Author Topic: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"  (Read 8601 times)

Offline wappinghigh

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Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« on: May 22, 2011, 11:05:21 PM »
I don't know whether it's just me  ::)

But I'm fed up with the Icetv/eyetv/elgato/mac thing not being 100% reliable. Everytime there is a software upgrade, something seems to go astray.

Now here is an idea. Why doesn't ICE just ditch this "fetch" and "sync with our guide thing" we have to do and get right all the time, and simply record EVERY show on a giant server or something.

Actually surely this server wouldn't have to be too large, or a huge expense for the company.

You would just have to get some multi tuner cards and 3 or 4 mac pros or something...

Then when we wanted to view a show, we could simply "log on to the server", like we do with catchup TV such as abc iView, and watch what we want straight off the Icetv server....

That would be 100% reliable. And save a lot of the "missed recording" hassles...  :)

I just don't get why ICETV hasn't cottoned onto this....
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 11:14:52 PM by wappinghigh »

Offline tonymy01

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 05:08:25 AM »
Umm.. .hahaha, as if a commercial company can record FTA TV, and sell it to people, who are you kidding really if you think there is some eutopia where that would be possible  ??? :P
Regards
Tony

Beyonwiz DP-S1 & Topfield 5K (using PerlTGD to upload ICE EPG/timers for the 5K, normal ICE interactive for the Wiz).

Offline Daniel Drysdale at IceTV

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 05:48:21 AM »
tonymy01 is dead right on this one..

We have certainly discussed this idea in the office many times and there are serious legal issues that make it impossible.

About 2 years ago the law was changed to allow you to record TV programs for personal use, prior to that it was technically illegal to use a PVR or VCR but clearly that law wasn't enforced.

The law now allows recording of TV shows but only for personal use, not commercial use, in fact even for personal use there are a bunch of stupid restrictions that make your head hurt.

When you record a TV show you are allowed to watch it once only, you are then supposed to delete it. If you and your family were to watch a movie and you fell asleep in the middle then you can watch the rest later but no one else is allowed to.... Not sure how they plan to enforce that part.

In any case for a commercial entity, and particularly one that has spent so much time and money in legal battles with the networks, there is no way we would touch this unless the law was changed.
Cheers,

Dan
Software Manager @ IceTV

Offline prl

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 09:28:28 AM »
... eutopia ...

No "e" in utopia. :) Not even in the original Greek. Comes from "ou-" = "no" and "-topos" = place, not, perhaps surprisingly, "eu-" = "good, well". It may have lost the "o" in its Latinisation, thanks to Sir Thomas More.

Anyway, what Daniel said. He's even said at some time on this forum that IceTV doesn't feel even able to record TV to check for program promotion ads and to see what programs are on, let alone recording for rebroadcast. That would probably not be a healthy choice for IceTV, even though its technically feasible. As well, many users would need the TV recoded to a more compressed form. I get less than 5Mb/s on my ADSL2+ in suburban inner north Canberra, and that's not enough to reliably carry even broadcast MPEG2 SD.
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Online grampus

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 10:23:44 AM »

No "e" in utopia. :) Not even in the original Greek. Comes from "ou-" = "no" and "-topos" = place, not, perhaps surprisingly, "eu-" = "good, well". It may have lost the "o" in its Latinisation, thanks to Sir Thomas More.
Sounds like a direct quote from "Letters and Numbers?"  SBS.
Any relation?
 ::)
BeyonWiz, T3

Offline prl

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 11:04:15 AM »

Sounds like a direct quote from "Letters and Numbers?"  SBS.
Any relation?
 ::)
Yes, and no :)

Offline wappinghigh

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 01:05:04 PM »
tonymy01 is dead right on this one..

We have certainly discussed this idea in the office many times and there are serious legal issues that make it impossible.

About 2 years ago the law was changed to allow you to record TV programs for personal use, prior to that it was technically illegal to use a PVR or VCR but clearly that law wasn't enforced.

The law now allows recording of TV shows but only for personal use, not commercial use, in fact even for personal use there are a bunch of stupid restrictions that make your head hurt.

When you record a TV show you are allowed to watch it once only, you are then supposed to delete it. If you and your family were to watch a movie and you fell asleep in the middle then you can watch the rest later but no one else is allowed to.... Not sure how they plan to enforce that part.

In any case for a commercial entity, and particularly one that has spent so much time and money in legal battles with the networks, there is no way we would touch this unless the law was changed.

This is just a cop out. If you were recording for a customer's "personal use", why would the law have a problem with this? Does the law say WHERE that recording has to actually exist? Or WHO does that recording for the personal customer? Could not the customer's personal recording be in the "cloud" for example, with a specific software identifier. The model being: I chose on the icetv website what to record. Ice TV records it for me. Then adds a specific personal identifier exclusive to me, and I simply download the recorded file at my convenience when I want to view it. I wouldn't care if I could only view it once. You could have it self delete after that, to please the "authorities" if you want. All I care about is 100% guaranteed viewability of what I want "recorded". At the moment this just doesn't exist.

