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Comment: Re:It does work (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46632093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
The thing about BUD back then with TVRO is there were countless configurations of hardware. You generally needed three or four things; first you needed a motor controller that would aim the dish for you; then you needed a descrambler to descramble channels you had paid for; depending on the generation of your hardware, you may have needed a power injector to send the voltages to the LNB to trigger horizontal/vertical switching for C-Band or the circular polarizations for Ku. I don't remember how that all hooked up; my uncle upgraded in the early 90s and had a brand new single unit IRD that integrated motor control, power injection, and the latest descrambler in to one box. As far as the feeds, those were quite popular...and my uncle used to get not only master network feeds (which generally had a black screen during commercials) as well as the occasional uplink feed. Yes, it was possible to watch Letterman at 5pm when it was uplinked to the west coast...if it wasn't scrambled. Whenever I went down on vacation, my uncle would record about 3 hours of Simpsons a day since they were uplinked at around 4am from the west coast for the syndicated airings. It was interesting watching them without commercials and the lovely color bars with episode info other technical details. What people don't realize is the cost of transponder time is outrageous; back in the 90s I think it was around $145,000/month for a full-time lease on a C-Band transponder. A friend of mine that used to work in TV said the cost of the guys out in the field was anywhere from $500 for a 5 minute window to sometimes an inflated $5,000 for a 5 minute window. That's largely because remote broadcasts tend to take the entire transponder, it has to be downlinked and muxed on the ground from a single source...i.e...two people running digital can't point at the bird and send two digital streams at once...unless they're premuxed on the ground.

Comment: Re:It does work (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46631977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Yeah, see...for a period of time the BUD's supported both C-Band and the Ku/Ka band systems. You generally saw more "classic" providers using C-Band becuase they had long term agreements for those transponders. The ability to encrypt didn't kill FTA; they've *always* had scrambling systems and had gotten quite good at them. Going digital did allow them the extra security, but it also allowed them to cram more channels in to a single transponder. You have to remember that in order to get an analog video source to even work on satellites, they had to go wideband-FM and use a LOT of bandwidth; I believe around 20mhz or something per transponder vs the 6mhz we get for terrestrial NTSC. But, due to the extremely low SNR involved (C-Band sats only pumped out a whopping 5 watts per transponder), it was required. Digital changed things; they didn't need to go overkill on bandwidth to carry a clear analog signal; and they could cram more feeds in an already expensive transponder lease. What really killed FTA is capitalism and greed. Think about this; US cable providers have to *pay* the channel to carry them on the system even though they're already funded by advertising. DTH (directv/dish) systems went with the small dishes because the Ku band sats allowed them to get enough gain with a smaller dish; which was more attractive to customers. Also, I believe the actual joke was the BUD was the state flower of West Virginia.

Comment: Re:Are you in the USA? (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46630789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
That list constantly shows satellites you cannot get in the US. I see European birds showing up, last I knew you couldn't get any of the birds on the other side of the prime meridian very well, if at all. I mean, from DC the birds at .8 W come in at an elevation of 1.8 degrees. At that point you'd need something bigger than a 1m dish to even get the signal. I also have to question the inclusion of OTA channels in that list; as they have pretty tight distribution per FCC rules.

Comment: You need to consult Lyngsat (Score 2) 219

by DewDude (#46630735) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Years ago I used to be infatuated with the BUD, so much so that when I visited my uncle, he'd save me the program guides and channel lists he used to get in the mail. Then along came Lyngsat, which tells you all of that. http://lyngsat.com/

But more importantly for you, they will tell you if a channel is encrypted or not on whatever satellite. So the *best* way to tell if FTA TV is going to be worth it to you. It's largely a joke in the US, but a slightly more serious deal in other countries. Lyngsat also has a precompiled list of Free TV in the "US", although it still shows satellites you can't see over here. Still, it's a good way of having some idea of what you'd get. TL;DR: if you're not an immigrant that speaks a foreign language or a very religious person, there's next to nothing worth watching on FTA satellite in the US; I do not know for sure if the "local" channels that are uplinked to satellites are actually FTA or not; since they control the distribution of them I'd have to say the list is incorrect. Maybe it's not.

Comment: Re:I'll be avoiding WD products. Thanks. (Score 1) 127

by DewDude (#46630125) Attached to: Western Digital 'MyCloud' Is Down 5 Days and Counting
Well, it's a matter of convenience. The average user is not going to know how to access their data without having it done for them; and they've already been willing to pay extra for convenience. So, yes; if you can't do it yourself, you have to depend on someone else. Those of us who know how to access our drives remotely; either over SSHd or tunneling NFS or SMB take this mentality....but we're already not going to pay for a service we can set up ourselves? Would I buy a WD MyCloud drive? Hell no! I'll buy a standard hard drive, plug it in to my Linux box and access it over VPN like a real man.

