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iPad Just Another TV Set? 270

An anonymous reader writes "An iPad is just another TV set, and can be viewed just like an extra outlet. These are the words Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) has thrown toward content providers as demand for consumer viewing keeps shifting to more available sources like Roku, Apple TV, and the iPad, over providers like Netflix, and Hulu, and now Cable TV. Programmers are throwing down the gauntlet as more devices are able to stream video from a variety of providers."
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iPad Just Another TV Set?

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  • by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:30AM (#35732840)

    Schedule managers would be a more apt term

    when first reading TFS, my first parsing suggested some random C-jockeys screaming "oh no it isnt" in a bid to prove the ipad isnt a TV, didnt make a lot of sense

  • They don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by zule666 ( 1175419 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:32AM (#35732866)
    I moved last fall and decided to try going without cable or satellite. Between Hulu and Netflix I really haven't missed cable other then the occasional sporting event. When are content providers going to get it? I don't want to pay for 110 channels I never watch.
    • by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:46AM (#35733060)
      You'd think they would look at the death throes of the newspaper guys, and magazines, and Blockbuster et al, and record stores, and etc etc, and change their ways. But they won't.
      • You'd think they would look at the death throes of the newspaper guys, and magazines, and Blockbuster et al, and record stores, and etc etc, and change their ways. But they won't.

        I think they still believe that they can legislate their own existence. So far they have done an admirable (though not laudable) job. Media producers like mass market media because it helps them push their garbage, and mass market media likes media producers with garbage to push because it's easy to sell. As long as MPAA and RIAA members continue to be appointed to key positions in government (which happened under the prior administration and continues to happen under this administration) the situation will

    • On the one hand, I like the variety and time-independence of modern media consumption methods (Netflix, Hulu, TPB), but on the other hand I feel sometimes I'm missing out on a shared cultural experience with respect to commercials. On the gripping hand, my only complaint is not seeing commercials.
      • For every funny Geico or Arby's ad there are a million unfunny, stupid or even offensive ads that you wish you could un-see. I'd say losing ads is worth it overall.

        • Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) says it's not worth it. Ads are creative content (dare I even say "art") like everything else - they just have a specific purpose. What you're really bothered about is the fact that ads are forced upon you rather than chosen by you. You are therefore more painfully aware of the crappy 90%, since you can't control whether or not to watch them. Losing ads completely reduces the opportunity for the awesome 10% to be experienced, reducing the overall opportunity fo

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            Calling ads creative content is pushing things a bit.

            Ads are a sales pitch and as such are driven predominantly by crass and callous motives and in the general case should not be called "creative".

            This is the aspect of advertising that people find objectionable. They are disrespectful on a fundemental level that will always be in conflict with any means to grade them and filter out the most objectionable material. The general lack of consideration given by advertisers will always drive people to find ways t

    • by welcher ( 850511 )

      other then the occasional sporting event

      This is crucial --- cable would have nothing if it weren't for sports.

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      Between Hulu and Netflix I really haven't missed cable other then the occasional sporting event.

      For sporting events I pretty much only watch the Super Bowl, and that comes OTA. My wife misses a couple of shows, but they usually will show up on Netfix eventually. I'm really happy with my Netfix streaming Blu-Ray player & my Aspire Revo with USB TV tuners. If MS gets hardware acceleration working on Silverlight, I won't even need to use the Blu-Ray player much anymore. I must say though, Hulu has always been a disappointment to me. Lots of clips make it annoying to find an actual episode; I don't ev

    • Exactly. And that's not counting the pirate signals that broadcast things like major cable news stations that aren't on NetFlix or Hulu.

      We also gave up satellite several years back when I was between jobs and having to work a lot of contract. It was an extra $60/month we just couldn't afford. Plus a lot of the channels that caused me to subscribed have been dumbed down to the point of not even being the original programs. Animal planet is running ghost stories. TruTV used to be CourtTV and now it's running

    • I've often wondered why they can't just charge for channels we actually use. I mean 110 channels and say for argument you pay $60 it breaks down to like $2 a channel, well what if I only watched 5 channels? Why can't they just give me my 5 channels and charge me accordingly? When I purchase consumer goods I don't pay for things I don't want, I don't pay for services I don't need other than extra cable channels. Hell telephone and electric you only pay what you use. I realize there is a disparity between the
      • To get one channel you liked in the $60 package the provider probably had to bundle in 5 crap channels or no dice on getting the good channel from the distributor.

