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Official AEREO Discussion Thread - Page 4

post #91 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

I'm unqualified to argue the legal merits of the case, other than to observe that there are strong arguments on both sides and the outcome is uncertain. From my perspective as a consumer, Aereo is nothing more than an antenna rental that finally can hook me into broadcast TV.
No, it's not.

It's no longer the same ATSC signal. It's a web packet that is not being provided by the broadcaster. You can't get the product Aereo provides from the broadcaster.

Now, we can certainly agree the broadcaster probably ought to do so, but just because they haven't, doesn't give Aereo the right to step in and do it. It's not their content.
Quote:
You mention you have friends collecting high def TV off of a coat hanger antenna. All I can say is you must have friends in high places.
I live in New England. It's all hills full of iron around here. If we can get signals OTA, it means a lot of people can.
Quote:
Aereo controversy aside, perhaps we can agree on one point: the conversion to digital broadcasting has been a disaster.

No, we can't. I think it's working fine. I'll take a signal without ghosting and static any day, which is what I had before. Now, I get crisp, clear HD (well, except for my ABC affiliate, which multicasts - everyone else is fine.). My parents can tune in stations they could barely see before. They're actually considering going to OTA only.
post #92 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

No, we can't. I think it's working fine. I'll take a signal without ghosting and static any day, which is what I had before. Now, I get crisp, clear HD ...

If OTA broadcasting is "working fine" why are you worried about Aereo?

Not many people would pay a monthly fee for a service they can get for free with a small investment at Radio Shack. Nobody likes monthly bills, even modest ones. They too often lead to extra charges and hassles.
post #93 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

If I rent a space next to the local transmission towers and park an HTPC+antenna in that space, have I broken the law by streaming content for my use over the Internet? Obviously the answer is no.

If I pay Aereo a fee to provide this service to me, what has changed?

Are you charging yourself to watch content that is already covered for your use and you are already getting for free? What kind of question is that?
post #94 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

No, we can't. I think it's working fine. I'll take a signal without ghosting and static any day, which is what I had before. Now, I get crisp, clear HD ...

If OTA broadcasting is "working fine" why are you worried about Aereo?

He isn't worried about it. We are all trying to show you where you have huge gaps of actual knowledge. And this isn't the first time this has been tried. We have been down this road many times before. There is no new ground being ploughed here. You haven't "found the twist" that no one else has thought of because you aren't the first to think of them. Retrans has been around since 1990. This is one well ploughed field.
post #95 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

BTW, the proof that digital broadcasting has been a flop is that there is a large market for Aereo's services.

The OTA signals are evidently woefully inadequate, that's the problem. What is the solution? I'm not so familiar with satellite pricing, but the cable companies are not offering basic plans anymore.

Aereo is my solution. Maybe there is another approach that serves the needs of people who can't afford $100/month for TV.
They call this n=1 or anecdotal "evidence." I don't think there is any systemic evidence of digital TV being a failure.

Your argument doesn't work either. Using the high price of cable or satellite (both companies providing a service) it does not logically follow that you are due a cheaper solution.
post #96 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Are you charging yourself to watch content that is already covered for your use and you are already getting for free? What kind of question is that?
Slow down and think about it. If I rent a space, I am charging myself. You can't pretend to debate while plugging your ears to any plausible counterpoints. You aren't debating so much as just stamping your feet all over the thread.
post #97 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

If I rent a space next to the local transmission towers and park an HTPC+antenna in that space, have I broken the law by streaming content for my use over the Internet? Obviously the answer is no.

If I pay Aereo a fee to provide this service to me, what has changed?
What has changed is where the encode takes place.

At the user end, as long as you don't distribute it to others, it's fair use.

If you pay someone to do it, it's copyright violation. At that point, they become a cable company. The technology they use to send the signal is irrelevent if they sell it as a closed system that you have to pay for to access.
post #98 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Are you charging yourself to watch content that is already covered for your use and you are already getting for free? What kind of question is that?
Slow down and think about it. If I rent a space, I am charging myself. You can't pretend to debate while plugging your ears to any plausible counterpoints. You aren't debating so much as just stamping your feet all over the thread.

You are renting a space and charging yourself for TV. Now who is pretending?
post #99 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Your argument doesn't work either. Using the high price of cable or satellite (both companies providing a service) it does not logically follow that you are due a cheaper solution.