As you say DVR's and VCR recorders have been in existence for decades, effectively against the law. Yet this didn't stop the makers and public from embracing them. Since when should the law be the ONLY factor that dictates the adoption and efficient delivery of technology. If all companies thought like that, we would never have had the internet, computers, facebook, ebay, itunes and the ipod...and probably TV itself....

There doesn't seem to be any problem with our National broadcaster (and therefore the Commonwealth Government) effectively breaking the very law that they set up and you describe RIGHT NOW. With iView. There is nothing stopping me viewing the same ABC file over and over again. In my house. On the road. On my iphone. Anywhere. So where is the difference with me viewing a file in the same way that I ask YOU to record for me?

So we have the ABC breaking the law. And you say IceTv "can't"......If you guys don't get the balls to take them on, you won't HAVE a business model when catchup TV takes on. You won't even have a business! So what are you waiting for? Hire some very smart lawyers. And get going. Because what you are doing right now just doesn't cut it any more....Catchup TV is 100% effective. Your service is not....

If you are worried about the commercial networks suing your arse right now, then fair enough...start small. Offer only ABC shows this way. Perhaps the ones only available on iView. Then get your lawyers to run a test case...and see what happens...I'm no lawyer, but who knows you might actually win...
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 01:37:17 PM by wappinghigh »

Offline Daniel Drysdale at IceTV

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 01:44:25 PM »
This is just a cop out. If you were recording for a customer's "personal use", why would the law have a problem with this? Does the law say WHERE that recording has to actually exist? Or WHO does that recording for the personal customer? Could not the customer's personal recording be in the "cloud" for example, with a specific software identifier. The model being: I chose on the icetv website what to record. Ice TV records it for me. Then adds a specific personal identifier exclusive to me, and I simply download the recorded file at my convenience when I want to view it. I wouldn't care if I could only view it once. You could have it self delete after that, to please the "authorities" if you want. All I care about is 100% guaranteed viewability of what I want "recorded". At the moment this just doesn't exist.

The problem for us is that as you point out there is much room for "interpretation", it could be that you are correct and that the court would side with us, but there is every chance that they would not.

When we started this company 6 years ago within 6 months of opening the door we were taken to court by Channel Nine, that case took 4 years to resolve ending up in the High Court and costing millions to mount a defense. There is no way that we would take a risk of being litigated against by the networks again, we know they keep a very close eye on us and would be happy to drag us to court again.

What you call a "cop out", we call avoiding unnecessary risk to the business.

We know of two companies currently pursuing exactly the model you propose and so far they are struggling to generate any serious consumer interest. So not only would we be at a serious risk of litigation we would be doing so for a feature that is unlikely to improve our subscription take up rate significantly.

Our gut feeling within the office is that if either of these two companies begin to generate any revenue and gain any sort of mindshare the hammer will fall on them from the networks.

As you say DVR's and VCR recorders have been in existence for decades, effectively against the law. Yet this didn't stop the makers and public from embracing them. Since when should the law be the ONLY factor that dictates the adoption and efficient delivery of technology. If all companies thought like that, we would never have had the internet, computers, facebook, ebay, itunes and the ipod...and probably TV itself....

In an ideal world technology would be unconstrained by commercial/legal factors, unfortunately this is not the case.

There doesn't seem to be any problem with our National broadcaster (and therefore the Commonwealth Government) effectively breaking the very law that they set up and you describe RIGHT NOW. With iView. There is nothing stopping me viewing the same ABC file over and over again. In my house. On the road. On my iphone. Anywhere. So where is the difference with me viewing a file in the same way that I ask YOU to record for me?

The ABC are the copyright holders of their own content and are free to deliver it any way they like, iView is nothing like a PVR (even a network one such as you envisage).

So we have the ABC breaking the law. And you say IceTv "can't"......If you guys don't get the balls to take them on, you won't HAVE a business model when catchup TV takes on. You won't even have a business! So what are you waiting for? Hire some very smart lawyers. And get going. Because what you are doing right now just doesn't cut it any more....Catchup TV is 100% effective. Your service is not....

As above the ABC is not breaking copyright by distributing their own content using their own application, this is also true for the commercial catchup TV services.

As far as IceTV having the balls to take on the networks our record stands for itself, our landmark case against Nine has made history and changed the way copyright is interpreted with regards to compilations of "facts", Telstra have had their previous win against Desktop Marketing over the copyright in the white pages brought into question as well as the TAB having rights to some sporting results.

It is prudent to pick your battles in a situation like this, the right to independently compile a TV guide was crucial to the business while a network DVR is not (at this time).

We also have a different take on the catchup TV question, we believe that a good PVR precludes the need for catchup TV services rather than the other way around. 
Having said that we are amendable to working with catchup TV services to provide more options to our customers, we are about giving users control over their viewing habits.





Offline prl

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 01:58:10 PM »
The Copyright Act gives the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to make copies or otherwise redistribute the work in copyright. If the ABC is the owner of the copyright, it has the right to decide how iView operates. It presumably has license agreements with other providers that allow it to do what it does on iView. The ability to grant such licences only exists because of the existence of copyright.

