Cable TV’s Password-Sharing Crackdown Is Coming

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Cable executives are leading an industrywide effort to crack down on password sharing, a problem that could cost them millions of subscribers and billions of dollars in revenue. Researchers at Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN network recently asked a group of about 50 millennial sports fans how many of them shared passwords. Everyone raised their hand.

    “It’s piracy,” Connolly said. “It’s people consuming something they haven’t paid for. The more the practice is viewed with a shrug, the more it creates a dynamic where people believe it’s acceptable. And it’s not.” Cable and satellite carriers in North America have lost 3 million customers this year alone.
     
  2. piratepress

    piratepress [H]ard|Gawd

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    Given the way they have gouged customers for years, I really can't feel much sympathy for them.
     
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  3. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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  4. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    One day the media corporations will realize that nobody really cares about their product. It is entertainment and not something that people need to experience to breathe. Paying for healthcare for example is something that people are concerned with in this day and time. Who talked smack to whom before a UFC match is the last thing on the average person's mind.
     
  5. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

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    Maybe they should lower the salaries that they pay their talent so that their streaming packages are cheaper? Crazy idea but....
     
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  6. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    Yeah good luck with that. If people are sharing passwords the only thing that should tell you is your prices are too high... But im sure they don't care, in typical short term thinking.
     
  7. Jeremy C

    Jeremy C Gawd

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    I don't think they understand that those that are using shared passwords aren't going to instantly start paying for these services if they get them taken away. I don't share nor take any passwords, but at the same time I am not paying for any television programming with no intentions of that changing. If I can get a decent setup for $25-30 a month, then we'll talk. That is all it's worth to me.
     
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  8. PhaseII

    PhaseII Limp Gawd

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  9. Derfman

    Derfman [H]ard|Gawd

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  10. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Gawd

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    I've logged into HBOGO with 3 separate browsers on the same damn computer, and it sometimes gave me "too many" people logged on error.

    This isn't going to be easy to control.

    I'm logged in with my iPhone, my Roku, my computer, my laptop, etc.

    There are 4 people in my house.

    All are legitimate use cases that don't amount to "piracy"/ password sharing.
     
  11. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ahh yes, the cycle begins again.

    Gouge customers year after year with insane pricing and content bundles. Once an alternative becomes available and you begin to lose marketshare, don't address the problem, find an avenue to blame piracy.

    Many people are not sharing accounts because they're freeloaders, they're doing so because the content is not available for purchase or view outside of an insanely high priced forced-bundle of content.

    The content providers (and content distributors) are clutching at straws to maintain the forced bundle of networks. They know that some networks are propped up by a single show or another network in their package. If you can't force their subscriber count to be high among them all, those other networks can't demand the same ad revenue. Their pyramid of a few good shows and a ton of cheaply made crap reality shows collapses.
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, the truth is that the market has shifted. We have better sources of entertainment these days. Don't get me wrong, cable content is still a pleasant diversion, but it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. How much do you get out of it vs how much does it cost.

    I'm willing to bet that many people will just deem it to be "not worth it" if they have to pay for it, and just not watch all together.
     
  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    True. Whatever they do they are going to wind up pissing off some legitimate users.

    The easiest way to police this is probably to just limit the number of simultaneous users. If people fear that they might get kicked off if too many people stream at the same time, they are less likely to share their passwords with friends. This will hurt legitimate subscribers in homes with many users though.
     
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  14. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I feel like the solution is to prune things instead.

    I have hundreds of channels, most of which I have no interest in what so ever, that put out complete garbage.

    I also have a handful of channels I am truly interested in and think are truly worth paying for.

    Sometimes you have to prune the bush in order to save it.
     
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  15. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    Cable needs to be free. That is exactly how much i would pay for something that is 33% commercials... And even free, i would think about it, i have nice OTA, and i just.. i can't stand it for too long, its just too much the bombardment... I boggles my mind, anyone pays for that shit.. I mean yeah
     
  16. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I pay for it for some of the shows I enjoy, but I use MythTV as a PVR to record the shows I like. After the recording is complete, the mpeg2 streams are scanned automatically looking for ads which are then tagged and automatically skipped when I watch them.

    On the rare occasion I actually watch something live, it is painful. How do people sit through those commercial breaks? What a colossal waste time.
     
