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NBC unhappy with TiVo, says more content coming to iTunes

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
NBC Universal is miffed over recent announcements by EchoStar and TiVo -- two companies that will allow users to download TV and movies to a portable player for free -- and says to expect additional announcements with Apple's iTunes in the coming weeks.

EchoStar's Dish Network introduced the PocketDish handheld in October, which allows users to download TV and movies to a portable player for free. Meanwhile, TiVo said last month that as part of its TiVoToGo service it will enable the easy transfer of recorded content to Apple's iPod and the Sony PSP.

"This is clearly not the proper way to behave," NBC Universal TV president Jeff Zucker told Variety. "We have worked in concert with Apple to benefit the consumer; where others are not working with content providers is clearly not in the best interest of the consumer."

NBC's recent digital download deal with Apple reportedly took on additional urgency this year as illegal downloads of TV shows exploded. The conglomerate estimates there are over 430,000 illegal downloads of its "Battlestar Galactica" program each week.

The NBC deal expands Apple's iTunes video offering to 300 episodes of 16 different series, with Zucker saying that number will expand quickly as NBC works to fill the iTunes with additional shows.

"You are going to see a series of announcements in the coming weeks," he said.

On Tuesday, NBC Universal announced that it would begin delivering a slew of programming through Apple's iTunes video service, including NBCs Law & Order, The Office, Surface, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the USA Networks Emmy Award-winning Monk and Sci-Fi Channels Battlestar Galactica as well as classic TV shows including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Adam-12 and Knight Rider.
post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
"We have worked in concert with Apple to benefit the consumer; where others are not working with content providers is clearly not in the best interest of the consumer."

I guess that he figures the "best interest of the consumer" is paying $1.99 per show that has DRM and can't be burned to DVD.

That reminds me of retailers that have signs saying, "for your safety, this area is monitored by surveillance cameras." Riiiight.
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post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
I guess that he figures the "best interest of the consumer" is paying $1.99 per show that has DRM and can't be burned to DVD.

That reminds me of retailers that have signs saying, "for your safety, this area is monitored by surveillance cameras." Riiiight.

yeah, i'm not sure i see what nbc is getting all bent out of shape over. i mean, don't the tivo recorded videos also get recorded WITH commercials? sure, you can fast forward through them, but if they're left in there, it's totally legit. you pay the $2, in my humble opinion, to have the commercials STRIPPED OUT, which, by tthe way, i love.
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

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post #4 of 31
The lack of commercials is very important, to say the least. Many people might rather watch the video while on the subway than have to clear out their schedule and put up with ads.

Also, encoding video is something that many people don't know how to do properly, even if you streamline it for them. And unfortunately legal reasons prevent Apple from simply creating an "import DVD" option in iTunes like there is for CDs. Paying $2 per episode may seem silly for people like us, but it eliminates a lot of the guesswork for the casual user.
post #5 of 31
"per episode" and "per show" are meaning less. When the initial five shows were being offered it was a clear $2 per full episode. Now we're in a swirl of madness where $2 will get you six whole minutes of Jay Leno. \

Google: Bill Hicks + Leno + satan

Sadly we lack the uniformity of $0.99 USD per track. It was simple, it was clear, it was uniform, it was doomed.

But given all that, I'll stay it again: Hitchcock, baby, Hitchcock!!!
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post #6 of 31
I heard that Apple was going to start allowing the stations to put in commercials tp help better thier profit margins?
post #7 of 31
I understand that NBC is unhappy about Tivo and other companies allowing consumers to space-shift content they've already paid to access.

What I don't understand is this burgeoning idea that somehow the contract with consumers is one piece of content attached to a particular monitor. They are desperately trying to monitize every node in the path.

FFS ...the Gov needs to stop accepting lobby dollars and sitting with their thumbs up their arse. Craft some complete Fair Use doctrines and abide by them. Until then we'll get content companies thinking they can squeeze a dime out of everything and legislators who are basically on the dole for campaign funds.
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post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by BEatMaKeR
I heard that Apple was going to start allowing the stations to put in commercials tp help better thier profit margins?

