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Old 06-20-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Time Warner to explore disabling the fast foward button on DVR's.

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:37 PM
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Next, clawed clamps for fixing eyeballs to the screen.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeWarner 

"The ability to prevent trick mode functionality may be important for a number of reasons. Advertisers may not be willing to pay as much to place advertisements if they know that users may fast forward through the advertisement and thus not receive the desired sales message. Content providers may not be willing to grant rights in their content, or may want to charge more, if trick modes are permitted," Time Warner Cable writes in the patent, which was issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on May 15.

Um, did the advertisers not know that customers already do this? Is this something new? I think people have been doing this since the invention of the TiVo and later the broader introduction of the DVR.

So, If I keep this on my HTPC I can use MCE buddy and T-W cannot do a thing about it. The rest of the masses are screwed. The FCC gave consumer's a tidbit of control in content delivery by requiring the Cable Companies to accept the use of Multi-Stream CableCARD tuning devices.. We need to make sure that doesn't get taken away.

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't these guys learn anything from the RIAA? The end result of this is increased pirating.
Quote:


The patent, which lists Time Warner Cable principal architect Charles Hasek as the inventor, details how the nation's second largest cable MSO may be able prevent viewers from skipping TV commercials contained in programs stored on physical DVRs it deploys in subscriber homes, network-based DVRs and even recording devices subscribers purchase at retail outlets.


Time Warner Cable has already begun to disable the fast-forward function in some of the digital cable products that it offers to subscribers, including its "Look Back" and "Start Over" features. The patent refers to Look Back, a service that allows Time Warner's digital cable subscribers that forget to record a program on a DVR to access the program within three days of its premiere date. The Look Back feature is available in programming from networks owned by Discovery Communications, A&E Networks, NBC Universal, Showtime and Food Network.

Time Warner Cable originally filed the application for the patent, titled "prevention of trick modes during digital video recorder (DVR) and network digital video recorder (NDVR) content," in February 2007. While Time Warner Cable hasn't yet launched a network-based DVR similar to the Optimum DVR that is marketed by Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), its Look Back feature performs many of the same functions as a network DVR.

Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech said the MSO hasn't announced plans to launch a network DVR. The company hasn't yet responded to questions regarding the patent that it was issued last month.

Time Warner Cable notes in the patent that it may be difficult for cable operators to prevent commercial skipping on DVRs that aren't controlled by the operator, but the MSO offers a technique for preventing viewers from skipping commercials in cable programing they record on other devices.

"By utilizing, for example, digital embedded cue-tones for advertisement insertion, a device in the network … could use these points (i.e., the cue-tones) to selectively remove I-Frames/IDR-Frames to prevent trick modes during ads (or other portions) but not from the program being watched. Thus, consumers can be substantially prevented from skipping, fast forwarding and rewinding through video that the provider would like the consumer to view, such as advertisements, specific carriage agreement requirements, etc.," Time Warner Cable wrote in the patent.


The penchant viewers with DVRs have for skipping ads has prompted other multichannel providers to look at ways to preserve advertising placed in TV programs. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) recently submitted a patent application that details how it could deliver alternative commercials to subscribers that hit the fast-forward button on their remotes to skip ads.

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/time-warner-cable-patents-method-disabling-fast-forward-function-dvrs/2012-06-19#ixzz1yNQcL2T9

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Old 06-21-2012, 01:41 AM
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In Australia the OTA broad casters have formed a consortium to promote the conversion to digital TV called Freeview. DVR suppliers are being encouraged to have their hardware certified as Freeview compatible. To be compatible a DVR must disable skipping and only allow fast forward. This is conveniently left out of all the marketing that Freeview puts out. Most people aren't even aware of this.

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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But the recordings can be run through MCE Buddy to have this done.. the developers may have to re-write some code but as usual the feeble attemps to control what we are being force to see will be circumvented.

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:51 AM
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This makes even more sense for Comcast to want to do. They have direct stakes in ad viewership on many networks including
NBC
CNBC
MSNBC
NBC Sports
USA
Universal HD
E!
G4
Golf Channel
and many others, plus any tv programs produced by Universal Television such as The Office.

Actually now that I am thinking of it I am surprised they really haven't made a push for this yet.