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  17. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    So myth tv, what sort of tuner you have though? Been a looong time for me an pc tuners.
     
  18. Bootleg Usher

    Bootleg Usher Gawd

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    As the article mentions, Netflix allows between 1 - 4 simultaneous streams on a single account depending on the subscription. Apparently ESPN found out that one of their accounts was being used by 50,000 people. Obviously they need to tighten things up.

    I get that lots of people think cable companies overcharge, and they probably do. Allowing the service to be viewed online was supposed to be an added benefit to the subscriber. Streaming cable service wasn't supposed to give all sorts of people a free ride.
     
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  19. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Whatever they do will likely make their paying customers mad with the new restrictions, while the pirates will just move on to another source for the shows.

    Reducing piracy will not ad much to the bottom line, while upsetting your paying customers will cause some of them to drop the service.
     
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  20. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Parents living with many kids who need more screens *raises hand* will freak and cancel.

    Happily pay for more screens through Netflix and canceled hulu because of screens issues. Comcast sub was canceled before I was billed for it.

    I just fell back on plexiglass :)
     
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  21. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

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    objectively speaking,
    you don't have the right to watch cable tv, so just because you can't afford $1 per day doesn't mean you should steal it from a friend. There's always free OTA TV programming.

    If I were company exec, I would crack down hard.

    As a viewer though, I'll continue sharing passwords, just because I can. and I'm a cheap ass pirate.
     
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  22. Fleat

    Fleat Gawd

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    To be frank, they have been taking consumers for a ride for a longggg time. Asking you to pay for an overpriced subscription with forced bundling while subjecting you to advertisements for 25-35% of your viewing. That entire model needs to be modernized.
     
  23. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    These days most people seem to use standalone ethernet tuners. They are convenient and have te benefit of being able to be colocated with he source, so they get the best possible signal strength, and can then transfer the data via Ethernet to where it needs to be viewed (Frontend/backend/etc.)

    I currently have two Silicondust HD HomeRun Prime tuners, with a cable card in each. I used to use a Ceton InfiniTV6 Eth, but got rid of it because I thought it was overheating and causing me problems.

    Turns out it just runs hot, and my problems were being caused by a bad ethernet cable. Ooops.

    The Ceton model is probably a little bit better, IMHO, as you get all six tuners in the same box, and only need one cable card. With the HD Homerun Primes I need two Cable cards for 6 tuners. The Ceton model also has better configuration options.

    The HD Homerun boxes announce themselves to everything on your network (Windows PC's, Smart TV's etc. etc.) for easy direct streaming, but the problem is that the MythTV backend expects to have exclusive control over the tuners, so one can inadvertently snag a tuner away from MythTV and interrupt a recording. There is no way to disable this automatic announcement to the local network, so I decided to put them on a dedicated lan directly connected to the back of my server (which runs my MythTV Backend) This also turned out to be a problem, as there is no way to set a static IP for the HD Homerun boxes, they expect to always see a DHCP server, so now I needed to set up a small VM on my server just to act like a DHCP server for the HD Homerun boxes.

    Pain in the ass, but it works. The Ceton model - on the other hand - can be configured to use DHCP or Static IP, and it doesnt go around announcing itself to everything, so you won't need to isolate it :p

    These are the ones I have experience with. There are also cheaper ones that can be used with OTA antennas that doenst require cable cards to work properly. If you want to use OTA, just make sure you grab a tuner that is ATSC compatible.

    My setup is overly complicated, but it doesn't need to be.

    Mine looks as follows:

    Tuners --ethernet--> MythTV Backend (VM on server) --ethernet--> Kodi Frontends running MythTV plugin

    There are many simpler setups. The backend and frontend usually reside on the same box, but since I already had a server full of VM's with a huge storage array, I decided to stick the backend there, so it could dump all the recordings to my NAS.

    I absolutely love my MythTV setup, but it is not without issues.

    The biggest is that the source channels must be marked "copy freely" for it to work. If they are market "copy once", MythTV doesn't have the DRM functionality necessary to view the content. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of content is typically "copy freely". Some notable exceptions - however - are HBO and Cable Only Fox channels (local Networked/OTA Fox channels work fine), but I don't watch these anyway. This will depend on your cable company and their contract with the channels, so your milage may vary.
     
