TechnicalJones.com

Author

Leroy Jones, Jr. is the creator of Talking Technology with Leroy Jones, Jr.

Recently in TV Category

Set-Top Box: Open?

| No Comments

The word "open" has a puzzling meaning at the FCC these days.

In February, when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed regulating pay TV set-top boxes, he said the effort was to promote "openness."  Multiple times, he talked of new "open standards" and "opening up" pay TV viewing through a process to "openly license" programming.

That plan crashed for many reasons, primarily its prohibitive cost and potential to harm quality programming. Two subsequent versions this summer also failed for the same reasons.

So now, the Chairman is doing something truly puzzling: Rather than seek help from outside experts to create a more viable and affordable plan, he and his staff are once again revising their proposal in total secrecy.  

That means no input from the public to determine viewing trends.  No input from technology experts. No input from programmers. No input from media licensing experts.  And finally, no input from civil rights groups concerned about the impact on African-American, Latino and other minority programs.

The collective opposition from all these groups helped sink the first three FCC proposals - and deservedly so. Those plans were vague and conflicting. Rather than spurring progress on ways to give viewers the shows they want, when they want them, those FCC proposals would have gone in the opposite direction.

Especially noteworthy, more than 200 Members of Congress from both parties aired concerns, including large numbers from the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses. And just last week, Members of Congress joined civil rights leaders at the National Urban League (NUL) and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in calling for transparency from the FCC.

Moreover, in addition to the proposals' potential harm to minority programming, there was significant concern over the missing protections of consumer viewing privacy. Ask yourself: Would you be comfortable if some nameless company sold information about everything you and your family, including your children, watched on TV?  Without your approval?

The FCC's effort to rewrite this plan - for the 4th time in 8 months - in the same insular way brings to mind the saying that insanity is doing the same thing again and again but expecting a different result. The Commission is right to want to create a more accessible pay TV framework but the way it's going about this is clearly flawed. 

On an issue this important, the FCC should accept the need to solicit views from outside. Technology and viewer habits are both changing rapidly. If the Commission is going to regulate pay TV distribution, it should at least do it with flexibility and an eye toward tomorrow's reality.  That's not too much to ask given Chairman Wheeler's repeated comments about the need for more "openness."


Minority Media Programming: FCC & Set-Top Boxes

| No Comments


Until last week, a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate pay TV set-top boxes had several Member of Congress and TV industry leaders concerned. Announced this past February, the proposal threatened to rip up programmers' copyrights and harm their ability to thrive in the video market.


With this proposal, the Commission was allowing large tech companies to take video content from programmers without paying for it and redistributing it over their own devices.  Such an intervention into the marketplace would especially put small minority programmers at a disadvantage.


But last week, there was a glimmer of hope.  During a Congressional hearing, two Commissioners publicly agreed that the February proposal had major problems. Among its crucial flaws, said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, is its lack of adequate copyright protection.  Fellow Democrat Mignon Clyburn added that these protections "must be in place" before any rules are finalized.


The Commissioners' public hesitation is good news for strengthening media diversity. It also caps nearly a year of progressively louder complaints from across the African-American community. Among the leaders was Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), who brought together 53 Members of Congress on this issue earlier this year.  As the FCC's proposal was taking shape, she and her colleagues warned of "irreparable harm to independent and minority programmers" who would see their programming relegated "to the bottom of the pile."


As this debate wore on, more and more minority leaders, especially in media, began recognizing the stakes for our community. The CEO of Revolt Media, Keith Clinkscales, warned that the FCC's proposal would "drive up costs and eliminate the need for minority programming."


With complaints streaming in from over 200 Members of Congress and several people from the video industry and minority communities, it's good to see the FCC rethink its proposal. 


Even better, the TV industry recently put forward a proposal that would protect programmers' content while providing new choices for consumers.  Under this proposal, programmers could provide apps to set-top box manufacturers and streaming services. Furthermore, consumers would be able to access these apps on any device that they want.


What took place at last week's hearing shows a lot of promise for the future of minority programmers and the video marketplace overall.  The FCC should move forward with a proposal that reflects that framework outlined by industry leaders.  It's the best way to ensure minority programmers can continue to grow their businesses and create new quality shows for consumers.


LJJ

(TechnicalJones)


HEALTH SPACES

| No Comments

HEALTH SPACES

| No Comments

TECH TERMS - PIXEL

| No Comments

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for TechTerm_Image 2008.png


What is a Pixel?

Definition: Short for Picture Element. It is the smallest discrete unit of a computer or TV tube that can be assigned a specific color, the "dots" that make up TV and computer screen pictures.



Pixel_Jan 2009.gif


BlackRefer.com

Add to Technorati Favorites

Digg!


TECH TERMS - PIXEL

| No Comments

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for TechTerm_Image 2008.png


What is a Pixel?

Definition: Short for Picture Element. It is the smallest discrete unit of a computer or TV tube that can be assigned a specific color, the "dots" that make up TV and computer screen pictures.



Pixel_Jan 2009.gif


BlackRefer.com

Add to Technorati Favorites

Digg!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

| No Comments
HappyNewYears_Jan 2009.jpg

January 1, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wishing you and yours a safe and prosperous New Year!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

| No Comments
HappyNewYears_Jan 2009.jpg

January 1, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wishing you and yours a safe and prosperous New Year!


TECH TERMS - DVD

| No Comments

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for TechTerm_Image 2008.png

What is a DVD?

Definition: Stands for Digital Video Disc.  DVD's hold 10 times of what a CD can hold. It also provides better disc reading as well.



DVD_Jan 2009.gif


BlackRefer.com

Add to Technorati Favorites

Digg!




TECH TERMS - DVD

| No Comments

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for TechTerm_Image 2008.png

What is a DVD?

Definition: Stands for Digital Video Disc.  DVD's hold 10 times of what a CD can hold. It also provides better disc reading as well.



DVD_Jan 2009.gif


BlackRefer.com

Add to Technorati Favorites

Digg!




Main Index

Recent Posts