    • by daedae ( 1089329 )

      And in my experience, you can get most sporting events streaming as well. At least, most games I'm interested in I can watch on ESPN3 since Comcast is our ISP, and the local games that are blacked out are usually either streaming from a local provider like Raycom Sports or are on (gasp) broadcast TV.

    • "110 channels" It used to be 13 in 1979. No wonder nobody was home.

    • Between Hulu and Netflix I really haven't missed cable other then the occasional sporting event. When are content providers going to get it?

      Today I offered to save the other people in my household $40 per month by switching from cable Internet+cable TV to cable Internet+Netflix on my Wii console. They turned it down: one didn't want to give up MSNBC, and the other didn't want to give up ESPN and Versus.

    • Time Warner would be fired tomorrow if I wasn't such a college football fan. ESPN3 is a step in the right direction, but needs to be much more comprehensive.

  • by NixieBunny ( 859050 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:36AM (#35732924) Homepage
    From TFA: "We haven’t negotiated rights for our programs to be viewed on anything other than a real TV. The question remains, what constitutes a real TV?"

    I think the cable guys have their knickers in a twist because soon the only thing their cable will carry is TCP/IP.
    • Yup - They're fucked. I haven't had a "real" TV in a couple of years. I do have Netflix (mainly to get DVDs), but mostly I just "find" what I want to watch online and watch when I want and commercial free. Then again, I don't watch TV very often other than The Daily Show and Colbert.
      • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

        Yup - They're fucked.

        They're fucked because the guy who doesn't own a TV and doesn't watch any of it, wants to stream the occasional thing he does watch?

        Hey, listen -- they don't care about you. They care about those who do watch TV and have TV sets, and they don't want to lose them. You don't matter to the TV world.

      • by scrib ( 1277042 )

        I do that too, and I hope the people who produce TV shows figure out where they are going wrong.

        To the TV viewer, the marginal cost of a TV show is $0. People pay for cable/internet service, but other than pay-per-view, they expect to be able to watch any channel at no additional cost. Sure, it costs money to make a show, but the consumer is conditioned for it to be free. It's time for show producers to figure out how to deliver their content for free...

        How? Well, advertising. I download the versions of the

    • THIS!

      What is a "TV" is going to cause issues. Many TVs, and most of the big screen ones have a microprocessor and running Linux. Are they "computers" or are they TV's? BluRay and DVD players now have Netflix and other services embedded into them, clearly indicating some microprocessor for decode and an OS to manage the HW. Are those "computers" too?

      Please define what is a TV for us, and then let us rip your description to shreds.

      • Clearly, a TV is anything that we believe that we have licenced you to display our precious, precious 'premium content' on. We would be happy to adjust the number of TVs, for a price.
      • My new 42" Panasonic Viera has Netflix, Facebook, DLNA, Pandora, and several other apps. It also has an ATSC OTA receiver.
        What about Sony's Google TV? I hope Sony Entertainment isn't one of the companies bitching about what a TV is.
      • Here in the UK you only have to pay a TV license if you're watching live TV. iPlayer is free. So, we don't pay a TV license, and any time someone has mentioned a worthwhile TV program to me (which was.. one time this year!) I just looked it up on iPlayer.

      • Well TVs DO have some legal distinctions. They have built in tuners, support V-chip, and CC etc.These are all legal requirements to sell it as a 'TV' in the US. Any other screen without this stuff is a 'monitor'
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Many TVs, and most of the big screen ones have a microprocessor and running Linux. Are they "computers" or are they TV's?

        A digital TV is a display appliance on which the end user cannot install more applications after buying the device. So a computer isn't a TV (Steam, MSI sideloading, and compiling). Nor is a Nintendo DSi or 3DS (DSi Shop) or an iPad (App Store).

        • So, if I root my TV running Linux, and install additional applications, it ceases to be a TV?

        • Not an unreasonable definition, but I don't really see its value. Logically, what does one gain by classifying "devices which receive and display moving pictures" into the subsets of computers and TVs? I guess I just fail to see why it matters to regulators, content producers, or anybody else whether the device on which I'm watching this week's episode of House can also run third party software or not.

          I know that this all stems from advertisers treating "web TV" differently from "real TV", but that just lin

    • The only reason to sign up for cable is because it makes the internet price cheaper. Powerusers/etc just stream internet tv back to their regular TV. What's the point of the cable TV plan? To watch more advertisements and not be able to choose when to watch the show you want to watch?

      • What's the point of the cable TV plan?