Uh.. link? And... I'm betting you are wrong.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
I guess that he figures the "best interest of the consumer" is paying $1.99 per show that has DRM and can't be burned to DVD.

Well, at 320x240 you wouldn't want to anyway.

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     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
FFS ...the Gov needs to stop accepting lobby dollars and sitting with their thumbs up their arse. Craft some complete Fair Use doctrines and abide by them. Until then we'll get content companies thinking they can squeeze a dime out of everything and legislators who are basically on the dole for campaign funds.

While you're at it, ask for a zillion dollars and a unicorn pony...

Sorry, you're right, of course...

It will get really interesting when independent content producers* get a crack at selling video content. They could offer their material at more favorable margins for Apple.

*I fully acknowledge that these producers are almost entirely theoretical, but there are opportunities.

Also, I wonder what will happen when the premium cable channel providers get on board.
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post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by BEatMaKeR
I heard that Apple was going to start allowing the stations to put in commercials tp help better thier profit margins?

I guess that Apple is uniquely positioned to insert "customised" commercials, as was touted 10 years ago. By that I mean - 2 commercials instead of 8, but aimed squarely at the viewer (and they can also be interactive/web linked). However, if they're going to do that they'd better drop the charge.

On another note - if Apple's device is also a PVR, then won't we be able to record Battlestar straight off the TV, and fast forward the ads?

I wouldn't mind seeing options on the Apple iTMS - buy Battlestar without ads for $2. Download Battlestar with custom ads (LOCKED so you can't skip them) for free. Download Battlestar with custom ads (unlocked) for 50c.

At the moment Battlestar costs under $2mill to make an episode (can't find a figure, maybe under $1mill), and if 450,000 people are pirating Battlestar that's an indicator of a potentially much larger market. $2 per episode would make Universal quite a lot of money! (I think $2 is unrealistic in the medium term)

Greg
post #12 of 31
I don't know if I would say the "best interests of content providers" are the SAME as the "best interests of consumers."

I think some middle ground will have to be found.

I don't think you should have to pay TWICE to record and re-watch (even on an iPod) a show with ads, for which you've already paid your cable bill.

You should have to pay ONCE, though, and I don't mind having a choice of ways to do that. My main choice, for now, is Netflix Or iTunes just for one missed episode here and there. Or for my permanent collection: DVDs. No, make that BDs--I can wait a little longer.

And for casual use, like watching something the next day, my VCR does the job fine until I get a Mac-based PVR. Maybe from El Gato.
post #13 of 31
Now we get the pleasure of FUD from the networks! What's in my best interest is the easy ability to share content I have recorded between devices I own in the format I desire. What's in the best interest of content creators is a lockdown on content distribution so that consumers may only purchase specific content from specific places with certain rules attached.

These threats, however loosely based, will probably be enough to keep these companies worried until after NBC has a chance to distribute content themselves.
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post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by sCreeD
When the initial five shows were being offered it was a clear $2 per full episode. Now we're in a swirl of madness where $2 will get you six whole minutes of Jay Leno.

(snip)

Sadly we lack the uniformity of $0.99 USD per track.

I really don't get this argument. On iTMS there are $0.99 tracks that are 30 seconds and $0.99 tracks that are more than 5 minutes long. What's the difference?

30 seconds v. 5 minutes = Factor of 10
6 minutes v. 60 minutes = Factor of 10

It's the same kind of deal. My issue is that Jay Leno's schtick is not evergreen. Why would you want to watch a monologue from today in 3 months? A year? Hell, 5 years? None of the jokes would be funny because they're not timely. At least with shows like Hitchcock and Knight Rider, the themes are universal.
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post #15 of 31
It would be nice if we Canadians could get some love with the TV shows through iTunes.

I've already bought all the music videos and Pixar shorts that I'm interested in...
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
I really don't get this argument. On iTMS there are $0.99 tracks that are 30 seconds and $0.99 tracks that are more than 5 minutes long. What's the difference?