Comment: Virtural DVD rentals? It was done (Score 1) 490

by DewDude (#46586653) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?
Look, the entertainment industry doesn't give a rat's ass about the consumer. None. What they care about is money; and they will do everything they can to make the customers *think* they're not getting screwed. In reality, they are. I hate watching physical discs; the 5 minutes of anti-piracy along with all the "comming attractions" they play are just entirely too much. Unlike VHS...most players won't let you skip this. Nothing says "shoot me" like watching a 5 year old DVD talking about movies coming out in theater like they're brand new. They weren't like this when they came out, not nearly this bad. It was a ruse to get them adopted by the public before reverting to the old ways. When the movie industry was unable to use legal action to prevent the rental of video cassettes; they responded by raising the price. The jokes you used to hear about a VHS copy of E.T. going for well over $79.99 was actually true. The idea was if they raised the prices of tapes, the video stores would stop purchasing them. However, it didn't really work; and the end result was most people were unable to afford VHS tapes and the rental business boomed. They soon started selling movies on a sliding scale, newer movies being much cheaper than older movies; which is why you'd often see 30 copies of the newest release and maybe 1 of an old one. Of course, the advantage of DVD is they can lock you out from skipping specific aspects. You don't really own the movie if you're forced to watch trailers and advertisements in front of it. There was a company (the name of which I do not remember); that operated on a "virtural DVD" rental type deal. They had loads and loads of DVDs in automated carousels, racks of DVD players, Slingboxes, and robots that would physically load each disc in to a player connected to a Slingbox. According to copyright law, this is 100% legal, and is the same as renting a DVD. However, the movie industry quickly stepped in, sued them for infringement, and shut them down. Similar with the TV networks and Aereo. Aereo is receiving the signals on OTA tuners assigned to a subscriber and allowing them to stream them online. It's legal, as place-shifting has already had some success. However, TV networks are trying to the the SCOTUS to rule it illegal becuase "they are cutting in on thier business model". Now...the old business model was they transmit programming that was paid for by advertisements; but ever since the cable act of 1992, affiliates and other broadcasters make a "demand" a retransmission fee for your service operator to provide it to you. So, they're claiming that Aereo, which legally is not retransmitting the signal and is receiving it from the air; is trying to be forced out of business by big broadcasters. If broadcasters don't get their way; they've already talked about leaving TV and going to an online distribution system. That's not to mention if you watch a program from their website; you're getting as many (if not more) advertisements as in the broadcast; and the same with on-demand. Apparently getting paid to broadcast to them once isn't enough. Look on your cable/satellite bill; I'm sure you're paying a local channel fee somewhere. Of course, many argue the additional ads on online distribution of the content is the result of the writer's strike; but one could claim they could still afford to pay the royalties if they weren't so worried about bleeding everyone dry.

Comment: Re:Trial run by the accuser. (Score 1) 441

by DewDude (#46046503) Attached to: Why Whistleblowers Can't Get a Fair Trial
It's a conflict of interest. Are the judges going to be impartial? No. The Jury? No. Seriously, if Snowden got drug back to the US; the trial would probably be a total sham as they've already marked him for death. We don't see the difference between a whistleblower and treason because they don't want to. Mess with the government; they'll kill you. I mean, how many senators and representatives were calling to have him tried for treason and executed? There's absolutely zero way I feel a federal judge will not be biased in this.

I feel the same way about trials involving police officers. Two officers enjoy beating up a homeless man and have video as well as audio proving these two were *clearly* enjoying beating this man to death; bragging about it. Think they went to jail? No, a jury found them innocent. Innocent. There it was, plain clear proof they did this but they couldn't get convicted. Why? You think that jury's going to be impartial? The officers in courtroom are going to find out who they are and make thier life absolute hell if they convict the person. Do we have proof of this? No. But it seems to be the only way officers can get away with murdering someone on camera.

The entire justice system is a giant effing joke. Liberty and justice for all? Not anymore; we have no liberty, we have no justice; and those in power just simply don't care enough to listen to people.

Comment: The BB wasn't even that great of a keyboard (Score 1) 226

by DewDude (#45880291) Attached to: BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo
The Sidekick devices had much better keyboards. In fact, after all my use of modern smart phone keyboards; the Sidekick is *still* the one I compare everything to. Let's not forget the only thing Microsoft ever got out of buying that platform was the keyboard; which they put on an attachment for the 360.

Comment: I've been saying this for months... (Score 1) 169

by DewDude (#45860269) Attached to: ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers
The day will come when cable-cutters will be left with fewer options. The channels and networks make more off re-transmission fees than they do from advertisers. They love you if you have cable; because you're basically paying for something already "free" (if it's not rolled in to your monthly rates; you're paying a seperate "retransmission fee" on your bill, look at it). Quite frankly; the networks don't really care if you're watching them or not; because they're already getting paid. They've threatened to leave the air and switch to cable-only distribution; a move the FCC won't allow them to do. That one service that was streaming networks for $8/month (whose name I cannot remember) is a prime example. All they were doing was wiring you in to an antenna with an OTA tuner and place-shifting device; something that doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of public retransmission. Yet, they still sued and got the company shut down because "it was threatening our business model". Getting eyes on the programming/channel obviously *IS NOT* what the business model of TV networks are; it's to extort money through retransmission agreements.

But they're not the only ones to blame; you can point a stiff finger at the writers. Remember the writers strike? It was all about lack of payment for online streaming of shows. Brodcast it on TV; it's one rate; stream it online and it's another rate entirely. The writers wanted more money because more eyes were on the programming; this takes more money out of the networks pocket...so it's their way of saying "We paid for this once; now it's up to you."

It's capitalism at it's finest. You can blame whoever you want...not one single party is responsible.

Comment: nope (Score 2) 354

by DewDude (#45845435) Attached to: The New York Times Pushes For Clemency For Snowden
Do they really think that will happen? He blew the cover on the country's illegal spy program, most people in the government wanted him dead. You hear that, dead! They wanted him back in the country so they could kill him for treason. I'm really surprised they didn't order a drone strike on him and claim nothing happened. They'll never grant him clemency. They revoked his citizenship and the only way the government will let him back in is in a box. Sure, the program breaks the law. The government has already made it known they don't want to follow their own laws becuase it prevents them doing their spying and everything else they can to revoke our rights. This isn't the action ofnanfree country, this is the same crap North Korea would pull. Were no better than the communist dictatorship regime they tell us they're protecting us from. Voting isn't helping, ever asshole that gets elected is probably told "this is how it works, and if you try to change it you'll meet the same fate as JFK."

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