Re: [SLUG] Novell's CTO Blog - new entry

From: Ian C. Blenke (
Date: Mon Apr 24 2006 - 15:54:33 EDT

steve szmidt wrote:

>On Monday 24 April 2006 14:52, Levi Bard wrote:
>>>In effect I'm only fast-forwarding past content I don't wish to see. Was
>>>it ever decided whether that's legal? I'm sure that's a can of worms the
>>THEY'll tell you what you want to see!
>Oh good, I was not sure what I wanted to see...

With vlogging (video blogging) and RSS feed multimedia, aren't we really
beginning to see the end of broadcast media as we know it today?

If I can subscribe to feeds of audio/video that are applicable to _me_,
isn't the old school of broadcast media sufficiently challenged?

Take HD for example: I can't get 1080p video from terrestrial or cable
TV feeds (1080i is as high as they go), but I _can_ download "free"
iTunes trailers of movies at 1080p. Plus I get to subscribe to some
spectacular independant media that I wouldn't otherwise see on major
broadcaster's networks.

Both HD-DVD and BluRay don't interest me as a consumer due to the cost
and copyright limitations (if I pay $30 for a disc, if I scratch it I'd
like to have a backup copy around somewhere.. moreover, I'd really like
to have a DVR copy of it so that I can play that media without flipping
disks around). Many of the first releases are also "one layer" discs
with reportedly reduced quality so as not to impact movie sales. I will
pay for 1080p media, just as I pay for DVD media today, but the cost and
limitations of fair use are big reasons for not adopting a technology in
my home.

Major studios keep remaking old films and series because it's safer than
betting on new fresh untested ideas. If Scooby Doo made money decades
ago, it's a safe bet the nostalgia will carry through a remake for the
next generation.

Meanwhile, cheap DV cameras and digital video editing software brings
homegrown video into the mix. Computing power becomes cheaper by the
year, making those digital special effects all that much more available
to young talent with the hope to create compelling media not available
from the major studios.

Peer2Peer networks (ala bittorrent) also impact digital media
subscriptions. Thankfully, for the studios, it's still beyond the
average consumer. Walking through a Manhattan subway stop two weekends
ago, it was rather disturbing to find such bootlegs sold from blanks
sprawled out as makeshift storefronts. The complexity of most consumers
doing this themselves is the primary barrier to entry. The studios
really should fear a cross-platform easy to use P2P anonymizing client
with bittorrent like swarming.

The studios want me to pay money for DRM hardware in my PC that will
enable them to limit my viewing options. Without that DRM, I may not be
able to view their media, but is it really a loss for me? I can still
watch unencumbered independent films from the net, and NetFlicks is a
pretty good deal (pretty good realworld bandwidth) for DVDs (hey, I can
suffer along with some 480p from them).

I personally believe that studios will be forced more into a
"blockbuster movie made for home viewing" mode, rather than a noisy
movie theatre with rude patrons. As newer technologies like OLED make
home "video walls" cheaper over the next decade, and broadband increases
to the home (hooray FIOS!), the home theatre will drive more and more
media purchases.

Apple's iTune Store is a good example of where things are heading: RSS
feeds from a commercial web frontend for purchasing media on demand.

Everyone else is playing catch-up.

Where will it all end? Good question. If you know the answer to that,
start investing your money now.

- Ian C. Blenke <>

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