  24. dark_reign

    dark_reign 2[H]4U

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    They seem to want users to go back to pirating. Lower your production costs and quit paying actors exorbitant salaries, or watch your streaming service go down in flames.
     
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  25. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

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    Come on, I spent a lifetime under the illusion learned in grade school that sharing was a good thing.

    Now they want to take that away too? These guys must be Ferengi, "greed is eternal." (R.10)
     
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  26. dj_spanmaster

    dj_spanmaster Limp Gawd

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    Yes, but that crackdown really won't improve the value of the service or lower the price point, will it? I bet all of those using shared passwords will do almost anything other than sign up for the service.
     
  27. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

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    Yeah I’m going with fuck the content providers on this one. I can’t stream Raider games over the internet because ABC are shit sipping fuck lords and I can’t stream warriors games because Comcast owns CSNBA and won’t allow directv customers to stream.

    This is why I have a close friends Comcast password. Fuck you Comcast.

    Reddit streams force none of this down my throat. Even compared to streaming my Sunday Ticket package Reddit streams don’t have the two minute tape delay.
     
  28. Mike89

    Mike89 Gawd

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    It's coming down to anyone that views anything is a pirate. Everyone wants to get paid for everything.
     
  29. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

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    Won't somebody think of the poor Disney executives?!?!?!?
     
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  30. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I pay for a bunch of these services and I don't share with anyone. All it is going to take is a few false-positives on the sharing detector and I won't be paying for anything.
     
  31. Gavv

    Gavv [H]ardForum Junkie

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    LOL well then it goes do you have the right to have friends over to even watch TV?

    I don't share passwords but I can see why people do. The model they have is not being geared towards the new generation of content consumers.

    It's easy to claim that is piracy, and it is, but the real problem they (cable/satellite providers) don't want to address is that we don't want the content the way they are delivering it. Now some of the content is absolute garbage and the packages are just as bad. This may work for the retiree that doesn't care and is content with not knowing any different. But if it isn't a perceived value to us then we aren't going to buy it. Sure I netflix the shit out of things. Easier to binge watch than to actually pay the money for cable/satellite and be on their schedule and have to DVR it... for a low price of 150 a month.

    If they aren't going to change, I am not going to find any sympathy for them and if someone shares a password... well I am not going to be broken up about it. Especially when I see the cable providers and wallet rapers.
     
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  32. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    Good luck to them. They're going to need it.
     
  33. Even Slings' "a la carte" deal is messed up.

    I would love true "pick and choose" cable.

    It will never happen.

    Fuck em.
     
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  34. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    in before they require webcams and facial recognition as login verification...
     
  35. Nunu

    Nunu Limp Gawd

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    Why would anyone go thru bio scans for espn or hbo lol? I'm with the people above who realized entertainment is as good as it is easily accessible. This is also the main reason sharing networks still exist, no matter how anyone tries to classify them.
     
  36. "GATTACA" level security to watch crap on TV. Yep, that's just great.
     
  37. Staples

    Staples [H]ardness Supreme

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    I pay a shitload a month for all this but seems everyone I know is a pirate. This is a problem.
     
  38. sadsteve

    sadsteve Gawd

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    I live on the south side of a small mountain south of LA. I don't get squat over the air. We do have FIOS TV but could get by without it if we could receive the 'local' stations over the air. I don't really watch TV but the wifey is addicted to her shows. So I have a SageTV server and a couple HDHomeRun Primes (with cable cards) so she can record all her shows.
     
  39. sadsteve

    sadsteve Gawd

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    Have you looked at SageTV (it's open source now)? I've been using it for a while now (under windows) and it seems to work really well. There is a Linux version but I've never played with it. There's a server edition and a client edition, all recordings and live TV are sourced from the server so there should be no problem with a tuner getting grabbed by another system unless you screw up. I've got a server with 2 HDHomeRun Primes and 2 cable cards. Every TV in the house (4 of them) has an associated computer for running the SageTV client. Doesn't seen to require much of computer to run the client, I just used old computers I had laying around and they all seem to work just fine. I'm probably going to look at trying the Linux SageTV client on my PI, would be nice to have smaller client machines.
     
  40. 86 5.0L

    86 5.0L [H]ardness Supreme

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