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[Discuss] the future of cable TV

Shirley M?rquez D?lcey wrote:
> I don't expect any alternatives to Comcast to immediately surface in
> my neighborhood. Verizon never did bring FIOS to Boston and has
> stopped pursuing new markets, and RCN seems to have abandoned any
> further expansion in the city...

By alternates I didn't mean local suppliers of packaged video
programming. I meant "over the top" services, like Sling TV
(, also marketed as,
 or Sony's similar service:

But these are still limited packages of channels, just cheaper.

What I'd really like to see is an open standard for IPTV delivery,
rather than the proprietary app model. Then I can take my Kodi media
player, go to one of several independent TV listings services, search
for desired programming, select a show, and the URL loads up in the
media player without requiring any special hardware.

Then sprinkle in a bit of infrastructure to handle things like
encryption, logins, and micro payments. You can even have third parties
creating packages, using an authorization scheme similar to Google's
OAuth, where the content provider checks with the third party (whom
they've made a licensing deal with) to see if you are authorized.

So when you visit the Discovery channel, for example, they give you the
most recent episodes for free, but charge a micro payment per episode to
access their back catalog, or verify that you have a valid subscription
with one of the third party package resellers.

Even if old media companies like Discovery and HBO don't jump on this
bandwagon, we need this infrastructure for the small upstarts. We have
already seen a wave of fairly high quality original programming being
distributed through YouTube, and many of those providers are now bumping
into the limits of how YouTube lets them monetize and they're looking
for new delivery mechanisms.

> The longer term hopes are Google Fiber or a municipal network, and
> in the unlikely event that the latter happens it would probably be a
> data-only network with no TV offerings.

That's a different, but related problem. Yes, you need unfettered
bandwidth and better choices. Just as well if they don't bundle video.


Tom Metro
The Perl Shop, Newton, MA, USA
"Predictable On-demand Perl Consulting."

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