Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Feb 2012 21:59 UTC
Multimedia, AV An interesting anecdote at MinimalMac about television being broken. The author's young daughter, who is growing up in a Netflix/Hulu/iTunes/etc. household, was confronted with actual TV for the first time, and wonders why she can't pick what to watch, why the shows are being interrupted all the time, and so on. Clearly - TV is broken.
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This is Defective by Design
by bornagainenguin on Sat 25th Feb 2012 06:45 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

I always marvel at how people continue to miss this obvious fact. Television is "broken" because that is the way the MAFIAA want it to be. They think they have figured out a way to keep getting multiple payments for the same old shows over and over again...and to a certain sense they had until people decided they refused to go along with the scheme and the internet provided the disruptive technology to make distribution cheap.

Think about it--the TV people used to make a series, license it abroad, wait until they had enough episodes for syndication locally and resell those as reruns, then just as the shows began to fall off the radar of various affiliates the cable networks came in and propped those now decades old shows with networks like Nick at Nite and MeTV, etc. Then when that got old the VCR showed up and the studios were able to resell them again in VHS collections to fans. By the time the VHS tapes wore themselves out the Laser Disc and DVD formats arrived on the scene and people rebought those series yet again. Thanks to the magic of forever minus a day copyright extensions, why wouldn't the studios think they could simply go on reselling the same product over and over again?

Except it really isn't the same product, is it? WKRP in Cincinnati, The State, Daria, Quantum Leap, etc all had parts of the show replaced or otherwise edited, resulting in an inferior product. The Wonder Years can't even get licensed due to the wackiness of copyright restrictions biting them in the rear due to the way they interleaved music into the fabric of the show. Still Big Media rested comfortably on their laurels as the gatekeepers--if you wanted the media you had to go through them...

Except that's not the case anymore, is it? We don't have to rely on them so much any more. Techdirt reported earlier this week about how a group of Daria fans were rebuilding the first two seasons by combining the high quality video with the original audio from the syndicated versions. I expect to see this sort of thing catch on and take over as people take back their culture and ignore the broken copyright perversion for what it is.

Meanwhile IMHO the biggest change is yet to come, as the underground scene continues to push the envelope and find the happy media between high quality video and compression, resulting in a "good enough" format equivalent to MP3.

Considering some of the releases put out by the BoB re-encoding group I'd say that we're not far off from that point...

--bornagainpenguin

PS: To those who miss the randomness of seeing what is on, consider giving the PseudoTV plugin for XBMC a look. While I personally liked the way TV Time 2.0 for XBMC (based on and extending the PseudoTV plugin) handled things, it seems to have been abandoned these days. It provides an EPG created from the shows in your library and allows you to channel surf your collection. A great way to recapture that random episode of Star Trek: TNG again.

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