30 seconds v. 5 minutes = Factor of 10
6 minutes v. 60 minutes = Factor of 10

It's the same kind of deal. My issue is that Jay Leno's schtick is not evergreen. Why would you want to watch a monologue from today in 3 months? A year? Hell, 5 years? None of the jokes would be funny because they're not timely.

I'm not breaking it down per minute --well, yes, yes I did-- okay, um... Let me take another crack at it. I didn't mean to break down per minute but rather per unit. This would be more in line with tracks versus albums. The nature of these depends on the format. For the talk show format, there could the monologue and musical units. (Ooh-ooh, which reminds me, I'd very much like to pay for the week of performances the White Stripes did on Conan).

Still, it does look rather skewed to say a 40-minute programme is of equal value to a 6 minute monologue (or skit or musical performance).

Quote:
At least with shows like Hitchcock and Knight Rider, the themes are universal.

Did you just put those two shows in the same sentence!? That's evil.

No seriously. E-vil.
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post #17 of 31
heh. hitchcock would be rolling over in his grave
post #18 of 31
I'm waiting for the day that I can record/store from my motorala DVR (Comcast Cable). When recording HD content, 120GB harddrive only goes so far. It kills me that this thing has a firewire port, but with no reasonable way to access the harddrive or tuner with a computer. (I tried some things I found on the web without luck). My DVR combined with iMovie HD and Blu-ray/HD-DVD burning would make me very happy. Its the VCR of the (near) future, or at least should be. Apple are you listening? However, I get the feeling Comcast is not going to be authorizing that firewire port anytime in the near future.
post #19 of 31
Unfair to the consumer? Please, they're not fooling anyone with an IQ of 70. What's more, why's it unfair to them? I can watch it on my TiVo at home, but if I want to watch it on the subway, I have to pay extra? What if I want to watch it on the plane, is it even more, since I'm even more captive? What burns media moguls up is the loss of POTENTIAL REVENUE, like the SPA saying they lose billions a year to piracy, when 99% of file sharers would NOT buy a $1500 program if they couldn't download it. Phantom losses, like NBC making people buy an EXTRA copy of Law & Order for your iPod even though you have a copy on your TiVo.

I watch about 10-12 shows a week, mostly network programming (CSI, Law & Order, etc.). That means I'd pay Apple/NBC/CBS $90 a month for FREE PROGRAMMING (free to us, paid by advertisers). That's about $70 north of what I'd be willing to pay a month for network programming, and even at that price point I don't want to see any commercials if I'm paying for it.

David
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by davidahn
What burns media moguls up is the loss of POTENTIAL REVENUE, like the SPA saying they lose billions a year to piracy, when 99% of file sharers would NOT buy a $1500 program if they couldn't download it. Phantom losses, like NBC making people buy an EXTRA copy of Law & Order for your iPod even though you have a copy on your TiVo

A little Off-Topic...

Did you hear that when the USSR opened up to foreign investment, SCO found out its Xenix had 95% market share of Unix OSes... and only 1 licensed copy The challenge was to keep all their "users" (pirates) and gradually move them across to licensed versions.
post #21 of 31
ROFLMAO
post #22 of 31
You must not have looked very far. Apple has an application included with the developer tools called dvhs that lets you get data directly off your comcast box.

I even have ical scheduled to copy info off my HD shows off the comcast dvr and convert them to .mov format using ffmpeg.

The second two links are step-by-step tutorials how to do it with your mac:
http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

This link is all about converting the streams from the comcast box
http://www.hdvxdv.com/

And yet another link with software:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...ion+TV+signals


Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
I'm waiting for the day that I can record/store from my motorala DVR (Comcast Cable). When recording HD content, 120GB harddrive only goes so far. It kills me that this thing has a firewire port, but with no reasonable way to access the harddrive or tuner with a computer. (I tried some things I found on the web without luck). My DVR combined with iMovie HD and Blu-ray/HD-DVD burning would make me very happy. Its the VCR of the (near) future, or at least should be. Apple are you listening? However, I get the feeling Comcast is not going to be authorizing that firewire port anytime in the near future.
post #23 of 31
So let see they are upset that someone recorded one of their shows which is broadcast for free to anyone who have the means to recieve the signal and record it. Then that person decided to digitize it and decided to offer it to other for free to download and also watch.

