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AV Rant #361: Yes But

January 20th, 2014

Wow, Tom was very tardy in posting this podcast. He has lots of excuses but none of them really all that good. This week, net neutrality and Aereo are in the news and we recap the things that bugged us most about CES (curved TVs anyone?). Listen questions include Gary on Luminance (and others), Paul on big satellite dishes, Andy on DIY display calibration, and a couple of comments from Richard. Rob recommends this Kinect mount and Tom recommends this nuclear soap. Thanks for listening. Check out our Facebook Page. Click here for our YouTube channel where you can see the recordings of our show videos. Download Tom’s FREE superhero-themed ebook Bob Moore: No Hero wherever ebooks are sold (or given away in this case). Visit Tom's website for download links as well as links for the two full-length followups -  Bob Moore: Desperate Times and Bob Moore: Hostile Territory. Check out AVGadgets.com where Tom is the new Editor-in-Chief! Download Tom's NEWEST book, Touch of Pain from Amazon now!

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  1. jfalk
    January 21st, 2014 at 16:59 | #1

    Net neutrality is a terrible idea. That said, antitrust enforcement against anticompetitive behavior from leveraging a monopoly access capture of an end user is an excellent idea. While the FCC lacks the ability to enforce its version of net neutrality (unless it declares that ISPs are common carriers, which has its own pros and cons) there is a long-established right of the Department of Justice to intervene already. IMO, you don’t want the FCC in this — the big guys already have too much influence over them. If Comcast tried to block Aereo (assume Aereo is legal) you wouldn’t need the FCC to stop them; and, as Tom point out, that might be just the goad to get other guys entering Comcast’s territory, at which the point the problem goes away without anyone intervening (beyond interventions to stop statutory monopolies, a power the FCC already has and is pursuing)

    Net neutrality makes it impossible to prioritize packets, making it impossible, for example, to reliably stream 5.1 DTS audio or BluRay quality video. Without the ability to discriminate, high quality services have very little chance to flourish. Might the services be expensive without net neutrality? Absolutely. But compared with nonexistent, expensive looks like a pretty good option.

    Analogies are always risky, but try this one. A flight from NY to LA has only so many seats. If you couldn’t charge more for business class, which subsidizes coach, everyone is worse off. Net neutrality looks like, but is not, is not the friend of the little guy. The fact that some pretty big guys are telling you it is should be troubling you.

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