Thursday, 12 July 2012

08:18 – Yesterday, I unplugged the Roku box and left it unplugged for an hour or two. When I powered it back up, the problem seemed to have resolved itself. We watched a couple of streaming episodes last nigh with no apparent problems.

Speaking of television, Barbara and I saw in the paper that our local NBC affiliate, WXII, is no longer on Time-Warner Cable as a result of a money dispute. We hadn’t even noticed. TWC replaced the WXII feed with a feed from an NBC affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, so no one would miss NBC network feeds. It still strikes me as bizarre that local TV affiliates can charge cable systems to carry their signal. That charge is of course passed on to cable subscribers in their bills, so they are being charged for something that they could watch over-the-air for free. It seems to me that the local affiliates benefit hugely from being on the cable systems; their ad revenues must be many times what they would be if only their OTA viewership was counted. So I think the cable systems should take a hard line: tell the local affiliate that the cable system won’t pay them a cent for carrying their signals, and if the local affiliates don’t like it, the cable system won’t carry their signals at all.

In reality, as I’ve said many times before, local network affiliates are an obsolete holdover from the days when networks needed local affiliates to put their signals on the air. With cable and satellite universally available, there’s no longer any need for local affiliates. The networks should simply provide their signals to the cable and satellite systems. The huge benefit to eliminating local affiliates is that it would free up a massive amount of RF spectrum that could be used for cell phones, wireless data, and so on. And, as I’ve also said repeatedly, the networks themselves are also obsolete. They’re middlemen, and the Internet has eliminated the need for them.

I’ve allocated today to making up solutions and filling bottles and doing some label redesign.