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Cox cuts a deal disabling Ad skipping on DVR VOD!


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#1 of 26 Mary M S

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Posted May 09 2007 - 06:47 PM

Not sure if this belongs here or in Video/Audio Sources?
It's connected to source and programming?

The slippery slope.
Added to Engadget and Digg is a story reporting that Cox in a deal with Disney will disable commercial skipping on ABC and ESPN video-on-demand.

Disney sticking the first toe in the water to see if consumers will sit - grouse - and buy anyway?
- Or die before they give up their fast forward buttons.

Honest to gosh...I promise, between CopyP, HDMI, HD format wars and little animated figures running across the screen during a critical moment in the movie I'm watching on my paid-for supposedly higher grade, viewing choices. This would be the straw.

If this spreads to subscription services, I've had it with purchasing - anything - for video consumption, and will be revamping my life relearning - board games and long evenings outside in the garden when home.

I hope this is a joke.
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#2 of 26 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted May 09 2007 - 11:56 PM

Well what do you expect them to do? Ads pay for the programming. If advertisers know their ads won't be seen, they won't buy time on the networks to run them, and the networks won't have the money to produce shows.

"Free" TV isn't free (like most "free" things.) It is just that somebody else is paying for it.

That you're speculating about this being extended to pay subscription services shows how little you understand the whole process. (Hint: there are no paid ads on a pay subscription service, just in-house promos, and therefore no financial incentive to disable commercial skipping.)

Also note that this only applies to the VOD service, which - by definition - is used by time-shifters. So they can disable the FF function in the software, just as some DVDs do. I seriously doubt it is even technically possible to disable FF in recordings that you and I have made for ourselves.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 26 Jon Martin

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Posted May 10 2007 - 03:25 AM

Isn't VOD different than DVR recordings? They are the ones you can watch at any time from the cable box?

I wouldn't be too worried about that. On Comcast, the VOD offerings have one of the worst possible fast forward capabilities anyhow. The FF is only a x2 speed. Pretty much worthless.

#4 of 26 Scott-S

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Posted May 10 2007 - 03:48 AM

On my comcast, if I hit the FF again, the speed increases.
The FF1 is only 2x but then FF2 is 4x etc. You can go to FF4 which is 16x I believe.

If they prevent the FF during my recorded shows, I will just go back to my VCR or set up a PC dvr system.

Comcast already disables the FF on the VOD shows. Sometimes I can and sometimes I cant FF through the commercials.
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#5 of 26 Jon Martin

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Posted May 10 2007 - 04:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott-S
On my comcast, if I hit the FF again, the speed increases.
The FF1 is only 2x but then FF2 is 4x etc. You can go to FF4 which is 16x I believe.

Seriously??? Thanks! I will have to try.

#6 of 26 Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 10 2007 - 04:33 AM

This is why I have a standalone DVR. It will be pretty hard for cable companies or TV networks to disable the fast forward on that.

The less gear I have from my cable company, the better. I don't even have a cable box from them.

There is also talk of lawsuits against cable companies for offering a DVR-like service, on grounds of copyright infringement.

#7 of 26 Jeremy_Watson

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Posted May 10 2007 - 04:48 AM

It seems like there is some confusion here about VOD and playback from DVR HD. For example, on my Comcast box the DVR playback can do FF4, but for VOD it only does 2x FF.

Also, Chris, without the cable box can you access VOD?

#8 of 26 Mary M S

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Posted May 10 2007 - 07:28 AM

[grumpy on]

Quote:
Well what do you expect them to do?

Short answer Joe, Posted Image
Adapt.

Quote:
That you're speculating about this being extended to pay subscription services shows how little you understand the whole process.
I have seen the issue discussed.
Under the topic of "How to put the Genie back in the bottle."

Quote:
there are no paid ads on a pay subscription service.

It is interesting how in the early days of subscriptions one of the 'advertised' (ironic) benefits, was....no commercials.
The 'idea' was to pay for the privilege of numerous choices and less interruptions.

I'm paying much higher rates and this 'subscription' is beginning to drive me crazy.
In house, locals picked up, whatever the origin in my spread of channels.
I am now paying over a hundred a month to receive thousands more adverts in one form or another than ever before in the history of my "TV" veiwing.

It is delightful to have not only static bugs, but the more recent growing trend of flash, -
I love watching the payoff scene of a movie tears rolling down my face interrupted by a jumping animation telling me "Animal House" is coming on next.

The capabilities my DVR give me, do not even begin to balance the scales for what I have lost over the last 5-10 years.
My hundred dollars now buys me all the above, plus many minutes turning off PPV and Homeshopping channels which keep reappearing in my 'favorites', and the chore of erasing phone-home nag messages which fill up my HD. When queried about these issues, my particular provider states, "so sorry, something to do with turning them on & off again at our end, can't be helped" Posted Image

I have issues Joe...sung to the tune of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"
(at some future juncture..at the rate things are going, I fully expect to finally crack and cancel it all) I mean exactly what I said, and I do (with a consumers bias) understand the issues.

