TV via the Internet as an alternative to satellite

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The GEZ and the TV Licence in other countries will go eventually. Times have changed and people don't need a state supported media outlet feeding them their news. It's just as likely to be propaganda as any other source anyway. For entertainment, people can pay for content directly using subscriptions. I doubt a single person in the UK would complain (probably someone would but anyway) if the BBC was allowed to stream you content in Germany if you paid a subscription equivalent to the cost of a UK TV licence. Sure the BBC would be inundated with new business and they'd have to spend a bit on infrastructure but they'd have loads more money for programming, something UK residents would obviously benefit from the most.

 

The likes of RTE in Ireland produce (with rare exceptions) very average or below average entertainment television and have advertising as well as a TV licence to prop them up so we can be spoon fed the government of the day's propaganda. The likes of the BBC could survive as a commercial only service as they produce far superior programmes. Sure they are a commercial entity outside of the UK already.

 

People are happy to pay for the content they watch. Netflix etc. are all paid for and you don't have to watch mindless advertising for the privilege. Broadcasting itself is eventually going to die. Everything will become 'on demand' in the western world in most of our lifetimes-you'll find that Netflix etc. will allow you to watch the first episode or 2 of any series for free to see if you like it and then it'll cost for the subsequent episodes. We're just helping the process along. It's like nobody goes to the cinema to watch Pathe news reels any more.

 

The internet has changed everything but these broadcasters and content providers are seemingly the last to know. It was the same with iTunes, remember? They fought internet distribution to the bitter end but ultimately couldn't win. Trying to control the internet just doesn't work as any of us who use it to watch UK TV without a licence know perfectly well. The market for media will become a global one and if it drives down prices a little but and top Hollywood actors only earn 10 million for a film I'm sure we'll all survive.

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At the end of the day, British and Irish taxpayers expect their broadcasters to buy the least expensive license for the content, and not to splurge obscene fees to be able to legally provide content to non tax paying expats living abroad. He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

This non tax paying expat pays tax to the UK every month in her Sky UK bill. Or is the service tax free?

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Actually I've often wondered whether any of my monthly SKY UK subscription goes to the BBC, because if it does then they are getting money for something I can't receive any more. Which would make me feel a little better about watching stuff on the iPlayer.

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The BBC gets money from commercial sales, but it doesn't get money from Sky's fees (unless of course if you count anything Sky purchase from the BBC, which is funded by subs and ads anyway).

 

The bulk of the BBC's income comes from the license fee, and that fee only goes to the BBC - it does not prop up any other network, including channel 4 which is (as few people realize) a public television service as well - but one financed by advertising (and it shows).

 

There are people who believe the BBC will survive without a license fee, and it probably would survive. But it almost certainly would not be the same. It would then just be another commercial company with only one goal in mind... ratings and profits.

 

Ratings means the only thing the entity will care about is the greatest denominator, which lets be honest, is not always the television that we enjoy or love so much.

 

I'm not saying I don't enjoy major TV shows (I do enjoy the odd series from ITV and American networks). And I am not saying that the BBC only produces great content (it still makes some crap shows, and a great deal is for niche audiences). But if it must survive entirely on commercial grounds, it really would cease to be the great entity it is now.

 

Have you ever wondered why the UK has the best catch-up service in the world? Why the BBC iPlayer beats every single other FTA catch-up service anywhere in the globe, and by a long shot? It's because it is not financed as a commercial entity. Its main goal is to get as much of its programming out to as many license payers as possible, which is why it is on more devices than any other catch-up network, why it has the highest quality streams, why it has even offline downloads and why it has live content as well.

 

Look at the other end in the US, where the four main networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) are available on far fewer platforms, with far less content (with most locked behind a paywall despite the network being free-to-air), with no offline downloads and still has commercials. This is what happens when commercial interests are the only goal worth considering.

 

The BBC will probably change, especially as so few people like the idea of paying for it (hell, most people like to think everything should be free). But I bet if that did happen, people will very quickly mourn the loss once it is gone or changed into something far less.

 

The BBC may sound like a lot of money to some people, but it really is great value. Just look how much we pay in Germany for the equivalent here. We pay considerbly more per year, and get a lot less for it. Less great television, less great radio, and still have to sit through endless ads - on top of that, have you seen how crap the catch-up services are as well?

 

All that said, I'm happy to pay the German license fee, as it still goes to provide a public service to others who need or enjoy it - even if I never watch German TV.

 

I hope the UK license fee continues, but I think they should also start allowing donations, so that companies and philanthropists can help support it - but also this would allow people outside of the UK to pay into the BBC, without "granting them access" if you know what I mean, which would cause all sorts of licensing issues.

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You have omitted to tell us that the BBC actually pay Sky to use its EPG platform.... ;)

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I would quite happily pay the UK Licence fee if it enabled me to access the BBC without having to bugger about with third party get arounds. I agree with everything you've said about them. Even the other UK catch-up services are a pain compared to the iPlayer, simply because you have to sit through the ads before the programmes start.

My thought was that maybe SKY pay the BBC a fee for be able to carry their programmes on their platform. Even though the programmes are free to air, a SKY box automatically has the BBC as the very first channel in their TV guide. Having the BBC available must be a boost to the acceptance of satellite TV in general, I would have thought, so it is to SKY's advantage to have that. Surely a simple paid for PIN would be possible to enable access to anybody who wanted to receive it, in the same way as adult movies on Sky have.

It's a missed business opportunity in my opinion, both for the BBC and for SKY.

 

Edit: Just saw Spiderpigs post, I'm surprised to hear that, I would have thought it was the other way round.

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Looking for a bit of advice, mildly tied into the topic at hand. I'm gonna change internet provider from 1&1 to Kabel Deutschland. The 1&1 connection and service has been sketchy at best, but it was easy to set up smart dns on their free router which has worked very nicely. Apart from that though the free router is rubbish and provides very weak coverage...barely reaches our bedroom about 10m away from the router. My question is which router setup to go for?

 

KD routers

 

1) Take the €2 a month wireless router from KD. Does it have a good range? Easy to set up Smart DNS?

2) Take the €5 a month fritzbox from KD. Is it worth it?

3) Take the free non-wireless router from KD, buy own wireless router and stick that after it. Does that work? Worth it?

 

Cheers for the help.

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Whatever about routers, make sure your KD connection will come with an IPv4 address as most (all?) smartDNS providers only support these at present. There's a good chance your new KD connection would be IPv6 by default.

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I am with KD, I have the (free) cable modem (not even a router). Then I connect the modem to my own (Asus) router.

 

If the modem option does not exist anymore, you could get the free router and put it in DMZ mode pointing to your own router. Assuming the provided router can be put in DMZ mode.

But what murphaph said is really the most important thing, if you get a IPv6 connection (which you get by default) then you can't setup any SmartDNS service, AFAIK.

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Huh! Cheers, I had not thought about that at all. According to Noel in Overplay's SmartDNS and IPV6 KD can change a connection to IPv4 so I guess I'll look into doing that. At that point it seems I will either have to ask to just have a KD modem or work out how to add a second router that can play with DNS servers (I assume any fritzbox would do for that second part?). I hate this game, but I really haven't enjoyed 1&1 so I need to change.

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Any half decent modem/router combo can be set to bridged mode to it effectively only functions as a modem. You can then hang a decent router on to it and set whatever you need. Franklan has several helpful posts on here about using some cheap TP-Link routers with flashed firmware (openWRT or DD-WRT etc.). Maybe check those out and make sure anything you will get from KD can be set to bridged mode.

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I would quite happily pay the UK Licence fee if it enabled me to access the BBC without having to bugger about with third party get arounds.

 

Unfortunately, as much as we would all love that, it simply can't happen in the current climate. This is because the license fee isn't a subscription, but effectively a tax, and you can't tax people in other countries (well, unless they visit your country). It is also marketed as a fee (sorry tax) to support the British public, and is what allows so many varied shows and topics to be made and shown without commercial interests in mind (not all shows are made to sell to a global audience like Sherlock or Dr. Who).

 

So the only way would be a separate fee for non UK residents, but this would then come into licensing issues. If they had a fee that allowed people in Germany 100% access to the iPlayer, German television channels (and on-demand outlets) may cry foul when they paid for exclusive access to certain shows - and unlike many countries, the UK can't claim language as a natural form of encryption since English is so widely spoken.

 

They would have to sell a cut down version, curated for each individual region - i.e. the failed BBC Global iPlayer. (failed because it was so crippled).

 

The only possibility I can see is allowing donations, with no strings attached. This means honest people who live outside of the UK and still want to support the BBC could pay a donation, but it would still not grant them access. It may sound pointless, but you may be surprised how many people I meet that would be happy to do that - they love the BBC so much, they just want to help support it as they "unofficially" use it via VPN, DNS, Satellite or other methods. (Not everyone is a torrenting teenager bent on life-long freebees)

 

 

 

 

Even the other UK catch-up services are a pain compared to the iPlayer, simply because you have to sit through the ads before the programmes start.

 

Even though I prefer the ad-free environment of the BBC, I personally can live with ads on the other networks. There is of course a fine line between how many are acceptable, and if you think the UK has too many ads, try watching some American TV! Hell, German TV can also have what seems like an endless commercial break.

 

All that said, the ITV Player and 4oD (and even Demand 5) are still far better than most other FTA catch-up services I have reviewed around the world (content aside - especially for channel 5!). They have more features, on more platforms and often more content than the vast majority of free catch-up services from the likes of US, Australia and especially Canada which seems stuck in the early 2000's as far as FTA catch-up goes.

 

That said, the US does especially well with pay-wall versions. Hulu Plus is a real gem, which an amazing range of content, great video quality and excellent platform support, but it is not free and still has commercials - not to mention the horrible situation of still needing a cable contract to access some content - and this is where so much of America and Canada's FTA (OTA to them) catch-up fails. Unlike the UK, Americans and Canadians don't have unfettered free access to free-to-air television. To access most content - which should be pointed out was broadcasted free-to-air on a TV that traditionally only needed a bend coat-hanger to receive - requires an expensive long-term cable contract to unlock the so called "free" content or live streams - so you need to pay for the free stuff. It sounds crazy to us, but they must think it crazy that we can watch free stuff for free.

 

 

My thought was that maybe SKY pay the BBC a fee for be able to carry their programmes on their platform.

 

Yeap, as pointed out, and as odd as it may sound, it is the other way around.

 

The logic being I guess that the EPG belongs to Sky, so they can charge if others want to use it. The BBC can't pretend to be too angelic here though. They have just begun to make it really hard for third party companies to gain access to their own programming information.

 

I for one am a strong believer that programming information (especially for free or public services) should be available to all for free. It would be up to 3rd parties to present that information in a great way which would attract customers to their service.

 

 

 

 

Even though the programmes are free to air, a SKY box automatically has the BBC as the very first channel in their TV guide. Having the BBC available must be a boost to the acceptance of satellite TV in general, I would have thought, so it is to SKY's advantage to have that. Surely a simple paid for PIN would be possible to enable access to anybody who wanted to receive it, in the same way as adult movies on Sky have.

It's a missed business opportunity in my opinion, both for the BBC and for SKY.

 

Agreed.

 

Many countries however don't have this at all, so people have to switch between their cable box/channels and their FTA box/channels as they don't mix. A bit like if you had both freeview and Sky. Freeview doesn't have the sky channels, but Sky has many of the Freeview channels, so the chances are, you would stay on Sky's tuner as it is easier to switch between say BBC and Sky Sports or Sky One.

 

But for many countries, there are no such government or commercial agreements and they are completely separate.

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According to Noel... KD can change a connection to IPv4 so I guess I'll look into doing that.

I made sure to get it confirmed by them by email that I would get an IPv4 connection before I signed up to their service. I personally wouldn't take the chance that they would do it afterwards, although KD seem to be quite helpful in this regard from what I have read on various forums.

 

 

Any half decent modem/router combo can be set to bridged mode to it effectively only functions as a modem. You can then hang a decent router on to it and set whatever you need.

This is my setup. A cheap TP link router added to the bridged KD modem. An interesting quirk of my setup since I switched the KD momem/router to bridged mode is that my IP address no longer changes daily. Indeed it no longer seems to change at all. I have removed the cronjob to keep the IP address in sync with Overplay, and the IP address has not changed in months. Before switching to bridge mode, it changed daily. Odd.

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OK cheers Noel/murphaph. I will follow this plan and make sure to check with KD first.

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Yeah that is interesting about getting effectively a static IP address.

 

Is Zattoo just acting up for me at the moment (desktop version and android app stuttering right now)?

 

I'm on 1&1 (resold Telekom VDSL50). Was perfect last night and I'm off sick today and wanted to flake out on the couch and watch some TV...

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I have just checked the Blade box and all is working fine... but then again, It doesnt use Zattoo nor a VPN...

 

It kinda works trouble free...

 

:ph34r:

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I have just checked the Blade box....

It kinda works trouble free...

 

 

 

Except when it doesn't of course...

 

 

I would like to appologise to all my IPTV Clients.

 

Last week was a disaster due to server/data center problems.

 

A 5GBP refund will be made to all my clients in the next week or so!.

 

Regards

 

 

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Actually.. a Full month was refunded...

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