Nothwithstanding Net non-neutrality, should others follow where ABC-TV is going (Internet TV)?

Nothwithstanding Net non-neutrality, should others follow where ABC-TV is going (Internet TV)?

Summary: Via Dave Winer, Jeff Jarvis has penned a commentary on Disney's announcement that it will be making some of ABC's television programs viewable over the Internet.  Wrote Jarvis: TV has finally exploded.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Via Dave Winer, Jeff Jarvis has penned a commentary on Disney's announcement that it will be making some of ABC's television programs viewable over the Internet.  Wrote Jarvis:

TV has finally exploded. And if other media — newspapers, magazines, and even online companies — don’t watch out, they may lose the broadband internet to TV companies....What this really means: TV is grabbing a share of online advertising by redefining TV as both broadcast and broadband. Advertisers have always been more comfortable spending big money on TV. Now they can continue to spend their money with those familiar players and get broadband, too.

Jarvis finds the sense in the move.  But is Disney still behind the times? As best I can tell from what's available (and I could be wrong), you'll need to be connected to the Internet to view any programming.  In other words, the programs are not downloadable the way, say, podcasts are so you can (a) take the content on the run and (b) really view the content whenever you want to. Not only that, in whatever client environment it uses (my guess is Flash), Disney is going to offer interactivity (eg: chat) with other viewers that happen to be on line at the same time but disallow fast forwarding through commercials.  Sounds like Webcasting to me.  We do it here at ZDNet.  All the major news networks do it.  

Interesting news, but no thanks. Real timeshifting doesn't put an unreliable medium with unpredictable quality of service between me and access to the content I want.  For $5 per month more over the cost of a plain cable box, my TiVo-like digital video recorder timeshift any broadcast content (not just the smattering of shows that Disney decides I can) and I can blast through commercials (by the way, with DRM technologies -- aka C.R.A.P. (or, see CRAP, the movie!) --  they're about to disable that).  Worse for ABC and other networks that attempt to follow suit, the digerati will lead the way.  Over the weekend, my son and his friend were watching a TV program on the friends video iPod.  They were blasting through the commercials.  "Where did you download that from?" I asked (expecting the answer to be the iTunes Music Store).  Answer?  Limewire.  Uh oh.

I disagree with Jarvis.  The goal here for new and traditional broadcasters isn't to figure out how to take advantage of old technology (Webcasting) to basically preserve the old model.  They need to get ahead of the podcasting revolution by figuring out how to survive in a completely mobile and timeshifted world because that's where the gravity of time (our most valuable asset) will lead most people (many are already there).  

Finally, this sort of offering isn't exactly complimentary to the services that your local cable network and DSL providers had in mind.  Since they have a duopoly over Internet service provision to your home or business and since Congress said last week that they can do as they please in terms of restricting what flows over those pipes (putting the ixnay on Net neutrality), I can't help but wonder if Disney and others will have to pay a premium in order to drive their content across those off-ramps (into your computers).  

Topic: Hardware

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  • Bad news for you

    ---For $5 per month more over the cost of a plain cable box, my TiVo-like digital video recorder timeshift any broadcast content (not just the smattering of shows that Disney decides I can)---

    You do realize that the whole broadcast flag thing is going to severely restrict what you can record on your Tivo, right? Or that Tivo allows networks to decide what you can and can't record, and how long your Tivo box will keep a recording before deleting it (HBO, for example, erased each 6 Feet Under episode as soon as the next one aired).

    You're going to be much better off rolling your own recorder, probably with a cheap Linux box and a tv tuner card. The only problem there will be the DRM (or CRAP) that is used to block these, but like all DRM, it will quickly be broken and your box will work just fine. Plus, no monthly fee and no phoning home information about how you keep stopping and rewinding that Britney Spears video where she's dressed as a schoolgirl.

    Also on the subject of tv shows as internet downloads, good article over at Wired:

    http://wired.com/news/wireservice/0,70626-0.html?tw=wn_index_12
    tic swayback
  • And you guys laugh

    When I talk about the WiMAX Steamroller and the Streaming Paradigm. As I see it now, things are all falling into place and 2-3years from now - things will be a WHOLE lot different.
    Roger Ramjet