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Downloading TV

Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Ok - I have just finished building an all-singing and dancing HTPC.. and it rocks....

But now I have the problem that Australian networks are CRAP at broadcasting. They dont stick to schedules, they only buy the cheap stereo soundracks and of course fill the screen with advertising pop-ups as well as pepper the entire show with ad breaks...

Ad-breaks I can filter out, schedule changes I can catch with the help of XMLTV, but schedule non-compliance, advert popups and a refusal to provide the full 5.1 soundtrack is unfixable by any kind of smart processing!

I can, at the moment, of course, use a tool like BitTorrent to download illegal copies of shows, which are then quite watchable - but the torrents take a long time to download and are not always reliable.

Is there any legal way of purchasing TV shows or Movies direct from source? Can I buy Survivor from direct CBS? Desperate Housewives from ABC etc etc? in full HDTV with the 5.1 soundtracks? I'm happy to pay for my content if I can get it in good quality and advert free.

I dont want to get DVD's - the disks take space and the packaging all costs money - I'm only interested in paying for the RAW DATA!!!

Any ideas?
[ January 11, 2006: Message edited by: Adrian Wallace ]
Gerald Davis
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Same here. If you live in the USA then you can download rent some movies over the internet.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

They don't provide that service for people not in the US?
Aj Mathia
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Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by David O'Meara:
They don't provide that service for people not in the US?


Na you got to fly to the US , download the movies and then fly back.


You think you know me .... You will never know me ... You know only what I let you know ... You are just a puppet ... --CMG
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:
Same here. If you live in the USA then you can download rent some movies over the internet.


huh??? That doesnt make sense. If this service exists then GIVE ME A URL!!! I dont give a f*** where the service porvider is - Any business doing this is capable of accepting a credit card and *my* version of the internet seems to be international?!
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
This is a very, very recent thing in the US, but the Apple iTunes store has been expanding to offer videos as well, with Google Video and others close on their heels:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/videos/
http://video.google.com/

I would guess these are probably limited to the US/Canada at the moment, probably because video and music distribution rights have traditionally been sold to distributors by region, and it will take some time to overcome the inertia of the existing systems. E.g. I'm sure Apple would very much like to sell all its offerings worldwide, but that doesn't mean that the TV studios which create the programs are willing to give Apple legal rights to sell them everywhere - yet. Because they've also got agreements with various distributors worldwide for television broadcast and DVD sales, and those agreements often were for some sort of exclusive distribution rights. Not to defend the current system; I'm just offering some context and possible explanation. (Which might be entirely wrong for all I know; I'm mostly guessing here.) I'd be quite happy to have freer access across these markets. And I believe it probably will happen sooner or later, as direct digital distribution rises in prominence to become dominant over physical media. But I don't think it's happened yet.

I will be interested to hear what options work out for you on your end. What happens when you try to sign up for iTunes videos or Google Video from outside the US (or Canada I presume)? I'm guessing the block this option, but don't know how effective that is. Obviously illegal options are easily available (if slow in many cases) to those who choose that route - I hope that companies will be quick to offer legal alternatives in response.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Personally I'd love the option of choosing the shows I'm interested in, having them automagically available on my recorder at home and read to watch when I want them; it would suit my style of TV watching.

I tend to build up tapes of shows during the week and watch them when or if I get around to it, and view what I feel like at the time. It makes it hard to manage when you don't view from the tapes in the order you watched them as you can't reclaim the space, you have to find the shows on the tape, extended book keeping for tapes and so on.

The mother-in-law just bought a DVD player with a built in hard-drive. The theory (and I haven't had a chance to play with it yet) is that you save to the harddrive like a tape, but can manage the individually recorded files. I'm seriously considering it. It also has other options like recording multiple shows at once, starting a recording then watch it after a while while still recording, skip the adverts and catch up with the broadcast then continue from there.

Going back to the illegal options, years ago a saw an article where you could hook an RSS feed into a P2P client with a list of media you were interested in, and whenever anything matching your interestes came available it automatically started downloading it for you. I'd like something like this provided by the TV stations sent for my viewing.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Just get a DVR through your cable providor or a Tivo.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Aj Mathia
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Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Just get a DVR through your cable providor or a Tivo.


I've got a dvd R as well as a tv card for the computer.
But the question in hand is how to get quality TV without advts and physical presence.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Ajay Mathew:


I've got a dvd R as well as a tv card for the computer.
But the question in hand is how to get quality TV without advts and physical presence.


You really can't right now. It's just not something that is available, but it's coming.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/biztech/01/06/google.video.ap/
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Just get a DVR through your cable providor or a Tivo.


My HTPC is superior to a Tivo.

Tivo (or any DVR/PVR) cannot strip pop-up advertising from programs. It would not help me deal with networks schedule non-compliance at all and would not help me get a full5.1 soundtrack when the networks dont broadcast one! (These are the problems that I need solving)

Quite simply what you have suggeested here only solves the problems that I have already solved.

As far as getting a cable-provider based solution is concerned Where I am the only cable provide is Foxtel who server up even more advert and cross-promotional content that the free2air networks - Also their choice of content is unbelievably poor... Mainly reruns of old American dramas (thnk wall 2 wall CSI, Law&Order {yawn} ! Their PVR "Foxtel iQ" is incapable of recording the major free2air channels ('cos they wont share guide information with Foxtel) and is a strictly single tuner - standard definition box. Its a dud!!

I currently fork out $50 a month for my cable TV service - but as soon as I am out of contract I'll be dropping the service compeltely - its a TOTAL waste of money!
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by David O'Meara:
Personally I'd love the option of choosing the shows I'm interested in, having them automagically available on my recorder at home and read to watch when I want them; it would suit my style of TV watching.

I'm sure this is the future of TV - people will simply programme in a list of programmes they are interested in, and when they are available they will be downloaded to their TV ready to watch when wanted. The next generation will think it very strange that we had to sit in front of the TV at a specific time in order to watch the next episode of our favourite soap, or walk down the road to a rental shop to watch a specific film.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Oh it is definitely the future.
I have a DVD Recorder with 80GB HDD and it's the best thing EVER.
It could only be better if it knew to remove adverts.
I no longer have loads of blanks VHS tapes cluttering up my house.
I can use it to effectively pause live TV.
I can transfer anything I really want to keep onto DVD.

We also have Sky+ here in the UK which is effectively your satellite decoder along with a HDD. You can use the Decoder's menu to set the programmes you want to record and watch later, only downfall of this is that there is no way to backup what you've recorded.


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
We also have Sky+ here in the UK which is effectively your satellite decoder along with a HDD. You can use the Decoder's menu to set the programmes you want to record and watch later, only downfall of this is that there is no way to backup what you've recorded.
I wonder how long it is before someone finds a way around it. While its certain that the TV/Film industry will complain about copy-right infringement, its not that different to the idea of having a video recorder.
Nick George
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Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
"TiVo changed my life more than children"


I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
Nick George
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Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
Man, that's a long article, but it's really good.
 
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