As for what the rights are, here's what it says with respect to TV broadcasts. It's not really all that complicated:
Quote
COPYRIGHT ACT 1968 - SECT 87

Nature of copyright in television broadcasts and sound broadcasts


For the purposes of this Act, unless the contrary intention appears, copyright, in relation to a television broadcast or sound broadcast, is the exclusive right:
(a)  in the case of a television broadcast in so far as it consists of visual images--to make a cinematograph film of the broadcast, or a copy of such a film;
(b)  in the case of a sound broadcast, or of a television broadcast in so far as it consists of sounds--to make a sound recording of the broadcast, or a copy of such a sound recording; and
(c)  in the case of a television broadcast or of a sound broadcast--to re‑broadcast it or communicate it to the public otherwise than by broadcasting it.
[emphasis in the body of the text is mine]

There are some exceptions (like personal recording for viewing later), but they are generally quite restricted, more so, generally than, say, US copyright law..

If IceTV were to record TV and stream it over the internet to IceTV subscribers without a licence from the copyright owners, then they would pretty clearly be in breach of all three sections.

"Cinematograph film" is defined by the Act to include recordings; it doesn't just mean images on celluloid.

Also not a lawyer, but this is really basic stuff.

Offline futzle

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 02:09:49 PM »
Does the law say WHERE that recording has to actually exist? Or WHO does that recording for the personal customer?

Well ... yeah, it does, actually. That's a link to the FAQ for the Copyright Amendment 2006, which Daniel was talking about.  The situation is much better than it was prior to the amendment, but there's still an air of absurdity about what is and isn't allowed.

Offline wappinghigh

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 02:10:31 PM »
Dan. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I much better understand the situation.  :)

As a bit of a fan of icetv and what you have done, this sure must be frustrating for you.

As for me, using your service, I still run 2 "recorders" doubling every recording up. One on a Beyonwiz. And One on the iMac. Just to be sure of not missing the recording.

It's probably me and my ageing brain  :-[ But just letting you know using icetv with eyetv is not always straight forward. Even for a tech head.

Maybe I should switch to a macpro with 2 x 4 tuner cards and record everything myself....

Thanks again for your time...

Offline wappinghigh

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 02:17:57 PM »
Does the law say WHERE that recording has to actually exist? Or WHO does that recording for the personal customer?

Well ... yeah, it does, actually. That's a link to the FAQ for the Copyright Amendment 2006, which Daniel was talking about.  The situation is much better than it was prior to the amendment, but there's still an air of absurdity about what is and isn't allowed.


Sure. The law never keeps up with technology. The concept of a "cloud" based folder with all ones "recordings" in it has clearly escaped them. It's on the internet. But is completely owned/controlled and payed for by the end user...therefore whether that file exists in the "cloud" or on the HDD of a DVR, really shouldn't matter.....

What matters is the recorded file is for sole, personal and private use...
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 02:19:30 PM by wappinghigh »

Offline Daniel Drysdale at IceTV

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 02:25:55 PM »
Amazon are arguing the same way with their music service, they contend that they don't need a licence since the Cloud Drive is just the same as an external hard drive, the labels feel differently ;)

wappinghigh: I appreciate the dialog and yes it is very frustrating for me, I work in IT because I love tech and want to push the boundaries for its use.

As for your recording issues, the BeyonWiz is probably our most reliable PVR and EyeTV is generally pretty good. Have you spoken to our support guys to try and sort things out?

Offline prl

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 02:34:03 PM »
...
Sure. The law never keeps up with technology. The concept of a "cloud" based folder with all ones "recordings" in it has clearly escaped them. It's on the internet. But is completely owned/controlled and payed for by the end user...therefore whether that file exists in the "cloud" or on the HDD of a DVR, really shouldn't matter.....
...
Well, in this case, the law "keeps up" with technology by avoiding talking about the technology, and sticking to what's being done.

As I said before, "Cinematograph film" is defined in a pretty non-technologically specific manner:
Quote
"cinematograph film" means the aggregate of the visual images embodied in an article or thing so as to be capable by the use of that article or thing:
(a)  of being shown as a moving picture; or
(b)  of being embodied in another article or thing by the use of which it can be so shown;
and includes the aggregate of the sounds embodied in a sound ‑ track associated with such visual images.

That easily covers copies in the cloud, or on your PC or PVR. It's the act of making that copy that can constitute an infringement.

Quote
... copyright ... is the exclusive right:
(a)  in the case of a television broadcast ... --to make a cinematograph film of the broadcast, or a copy of such a film;

Nothing says where the copy is located, just that a copy is made.

Offline prl

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Re: Sick of unreliability. Just Ditch the "fetch"
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 02:44:04 PM »
Just as an aside, I think that a lot of the time when people say that copyright law "isn't keeping up with technology" they mean "copyright law stops me from doing what I want to do with the technology", which isn't quite the same thing :)


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