What’s YouTube if Not Public Access?

This weekend, Dan Gillmor is doing a workshop on how to make public-access TV relevant. His thoughts echo those I wrote about in, “Add Cable Public Access to the Endangered Species List“. Namely, it’s an artifact of a time when publishing was hard and expensive for citizens to do.

My recommendation for cable companies to fulfill their community requirement: “offer bandwidth [to the community]. Lots and lots of it, with BitTorrent thrown in.”

Here’s some choice excerpts from Dan:

“In five years, cable systems will be free to abandon public access programming in every way. They won’t have to provide production facilities or channels.”

“In the meantime…help members of the community learn modern media production techniques.”


“I believe that the important part of Cable Access Television is access. Access to:
media production tools, media distribution systems, training to use them, media literacy education to understand them. And all of this should be within the context of the needs of the local community….Cable Access should not become Internet Access, it must become Media Access.” – Ben Sheldon

“Youtube is what it is. A very, very popular, traditional media outlet that provides its content on the net. It is video on the demand that is absolutely no different than the video on demand that comcast or any other cable company or telco offers, except that its user uploaded, limited to 10 minutes and the quality is awful” – Mark Cuban

Putting the Digital Video ‘in’ Digital Video Recorder

Back in December 2005 I wrote:

“Now, despite the TiVo being a Linux box and hooked up to my network – I can’t easily send video to it. To be clear – I don’t want to get video off it – I want to put video on it. Easily. As easily as setting up a Season Pass.”

This morning, I read this from Mark Cuban:

“Can user generated content be uploaded to cable or satellite companies and then delivered as regular TV to be played back from a settop box or DVR.” – Mark Cuban

It’s nice to see these ideas gaining traction with those more familiar with delivering video than I am.

House: Nothing’s Changed

They finally ended the ridiculous series-killing storyline (House v. Detective). This puts Hose back where I prefer it: bizarre medical mysteries and a predictable – even Encyclopedia Brown-esque – routine with snarky dialogue.

Just the way I like it.

Internet-to-TV: How to Beat TiVo

“Sling Media’s entertainment division, told B&C that through SlingCatcher, users will be able to…bring online video content to the TV.”

[via Fimoculous]

The idea of getting any internet-delivered video presented on a television is something I’ve talked about here and here.


“the SlingCatcher is different from other digital media servers because it just relays whatever is on your PC screen to your TV, without file conversions.” – Om Malik

“One way or the other, the line between broadcast/cable TV and internet TV will disappear and quickly.” – Jeff Jarvis

Apple TV just made TiVo obsolete. Sure, it’s tied tightly to iTunes. But I as long as I can avoid the DRM of the iTunes Store, the TiVo can collect dust.

Apple’s up 7.5 points on the announcements.

Why HD-DVD & Blu-Ray Will Both Fail

Last night, while getting an update on our latest winter storm, we caught a story comparing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on a local network affiliate.

The story was all about which new format will fail, and comparing Blu-Ray against Sony’s non-adopted BetaMax (and dare I include MiniDisc and Memory Stick). It didn’t hint at a winner, but I see both failing.

Here’s one reason why:
BBC to distribute high-def programming on Azureus

Here’s another:
Swarmcast High Definition streaming

Tim’s voting for HD-DVD

“…we may find that consumers are far more interested in quantity, portability, and ease of use over high quality source material” – Clint DeBoer, Audioholics.com

“…by this time next year, millions of people will be able to play high-def movies in HD DVD or Blu-ray formats, perhaps through their game systems. That is, if they want to….But I’m starting to think maybe they won’t want to..” – Jon Fortt, Business2

“HD-DVD and Blu-ray, touted as the second coming of the DVD, will look increasingly like the second coming of the Laserdisc.” – Ed Felten, Freedom to Tinker

Studio 60 – Best Show on Television

Sure, I’ve probably said this about ever Aaron Sorkin production…save West Wing (it just didn’t click with me). The writing in all his programs is superb, the characters – real, the situations – idealized without being unrealistic, drama without cheese or melodarama. Life.

Though, if history is any indication – Studio 60 won’t be on for much longer. Perhaps that’s one of the benefits – the need to savor each one because there aren’t that many.

Like really good, imported Belgian chocolate.

Related: Rex feels the same way