WinXPnews – Editor’s Corner – Eagerly Awaiting TV over IP :

“Eagerly Awaiting TV over IP

We aren’t what you’d call big television watchers at our house. For years, we never turned it on except to watch DVD movies (partly because we were always too busy and partly because the cable service where we lived left a lot to be desired). Now we have Comcast, which despite some irritating accounting practices does deliver great quality video. But most of network TV leaves us cold. I have to confess: I never saw an episode of Survivor, Friends or most of the other popular programs that people around me were always talking about.

Now that Tech TV has gone down the tubes and Star Trek Enterprise is about to bite the dust, our set pretty much stays locked on HGTV and the Food Network (‘Summon the Iron Chefs!’), except for a once-a-week foray over to Fox to watch the medical mystery ‘House,’ a recent addition to our limited lineup.

Even though we’re not enamored with most of the content, though, we love exploring the new TV technologies. I guess we’re a little like the computer hardware junkies who love building the things but never really do much with them. Comparing satellite to digital cable, TiVO to Media Center PC, the utter ‘coolness’ of being able to save our favorite episodes of House Hunters to DVD to keep forever, or download them to the Zen portable Media Center to watch on the road – we love TV technology even if TV itself isn’t nearly as cool.” …

Yes, this is a very cool technology! Like so many really cool technologies! And will likely be how we all will be watching TV in the future. It could be such a great thing too!

Like the Editor of WinXPnews, I too am disenchanted with the current crop of programs on network television and mainly watch tapes and DVDs instead of network and/or cable stations.

But, I can’t help but think of Max Headroom while thinking of this technology. Do you remember Max Headroom? Some folks may be too young to have seen it live, but they may still have been able to catch it on reruns on TechTV a year or two back before they were assimilated into G4. The instant feedback to advertising companies, and eventually becoming in charge of everything, and I do mean everything in the future depicted in this SciFi series.

The technology is great, like so many, but I am not at all sure that I like some of the potentials … such as privacy intrusion becoming big money … becoming even bigger than it is today.

What about unencrypted RFID tags being placed in US Passports? That’s all good? Possibly making US Citizens a target as they travel overseas?

Some may say I am being overly paranoid toward big companies, but am I really?

What about the announcement regarding the TiVo where they ‘watch’ your remote clicks and what you watch and for how long, or when you switch to another channel and try to guess why?

That’s an absolutely wonderful technology. But where is this all headed?

What about the P2P technology seedings of viruses, malware, etc., and law suits by the RIAA and MPAA against their own customers … instead of true pirates … of which there are many. Who are the real villians making money off their goods?

What about fair use versus copyright protection and the DMCA? Innovation being stifled … where will it end?

The frivolous lawsuits that seem to build their own media attention?

Companies being allowed to silence critics on websites because they have big money and bigger lawyers?

SPAM, phishing, pharming, SPIM, SPIT, etc. You name it…..?

Adware, malware, spyware, other parasitic programs that invade ‘your’ computer with outrageous EULAs, computers that you paid for, and make it a slug and watch your every move ‘to better serve you?’

Broadcast flags which will be even easier to implement in this type of content provision than ever before?

Will 1984 become a reality albeit some years later than expected?

I sure hope not! It’s just food for thought…for pondering….

Doomsayer? Really? We shall see …. talk to me again in five, ten, twenty years.

EDIT: I wanted to be sure that folks are not mistaken about my intentions in this piece. I am not anti-technology, anti-copyright, nor anti-capitalism … if handled properly and where it doesn’t infringe on other’s rights. I believe there is a way to have great technology, innovation, and ethical capitalism without infringing on citizen’s, companies’ and innovator’s rights. It’s just the path less traveled these days.

NOTE: Originally posted: March 2005 (recreated from mangled original

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