This is a slippery slope, if it passes under the wire, here and there (without too much clamor from the masses), it will creep, as some network sheepishly explains that is the 'only' way they could get the contract to air this 'major event'.
The more events in place thus blocked, the less we notice as new boxes launch - all of course equipped with ad 'flags'.

I remember when everyone said they would never sign with any cell provider whom required a one year contract!
Sometimes Joe, outlines of board meetings and conferences (in the industry) are readily accessible via the web.

You are obviously a highly intelligent and learned man.
But you may need to brush up on certain things your mother may have taught you.
Borrowing somewhat from Louis XIV,
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#9 of 26 Scott-S

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Posted May 10 2007 - 08:25 AM

TV is not free for me. I pay $80 per month for the privilege. If I am paying for it, why do I still get commercials?

I can see the "over the air" stations having commercials because they can be picked up for free. But I am paying to watch Discovery so why are there still commercials on it?

TV shows had far fewer ads in the past. They used to be 10% at most of the total time. Now, they are closer to 25%. Where does it stop? 50%?

The networks are to blame. They need to adapt. If they put on shows that people actually want to watch, they can show less commercials. Then, because of supply and demand, they could then get more money from the advertisers for 30 seconds. Right now there are plenty of time slots available, so the advertisers can pay less.

I also like the idea of going back to sponsored shows. I don't mind a show being sponsored by single big company, if it means less commercial interruptions. They have done that a few times this year and I enjoyed it. Watching the Masters Golf was nice because it was shown "with limited commercial interuptions". They only had 4 minutes per hour of commercials.
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#10 of 26 Steve Y

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Posted May 10 2007 - 08:36 AM

I agree with Mary and Scott. The "forced advertising" or "feature limiter" models are only necessary if you "think within the idiot box", i.e. think like the cable companies and media conglomerates that go after end-users rather than put their money into research that will make piracy not only more difficult but less desirable.

I know we're not talking about piracy but these issues are deeply related.

Have we forgotten how much we pay for these services? At what point is a line drawn? How many have been already drawn? Some people may have gotten used to "unskippable adverts" or "flash animations", but if you're used to that, then disabling functions on a box you pay money to rent (or own) seems only a baby step away.

But it is a giant leap from what "should be".

Steve

#11 of 26 David Deeb

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Posted May 10 2007 - 09:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Martin
On Comcast, the VOD offerings have one of the worst possible fast forward capabilities anyhow. The FF is only a x2 speed. Pretty much worthless.

And good luck trying to get it to stop correctly!!! I pushed fast forward once and it ran all the way through a 2 hour movie. If you rewind it, it crashes.

#12 of 26 David Deeb

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Posted May 10 2007 - 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott-S
But I am paying to watch Discovery so why are there still commercials on it?

Same reason there are ads in a magazine or newspaper and you buy those too.

#13 of 26 Hanson

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Posted May 10 2007 - 03:25 PM

I don't know about you, but I can skip those ads. It's called turning a page.

#14 of 26 David Deeb

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Posted May 11 2007 - 10:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo
I don't know about you, but I can skip those ads. It's called turning a page.

Agreed its not a big deal. But it doesn't address Scott's question as to why we have ads in things or on cable channels when we pay for the content.

#15 of 26 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted May 11 2007 - 11:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Deeb
Agreed its not a big deal. But it doesn't address Scott's question as to why we have ads in things or on cable channels when we pay for the content.

Because we don't pay for the content on basic cable channels. The whole premise of the question is wrong.

You pay your cable company for providing you with cable service, better reception than you'd get over the air and a whole menu of channel choices that aren't available over the air. You pay for their infrastructure, their taxes, their maintenance and the municpal kickbacks - excuse me, fees - they pay. Basic cable channels like Discovery and Food Network get next to nothing from the cable companies. They're mostly financed by commercials. No commercials, no shows. It is only the commercial-free pay channels (gasp!) that are supported directly by subscriptions you pay. That's why you specifically pay for HBO and Showtime and pay-per-view movies.

Regards,

Joe

#16 of 26 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted May 11 2007 - 11:12 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Well what do you expect them to do?


Short answer Joe, Posted Image
Adapt.

They are adapting. They're just doing it in a way you don't like. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#17 of 26 Mary M S

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Posted May 11 2007 - 01:01 PM

Quote:
They're just doing it in a way you don't like
Posted Image

Good thing I own that Deal or No Deal, button. Posted Image
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#18 of 26 Scott-S

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Posted May 11 2007 - 02:04 PM

Cable and Sat TV providers do pay the networks for the right to air them. So, in effect, we customers are paying for it.

I don't have time to fully research this, but This Article shows that even bottom end channels like Court TV get money from the cable operators.
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#19 of 26 Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 12 2007 - 03:58 AM

> Also, Chris, without the cable box can you access VOD?

Yeah, AKA DVDs.

#20 of 26 Dave Scarpa

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Posted May 12 2007 - 03:44 PM

Comcast and it's DVR is going Bye Bye this week, the void is going to be filled by my Apple TV (40 Complete Seasons of shows so far) ,Itunes, Ripped DVD's and whatever I can scrounge, I had it with paying $80 a month for extended basic, these other hurdles just nailed it to the Wall.
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