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Viacom Pulls Free Daily Show and Colbert Report from the Web
July 11, 2012 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Viacom pulls free Daily Show and Colbert Report from the web. The move comes after satellite broadcaster DirecTV stopped carrying Viacom's cable channels Tuesday night. One of DirecTV's issues with Viacom is the amount of content the cable programmer puts online for free. DirecTV and other distributors fear that giving programs away online undermines the pay-TV business model. As if sitting through hundreds of this was not price enough to pay.
posted by Danf (112 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Two dinosaurs tripping over each other's tails. For a while there, Viacom at least appeared to be trying.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:59 PM on July 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think recently Dish network also lost AMC. I guess it's probably temporary, as is the Viacom snafu, until they hammer out a deal. But can you imagine a satellite/cable provider losing Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead? There's got to be some serious pressure on DISH and DirecTV to provide this content. Content, as they say, is king.
posted by darkstar at 5:00 PM on July 11, 2012


Many DirecTV subscribers took to microblog site Twitter to vent. “Viacom” and “Tosh,” which references the Comedy Central show “Tosh.0,” were trending topics on Twitter.

FYI, Washington Post, "Tosh" is trending for an entirely different reason.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:02 PM on July 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


Sys Rq, if the internet-to-cable-news diffusion rate holds constant, WaPo will find out about that sometime in about 48-72 hours.
posted by darkstar at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Viacom Pulls Free Daily Show and Colbert Report From the Web".

Welcome to the rest of the world, where despite paying my cable provider for these very shows, if I try to watch them online I'm told they're not available in my country.
posted by Jimbob at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think recently Dish network also lost AMC.

They still don't have it. It hasn't been resolved.
posted by Talez at 5:05 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Angry customers should seed the shit out of the Breaking Bad season opener in protest.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:05 PM on July 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


The first 90 seconds of Breaking Bad season 5

P.S. I miss the shit out of Jack in the Box...
posted by mediated self at 5:09 PM on July 11, 2012


which references the Comedy Central show “Tosh.0,

Well that's just embarrassing.
posted by elizardbits at 5:10 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, the Comedy Network in Canada still carries both shows on its web site, but I'm sure CTV will find some way to fuck things up.
posted by maudlin at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


she said she felt caught up in a dispute that shouldn’t concern her, and it was costing her a couple hours of reality TV per night.

how awful! These monsters must be stopped!
posted by Dr. Twist at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, by the way: catch up on Breaking Bad on Netflix instant while you still can.
posted by mediated self at 5:14 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh. I'd been wondering where AMC went (we have Dish) - I thought they'd just moved it and I hadn't found it yet. Bet we don't see a drop in what they're billing us.
posted by rtha at 5:16 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, by the way: catch up on Breaking Bad on Netflix instant while you still can.

Open thread.
posted by Talez at 5:16 PM on July 11, 2012


Gosh. Viacom is apparently blanking out all the full episodes and telling people to contact DirecTV if they want to complain. Why on earth are they telling me to complain to some company with whom I don't do business? Viacom has content X; I want to watch content X. Why should they be telling me to complain to a third-party who is neither responsible for content X nor responsible for my television?

This whole stupid dispute feels like it's being run by Dave of Newsradio in the spirit of "There is absolutely nothing wrong with this station that could not be fixed by locking all the bathrooms and attaching the key to a large, heavy plastic crate I will keep in my office."
posted by zachlipton at 5:16 PM on July 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


I just turned on my DirecTV to see what was on Spike and instead was directed to a message from the CEO of DirectTV who proceeded to blame it all on Viacom's greediness - something about Viacom wanting to charge 30% more for channels blah blah. Nothing about free content.
posted by spicynuts at 5:17 PM on July 11, 2012


This whole stupid dispute feels like it's being run by Dave of Newsradio in the spirit of "There is absolutely nothing wrong with this station that could not be fixed by locking all the bathrooms and attaching the key to a large, heavy plastic crate I will keep in my office."

I refuse to believe that the lovably anxious, sarcastic, and level-headed Dave Nelson would have anything to do with those chumps at Viacom.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:24 PM on July 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


I found this story much more entertaining when it was an early 80s TV show.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 5:25 PM on July 11, 2012


Fuck all these guys. These companies go out of their way put themselves out of business.
posted by birdherder at 5:27 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Huh, looks like they didn't pull down the episodes that my...uh...friend downloaded.
posted by jessssse at 5:29 PM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the Viacom reaction is over the top, but at least it has a logic. DirecTV's actions, however, don't make any kind of sense at all.

They're concerned they're losing subscribers, or not attracting enough new ones or whatever, because Viacom puts too much on the internet, so they go and remove all the Viacom channels...because offering a bunch less channels will keep and attract subscribers? What? I don't even.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:30 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Someone needs to tell these people they are not the only options for entertainment in this world.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:32 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well that explains why the torrents for all those Viacom shows are white-hot right now.
posted by mullingitover at 5:45 PM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Speaking of Breaking Bad - why the fuck can I not find Season 4 anywhere? Not on netflix, not on TPB... Seriously, I JUST WANT TO WATCH WALT AND JESSE AND THE WACKY DRUG INDUCED HIJINX!!!
posted by symbioid at 5:47 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


This makes me think of having heard countless people over the years, myself included, want a cable/satellite TV package where one can completely choose at least what channels (if not specific shows) we want and pay a bill according to that rather than overall package fees.

Like, just because I want to watch one local sports team's games now and then and maybe some science-oriented stuff doesn't mean I need 20 sports channels PLUS a bunch of channels that are more or less the same as the local broadcast channels PLUS a bunch of channels geared towards types of programming in which I have no interest PLUS channels in languages I don't even speak (although on that last point, at least, the last time I had cable/satellite, it was a little better).

The Internet, to some degree, makes this possible, and now they're complaining that the studio is giving away for the cost of watching a few commercials the thing people have been wanting for 40+ years. I think that's long enough that they could have figured it out and made a better business model out of it.

I don't know why I'm thinking this. These motherfuckers never look ahead.
posted by DyRE at 5:54 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Speaking of Breaking Bad - why the fuck can I not find Season 4 anywhere? Not on netflix, not on TPB... Seriously, I JUST WANT TO WATCH WALT AND JESSE AND THE WACKY DRUG INDUCED HIJINX!!!

Because it's far too valuable intellectual property for people to actually watch.
posted by Talez at 5:55 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Canceled my DirecTV subscription this morning, I think I put the money towards a VPN/proxy account and a seedbox.
posted by the_artificer at 5:55 PM on July 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


[Fixed up the formatting a bit, carry on.]
posted by cortex at 6:12 PM on July 11, 2012


Speaking of Breaking Bad - why the fuck can I not find Season 4 anywhere? Not on netflix, not on TPB... Seriously, I JUST WANT TO WATCH WALT AND JESSE AND THE WACKY DRUG INDUCED HIJINX!!!

Um... iTunes? Amazon? I know it's not cheap but it is out there.
posted by fungible at 6:18 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess I'll just torrent everything I want to watch now. Wait, I already do that... well now I'll do it spitefully.
posted by eurypteris at 6:21 PM on July 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


This is the perfect time for bars/libraries to organize weekly Viacom TV Parties far and wide. Free "Breaking Bad" with purchase of beer and/or library card!
posted by nicebookrack at 6:22 PM on July 11, 2012


The Daily Show and the Colbert Report were on vacation last week (they always go on vacation any week of a national holiday) but does anybody know if they're back this week? Because I'm so watching those shows tonight if they are.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:26 PM on July 11, 2012


Colbert said they were off for 2 weeks, so, no.
posted by rikschell at 6:30 PM on July 11, 2012


Viacom’s sites are now taken over by a video ad that informs visitors about the dispute and prompts people to call DirecTV to complain.

Wow, what a bunch of fucking children. Stunningly unprofessional.
posted by jcreigh at 6:34 PM on July 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Colbert said they were off for 2 weeks, so, no.

That must really bug them. They take a week off and major political shit happens and they're barely able to deal with it when they come back because it's major shit and, geez, can we just have a one hour show tonight, pretty please, because this is funny shit and our writers sat around for 15 minutes and came up with 2000 jokes and we don't have enough time to take advantage of that funny shit that happened when we were on vacation.

But this is a whole other level of funny shit. I'll be watching on Monday.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:37 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I refuse to believe that the lovably anxious, sarcastic, and level-headed Dave Nelson would have anything to do with those chumps at Viacom.

Well, the quote comes from the Security Door episode, in which Dave is reduced to a blubbering wreck by the boss election and the staff's refusal to follow proper security door procedures, so I'd be inclined to call this the exception that proves the rule. (You see what I did there? I'm such a dork...)
posted by zachlipton at 6:38 PM on July 11, 2012


Viacom wants me to call my TV company so they can accept higher prices and then pass on the higher costs to me?

Awesome, I'll get right on it.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:38 PM on July 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


What will the Huffington Post do for content now?!?!
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:41 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


to all visitors, even those who have no stake in the dispute.

Splendid, so for those of us in foreign countries where cable provider carries the show, we're just &@%!'d?
posted by Metro Gnome at 6:44 PM on July 11, 2012


Can you imagine other companies doing this?

"Google is renegotiating its license with Apple, so your maps may contain giant penises traced in the roads. We are working to remedy this situation."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:45 PM on July 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


What will the Huffington Post do for content now?!?!

They'll just point their site to a bunch of lame AOL blogs. Oh, wait...
posted by MegoSteve at 6:56 PM on July 11, 2012


Speaking of Breaking Bad - why the fuck can I not find Season 4 anywhere? Not on netflix...

Netflix has the DVDs; it's available, just not streaming.
posted by mediareport at 7:01 PM on July 11, 2012


Yes, just like Google vs. Apple, except that it has played out on maps, and as a result, Apple Maps is going to be a new feature on the next iWhatever.
posted by fragmede at 7:03 PM on July 11, 2012


Is this something I would have to have a working TV* to understand?

---------------------
*Mine broke Monday night. Thank Creation it isn't hockey season.
posted by notyou at 7:12 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's never a winner in these things, and they're becoming more common and more bitter, even down to the local station level in small markets. Especially with satellite providers, but I'm sure cable companies have it a bit easier with all of those local monopoly deals around the country.

I've had to go through this while working at a small market local, with higher ups demanding higher prices of DirectTV when it came time to renegotiate. It added less than 5 cents to customers' bills, and it just became a nasty, public argument played out via competing crawls on the screen and angry calls, emails and Facebook posts to both sides (executives' personal cell phone numbers got posted on air on both sides, super dick move). That's small market local station stuff, where those amounts of money are huge for a cash poor station, and the satellite providers aren't willing to eat the cost, and in the end it's just a ton of angry viewers more sick of the stupid corporate games than the bill increase. Whereas in this case Viacom isn't exactly cash strapped and Direct is shooting themselves in the foot badly from a content standpoint and raising a pointless fuss about online streaming, but the end result for the consumers is pretty much the same plus a few dollars extra.

Working in television is an awful lot like working with unruly children.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:12 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


symbioid - :why the fuck can I not find Season 4 anywhere? Not on netflix, not on TPB"

You're trolling for someone to mention that should never be mentioned on the web, right? =)

Season 4 has been available since about an hour after they were first broadcast on the East Coast. Still is. With the increasing retention rates, 0-day TV is easily available for any show with any amount of popularity for the past 1425 days and counting. Almost anything released as DVDs is available.
posted by porpoise at 7:15 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Netflix has the DVDs; it's available, just not streaming.

Not in metro Atlanta. The availability of Disc 1 has been listed as "Very long wait" since its release several weeks ago.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:22 PM on July 11, 2012


What will the Huffington Post do for content now?!?!
posted by Saxon Kane

They're busy telling us our toes are too fat.
posted by troika at 7:22 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This might sound like a silly question, but I'm curious about something.

My wife and I are DirecTV subscribers. We were flipping through the guide tonight and noticed all the missing channels.

Does this mean that we get a break or a discount on our monthly bill since we're now receiving less content?

As it's already been noted on here, a la carte programming has been villified as the downfall of western civilization by the cable and satellite providers, so we've been stuck with a one-size fits all model where we pay for 500+ channels we don't watch all to receive the 3 that we do. So we're now in a situation where we're receiving fewer channels. Doesn't it seem logical to assume that we would get a break or a reduction in our bill since we've received a reduction in available content?
posted by zooropa at 7:25 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does this mean that we get a break or a discount on our monthly bill since we're now receiving less content?

No.

But having gone through this once or twice before (once involving Fox Sports on the EVE of HOCKEY SEASON oh God that was close), and not on the scale of this blackout, the customer service reps do a pretty good job of handing out goodies such as free movie channel packages and so on.

I'll be calling up to ask for the WiFi DVR add-on kit ("a fifty-dollar value!") this time around.
posted by notyou at 7:31 PM on July 11, 2012


The availability of Disc 1 has been listed as "Very long wait" since its release several weeks ago.

Well, my local independent video store has them and has for a while, weeks before Netflix got them, actually. That's the norm for most new releases, it seems - the local video store gets them weeks ahead of Netflix or Redbox.
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on July 11, 2012


"Google is renegotiating its license with Apple, so your maps may contain giant penises traced in the roads. We are working to remedy this situation."

Allow me to introduce you to a development called Lang Farm - or, as my sister refers to it, "the hangout with its wang out."
posted by maryr at 7:35 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Porpoise, you're getting dangerously close to Talking About Fight Club. Do I need to remind you of the rule inre: Talking About Fight Club?
posted by Freon at 7:50 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I feel bad for not subscribing to cable or satellite, which has clearly helped create the dire circumstances they find themselves in.

Like a selfish dick, I spent the money from 22 years of not subscribing, on renovations and a boat.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:52 PM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm just about ready to give in. My parents frickin watch Game of Thrones via that which shall not be mentioned; my sister does it; my friends do it. I've held off since the early days because "it's easy to get good content cheaply and legally." Well, they've done a good job of making it hard, but I know how to get whatever I want for free....
posted by mr_roboto at 7:59 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


jason_steakums: "but the end result for the consumers is pretty much the same plus a few dollars extra."

Yeah, that's kinda the problem. This 'same plus a few dollars more' stuff seems to happen about ever six month or so any more. I've been a DirecTV subscriber for 14 years and I'm done. I don't feel like participating in a money fight between multi-billion dollar corporations.
posted by the_artificer at 8:03 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


For a very brief and horrible time, my wife and I worked for a telemarketing co. making calls for those unspeakable assholes at Century Link. One thing became very apparent very quickly making those calls. Telecoms are well and truly fucked, their business model is as out-dated as the recording industry. And Direct TV is one step behind that. Some companies just cannot adjust and these large entertainment conglomerates still have no idea what to do about those people that get their entertainment off the Internet and use those new-fangled cell phones. That's right, after what 15 years, they still haven't got a clue that the revolution is over and they didn't even get a shot off.
posted by Ber at 8:11 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does this mean that Gawker posters will actually have to write shit instead of "let's watch The Daily Show and Colbert together!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:19 PM on July 11, 2012



Sorry, DirecTV is not available to your country.

Man, my money is never good enough to these people..
posted by lundman at 8:27 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


mr_roboto - I know, and I would if I could get a la carte service. Been really torn up about it recently. I want to support the source(s), but the structure means that most of my contribution goes to middlemen leeches.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on July 11, 2012


This is a dick move for one reason no one has mentioned so far. What happens to John Stewart's longer interviews?

I mean, having him spend 10 minutes instead of 5 with a guest is the reason I watch the Daily Show online.
posted by Catblack at 8:40 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a weird issue going on in North Carolina along these same lines. Time Warner has dumped a local station, and substituted another station, from Pennsylvania.
This is happening way too often and the subscribers are penalized.
http://www.news-record.com/content/2012/07/10/article/wxii_missing_for_time_warner_cable_customers
posted by etaoin at 8:42 PM on July 11, 2012




Does this apply to Hulu+ as well? Not free content!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:55 PM on July 11, 2012


Does not apply to Hulu+, etc, per The Consumerist.
posted by notyou at 8:58 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


i've long since stopped watching TDS and colbert because watching the "free" content online was too cumbersome: waiting for the ads to finish, wonky video codec, whatever. i've stopped watching your show completely. are you happy viacom?
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:02 PM on July 11, 2012


It's kind of funny, because the people I know who have dumped their cable company for online content...do use paid products like Hulu+ and Netflix (and would love HBO GO to go to online subscriptions as well) You aren't really punishing them by getting rid of the free content only, it's mostly used for time shifting for most people I know.

It isn't about not paying for content, it's about paying less. (And not caring about live sports)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:14 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not in metro Atlanta. The availability of Disc 1 has been listed as "Very long wait" since its release several weeks ago.

SEVERAL WEEKS AGO. For a season that ended NEARLY A YEAR AGO. That is how long they're waiting to release a DVD set for one of the most popular programs on TV. You could get it streaming on Amazon and presumably iTunes probably about four months after it ended. FOUR MONTHS. And they wonder why people are torrenting? I wanted to buy the season four series of Breaking Bad in DVD form but it wasn't possible until a few weeks ago. I don't even know how to torrent because I'll just buy stuff on the rare occasion that I want to own a movie/tv show/song but if they hadn't released Breaking Bad on Amazon around the time I had finished S3 I would have had to ask one of my friends to teach me how to get it online for free. Because I watched the first three seasons in two weeks and I wanted to go onto season four very badly. But I couldn't buy the DVD. I wanted to buy the DVD. But it wasn't available. Months after it had been released. I mean, what the hell is the reason for that? Why the fuck are they only getting around to releasing the S4 DVD set of BB in June 2012 when it finished in September 2011?? It totally blows my mind that they then actually! bitch! about! piracy! I mean seriously, FUCK THOSE GUYS.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:31 PM on July 11, 2012 [20 favorites]


My Internet connection skids to a near halt whenever my cat tries to torrent something so I really haven't bothered.* is this normal for cable Internet that we're paying $50/mo for?

*except Forbrydelsen, which cannot be bought in the US and was well worth the time it took to d/l.
posted by desjardins at 9:38 PM on July 11, 2012


Oh, and thank god I have Direct TV and not Dish so I can still watch the premiere of BB this weekend. But this almost happened to me last year when Direct TV came very close to dropping FX right in the middle of the American Horror Story season (which I was enjoying very much). I would have thrown a biblical fit with them had they done that. Because seriously..........I am locked into a 2 year contract with Direct TV. Which is fine as long as they continue to show the shows that I got it to watch. But if they decide to drop one of those channels that I signed up for specifically to watch? Isn't that some sort of breach of contract or something? I mean, I'm sure legally it isn't but if I got Direct TV (or Dish) specifically to watch Breaking Bad or Mad Men or for my kids to watch Nickelodeon and then the provider yanks the channel either because they're cheap or the channel is trying to gouge them (and to be honest, I really DON'T CARE what their spat is about), why couldn't I break my contract? I mean, I signed up specifically to watch a lineup of channels or channel they had and then they drop it? I'm sure the contract has this somewhere in the small print but.....really? I buy cable to watch something and then they get rid of the thing I signed up for and I still have to pay for it? God I hate these companies.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:42 PM on July 11, 2012


My Internet connection skids to a near halt whenever my cat tries to torrent something so I really haven't bothered.* is this normal for cable Internet that we're paying $50/mo for?

Bit Torrent clients sometimes max out your upload, you have to put a reasonable cap on them to be able to do anything else with the connection.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:43 PM on July 11, 2012


Months after it had been released.

Of course I meant to say "Months after it had finished". I just get so wound up when we're discussing media companies. They're almost as bad as the telecoms and coming from me THAT IS SAYING A LOT. These are companies that I almost be willing to pay double what I'm paying now to just deal with a non-shitty company. Maybe this is actually their long term strategy.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:47 PM on July 11, 2012


Why the fuck are they only getting around to releasing the S4 DVD set of BB in June 2012 when it finished in September 2011?? It totally blows my mind that they then actually! bitch! about! piracy! I mean seriously, FUCK THOSE GUYS.

I facepalm at the self-entitledness.
posted by incessant at 11:26 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. I feel like I have taken a time machine from the future into the past. I used to just use a certain pre world-wide-web conversation protocol over a very fast connection to watch TV. But currently, having taken a new job at a company which is relocating, I'm stuck in long-term single-serving housing (otherwise known as the Oakwood).

The thing is, the internet service is so shitty that I've fallen back to actually watching TV on cable or whatever. And wow. You can't just search for what you want, and see it almost instantly. The programs consist mostly of these rather offensive and manipulative commercials. There's this stupid remote with a hundred obscurely sometimes functioning and generally meaningless buttons which doesn't understand typing or voice recognition or search or any sort of information organization. I'm a bit horrified that this is how most people go through their visual-media-consumption life.

Not to speak of the fact that most of the fare consists of drecky hollywood "block-busters", infomercials, and some diabolical chimera of jerry springer and kim kardashian. TV for me has gone from an intellectual pursuit to an attempt to step through the shallowest parts of hell.

I would be perfectly happy to pay for the things I wanted to watch, at the time and in the format of my choosing, from a single, simple source. But we can't have a single payer health care system, and we can't have a single payer media system. Except, with a good internet connection, we can. Its just hurting the artists. Sad.
posted by cytherea at 11:38 PM on July 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


porpoise: "0-day TV is easily available for any show with any amount of popularity for the past 1425 days and counting."

Remember when you had to fetch within a couple of days or it would be too late? A week was freakin' great. Two weeks was like heaven on earth. Now it's indefinite..so great. My posts about ISDN will be forever preserved!
posted by wierdo at 12:55 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


desjardins: is this normal for cable Internet that we're paying $50/mo for?

Sadly, yes. Cable providers use buffers on their modems that are much too large, and the TCP/IP congestion-avoidance algorithms, which work by detecting packet losses over relatively short time windows, get shot to heck by this setup. Large buffers cause all kinds of really awful behavior, including ping times measured in multiple seconds, and a nearly-unusable connection if the upstream is heavily loaded.

If you limit the upstream bandwidth used to about 90% of the maximum, then the buffer should stay empty, and your Internet connection will stay pretty responsive. You can either do this individually, per-app, or by setting an upload limit speed on the router. Not very many routers support this feature, but it's handy when they do.
posted by Malor at 1:15 AM on July 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh, when I was on Charter, I found that my upper limit to maintain full responsiveness was about 70% use of my upload. As long as I stayed at about 70%, my ping times were pretty much amazing, but as soon as it went over that, they started going up fairly substantially... it would add, say, 60 or 70 milliseconds to pings at 80% usage, which is something you can see in fast-action games, and more like 300 milliseconds at 90%, which starts to become visible even in web browsing. (300ms was the latency on dialup, and it really slows things down.) Close to 100% usage, ping times would go to something like five or six full seconds, which rendered the connection almost unusable.

Basically, you have to tinker, and figure out where the line is, and how bright it is. On Charter, the 70% line was very bright indeed, but your provider will probably be different.
posted by Malor at 1:25 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, I'm going to have to bite: people are talking about "that which must not be named" and the like, but other people are talking about torrents and TPB out loud, so "that which must not be named" is clearly not "bittorrent"...so what is it?
posted by Bugbread at 4:28 AM on July 12, 2012


It's mainly because piracy/download discussions have been labeled as "something Metafilter doesn't do well." Torrent away.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:57 AM on July 12, 2012


It isn't about not paying for content, it's about paying less. (And not caring about live sports)

For me it's not even about the money, it's about the irritation of being required to take 900 channels I don't want, would never watch, and which have no value for me, in order to get the handful of channels (maybe five or six?) that I would love to have. If there was an piecemeal option, I would have cable. Without it, I don't. I don't buy anything else that way, and I don't see any reason to buy entertainment that way.
posted by Forktine at 5:09 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Online full episodes of the Daily Show are one of the few ways I stave off crushing homesickness when I live abroad (as I am doing now). This sucks ass.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:14 AM on July 12, 2012


Burhanistan: "It's mainly because piracy/download discussions have been labeled as "something Metafilter doesn't do well." Torrent away."

Yeah, but in a response to a comment about TPB, someone says something about "that which must not be named". Since TPB has already been named, the thing in question doesn't appear to be torrents. Then there's the comment about "1425 days and counting", and torrents have been around for way longer. And then there's the comment about "Remember when you had to fetch within a couple of days or it would be too late?...Now it's indefinite..so great. My posts about ISDN will be forever preserved!". That doesn't sound like bittorrent, either. So there's some other Internet Super Sekkrit that's totally going over my head.
posted by Bugbread at 5:19 AM on July 12, 2012


An ancient protocol in which September never ends...
posted by goo at 5:31 AM on July 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I think someone was just being cheekily cryptic. That or they were talking about something on the Deep Web.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:47 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the day that either Direct TV or Dish put their money where their mouth is and offer an a la carte package where customers can pick-and-pay for only the channels they want. as it is Viacom and AMC ( and Disney etc.) bundle several crappy or repetitive stations in with the valuable properties, and want to justify a price increase based on total number of viewers or some other lame demographic. If I had my druthers I'd put together a package with maybe a dozen cable channels, get my locals OTA, and use my computer as a DVR. That then should cost me only $12.00 to $15.00 per month instead of the $65.00 I pay to Dish.
posted by Gungho at 6:14 AM on July 12, 2012


Usenet, I presume? Since I'm not in the club, I'll say the name. 1425 days is the retention period for one provider. You used to have to go grab things quickly off of usenet before they expired. But I'm old an broken, and may be wrong.
posted by tyllwin at 6:26 AM on July 12, 2012


If I had my druthers I'd put together a package with maybe a dozen cable channels, get my locals OTA, and use my computer as a DVR. That then should cost me only $12.00 to $15.00 per month instead of the $65.00 I pay to Dish.

Assuming that what you want are the high-value, good channels -- the HBOs, not the infomercial channels -- that package might be more like $50. There won't be much discount, because right now they are cross-subsidizing the hundreds of crappy channels with the dozen you actually want to watch. My guess is that an actual a la carte selection would have hundreds of channels for fifty cents each, and a much smaller number for much more. They can figure out demand pretty exactly, and I am sure already know how many people are willing to pay premium pricing for specific channels, not just HBO but also home-language channels for immigrants and so on.
posted by Forktine at 6:30 AM on July 12, 2012


All I know is my boys better get their Sponge Bob back soon or all hell is gonna break loose in my house.
posted by popaopee at 6:34 AM on July 12, 2012


My guess is that an actual a la carte selection would have hundreds of channels for fifty cents each, and a much smaller number for much more.

Well, don't some channels pay the providers just to be carried? I wonder if they'd pay me to put it on an a la carte list. Doubt it, somehow.

What I actually would expect is that the a la carte pricing for anything worth watching would be so steep that getting the same dozen-or-so channels you might watch now will be double what you now pay for the 500.
posted by tyllwin at 6:37 AM on July 12, 2012


Wow...usenet? This must be what agent Cooper felt like when that gum he liked eventually came back into style.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just guessing, but some of the usenet providers (remember when that weas just "your ISP?") have clients optimized for this shit: enter your desired movie/book/album/TV show in a search box and click from the list to download. Much slicker than the dust-covered days of uudecode or rebuilding damaged .rnn files from the .par files. It's maybe simpler now than a VPN + .torrents

So it only doesn't fit in that I can't think why anyone would think it's secret: places like NewsDemon, et al advertise. Thus, I have no guilt about blowing anything, but I also think I'm quite possibly wrong.
posted by tyllwin at 7:21 AM on July 12, 2012


Breaking Bad season 4 was available on Amazon Instant Video last year while the show was airing, and will be again this year. Each episode is released a day after it airs live. Your purchase of it means it is yours to keep, either streaming from Amazon's servers or downloaded to your own media, and it will remain available to you in the long months between the end of the season and the DVD/Netflix release. My boyfriend just got up to speed on season 4 this week from the episodes that I bought & watched last year. Amazon Instant is pretty great if the show is available there. I find it an excellent substitute for cable. The only problem is HBO; Game of Thrones is only available there once the DVDs have been released. This is not the same as Amazon Prime. I am not an Amazon Prime subscriber.
I am a Hulu+ subscriber and the most recent Daily Show & Colbert Report episodes are from June 28 on Hulu, but the full episodes of the last 10 shows of each are available on Hulu+ (with commercials, of course).
posted by aabbbiee at 8:14 AM on July 12, 2012


Other than downloading live concerts, I suck at doing TV over torrents. I don't know what I am doing and my ISP is a small rural telephone co-op that doesn't need the hassle. I think I'll just add Hulu+, we're already got Amazon Prime (free Star Trek and Farscape episodes, YES).
posted by Ber at 8:40 AM on July 12, 2012


As a slightly-disgruntled long-time DirecTV customer I'm wondering what others are able to get from their customer service by calling and complaining.

After recently getting a Roku, I've been considering dropping DirecTV, but in my house there's a certain amount of inertia toward "background TV", while an on-demand system makes you select content. Switching to Dish is a likely prospect. Anybody dealt with DirectTV's retention department?
posted by achrise at 9:00 AM on July 12, 2012


It really brings out the unequal bargaining positions -- I doubt any of the people who signed up for Dish (and accepted a commitment for a year or two, right?) did so under the assumption that the AMC channels might go away at any time, and I'd wager few DirecTV customers thought the Viacom channels might go at any time. (And, to be even-handed, TWC was recently playing this game with Fox, though my TWC at least doesn't have a commitment.)

The whole landscape is pushing me more and more to consider off-the-air local and then Internet, which absolutely isn't what any of these players wants to see.
posted by tyllwin at 9:38 AM on July 12, 2012


For the record, iTunes offers these shows for $9.99 per 16 episodes, if paid in advance. I may do it this way.

Still, I wonder how Stewart feels about being the (well-paid) chattel for the likes of Sumner Redstone.
posted by Danf at 10:06 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks like you can still watch and link to clips, at least.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on July 12, 2012


Tangential (though briefly discussed above): AMC will stream Breaking Bad online for free for Dish customers
posted by tzikeh at 11:52 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bugbread - memail.
posted by porpoise at 11:58 AM on July 12, 2012


Bugbread: "Wow...usenet? This must be what agent Cooper felt like when that gum he liked eventually came back into style."

It never went out of style, my friend. There have been clients to handle the drudge work of assembling multi-part binaries since before BitTorrent was a gleam in Bram Cohen's eye. Of course, there were no PAR files then... We just don't talk about it directly because that's not really considered OK here. (What am I saying, we? I'm only actually speaking for myself, not the cabal. There is no cabal.)
posted by wierdo at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2012


Yeah so if it's not torrents or usenet, I'm kind of in Bugbread's boat... and I thought I was pretty well-versed in this internetubes thing.

Any chance of forwarding that memail to me, porpoise?
posted by owtytrof at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2012


It's usenet (I've gotten several emails from several unnamed and helpful folks). Sorry about the big ole derail, it was just such a mystery to me.

We now resume our regularly scheduled programming. (or not, in the case of Viacom and DirecTV).
posted by Bugbread at 4:03 PM on July 12, 2012


Well, in a much more consumer-friendly "Fuck You" to Dish, AMC will be streaming the Breaking Bad premiere to Dish customers.
posted by Freon at 4:06 PM on July 12, 2012


That's great, if you only want to watch the premiere...
posted by the_artificer at 4:14 PM on July 12, 2012


Sorry about the big ole derail

Mysteries are always a fun diversion from work.
posted by tyllwin at 4:37 PM on July 12, 2012


I'm waiting for the day that either Direct TV or Dish put their money where their mouth is and offer an a la carte package where customers can pick-and-pay for only the channels they want.

Well, I gather that the actual content providers play all kinds of evil tricks, like "If you want this popular channel at $X, you MUST also buy these unpopular channels at $Y. If you don't buy the weak channels, you can't have the strong channel."

What I figure they should be doing is just taking the bundles, exactly as they're sold, and passing those through to customers that want them, with a markup, of course. Pay AMC, or whoever, based on sales. If 10 customers subscribe, pay them for 10 packages, and so on. That way, AMC is responsible for making their packages compelling for the price they're charging.

I'd think, if the cable companies charged for basic access, enough to make providing cable profitable, and then just let people assemble their own packages, they'd avoid a lot of the anger they get now. If people are pissed about their favorite channel being too expensive, or being forced to take channels that suck to get the one they want, they could shrug and point to the content provider.
posted by Malor at 8:07 PM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


We pay an arm and a leg (=$72) for basic DirecTV (no sports, movie channels, DVR, or any premium programming Are we getting gypped?).. We'd scale back more, but I selfishly wanted to keep TCM. In fact, I pretty much ONLY want TCM.

Someone above asked about asking for extras or a bill reduction for the lack of the Viacom content. It seems all levels of customers are getting the Encore package through July 31. Though, I've noticed that DTV is REALLY bad at letting you know when you are getting free extras for a weekend or a month.. Like, I usually realize on the last day of the free weekends that we had access to a bunch of movie channels, and by then I've missed, like, ten airings of Teen Wolf Too on HBO Family. Damn you, DirecTV!!!!!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:01 PM on July 12, 2012


Mael Oui, I was a DirecTV subscriber until March, when I moved for school. They notify customers of upcoming freebies (and other stuff) through an email newsletter. I believe it's pretty easy to find signup info on their website.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:40 AM on July 13, 2012


Since when is just talking about protocols and software verboten?

The software used by most for this sort of thing via usenet is Sickbeard.

I'm inches from canceling my DirectTV over this. Their justification is lies--they've never been willing to unbundle any premium channels from the loads of crap you don't want. Their HD increasingly looks like crap--sometimes because they forcibly degrade the component output I use to feed MythTV from D*tv receivers. (Like HBO-HD.) Now this....what do they think I'm still paying for in terms of caring about daily broadcast tv?

They've breached our contract with this, which I find delicious considering the line they take about their service commitments.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:37 AM on July 13, 2012


Malor: Well, I gather that the actual content providers play all kinds of evil tricks, like "If you want this popular channel at $X, you MUST also buy these unpopular channels at $Y. If you don't buy the weak channels, you can't have the strong channel."

And lest we forget, often times those unpopular channels turn out to be the ones we like, and if they didn't have the audience provided by those bundling deals they probably wouldn't turn out to be profitable enough, in the aggregate, to survive.

The most popular channels generally I imagine often turn out to be bland pink fare like ESPN and its extended family. Their popularity warps the advertising rates and shareholder expectations and directly makes our favorite channels less viable.
posted by JHarris at 1:05 PM on July 13, 2012






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