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Old 06-21-2012, 10:48 AM
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Looks like they are very intent on forcing us to view their commercials and political propoganda.
http://www.missingremote.com/news/2012-06-20/microsoft-drops-certification-tv-tuner-and-wmc-remote-control-and-receiver-hardware
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

But the recordings can be run through MCE Buddy to have this done.. the developers may have to re-write some code but as usual the feeble attemps to control what we are being force to see will be circumvented.

A) Percentage of people using WMC is low.

B) Percentage of people using WMC and MCE Buddy is even lower

C) Time Warner can turn on the "copy never" flag, and MCE Buddy is defeated.

I think is similar move was made in the 80s after the laws were finally writted to legally allow people to record live TV for later viewing under the "fair use act" and broadcasters complained that people were fast forwarding the commercials. Congress shot them down, and pointed to the "fair use act" basically saying that "whatever you do in your own home is your business"

These days, when congress is owned by multi-billion dollar companies, we may be SOL.

I can tell that neither HULU nor YouTube let you fast forward through commercials, and no one seems to complain.

Also, with Time Warner's "look back" feature, you can't fast forward, or at least you couldn't when it first came out a few years ago, and we tried it because it was free for a few months.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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It was once said to me that the U.S. Government is just a huge corporation that incorporates a bunch of big corporations. It is no longer of, by and for the people but of, by and for the corporations.

There's a couple reasons I don't use HULU or Youtube (or most other on-line streaming of TV Shows) and the inability to fastforward through commercials is the top one. So I complain by not using it.

I think controlling the operation of a customer owned DVR or WMC is just flat out wrong and an intrusion into my world but if they put it in the ToU what are you to do but cancel the service. Putting it into a DVR that TW owns is not a problem. It is leased equipment and they can do as they please with it.

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Old 06-21-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

I think is similar move was made in the 80s after the laws were finally writted to legally allow people to record live TV for later viewing under the "fair use act" and broadcasters complained that people were fast forwarding the commercials. Congress shot them down, and pointed to the "fair use act" basically saying that "whatever you do in your own home is your business"

Actually, it was the Supreme Court in the Betamax case that determined that time shifting recording was a fair use, not Congress, and they certainly never said anything close to "whatever you do in your home is your own business." Nothing was ever written into the law by Congress either permitting or banning home recording (at least until the DMCA prohibited circumvention of encryption).

But I expect, and the words used by Comcast indicate, that they are sensitive to the political backlash they would face from totally disabling the fast forward button.

It looks to me like there are two aspects here. First, they got a patent on some method to prevent "trick mode functionality" which sounds to me like it is directed specifically at automatic commerical skipping processes like the Dish network DVR, NOT at disabling the general use of the fast forward button. Second, it indicates they are already disabling FF functionality in some extra services they are providing like the "look back" process. That would be similar to what, for example, CBS does in its NCAA basketball tournament webcasts where they disable the ability to change games during commercials.

My guess is that politically they can get away with disabling FF on these "extra" services, even though they would likely face a backlash if they tried it on regular broadcasts. Regarding the Dish DVR, they're going to fight that out in the courts, and then perhaps in Congress, and probably in the next round of contract negotiations.

But it may be premature to assume they are going to try to completely disable the use of fast forward on DVRs. Maybe they are actually dumb enough to do that, but I kind of doubt that they are.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Time Warner owns a lot of content that they also deliver via the cables and switches they own. They want you to watch the commercials to pay for what you already pay a monthly fee for as well if you are on their system. They will market this as an enhancement for the benefit of the customer and raise the rate for DVR renters to pay for this enhancement.

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Old 06-21-2012, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Time Warner owns a lot of content that they also deliver via the cables and switches they own. They want you to watch the commercials to pay for what you already pay a monthly fee for as well if you are on their system. They will market this as an enhancement for the benefit of the customer and raise the rate for DVR renters to pay for this enhancement.

If hindsights 20/20 that's exactly what they will do.... Sad but true.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Time Warner owns a lot of content that they also deliver via the cables and switches they own. They want you to watch the commercials to pay for what you already pay a monthly fee for as well if you are on their system. They will market this as an enhancement for the benefit of the customer and raise the rate for DVR renters to pay for this enhancement.

not any more. they own a few local stations, but Time Warner Cable has nothing to do with Time Warner/TNT/TBS/CNN/HBO/etc

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Old 06-21-2012, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Mabye so but I'm pretty sure the boards of directors have an 80% overlap of members. The Uber rich watch each other's backs too.

