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Selectable Output Control: Why?!

October 15, 2009 DVR , FCC , HDTV , Innovation , Set-Top Box

You may remember that at the end of last year, the FCC declined to give a small group of Hollywood studios the ability to turn off the video inputs that over 20 million high definition televisions rely on. Almost a year later, the MPAA is back, threatening not make content available, responding to year-old arguments while trying to pretend 2009 never happened, and making a lot of noise without saying anything new. So we're back, too, with a letter detailing why the MPAA's petition to use Selectable Output Control (SOC) at worst imposes millions of dollars of costs on consumers and at best leaves us scratching our heads asking why the Commission would even consider it.

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CES Day 1: Sony’s 7 Imperatives: Openness is Good, but Not Entirely

January 8, 2009 DTV , FCC , HDTV , Network Neutrality

After an 18 hour sojourn to get to Las Vegas yesterday (thank you, US Airways), I settled down this morning to hear Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro's "State of the Industry" address as well as Sony Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer's Keynote. Gary's address was particularly notable for its video opening, which included Gary embedded in a series of old movies – as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup", as Dr. Frankenstein, as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life," among others, thanks to a technology called Yoostar., which allows people to play characters in their favorite movies. Watch the video here.

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Do not adjust your television. The MPAA is controlling transmission.

July 22, 2008 DTV , Fair Use , FCC , HDTV

If you’ve never seen the intro (original/new) to the TV show “The Outer Limits” then perhaps now is the time. Be sure to have the sound up:

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission…

Perhaps if the intro was written today, it would say, “There is nothing wrong with your television set. But do not attempt to view our movies. The MPAA is controlling transmission.”

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Notes from Gates CES 2008 Keynote

January 7, 2008 Broadband , HDTV , Network Neutrality , Orphan Works

Well, the time difference is wreaking havoc on me. It’s 5:30AM here and I haven’t been able to sleep for the past hour so I figured I’d try to be useful and report to you some interesting things from the Gates keynote, presuming my shoddy internet connection stays up (thanks Luxor!) and that I don’t fall asleep at the keyboard.

To start off, because Bill will be stepping down from his day to day duties at Microsoft later this year, the folks at Microsoft put together a clever video about what that last day would be like. Fortunately, they’ve posted the video to Microsoft’s Soapbox:

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Follow up on right-to-attach to walled gardens [UPDATED]

November 27, 2007 DTV , FCC , HDTV , Plug and Play , Spectrum Reform

I wanted to drop a note on a couple of recent developments since my post on right-to-attach last week. They are:

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