Homepage Journal
    MythTV works for me. It already eats the commercials from the recorded shows, and with simple scripts, I can encode old Star Trek shows onto my iPhone. If you haven't used it recently, I suggest taking a look. MythTV [mythtv.org].
  • by hamburgler007 (1420537) on Monday June 29, 2009 @09:36PM (#28523497)
    No matter which party prevailed in this case, the average citizen wouldn't win. Both parties are only interested in making money, and as much of it as they can get away with.
  • A few thoughts... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:18PM (#28523767)

    No one has mentioned "Betamax decision" yet, have they?

    The Betamax decision primarily dealt with timeshifting, this is space- and time-shifting, is it not?

    The only issue is whether this will be harmful or not. While VCRs weren't necessarily harmful, because people kept watching TV as much as they'd normally have done, will this be harmful in any way?

    Can't it be justified that as long as the commercial time is being sold at the current price rates it currently is sold at, it won't have a negative affect on sponsors?

    Make commercial viewing more enjoyable. Shorter and less frequent commercial breaks. Perhaps bumps, like what Cartoon Network's Adult Swim does, which is an incentive to sit through them sometimes.

  • Re:I don't get... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CyDharttha (939997) on Monday June 29, 2009 @10:34PM (#28523863) Homepage

    That's how the Web started out - free of commercials. People got greedy though.

    :-)

  • by Sp1n3rGy (69101) on Monday June 29, 2009 @11:49PM (#28524357) Homepage

    Since when is capitalism so unpopular?

    If I'm evil for trying to turn a buck, then the US is in a shameful state for sure.

    I guess you are right. Let's move to China where... wait... umm, they like the Benjamins as well. Russia? Ohh wait, that was almost 20 years ago. How about the moon? Yeah!

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @08:06AM (#28526979)
    If you record it with MythTV and play it back when you want and it automagically skips all the commercials you get to see what you want, when you want. That is unlike services like hulu that force you to watch it only on certain browsers and force you to watch commercials.

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