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:14 PM
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if you read in the quote, "...selectively remove I-Frames/IDR-Frames...". I believe this effectively prevents even media center from knowing how to jump forward/pause/rewind.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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MF's

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:04 PM
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And people wonder why torrent communities exist. Hell, half the stuff I download isn't movies, it's TV shows that already have the commercials cut out. They come out right after they air and can be downloaded in just a few minutes with any half decent site. I get my shows faster that way than with a combo of recording and MCEBuddy.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:47 PM
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Sounds like a job for Show Analyzer (though it cost $30) or donate to Comskip. I'm trying out the latest version of MCEBuddy. It won't detect Boomerang bumpers, so I have to do that manually inside Windows Live Movie Maker, or I might just deal with it. I want that disk space back....

Cable sucks, if they do this, others will follow. Yes Torrent/Newsgroups mostly exist to watch TV Shows with the adverts already removed and also so you can watch things on mobile devices instead of being tethered to your PC. You can also watch TV in other markets which is another reason. How many people watched Dr Who before BBC America existed or when they are a few seasons behind the actual show? Same with Top Gear...

VPN WTF, this is why I want to run an x86 router... Once the hype around the Raspberry Pi dies down and the things are readily available, I want to build a tiny torrent/newsgroup box. Then I want to get a cheap Atom board to run PFsense or something.

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Newsgroups exist now for nefarious purposes but their roots are more noble.

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Old 06-22-2012, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
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Newsgroups exist now for nefarious purposes but their roots are more noble.
That is why many ISPs dropped them because they were finding smut on there and that's many of those guys and gals pedaling kiddie stuff got caught since most newsgroups were located on ISP servers.

You mean they exist for less nefarious purposes now since you have to pay for access.... Its the RIAA's and MPAA's worst nightmare, because its paid access the companies can afford to have top notice security, 128-bit encryption and the like. They also won't hand over user accounts, not in their interest to do so.... But again its mostly TV Shows on there, out of production TV Shows, Movies and the like. Yes some new releases are on there, but somebody had to buy the movie and frankly it took people long enough to get their heads around mp3 and ripping cd's. They don't even know what to use to get around the encryption on SD-DVD, we get that question on here quite a bit, which means most of the general pubic has NOT idea how to do that. Most also don't have BR drives in their computers or upload TV/Movies, Rip Console disc, whatever.

Its a fairly small group of people, they are concerned not so much about us, but us dumbing it down enough for the average user to do all the above, like Napster.

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Old 06-22-2012, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
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Um, did the advertisers not know that customers already do this? Is this something new? I think people have been doing this since the invention of the TiVo and later the broader introduction of the DVR.

Of course the advertisers know. That's why they basically refuse to pay for DVR viewers, as opposed to live viewers (and why networks don't look too heavily at the amount of non-live viewers when deciding to renew/cancel a show).

The networks/services have been trying to figure out how to monetize non-live viewers, because something has to give eventually as non-live viewing increases.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:53 PM
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There isn't much content that I even record on my DVR. Usually it's a NASCAR race when I'm not at home. Otherwise, all of my "TV" time, is DVD movies or TV shows on DVD. I'm a season behind, but I don't have to deal with commercials (FF or not).
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krispy Kritter View Post

There isn't much content that I even record on my DVR. Usually it's a NASCAR race when I'm not at home. Otherwise, all of my "TV" time, is DVD movies or TV shows on DVD. I'm a season behind, but I don't have to deal with commercials (FF or not).

Why be a season behind... Google "Automate Media Center" and you'll come up with two nice tutorials on Lifehacker. Commercials I only tolerate because I haven't paid for Show analyzer yet.. Hulu Plus also means no adverts, the minor 30 second spots they have...Crackle though bugs me, they show ads during movies too...

Speaking of NASCAR, TNT will be passing it off to ESPN in I think two more races.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:48 AM
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What I find interesting is the fact that because of copyright issues, cablecard BS, and the cost of TV, I actually quit watching almost all TV entirely. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it advertisers. What are you going to do? Force me to watch TV altogether? Take away my books?

Theirs is a last gasp for relevance.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:31 PM
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This thread in general is why the cable companies are starting to introduce streaming apps, before long that's all there will be from them an app to stream from. No more STB's and the streaming apps will be in th edevices tv's bd players etc. Maybe not in th enext year or so but it's comming down the pike ... JMO.

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