US Switches To Digital TV And The World Doesn't End -- Nor Does Hollywood

from the phew dept

We were quite surprised to find no further calls for delays on the switchover to digital over the air TV from analog -- but we're not at all surprised to find out that the actual switchover happened with relatively few problems. Sure there are some people who are confused or who are having difficulty getting their new converter boxes working properly, but there's been no catastrophic failure or problems, and most of the issues seem to have been resolved pretty quickly. Perhaps the gov't really did need a few extra months, but my guess is that the same thing likely would have happened back in February... or if we had done the switchover years ago. So, now can we put the old spectrum to good use, finally?

Separately, the EFF is noting that (once again) it appears that Hollywood lied and exaggerated its claim that it needed a broadcast flag that would stop DVR copying of digital TV or it would start pulling content off the air. Funny thing... that didn't happen. As the EFF notes:
Entertainment industries like to argue that they "need" DRM to make works available. And policymakers have eagerly adopted this argument. But when the bluff is called, it turns out that the DRM wasn't so necessary after all.
So will our politicians recognize this? Or will they continue to believe Hollywood, everytime it insists it needs some new kind of DRM with legal backing from the gov't?
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Filed Under: broadcast flag, digital tv, drm, hollywood, politics, transition


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  1. identicon
    bob, 16 Jun 2009 @ 12:55am

    I Don't Watch Them Now

    Re: Re:
    by Anonymous Coward - Jun 15th, 2009 @ 8:12am
    --------------------------------------------------------
    "The fact that shows are available within minutes online after their broadcast is indicative of an under served market."

    ""Not really, unless you consider the under served market to be "people who don't want to watch commercials, and expect a free ride". These are people who are not in market, people who don't want to pay for cable / dish / antenna, don't own a TV, etc. Yeah, they are an under served market, but they are also NOT the target market.""

    Da market are da youts, to paraphrase "My Cousin Vinney"
    This is the same market that now expects free music.
    I record most of the TV I watch, and I have a 30 second button that allows me to skip forward. I torrent TV mostly because I missed a show, do I mind that HDTV_LOL removed the commercials, nope. It seems like you do not know who the TV people aim TV at.

    "Also you don't know that NBC scrapped its programming because of economic times. "

    NBC made that clear. The Jay Leno show will cost them significantly less than producing comparable dramas in the same time slot. So as ad revenues are dropping, so it NBC's interest in paying out big money on external productions. Further, NBC (and pretty much every network) continue to move to reality based programming and "live events" that require the audience to watch live to be part of the deal. It's all an attempt to significantly cute the price of production, as ratings, drop, ad revenues drop, and the resale market for scripted shows continues to go down as well.

    The resale market on scripted shows is an important part of the cost / benefit puzzle, and when the shows are killed by file sharing / downloads, etc, there must certainly be some negative effects on the secondary markets.

    Please give me an example of a show killed by sharing.

    I know 2 examples where sharing and reruns brought back shows.

    Firefly, but sadly only as a movie.
    Futurerama, coming soon to a TV near you.

    I bet there are others.

    Oh and I fixed your spelling for you too.

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