Now I think we are getting the crux of this. Because you don't like the prices cable and satellite offer, you feel you are "entitled" to a cheaper (free) alternative and Aereo is it. You aren't guaranteed anything but death and taxes. You want free TV? Put up an antenna.
post #100 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Now I think we are getting the crux of this. Because you don't like the prices cable and satellite offer, you feel you are "entitled" to a cheaper (free) alternative and Aereo is it. You aren't guaranteed anything but death and taxes. You want free TV? Put up an antenna.
I think you misread his post - he was arguing against being entitled a cheaper solution (bolded and capitalized for clarity):
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Your argument doesn't work either. Using the high price of cable or satellite (both companies providing a service) IT DOES NOT logically follow that you are due a cheaper solution.
post #101 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

They call this n=1 or anecdotal "evidence." I don't think there is any systemic evidence of digital TV being a failure.
This is not anecdotal evidence, it is direct, systematic evidence.
Examples of anecdotal evidence would be posts by NetworkTV and others who claim that their OTA is great. Therefore, there is no problem.

The only reason anybody would consider subscribing to Aereo is that they can't pick-up decent OTA signals Therefore, the fact that Aereo has a large market for their service is a systematic measure of people's inability to receive OTA digital broadcasting. We know the market is large because Aereo is thriving in NYC region, and people in the industry who stand to lose business are speaking in apocalyptic terms.

Now, what constitutes success? If you believe that it is fine that digital broadcasting exclude large swaths of the public, well, by such criteria digital broadcasting is a great achievement. I consider the situation that has been created a disaster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Your argument doesn't work either. Using the high price of cable or satellite (both companies providing a service) it does not logically follow that you are due a cheaper solution.
OK. Well, again we have disagreement over what constitutes success.
If you think a market that only serves the needs for people who can can afford to choose between $1700/year digital services package A or $1700/year digital services package B, then we currently have a healthy market. I say that is an elitist perspective.

As to whether I am "due" a cheaper solution: that's a straw man. I'm suggesting that the current market is highly rigged, the broader public would be better served if digital services could be purchased on a more ala carte basis. The language you use is correct as pertains to OTA broadcasts, the public was supposed to be able to have a reasonable opportunity to access free TV as part of the sale of licenses, and that didn't happen. The public is due OTA TV and they got screwed.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/18/13 at 10:44am
post #102 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

You want free TV? Put up an antenna.

Hello? Many people are located or situated in such a way that an antenna won't work. Your ability to ignore plain facts is impressive. Nobody would commit to paying Aereo's monthly fees if they could simply use their own antenna.

Aereo is providing an antenna to people who can't use traditional antennas.

The public was sold a bad bill of goods in the switch to digital broadcasting. The signals are too limited and weak. These are obvious facts.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/18/13 at 10:39am
post #103 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

There is no new ground being ploughed here......Retrans has been around since 1990. This is one well ploughed field.

You once again are ignoring the particular plain facts that don't suit your argument. Aereo is creating an antenna farm. They are collecting OTA TV broadcasts and delivering them to the customer, one antenna per customer.

If the situation were as simple as you describe, we'd have nothing to talk about, and Aereo would not have millions of dollars of investment sunk into it.
post #104 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

This is not anecdotal evidence, it is direct, systematic evidence.
....
If you think a market that only serves the needs for people who can can afford to choose between $1700/year digital services package A or $1700/year digital services package B, then we currently have a healthy market. I say that is an elitist perspective.
Where is the systematic evidence? Do you have a study supporting the claim that the digital TV transition is responsible for less people having access to broadcast TV? I am skeptical, but I could be convinced with some actual evidence...

On the second point, the market has far more choices than the false dichotomy you've served up. One could purchase a basic cable subscription and use the clear QAM channels for locals. One could use Netflix + Hulu. I'm not going to do all the legwork for you, but I guarantee these are fairly ala cart solutions and the cost is an order of magnitude lower than your explanation. Now, you pay for that cost savings with a loss of convenience. There are choices. Falling back to an "evil corporations" meme is patently ridiculous; practically whenever it is used, too.
post #105 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I think you misread his post - he was arguing against being entitled a cheaper solution (bolded and capitalized for clarity):
Thanks, you hit the nail on the head. wink.gif
post #106 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post



On the second point, the market has far more choices than the false dichotomy you've served up. One could purchase a basic cable subscription and use the clear QAM channels for locals.
Just a note, clear QAM is going the way of the dinosaur, as of a FCC decision in Dec 2012 the basic channel lineup(which is where the local stations reside) can now be encrypted. Comcast, the largest cable TV provider has already started the process and you will need a device(rented from the provider) to decrypt those channels. Clear QAM tuners will become obsolete.
post #107 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

BTW, the proof that digital broadcasting has been a flop is that there is a large market for Aereo's services.

The OTA signals are evidently woefully inadequate, that's the problem. What is the solution? I'm not so familiar with satellite pricing, but the cable companies are not offering basic plans anymore.

