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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Communications ")

Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.' - Ray Bradbury, 1953.

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...'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.