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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RE[3]: Don't understand
by henrikmk on Sat 25th Feb 2012 20:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Don't understand"
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So, what ?

The situation is not the same in all countries, some countries use cable TV, others use satellites, or free to air UHF band, or through internet adapters.
In my country, for example, "cable TV" is almost nonexistant, people mostly use free to air or channels available through their internet connexion.

Cable TV are not the only sinners here: In my country, Denmark, everyone who are able to receive a TV signal or have an internet connection must pay a fee of 316 Euros per year to the national TV provider. This is completely regardless of whether you watch TV at all. This fee was instated in 1921, when radio broadcasting became widespread. This fee is exactly the same for young students with little money, but need their internet connection for school and for millionaires with 10 TV sets in their house.

Yet the quality of the programming is quite low and they are subject to the same issues as cable TV providers of not showing things I want to watch or buying only the first season of a good TV show. There is nothing interesting there for me and what they air, is stuff that I've already seen from other sources months or years ago.

I gave up TV in 2007 and since then my content consumption has become far more efficient. I can watch, listen or read more content in shorter time than I could before (no waiting or ads) and I can legally pay less for it, if it isn't free, and I don't have any decoder boxes standing on the shelf that collect dust and consume power.

You know what ? What you consider as "great TV shows" is considered as junk by many people.

That's irrelevant to me as a consumer. I don't care what you like and you shouldn't care about what I like. I shouldn't pay for your content and you shouldn't pay for mine. We should both be directly supporting the producers we each like. Anything else is not fair to both consumers and producers.

But they are still paying for sponsoring the 1% you care, as you are sponsoring the 1% they want. For example, I need to accept that a lot of my money is spent for broadcasting sports, which I never, ever watch.

You do realize that you would pay a lot less, if you only paid for the content you watched? And producers of the content would receive that same amount of money directly instead of through sponsorship?

You are voluntarily paying a lot of money for junk. Thereby, you as a consumer have no direct control over supporting the content you are watching. So you pay to watch the first two seasons of what you think is a great TV show. You will then not get a third one, because the sponsorship was pulled and is moved to a show that you don't care about. The story is never completed and it's exactly like buying half a movie. That makes no sense.

But there are cases where you are able to support the producer directly. The comedian Louis CK provided his latest show in December 2011 for 5$ as a plain MP4 file to be played anywhere. The result? He made more money than he ever did with his older DVD releases, that were 3 times more expensive to buy. He personally made a million dollars in 12 days, more than enough to do more shows.

And, of course, few people speak fluently english, so simultaneous worldwide distribution is pointless.


1. Practically all movies are pirated long before they leave the United States for show in foreign theatres. It is in fact such a big "problem" that they put people in jail now for recording off movie screens.

2. If you look at Japanese anime fabsub releases, well, there is an ecosystem of people working in an extremely disciplined and organized fashion to give everyone the latest anime. It's a system that has been around for almost two decades and started on VHS.

This exists because anime is either released years after it aired in Japan or is simply never released legally outside Japan at all. But there are still tons of people watching it outside Japan, so it would be safe to assume that Japanese anime producers would make more money, if they simply allowed simultaneous world wide releases and compete directly with the fansubbers. And oh, some of them actually do:

3. Ronald D. Moore, creator of the new Battlestar Galactica TV show asked Americans not to download the first season of the show, as it was airing in the UK months before it did in the US. This meant, that if people in the US were not watching it through the proper channels, it would get a lower rating and risk cancellation.

That's how much not having a global simultaneous release affects distribution.

It's quite simple: Many people want to watch the newest content right now, not wait 6-12 months for it, and as more people become aware of the possibilities through pirating, more people will do it.

There is no practical or economic reason not to do this. All the reasons are currently about pure legality, so lawyers in each country get to shuffle papers around and get paid for that.

The same problem exists in the music business. You will not find one musician, who is glad that his music cannot legally be played in a certain country.

The main part of my previous post relates my astonisment about people acting as drug addits for TV series, being able to do dirty things to get their shot, as fast as possible.
I'm a bit sad about them, actually.

It's not relevant to the technical aspects of distributing modern TV shows, which are not efficient, too expensive for consumers and do not give the original creators full value for their work and are usually not allowed to tell a full story.

I could not care less about your personal TV viewing patterns, as casual or enthusiastic as they may be, and you should not need to care about mine.

The only dirt that exists here is a lack of a "pay" button that links directly to the producers, when downloading a torrent.

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