I use TunnelBear myself and it's very handy for those "I'm sorry you can't watch that video in your territory" moments. Stupid morons. TB offers an easy to use console and from memory if you tweet about how cool they are you get 1GB of data free each month.
It is quite slow though so I use it just for those short-run movie trailers/BBC news clips etc that won't play because I'm a dirty foreigner.
And for those that don't watch television, can I just ask why? Because as far as I can tell we're living in a golden age of television drama.
Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Boardwalk Empire... there are plenty of shows that you wouldn't have seen only five or six years ago, plenty of use of television as a medium (as opposed to screening stage shows or chopping down movies to fit) and I'm loving it.
What I don't love is the nonsense that goes with it, but television as a medium is actually really rather good at the moment.
This is pretty crucial to the whole debate. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go - all these services are available based on location. The reason they're not available in New Zealand is not because of our infrastructure (sure, with fibre it will be better) but because of the old-school approach to rights management that dictates NZ is a separate geographical region therefore we must negotiate separate rights with a NZ distributor.
With the internet, you don't need regional distributors.
They'll figure it out I'm sure but the damage being done now is just stupid.
what he said - why would you subscribe online if you're already forced to get it to the TV via a cable service?
If you've seen that Oatmeal cartoon of trying to buy G of T in the US online you'll see we're not the only ones who struggle with this model. You can buy the cable TV service online, but the content will be delivered by cable TV to your TV. Not quite what we're after.
it says to me at least some of the providers are indeed working towards the obvious goal. Sadly NZFact is funded by those same soggy middle management/"value add resellers" who don't actually add any value.
It reminds me intensely of the PC market in the late 1990s - channel versus direct sales. Dell wouldn't even make your PC up until you ordered it while HP, Compaq, Tosh, IBM et al would have warehouses of old stock but wouldn't sell to us users...
it all ended in tears of course.
The Sky TV issue is an interesting one. I spoke to John Fellet about all of this - he swears Sky TV does not have any control over the rights needed for video on demand. S-VOD (Subscriber Video On Demand) are an entirely different set of rights (and come with a different price tag naturally) to the pay TV rights Sky TV has negotiated. None of Sky's rights restrict anyone else buying S-VOD rights, says Fellet, but it would appear some of Sky's contractual relationships with both ISPs and the likes of HBO do indeed prevent those players from going the S-VOD route, which is naughty.
Ultimately the problem is not just of Sky's making - far from it. It's a by-product of an old business model that requires layers of middle men passing on the product and clipping the ticket. A producer requires a global distributor who sells the product to a regional distributor who sells to a cinema chain, pay TV provider, a free-to-air TV provider, DVD producers, Airlines and assorted other resellers and eventually we get to see the product.
Ultimately all this will be swept away as we move to a world where HBO can sell TV shows directly to (gasp) customers.
The Economist has a great piece on the future of pay TV (http://www.economist.com/node/21526314) and makes it quite clear HBO would like to move in this direction. Sadly it would appear the cable TV companies and their production/distribution owners are not so keen.
It is not as I'm required to buy dozens of other things I don't want in order to get it. Plus I can't get it at all online - and it's the online world I'm talking about.
What I can do is download it as and when I want (albeit illegally) then buy the DVDs when they come out. This is what I've done in the past - it's clumsy and stupid and I have plastic wrapped DVDs that I've purchased to assuage my guilt (nearly wrote Assange my guilt there. How very!) that I've never opened.
Thanks David. It's nice to be writing something for Russell that doesn't involve health issues.
although I do have this pain in my left side...
Many reasons. I have a family of four and in the past decade we've moved from using 1GB/month (seriously) to 100GB/month.
My daughters both use the connection for their home work, my wife uses it to catch up on TV, and do wifely stuff and I work from home as I did a decade ago, but now I expect streaming hi def content rather than Lotus Notes inspired text.
Television content makes up a large percentage of my traffic and I'd love to pay someone for it, but for the most part they won't let me.
Incidentally, I pay Quickflix $10/month not because I watch what they've got on offer so far but because I badly want someone to succeed in this market so I treat this as seed funding of the smallest order.
One line of thinking suggests that if the rights holders won't pay $25 then the value of the product is less than $25 - so why is the fine $15,000? I'll pay $25 to watch that season of Breaking Bad/Justified/Doctor Who/Game of Thrones but of course they won't let me.
Just to clarify also, I'm not opposed to the idea of copyright. Far from it - I made my living for many years via copyright and I cherish the notion that I can earn money by simply thinking about stuff and writing it down. My fear is that this kind of activity so devalues copyright in the public view that we raise a generation of kids who see stealing copyright material as normal and "right".