In Response to the Newsletter

oxbadfood
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:26 pm

Re: In Response to the Newsletter

Post by oxbadfood »

Good thread! When I originally read the OP I agreed 100% with mrdonovan; after all, when Zap2It announced it was closing it's free service, Schedules Direct came to the rescue with a pay service. SD originally had a target price of $20 a year, but had to charge more until they had enough people to support their costs. Luckily for us, they were true to their word, and enrollment met their $20 price point faster than they expected.

After reading the newsletter, it seems that they still underestimated the number of people that would want to subscribe to SD; and thus they have an unexpected profit. After reading Xris's post, I began to understand his reasoning and logic. SD wants to reinvest in something they, the board of directors, want to promote. Afterall, the hard work of the developers and board of directors should be rewarded, if not with money, then with agenda fulfillment.

Unfortunately for all SD subscribers, the market dictates the reality of the situation... even in non-profit, and not-for-profit ventures. If it were economical to produce a free service supported by advertising, or a competing service to SD, then someone would have done so by now. The (un)fortunate truth of the matter is that SD is providing something of value in excess of what they are charging. I really hate to admit that, but they could charge more and they'd still have a large subscriber base.

The thing that I, and presumably mrdonovan, take objection to is that we'd prefer not to support any agenda that doesn't further MythTV, or other PVR development, or the realization of free TV guide data. I'd be super supportive, as I suspect a lot of folks would, if the extra profit was reinvested to lobby Congress, the FCC, the TV stations, etc. to formalize, standardize, and enforce an over-air/over-cable guide data standard.

How amazing would that be to have SD's main goal to make itself obsolete? Afterall, we are already a group of intelligent consumers that have strayed outside the main stream of LiveTV and Tivo... anarchists if you will. We don't want to watch commercials, we don't want to pay for guides, we don't want to support agendas, we want freedom.

TVScheduler
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:03 pm

Re: In Response to the Newsletter

Post by TVScheduler »

oxbadfood wrote:Afterall, we are already a group of intelligent consumers that have strayed outside the main stream of LiveTV and Tivo... anarchists if you will. We don't want to watch commercials, we don't want to pay for guides, we don't want to support agendas, we want freedom.
Well the first thing you need is a web site! ;) But you'll find that there are already some pretty big fish in that pond.

You can say that each person has too large of a carbon foot print but it's clear that there are simply too many people. And you can tell the TV industry to change but that's a lot like telling a woman that she can't reproduce.

Bob

oxbadfood
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:26 pm

Re: In Response to the Newsletter

Post by oxbadfood »

TVScheduler wrote:You can say that each person has too large of a carbon foot print but it's clear that there are simply too many people. And you can tell the TV industry to change but that's a lot like telling a woman that she can't reproduce.
Hah! That's pretty funny! :D

I realize that as long as there is little incentive for anyone to fix the current status quo there will be hurdles to innovation. I guess we are lucky that Schedules DIrect stepped in to fill the void. It just seems weird to me that with the pent-up demand for this type of data there hasn't been some enterprising group try to make money off of it. :roll:

USA MythTV users really benefit from this service, and the developers of MythTV (who started SD) certainly benefit from the user base... so I guess there is this weird synergy/host organism/whale-sucker-fish thing going on. I guess that explains SD supporting F/OSS. I guess I get that.

TVScheduler
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:03 pm

Re: In Response to the Newsletter

Post by TVScheduler »

oxbadfood wrote: I realize that as long as there is little incentive for anyone to fix the current status quo there will be hurdles to innovation.
Goal:
Watch any thing at any time from anywhere.

Plan A:
Any pvr software can find, list and play online videos offered by the networks. There's no need to record or store any videos because you can watch any thing at any time and all the commercials breaks are less then 20 seconds.

Plan B:
When a TV show airs and your computer doesn't record it, It can start looking for a bit torrent to download and you'll get to watch it in a day or two. There are already tons of high quality videos that are compressed beyond what I've been able to do. All they need is to be downloaded and renamed using a standardized method so they can be handled using automation.

What do you do when plan A fails?

Bob

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