We chat with Plex developer Tobias Hieta about why HBO doesn't care if you share passwords, and Netflix is flying high to quality.

Cordkillers Episode #3 We got them HBO Go Passwords here
Recorded: January 20 2014
Guest: 
Tobias Hieta, Plex Developer

Intro Video

Primary Target

Secondary Target

Signals Intelligence

Gear Up

Under surveillance

Front Lines

On our radar

On Screen

Dispatches from the front

  •  Cricket Australia started offering streaming of the entire cricket season this yr for 19.99 - for Aussie IP addresses

    @strumpet101

 

  • I was just listening to Spoiler Time 2, and wanted to throw my thoughts into whatever mix there is.

    With ad-supported television, it is not the viewer's responsibility to ensure that the ad is seen, or effective. If we decide that the viewer has an obligation to the show/network/advertiser who is 'paying' for the show then we have a whole host of problems to deal with about viewers who mute the ads, change the channel (to another show that they're not 'paying' for) or otherwise somehow dilute the ad's effectiveness.

    I feel like in our consumer-focused economy we've been lulled into thinking that 'watching an ad' or paying for cable/netflix is the same as buying a good at the store. Services are not tangible items, and there's a lot of ambiguity as to what you gain when you pay for a service. When you pay for Netflix, you're not paying to watch a show. You're paying to access the system. It's even worse with cable (which is why we've all eschewed it, right?)

    With region-locked media, we're equating 'where you are' with 'should you be able to watch'. This is a really poor model, because it assumes consumption generally. From tvlicensing.co.uk:

    "You need a valid TV Licence if you use TV receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV."

    Excellent! I don't ever consume BBC programming when it's being shown on TV, I'm exempt!

    This of course, doesn't make sense. (I'm also fortunate in that I'm watching programs, rather than programmes, another exemption!) Likewise, the person in the UK who tunes in (yay for anachronism) a few times a year to watch a live special is paying the same fee as a person watching every night.

    While a lot of this comes across as ethical/moral justification, the counterbalance is that the people making these rules (both in ad-supported as well as pay-for TV) have left a large gap - and one that I suggest is there such that they do not wrap themselves up in legal red tape. Laws are things that function as double-edged swords for content providers. The Aereo stuff being a prime example.

    There are a LOT of layers between a studio getting paid to make a show, and the cost to a viewer to see that show.

    So - I've written a lot, and edited a lot. If any of it doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll deny it completely :)

    Thanks for a great show (One which, I will add some amount of irony, I am happy to pay for)


    Aaron

 

  • First, Sherlock and if it's a gray area to watch it via Hola or whatever 'VPN' tech du jour.

    My academic response would be, "As a security professional, I can easily say that you are using a technology intended to provide privacy, encryption and non repudiation as a form of obfuscation to circumvent security controls (in this case Region control of BBC Intellectual Property). As with any cat and mouse game, security tools are invented for specific purposes but will be used in a way never intended by the creator. And not to get to Jurassic Park Goldbloom on you, but just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Clearly its a gray area......

    Now to talk out of the other side of my mouth... I did the EXACT same thing. The internet was not designed or created with International boundaries in mind. The BBC has to know that the lines drawn on paper by whatever her or his majesty ordered them to be don't translate into a world without arbitrary walls built on the blood of past generations.

    Second issue, I feel better..... and worse....

    http://www.tvovermind.com/hbo/hbo-doesnt-care-youre-sharing-hbo-go-password-227861

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattlynley/hbos-ceo-doesnt-care-that-you-are-sharing-your-hbo-password

    So basically this guy's marketing strategy is the same as a Philadelphia crack dealer, "Give them the first 8ball for free to get them hooked. "


    J Snyder

 

 

  • It's good to see you continue to help those of us who want to cut the cord!

    Let me start with the back story to my current cord cutting results. We have been Time Warner Cable customers for almost 10 years now but about 2 years ago, I called to cancel our subscription because we were interested in switching to DISH. At the time, we had digital cable with DVR. The customer service rep sold me on upgrading to a whole-home system with 3 extra boxes at the same price we were paying at the time, around $150 or so per month. Since then, costs slowly rose while we found ourselves streaming more and more content from Netflix and Hulu Plus and various content providing websites. We decided it was time to cut the cord so I called TWC to do so. When I explained that I wanted to cancel our TV subscription but keep our internet service, the customer service rep immediately put me on hold to talk to his supervisor. In less than a minute, he was back on the phone and offered me basic cable while allowing us to keep all of our current equipment (3 cable boxes plus DVR) at a cost reduction of $1.25 from what we would have paid for internet service BY ITSELF! So they are paying us $1.25 to watch basic cable on their free equipment. We lost the whole home setup so the remote boxes don't read from the DVR and we can no longer use the TWC app on our iPads but I have an AverMedia device hooked up to one box and a Slingbox Solo on the way to hook up to the DVR for my wife. We are now saving around $115 per month which after less than a month paid for both the AverMedia and Slingbox devices together. The only program that we can't watch with the basic subscription is The Walking Dead but guess what? They feed it to us through the on-demand service that we still get! So, we really lost none of the programs we were watching with cost savings that will put almost $1400 back in our pockets this year!

    Yeah, cord killers! Thank you for keeping us informed and encouraging those that are interested in cutting the cord!

    Your faithful listener,
    Glenn

 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt