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All posts by Fred Perkins

Below are all of Fred Perkins's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

An interesting debate that I've been following, but without the time to properly participate.

A few simplified points though:

* IP delivery of BROADCAST programmes (ie ones, which viewers will want to watch or record as they are broadcast) just doesn't make sense, even assuming Multicast can be seriously engaged across all ISPs. It is however great for niche-market streaming or VoD which complement broadcast channels.

* Sooner or later, it's to be hoped that the Competition Commission will step in and STOP excessive vertical market dominance , as they have in many other market sectors. It's unacceptable that the mega players can exert force on consumers to take and pay for broadband from the same supplier as the "free" content (like sports) from the same corporation.

* The politicians just don't understand the technical implications of what they variously propose to 'legislate' in order to secure the popular vote. "Superfast Broadband" for example only means the MAXIMUM speed you will get in BURST mode, and dependent on the contention on your local connection as well as your distance from the nearest connection to the internt backbone. IT says nothing about the quality of service you will actually get when trying to watch a continuous video stream requiring even only 2Mbps.

* The current battling between the myriad of competitors trying to muscle in at various points on the supply chain is just leading to more and more confusion for consumers as to just how THEY join up all the different offerings, and how they control them. Brian's 2025 Vision ignores where the 'control' resides in the consumer's home, and probably envisages an App that is somehow accessible on the consumer viewing device (a TV, or a screen with a set-top box, or what?). With a lack of mandated standards, all the players will be pushing mechnisms which favour themselves. The consumer will then have to be geeky enough to work out how to make accessible to his chosen devices the bundle of content that HE wants.

...all of which doesn't, for me, make for a happy picture, unless you accept that one MegaPlayer will dominate access to commercial content, the wholesaling of content, and all the means of technical delivery to the point of use.... as well as the consumer's personal utilisation of the communications necessary for a consumer, but which don't relate to third party content that is only available at a price.

Horrible thought.

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There's a bit of smoke and mirrors at play in the arguments here.

It doesn't cost the BBC a penny to 'provide' TV services to over-75's. The current basis of BBC funding does however transfer the theoretical 'cost' to what the BBC is entitled to receive from licence fee income.

The BBC has had windfall benefits from the increasing number of over 75's for whom it receives extra benefit. The BBC has also gained substantially from our increased population and therefore (whether under the traditional or probably coming soon household-basis licence fees.

So BBC "licence fee" income has risen quite sharply as a result of nothing the BBC itself has done, nor anything that has cost it actual cash.

As to collecting licence fees from over-75's who 'can well afford it' , even the rabid left Ken Livingston recognised publicly that means-testing would cost much more than it would recover - and he was talking about bus/tube passes, which DO cost the bus operators real money to provide, since they must provide capacity to carry the additional passengers.

Bottom line, it would be politically very unpopular to start charging oldies for what they have used to be getting free, having paid for it for many years.

However, as the politicians get to grips with how to treat the TV tax going forward, the over-75's issue will doubtless be used in the arguments which show that the BBC doesn't really need as much as it has been getting in recent years.

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Terrestrial digital broadcasting is not about to disappear, but government will have to decide whether to trigger another Digital SwitchOver - requiring replacement of non-recent Freeview boxes if viewers want to continue receiving what they get today on Freeview (plus more).

Governments of course are heavily motivated by what they might realise in spectrum auctions. They have a worry about political backlash from a DSO-2.

The TV manufacturers do indeed want us to replace out TV sets every few years - which is ludicrous for most consumers. The surge in platforms offering all sorts of TV options, plus IP-delivered pay and free channels, adds further confusion to consumer choice. And of course the mobile Telcos want to take over all communications.

Much is currently uncertain, but I reckon the one thing that IS certain is that Freeview will NOT die. Terrestrial and/or Satellite Broadcasting is the rational way of delivering a decent number of channels to large numbers of viewers. Neither broadband nor mobile is anywhere near capable of delivering what we currently enjoy, despite the claims and hype around "the death of TV".

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Conroy Knapp: I too have received both mailouts 20+ times.

I think the issue arises because when we "comment", we're asked to submit name/email and have to untick the default "email update" and "save my details" boxes, else the server is adding yet another record of the same user.

A simple deduplication of the emailing database should fix it!

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