Aereo is my solution. Maybe there is another approach that serves the needs of people who can't afford $100/month for TV.

No, it's proof that that "large market" would rather pay Aereo for stolen content than bother with an antenna.
post #108 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

You once again are ignoring the particular plain facts that don't suit your argument. Aereo is creating an antenna farm. They are collecting OTA TV broadcasts and delivering them to the customer, one antenna per customer.

If the situation were as simple as you describe, we'd have nothing to talk about, and Aereo would not have millions of dollars of investment sunk into it.

1) It remains to be seen if Aereo is really and truly providing one antenna per customer. They say they do, but it hasn't been shown to be true. Until someone demands they prove it by logging into their account, viewing content and having Aereo pull the antenna assigned to them, all we have is what they claim.

2) The number of antennas is irrelevent. Antennas don't distribute or program channels. The channels are chosen by a tuner. It's the tuners that count. One entire building can use one antenna as long as everyone has a tuner that can be controlled individually. What you can't do is feed one channel to multiple people, which would be considered a public performance - much like playing a DVD or Blu-ray for a group of people would be. Single antennas for mutiple people to use have already been deemed legal.

The only time the antenna would really need to be individual is in cases where it needs to be rotated for various channels. That's more for the ability to view all available channels at any given time than a copyright issue. Aereo doesn't rotate their antennas (as far as we know) so that's not an issue.

What Aereo downplays is how it gets to the customer: pre-tuned remotely, converted to another video format, compressed for the web and fed as IP data. Essentually, what they're doing is taking content and creating a new product with it. It's not the original signal - it's a duplicate in a web-based form.

It would be like signing out a library book for someone who isn't near one, then sending PDF version of it to the customer to read. The book is out of circulation and held for the customer while they read it (so only that customer can access it in that time), but it's still a copy. No one will knock down your door for doing that to your books you own and want to read on your Kindle, but someone building a business model on it needs an agreement with the publisher and potentially pay royalties (or provide the E-Book copy to the publisher for them to sell in return).

I can put an antenna on my roof and my neighbors can hook into my distribution amp. There's nothing illegal about that. The can all watch a different channel if they want (since we have over a dozen here). However, if I split the output of my OTA tuner to all those people, that would be illegal.

Further, even if I look it down so no one I don't authorize can get to it, running that tuner to the interent for anyone but myself (even in the same market) violates copyright by creating new content that didn't exist before.

Honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could think the whole case depends on the antennas and not the sending content over a medium it was never authorized for - oh yeah, and charging for it.
post #109 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

On the second point, the market has far more choices than the false dichotomy you've served up. One could purchase a basic cable subscription and use the clear QAM channels for locals. One could use Netflix + Hulu. I'm not going to do all the legwork for you, but I guarantee these are fairly ala cart solutions

No. There is no such thing as a basic cable subscription anymore in my market, and that is the clear trend nationwide.
(Not sure why you mention clear QAM, since local channels are on any cable subscription. )

My own core need for tv is to have one or two PBS channels. Since digital broadcast TV is inaccessible to myself and many others, the only option is very pricey, bloated packages. Movies are available many ways, although I will miss TCM when I cut the chord. I love football, but could live without it for a while.
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Falling back to an "evil corporations" meme is patently ridiculous; practically whenever it is used, too.
Nice straw man. I am for more profits for more evil corporations, but in a healthy market that serves consumers better.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/18/13 at 2:34pm
post #110 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S 
No, it's proof that that "large market" would rather pay Aereo for stolen content than bother with an antenna.

You have an interesting perspective on human nature. Leaving aside your dubious "stolen" characterization, if you had to choose between putting up an antenna, or turning over your credit card number to a website so they can indefinitely bill you every month, which would you do?

I would certainly go with the antenna.
post #111 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could think the whole case depends on the antennas and not the sending content over a medium it was never authorized for - oh yeah, and charging for it.

It is a pretty convoluted situation.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/04/17/broadcasters-appeal-of-aereo/2090755/
In a dissenting opinion to the appeals court ruling issued on April 1, Judge Denny Chin of the Second Circuit sided with broadcasters. Calling Aereo's technology "a sham," Chin argued that the company has no reason to use a multitude of tiny antennas rather than one central antenna other than to make its copyright argument. "The system is a Rube Goldberg-like contrivance, over-engineered in an attempt to avoid the reach of the Copyright Act and to take advantage of a perceived loophole in the law," he wrote.

There are two ways of looking at it.

I hope Aereo prevails because it will lead to more ala carte options for consumers.
post #112 of 474
A ruling for Aereo is much more likely to result in completely "walled- gardens" where you have to agree to all content owners terms to obtain a "license" to view the material than it is to result in more ala carte options.