So now they want to charge us for this privilage and someone elses hard work and they feel that is wrong for everyone to benefit.

As someone pointed out, if you are getting a digital version of the original content without commerical I do not see a problem with them charging what every the market can bare.

However, for them to keep us from recording and digitizing what we alread get for free it nuts. Even thought some of the content i have seen done by individuals looks pretty good and in some case the person even editted out the commericals. It not like some person went into their vidoe vault and stole the original digital content and put it out for everyone to have for free.

The TV networks are trying to say the same thing that happening to CDs is happening to them. One problem, people have to buy a CD we do not have to buy a TV show is shown on the TV for free.
post #24 of 31
A question for those who've downloaded episodes -

The commercials are gone? What about all that pop-up garbage? All the ads for other shows that clog up my tv real estate?

Are they gone, as well?

Not sure if $1.99 is cheap enough, if you have to deal with all that.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac~N~Cheese
What about all that pop-up garbage? All the ads for other shows that clog up my tv real estate?

I've never downloaded one, but can reassure you that it's incredibly unlikely that those are on there. Usually that popup stuff is dated, like "The Office, Next on NBC." In theory, your download would exist forever, so there's no good purpose for putting dated material on it.
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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by webmail
You must not have looked very far. Apple has an application included with the developer tools called dvhs that lets you get data directly off your comcast box.

I even have ical scheduled to copy info off my HD shows off the comcast dvr and convert them to .mov format using ffmpeg.

The second two links are step-by-step tutorials how to do it with your mac:
http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

This link is all about converting the streams from the comcast box
http://www.hdvxdv.com/

And yet another link with software:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...ion+TV+signals

Thanks for the links. I tried something simlar about 9 months ago, but I'll give it another try when I get the time in the next week or so.
post #27 of 31
yeah this is stupid....NBC sucks...although I will enjoy The Office! but cmon...to be mad about someone transfering a free show to a portable device is rediculous....recockulous even!
-Adam
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post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
NBC Universal is miffed over recent announcements by EchoStar and TiVo -- two companies that will allow users to download TV and movies to a portable player for free -- and says to expect additional announcements with Apple's iTunes in the coming weeks.

Hmm, this story doesn't bode well for an Apple PVR, does it.
post #29 of 31
It depends....an apple pvr that requires a subscription fee could work...unlike Tivo where you pay a fee for their on screen guide. An Apple PVR could, for say 20 dollars a month record your shows, edit out the commercials, automatically compress your video when transfering to an ipod and be able to burn to a dvd. Although you would only be able to get shows commercial free from Networks that Apple partners with. Not sure if this would work but a variation of this might.

An apple pvr could still be a good idea for their movie download service. Buy a movie, be able to burn a dvd and print out dvd covers...just a thought
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #30 of 31
Basically, on demand TV, Apple style? I just have a hard time seeing them go so directly head to head with cable.
post #31 of 31
Or how about this model as a possibility...

Firstly - we have an Apple PVR, with an Apple-provided TV guide, which can record any TV channel just like a regular PVR. You can watch the shows, fast forward the ads, etc.

Secondly, there is the Apple Download store - the shows sold online (like Lost). You can purchase this for $1 without ads, or get it for free but be locked into watching some ads - say 2 of 8. Perhaps these are customised/interactive to the viewer, and different every time you watch your recording.

The key 'feature' would be that the Apple PVR, when recording "Lost" off, would know that this was a show offered at the Apple store, and it would automatically force you to watch the limited ads (or pay $1).

The result is a PVR/download system that gives you all the shows on TV, ensuring the producers either get paid or you watch the ads. And of course ANY TV network that doesn't sign up with Apple has no control over how you watch the show.... which would encourage every show to signup.

Just a thought
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