The Hopper - with Carl Sagan's Adnix!
The Hopper is the fancy new DVR from Dish Networks that has one very interesting feature. After waiting a day, users can use special software built into the device to "auto-hop" commercials.
(The Hopper - with Joeys)
So you can imagine why Dish Networks unveiling of the "Hopper" – a DVR device that would allow subscribers to "auto-hop" (skip) the commercials they record –was considered hard, cold rain on the parade.
This is big, right? The ability to watch a show when you want to and without commercials, well that's like cake and ice cream with no calories. Not so fast there, cowgirl. Although the idea of skipping commercials spurs an interesting debate, in the end not so much is happening …yet.
The networks are bent out of shape because free TV is built on the advertising model. That's where the money comes from to make and air the shows. Subscription services, like cable TV are another revenue model, but advertising plays a big part in that as well.
The networks argue that if advertisers begin leaving TV, subscription prices will go up and less content will be made. Plus, they argue, it is a copyright infringement for Dish Network to allow the recording, saving and airing of content without the commercials. Dish Network dismisses the allegations out of hand arguing that if they make it easier, more TV will be watched and that's better for the networks. Further, they state, since the user is taping the program, they can choose to watch the commercials if they want and that makes it no different than fast-forwarding.
The battle of words took a turn for the worse when Dish Network sued the networks. Dish Network is looking for a ruling on whether or not the device infringes on copyrights. Fox, CBS and NBCUniversal subsequently sued Dish Network alleging copyright infringement.
Although this is not a prediction by any means, fans of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel Contact recall that the fictional billionaire SR Hadden made his money with a device that automatically muted television commercials:
Years before, he had invented a module that, when a television commercial appeared, automatically muted the sound. It wasn't at first a context-recognition device. Instead, it simply monitored the amplitude of the carrier wave... Before there could be any coordinated response from the television advertising industry, Adnix had become wildly popular. It forced advertisers and networks into new choices of carrier-wave strategy, each of which Hadden countered with a new invention... It was a kind of electronic warfare. And he was winning.
(Read more about Sagan's Adnix)
Yes, the dream of freedom from commercial advertising is an old dream; don't give up the fight, Hopper!
Via ABC News; thanks to Randall Glenn for the tip on and the reference for this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/30/2012)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Face2Face Is Bradbury's Spot-Wavex Scrambler
'A special spot-wavex scrambler also caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.' - Ray Bradbury, 1953.
Tony Stark's Transparent Phone Possible With Graphene?
A nearly unbreakable smartphone - based on graphene.
Needle Beam Propagates Without Spreading
'Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack...'
Penguin E-Books For Libraries
Read about it on your iPad.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'
Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'
Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'
TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'
Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'
Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'
Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories