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HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You

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Ron LindeboomHAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:14:58 am

I've been reading the thread below regarding the networks like Weather Channel and SciFi (SyFy), etc., etc., dropping their programming focus in favor of the kinds of programming that cause its core market to go elsewhere.

These short-sighted program directors need to get a grip.

I remember back in the late 80s when I was working with the companies that would later set-up companies that are today DirecTV and Dish Network.

At the same time, General Instrument had a new version of their satellite scramber Vericipher technology, that they showed code-named DigiCipher. (They later used the name for something else.)

In its original incarnation, the DigiCipher allowed broadcasters like HBO to either fill one satellite channel space (transponder) with a full HD signal, or to stack about 10 channels threaded into the same carrier space.

When I saw it at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville at the TVRO industry show back in 1988 (I think it was), I remember thinking that "narrowcasting" was going to be here quick and that instead of channels like MTV, we'd get Celtic Music Channel and The Blues Network.

Well, it didn't happen as I thought it was going to, but the principle is valid and the internet is gaining greater and greater throughput every year and broadcasters are really going to sweat when full signals can move through the net.

Kathlyn and I have an $80 a month cable TV charge that we rarely use and are going to turn it off.


We bought a $99 ROKU that allows us to use our wireless cable modem to buy the shows we want off of Netflix and/or Amazon. We watch what we want, when we want.

The future will indeed be one where we buy the programs we want and the days of Al Roker at 6am will be long gone.

That is not to pick on Al, just that as the world gets busier and busier, people want the shows they want when they want them.

I'll pay for that, especially when there's no way that I can get $80 worth of spending as busy as I am.

And I get it when I want, with what I want.

SHOWS are going to be the way of the future, I believe. To me, I think our non-linear lifestyles are a portent of things to come, wherein even programming will be as we want it.

DDRs were only a warm up.

When programmers won't cater to the very audience "that brung 'em to the party," then they will learn the truth of the old adage that you should never bite the hand that feeds you.

Ron Lindeboom

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Shane RossRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:46:09 am

I cancelled my $80 DirecTV four months ago. I have a MacMini connected to my HDTV, I have an EyeTV connected to it for local channels (in glorious HD), and then I rely on Hulu, and often Safari to go to the homepage of networks to watch shows (CBS, Nickelodeon, TNT).

Free. There are ads, but few. And I watch what I want WHEN I want. And since I don't watch History or Discovery or NatGeo (since they no longer offer much that I want to watch...ODD since I edit shows for them!)...when I do, I can get what I want from iTunes or go to a friends house.


Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Mike CohenRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 2:03:36 am

I hope we see more internet tv networks like
but with dramatic and comedy shows. You can find some amazing programming on current and free video podcasts on itunes with great production values. The problem is you can't hit the Guide button on your web browser, like on your DVR, and get a list of all programming from all "channels" - not yet anyway. Some clever programmer should come up with just such a magic button, sell ads and invent the new way to watch tv.

Hmm, I think I just invented a new way to watch tv. Now, where did I put that copy of PHP for Dummies...?

Mike Cohen

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grinner hesterRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:11:21 am

It's almost comical. Programmers seek hip, contemporary programming, often hire middle aged dudes to aquire it, then surf youtube for their own entertainment. Never has it dawned on them to make their current content interactive. The technology is not the bottle neck. It's their habitual behavior.

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Mark SuszkoRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 2:19:44 pm

BTW Hulu is scheduled to become a for-pay service in the near future. The drug dealer always starts you with free samples.

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Patrick OrtmanRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 7:21:11 pm

It was only a matter of time. And that's OK, cut out the commercials and ads, make it better quality HD, and give it to me anywhere I want it- and remember to note where I stopped watching on my Mac so I can pick it up on my tablet in the same spot.


Web and Video Design

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Scott CumboRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 24, 2009 at 12:02:27 am

Look at the bright side, everytime they "rebrand" or expand/change their programing it creates more work for the industry to cut promos, gfx etc etc.

Scott Cumbo
Broadway Video, NYC

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Vince BecquiotRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 25, 2009 at 2:08:48 am

I used to think that TV was on its last leg, but just like Podcast didn't and likely never will kill radio, and I don't think so called "live" programing is going anywhere.

I have access to all kinds of on demand media at the office, yet I fall back on live internet radio. Why? Because it's that "unknown" feeling of what's coming up and the "false" feeling that someone is running things behind the scenes for you.

Of course, TV as we know it is probably not gonna be around long, but I wouldn't sell all my Network stock quite yet, that's unless they find a reliable way to actually track the amount of people who actually watch the commercials...

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area

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Scott CarnegieRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 26, 2009 at 1:52:09 pm

I think broadcast TV will still have the market for live programming. As many ways as there are currently to watch programming besides with a traditional broadcast or cable/satellite, they still have a very large market share. The reports of their demise may be exaggerated.

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Ron LindeboomRe: HAMMERED: Biting the Hand That Feeds You
by on Oct 26, 2009 at 5:19:04 pm

Did you actually read what I said, Scott, or are you just prone to implied misinterpretation???

I never said that broadcast television was going to disappear. I merely said that cable television is going to find fewer and fewer customers as people learn about things like the ROKU device and also learn that their PS3s and others devices allow for the same kinds of things.

I can watch many of the network programs right now on the Net.

The networks aren't the ones who are going to hurt in this equation. It will be the cable companies who want to force people into packages that run the better part of $100 a month when all they want is a few channels in the whole set-up.

That was my point, Scott.

Sorry you misinterpreted it.

Ron Lindeboom

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