        Live programming such as MSNBC and ESPN are things that Hulu and Netflix don't currently handle, as far as I know.

  • Grandma (Score:5, Informative)

    by xnpu ( 963139 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:42AM (#35732994)

    Ask my grandma and she'll tell you anything that can display TV programs is obviously a TV of some kind!

    One doesn't disagree with my grandma.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 )

    TV execs need to sit in the luxury spa for a day just contemplating what that means.

    Too mean it boils down into the following opportunities:
    1) An advertising outlet is in every persons pocket, computer, cable box. table.
    2) More information on the locality of viewers.

    I would work on inserting local adds based on .. well locality. Of course, global advertisers would still be there.
    I would also create 5-8 minute shows when 8 second commercial. Get people who are commuting.
    I would put every god dan piece of T

    • I still can't believe that DVRs are so widely used. When most people who have a DVR have internet fast enough to stream video, it kind of seems like we are living in a backwards world. Why should I have to remember to record something, worry about overlapping shows, and worry about shows that start early, end late, or start late because of delays (due to sports), when I really should just be able to watch whatever I want, whenever I want. As long as I'm paying for access to it in the first place that is.
      • So you want to watch next week's shows today? Sorry, they haven't finished post-production yet. You'll have to wait.

        Okay... now they're done. Let's have 25 million people separately download them? Waste of internet bandwidth? Yes. Maybe we can use P2P to distribute the bandwidth. No, wait, that uses the same amount of bandwidth, just spread over more uploaders. Hmm...

        Maybe we can use a centralized broadcast that can transmit it just once, let anyone who wants it cache it, then use that broadcast's b

        • I don't think we (the U.S.) have the infrastructure to have everybody doing on-demand all the time yet. Yes, it works when some people do it, but to have all people do it would really overdraw our bandwidth capabilities.

          That point rarely gets brought up and I am glad to see someone sees the point of centralized broadcasting.

        • You are familiar with the concept of digital cable, yes? Short of literal broadcast TV, we are no longer saving bandwidth with multicasting. In short, we might as well have everyone doing a separate download of the program. At least that way, if they want to watch it a second time (or pause, rewind, etc...), it's already at their home. A torrent-type system would be fantastic for the content producers. They could pass the costs of distribution straight over to the "net"... which in this case would be the co

      • by murdocj ( 543661 )

        I still can't believe that DVRs are so widely used. When most people who have a DVR have internet fast enough to stream video, it kind of seems like we are living in a backwards world. Why should I have to remember to record something, worry about overlapping shows, and worry about shows that start early, end late, or start late because of delays (due to sports), when I really should just be able to watch whatever I want, whenever I want. As long as I'm paying for access to it in the first place that is.

        Don't want to blow your mind, but I still use VCR tapes. It's cheap and easy. Why should I have to worry about bandwidth caps or finding the show on the Internet or the provider not putting up the show for two weeks or only having it online for one week, or having it look not so nice because I only get about 3mb, when I can just record and watch at my leisure?

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:44AM (#35733038) Homepage Journal
    For anyone vested in study of medieval law and renaissance, the behavior of these 'rights holders' are no different than how the feudal lords behaved at the wake of the renaissance. It doesnt matter where the reasoning for this 'right holding' stems from - when you give control of things/concepts/positions that majority of the population needs to a few, the result always ends up the same, regardless of the justification for it. Intentions dont guarantee a desirable result.

    History repeating itself again, however lack of knowledge makes people unable to realize that they are seeing a movie that was made long before and shown repeatedly in theaters worldwide.
    • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:48AM (#35733098)
      I'm pretty sure that the "majority of the population" do not need entertainment shows created by someone else. This isn't food we are talking about.
      • The fact is, our culture has been privatized.

        When has that ever happened at all in history?

        • When books were sold. Before that is was when paintings were sold and musicians were patronized. Before that it was the joker in the castle and the busker on the streets. People have always paid for culture. The only thing that's changed is the medium.
        • I'm sorry, when did it become impossible for me to make up my own story and tell it to other people? Our culture hasn't been privatised at all, its just that you want someone else to do the work of creating and presenting.
      • Yes, you need them. But it's just a higher level need. Just like you need social interaction. If all we needed was food, we'd be on the same level as animals. The ability to consume and contemplate information from outside of your immediate observation is fundamental to being human.
        • No. You may need entertainment, but that doesn't equate to an absolute need for their entertainment. There is ample scope for other forms of entertainment - people managed it before TV existed...
          • And yet we developed the TV and used it for entertainment.