The Movie of the Week on OTA is already almost extinct because the content owners don't want to put out an HD version of their content for free. If any joe blow can just retransmit their content to thousands of people and still claim that it's a private performance then the content owners will pull everything they consider even remotely valuable off of OTA and force you to sign a license that prohibits transfers of any sort for the right to view the content.
post #113 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

If any joe blow can just retransmit their content to thousands of people and still claim that it's a private performance
Nah, that's not the effect of this ruling. These are very specific circumstances where a company has setup an antenna farm for OTA broadcasts. It's hardly an open door to retransmission.

The effect will be indirect and gradual. More people will find it attractive to dump their packages, and they'll move to streaming. This will be constrained somewhat because a lot of the country has crappy internet service. It won't be an overnight change. But you'll have more customers for streaming, and that will gradually induce more content.

A lot of people will stick with their cable and satellite packages, they work fine for many. But price will probably go up as customers flee. I don't think that what cable and satellite offer today is a bad deal for those who can afford it, but flexibility has gotten worse.

BTW, on the subject of access to OTA, I found this thread interesting:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1459155/how-do-you-mostly-receive-broadcast-tv

Lots of people can't receive OTA reliably. And I suspect this forum is a relatively upscale crowd, with homes and locations favorable to antennas & reception.
post #114 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

2) The number of antennas is irrelevent. Antennas don't distribute or program channels. The channels are chosen by a tuner. It's the tuners that count. One entire building can use one antenna as long as everyone has a tuner that can be controlled individually. What you can't do is feed one channel to multiple people, which would be considered a public performance - much like playing a DVD or Blu-ray for a group of people would be. Single antennas for mutiple people to use have already been deemed legal.
The is the best counter-argument so far -- and I'll admit, I don't have an immediate retort. smile.gif
post #115 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

No. There is no such thing as a basic cable subscription anymore in my market, and that is the clear trend nationwide.
(Not sure why you mention clear QAM, since local channels are on any cable subscription. )

My own core need for tv is to have one or two PBS channels. Since digital broadcast TV is inaccessible to myself and many others, the only option is very pricey, bloated packages. Movies are available many ways, although I will miss TCM when I cut the chord. I love football, but could live without it for a while.
Nice straw man. I am for more profits for more evil corporations, but in a healthy market that serves consumers better.
What is your market? Basic cable is required by FCC rules. In my market it isn't advertised by Comcast, but if you get on the phone they have it available.
post #116 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

What is your market? Basic cable is required by FCC rules. In my market it isn't advertised by Comcast, but if you get on the phone they have it available.
In most Comcast markets it's called "Limited Basic" or the "B1" lineup.
post #117 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

In most Comcast markets it's called "Limited Basic" or the "B1" lineup.
I just checked, I could get the limited basic for $15.95/mo. Hardly exorbitant or "$1700/yr."

The thing is Richard, there are so many streaming services between Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc. there is enormous market pressure that will undoubtedly lower prices going forward. Cable packages have grown enormously expensive but contrary to what you're claiming, there *are* options available.
post #118 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

What is your market? Basic cable is required by FCC rules. In my market it isn't advertised by Comcast, but if you get on the phone they have it available.

Charter is ending basic cable. Basic cable is analog, BTW, they are ending all analog service.

Ya, I thought there was an FCC rule requiring basic cable, along with the C-SPAN channels. I guess not, or at least that's what two charter reps told me.
Edited by Richard Burger - 4/18/13 at 8:21pm
post #119 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

The thing is Richard, there are so many streaming services between Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc. there is enormous market pressure that will undoubtedly lower prices going forward. Cable packages have grown enormously expensive but contrary to what you're claiming, there *are* options available.

Ya, I've been experimenting with streaming services. As soon as Aereo comes to my market, which they claim they will be doing within two months, I will be able to stream my all-important PBS, and I will be all set. I also may get the occasional football game on local channels, so won;t have to total cold turkey.

Actually, the most popular local channel has already started streaming their local content on a Ruko channel. they are a CBS affiliate.
post #120 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Burger View Post

Ya, I've been experimenting with streaming services. As soon as Aereo comes to my market, which they claim they will be doing within two months, I will be able to stream my all-important PBS, and I will be all set. I also may get the occasional football game on local channels, so won;t have to total cold turkey.

Actually, the most popular local channel has already started streaming their local content on a Ruko channel. they are a CBS affiliate.
There always has to be a basic cable. It is required by FCC rules. That is basically locals + PBS + local access. If they go digital you'll need a set top box and that may cost another $5/mo or something.
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