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
    Rekrul, 16 Jun 2009 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here is a great example: More people watch "Amerian Idol" and "So you think you can dance" than watch most scripted shows. So while you have more time, more and more Americans are tuning into reality shows.

    I know a couple people who watch such shows. I also know several who are sick of "reality" shows, which are anything but.

    I don't see that problem with syndication for the most part. It depends on the channel you are watching on, I guess.

    EVERY syndicated show is cut, the only question is how much. Cable channels like USA, TBS, Spike, etc, are the worst, however local channels aren't much better. Not to mention that some of them will often censor things that aired on other channels. Take USA for example. In their show "La Femme Nikita", they showed a male character, fully nude from the back in a well-lit room in a shot that lasted probably 10 seconds or more. However in an episode of the show "Highlander", they placed a blurry spot under a woman's arm as she changed her top with her back to the camera, because you could see the side of her breast for about 1 second.

    If a show is being chopped up, don't watch it on that syndicator. It isn't like the Simpsons isn't on 27 times a day.

    That only works for really popular shows that are syndicated to different stations. What happens when USA or Spike buys the exclusive rights to air a show?

    The magic number is 44 minutes. The more the public clamours for big stars, big productions, and other costs, the more the networks will be looking to jam more commercials in. Remember, "free" TV isn't free.

    The irony is that most of the "hit" shows featured mostly unknowns when they first started, but yet they still went on to be big hits. Take "Friends" for example. What were any of the cast known for before the show started? Sure, you might have seen them in a couple other things, but if you had mentioned their names to anyone on the street, the response would have been "Who?". Who's the big star on Heroes? How famous was Kiefer Sutherland before "24"? I knew him from "The Lost Boys" and "Stand by me", but that was about it. How many people in America knew who Hugh Laurie was before "House" premiered?

    The funny part is the more people who watch online (and eliminate the commercials) the more likely the number of commercials will increase. Again, if the content producers can't get their money back for making the content, they will stop making the content.

    The number of commercials was steadily increasing long before downloading shows off the net became common.

    I just wish I'd had a broadband internet connection years ago. I can't count the number of shows I watched that were killed after only one season, or sometimes after just a few episodes and which have never been syndicated or released on DVD. It's too bad this level of piracy hadn't been in effect back then. If it had, maybe those shows would be "lost" now.

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