            Before that we had Bach. Before that Shakespeare. Before that bards, skalds and other storytellers that told the same stories and musicians that played the same music, developed by previous generations, over and over, because that's what the people wanted, a polished and practiced product not the lackluster crud they could come up with by themselves.

            People have always wanted polished entertainment done by professionals. TV just makes the audience big

    • If you "need" the Simpsons, something is wrong. We don't need media shovelware; culture is not from the media factory.
  • Have the ability to detect that your program is being streamed to an iPad and offer additional options on commercials. "After the show, tap this button to be taken directly to our website to learn more about this product!" Regular TV commercials are passive, but interactive advertising gives you direct feedback into the efficacy of the advertising campaign. Make it easy and seamless and legitimate looking, and bored people will happily click away.
    • Cablevision already has this feature on their commercials. Just hit a button on the TV remote and you are directed to a channel with an even more boring extended presentation.

  • Some other tablet vendor will soon hit Apple's prices and the usability will be good enough, but the flexibility will close the deal. Apple's walled garden necessarily has a fixed size.

  • They should just add a over-the-air TV receiver to the next version, then it would really be just like a TV. Japanese mobile phones have had that for years, although they tend to be limited to the lower quality 1seg broadcasts. 1seg reduces resolution and frame rate but increases reception so is ideal for portable devices, so for example most sat-nav / in-car entertainment systems include it now. IIRC Brazil also uses it.

    • by xnpu ( 963139 )

      I have TV on my Chinese cell too. They call it CMMB, but it's digital and pretty good. I'm sure the Chinese tablets will start having it sooner or later. Looking forward to it.

  • Imagine the joy when the early adopters figure this out.

    And the joy when they get tired of haivng their TV in their lap all the time.

    Tablets will, repeat, will be a fad. Then they will become a niche product.

    • maybe the niche can be avoided if the tablets get big enough to view from a greater distance. Of course, then you wouldnt necessarily want the multi-touch features, maybe just a magic stick that could remotely direct you through options.

  • Before I argue whether iPad is a TV, first tell me why my iPhone ISN'T? I recorded Butler v. UConn on my ATT UVerse so my wife would watch it on the iPad in the morning. Couldn't. Make that, 'was not allowed'. But I COULD have watched it on my iPhone. What is the difference between iPad and iPhone?

    So, they're saying SIZE matters?
  • I never had an iPad in my hands so I don't know - I just wonder, how comfortable is it for producing content (vs consuming it)?
    Which is the primary difference between TV (consume) and the modern media (participate).

    I mean, I have Opera Mini for my Android phone. It provides superior browsing experience. It's fast, pages load fast, picking links is easy, windows switching is a breeze. But it absolutely sucks when it comes to creating content. Writing posts is difficult. Native language characters are not ava

  • I think it was around that time, as stereo sets began moving from the lab to the living room, that the head of the musicians union threw down the gauntlet, demanding double the pay for new recording session, reasoning that each loudspeaker was a separate performance deserving of a separate fee. He wouldn't budge either, until a clever record company exec explained that listeners would want new stereo versions of their mono favorites, leading to a huge increase in session work and paychecks to match for unio
  • Nice to see some cable companies waking up. It would be nice to see the TV channels wake up as well. Here's a hint: If your cable company has an app that lets you watch live TV in your house only, on an iPad or iPhone, you are PRESERVING your status quo. It's an INCENTIVE to me to NOT ditch cable. To KEEP my satellite. To CONTINUE paying $100 a month. Thanks to AirPlay, I can beam it right back onto my TV, and not worry about that one room that doesn't have wiring for satellite or a receiver sitting inside
  • As some other posters mentioned, I too cut the satellite tv and went with an OTA antenna, Dlink Boxee, and WD TV Live. I haven't looked back and neither has the family. I even added Playon for good measure to stream anything neither device has. I have Hulu Plus and Netflix subscriptions for TV and movies. Overall, for a one time cost of 280 dollars, and monthly recurring costs of 17 dollars, I replaced my 80 dollars a month TV with a much better option. The Cable/Satellite companies really don't get it. The

  • "The enthusiasm of our customers and the programming partners who have embraced the app, rather than those who are solely focused on finding additional ways to reach into wallets of their own viewers, has convinced us more than ever that we are on the right path." --Time-Warner Cable

    Indeed - having a programmer and a cable provider reach into your wallet at the same time would be really uncomfortable.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham