Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Quality Of TV Is Strained

Last week I was watching the rugby with an old friend of my wife's family who is ten years retired (so even older than me) and he bragged how he used Mobdro to watch all his sports at home. 


If you're not familiar with this unofficial Android app, it aggregates (illegal) streams from across the internet and gives you access to most of the world's main free and pay TV services, including HBO, Sky Movies and Canal +.


It also lets you set recordings and can beam to your big screen via Fire TV or Chromecast (or whatever Google are calling it this week...).


The trouble with it, of course, is that the quality is variable and the streams often fail n the middle of a movie or a sports event.


Still, it could save an average cord cutter a thousand pounds a year.


The ongoing battle by content owners to control their content is becoming a rather futile battle driven by viewers' frustrations with the slicing and dicing if services across multiple se vice providers. Content owners sliver up their rights to obtain maximum revenue and then the content providers aggregate them again, but there are very few content services that offer absolutely all content. Therefore we live in a world of apps and dongles and set top boxes and proxy streaming.


Clearly, this is the free market, but as illegal content continues to become easier and more convenient to access, the true trade off will be in quality and reliability.


Bug telcos and cablecos have long realised this and see this game playing out straight into their hands, just as net neutrality is in grave danger of being undermined further in markets like the US.