Monday, October 15, 2012

Cable set to get less convenient

I'm not too enraged by the news that the  FCC is going to allow cable companies to encrypt basic cable.  At least I think that's what this article says.  It's a bit incoherent.

I mean, cable is a paid service after all, and I don't have a major issue with how they go about doing it.  It is, of course, a step in the wrong direction generally, but this isn't the internet we're talking about but a one-way TV system.  Trying to limit the usage to paid subscribers makes more sense to be when we're talking about a service, as opposed to data itself.

(I find I'm examining the above statement with a jaundiced eye...I'm kinda under the weather today so I might just be babbling incoherently.)

I don't think it's particularly necessary--cable companies have other tools, like a physical freaking cable which they can follow and disconnect or remove--if somebody is stealing cable.  But of course the main reason they want to do this is because they really hate the notion of people not having one of their boxes in their living rooms.

Recently I built a Windows Media Center PC using a Ceton cablecard tuner.  Yes, Windows.  I do loathe Windows, but if you want to use a Centon cablecard tuner, drivers are only available for Windows.  This is basically because the Cablecard cartel (made up of the cable companies) absolutely do not want any sort of open sourcing of their programming.

Cuz, you know, someone might pirate it.  And so because of this, that never happens.



Anyway.  I've been jacking with MythTV, XBMC, Boxee and their ilk for several years now, and I have to say that Windows Media Center is the bomb-diggety.  It is dramatically superior in every way.

Now excuse me while I go drive some nails into my hand or something.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things that is majorly annoying about this, however, is that they will - for the first time ever - be allowed to encrypt the local Over The Air channels.

    People like to say that the cable company is "private", but what is not generally understood is that many cable companies get handouts from county and city governments in the form of joint trenches, property easements and tax breaks.

    All so they can charge you ever more money to make up for all the people they are driving away from their service.

    25 years ago, Big Cable could get away with anything they wanted (that the FCC allowed).

    Nowadays, I suspect more people will just "cut the cord" and rely solely on Hulu, library, friends, bittorrent, etc.

    It's like they want to force people to stop subscribing to their service.

    I know if Cox does it here, I'll be trimming $50 out of my media budget each month.

    PS:This is also why some of the CableCos are instituting caps and throttles - to keep people from substituting online sources for regular cable TV.