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Question about media streaming players



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 31st 12, 07:48 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Dave Saville
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 138
Default Question about media streaming players

Perhaps someone can enlighten me on these gadgets about something that
I find odd.

The one I have been l looking at is a Roku - largely becasue as far as
I know it is, currently, the only one in the UK that will drive a TV
that does not have HDMI connections. Although that is about to change
with the expected launch of Netgear's NeoTV300 series. (supposed to be
December)

Now all these boxes purport to stream "internet TV" but they all seem
to have restrictions as to what. For example Roku launched without BBC
iPlayer and still does not have the other major channel's on demand
services.

But, my laptop can stream *any* internet TV - so why can't these
boxes?

TIA.
--
Regards
Dave Saville
  #2  
Old January 1st 13, 11:09 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
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Posts: 1,765
Default Question about media streaming players

Dave Saville (for it is he) wrote:

Now all these boxes purport to stream "internet TV" but they all seem
to have restrictions as to what. For example Roku launched without BBC
iPlayer and still does not have the other major channel's on demand
services.

But, my laptop can stream *any* internet TV - so why can't these
boxes?


Because on your laptop you can use any browser, with a Flash plugin
installed. This is the mechanism that the vast majority of video streaming
sites use to deliver video to users. A set top box may have a browser but it
may not have a Flash plugin, and you may not be able to install arbitrary
plugins.

More broadly, your laptop is a general purpose computer that can do anything
that the software you install on it can do, and there's nothing stopping you
from installing what you want, even replacing the OS. An STB is an appliance
that is more locked down and has a narrower range of software available [if
at all] often from a single source, who determines what you can or can't
install. It's a similar story with phones/tablets.


--
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10:03:08 up 15 days, 12:35, 5 users, load average: 0.62, 0.57, 0.59
Qua illic est reprehendit, illic est a vindicatum

  #3  
Old January 1st 13, 11:45 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Dave Saville
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 138
Default Question about media streaming players

On Tue, 1 Jan 2013 10:09:49 UTC, alexd wrote:

Dave Saville (for it is he) wrote:

Now all these boxes purport to stream "internet TV" but they all seem
to have restrictions as to what. For example Roku launched without BBC
iPlayer and still does not have the other major channel's on demand
services.

But, my laptop can stream *any* internet TV - so why can't these
boxes?


Because on your laptop you can use any browser, with a Flash plugin
installed. This is the mechanism that the vast majority of video streaming
sites use to deliver video to users. A set top box may have a browser but it
may not have a Flash plugin, and you may not be able to install arbitrary
plugins.

More broadly, your laptop is a general purpose computer that can do anything
that the software you install on it can do, and there's nothing stopping you
from installing what you want, even replacing the OS. An STB is an appliance
that is more locked down and has a narrower range of software available [if
at all] often from a single source, who determines what you can or can't
install. It's a similar story with phones/tablets.


But if as you say most streams are Flash, then if it can play one
stream why not another? Or don't these boxes, or internet TVs for that
matter, have a browser?


--
Regards
Dave Saville
  #4  
Old January 1st 13, 12:07 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Question about media streaming players

On 01/01/13 10:45, Dave Saville wrote:
On Tue, 1 Jan 2013 10:09:49 UTC, alexd wrote:

Dave Saville (for it is he) wrote:

Now all these boxes purport to stream "internet TV" but they all seem
to have restrictions as to what. For example Roku launched without BBC
iPlayer and still does not have the other major channel's on demand
services.

But, my laptop can stream *any* internet TV - so why can't these
boxes?


Because on your laptop you can use any browser, with a Flash plugin
installed. This is the mechanism that the vast majority of video streaming
sites use to deliver video to users. A set top box may have a browser but it
may not have a Flash plugin, and you may not be able to install arbitrary
plugins.

More broadly, your laptop is a general purpose computer that can do anything
that the software you install on it can do, and there's nothing stopping you
from installing what you want, even replacing the OS. An STB is an appliance
that is more locked down and has a narrower range of software available [if
at all] often from a single source, who determines what you can or can't
install. It's a similar story with phones/tablets.


But if as you say most streams are Flash, then if it can play one
stream why not another? Or don't these boxes, or internet TVs for that
matter, have a browser?


many don't have a flash plugin for the browser. Adobe/licensing issues.

--
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to
lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the
members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are
rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a
diminishing number of producers.

  #5  
Old January 1st 13, 02:37 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roderick Stewart
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 135
Default Question about media streaming players

In article , Alexd wrote:
More broadly, your laptop is a general purpose computer that can do anything
that the software you install on it can do, and there's nothing stopping you
from installing what you want, even replacing the OS. An STB is an appliance
that is more locked down and has a narrower range of software available [if
at all] often from a single source, who determines what you can or can't
install. It's a similar story with phones/tablets.


All this sounds like a very good reason for not using an STB for internet
functions at all (or for that matter a "smart TV" to which the same sort of
restrictions would seem to apply). Just plug a dedicated computer into the TV
and call it a media centre.

Rod.
--

  #6  
Old January 1st 13, 08:53 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter Able
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 114
Default Question about media streaming players


"Roderick Stewart" wrote in
message .myzen.co.uk...
In article , Alexd wrote:
More broadly, your laptop is a general purpose computer that can do
anything
that the software you install on it can do, and there's nothing stopping
you
from installing what you want, even replacing the OS. An STB is an
appliance
that is more locked down and has a narrower range of software available
[if
at all] often from a single source, who determines what you can or can't
install. It's a similar story with phones/tablets.


All this sounds like a very good reason for not using an STB for internet
functions at all (or for that matter a "smart TV" to which the same sort
of
restrictions would seem to apply). Just plug a dedicated computer into the
TV
and call it a media centre.

Rod.
--

Quite right - but a lot of folk don't like using computers in this way.
They prefer simplicity to capability.

PA


  #7  
Old January 1st 13, 08:58 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter Able
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 114
Default Question about media streaming players


"Peter Able" [email protected] wrote in message
o.uk...


All this sounds like a very good reason for not using an STB for internet
functions at all (or for that matter a "smart TV" to which the same sort
of
restrictions would seem to apply). Just plug a dedicated computer into
the TV
and call it a media centre.

Rod.
--

Quite right - but a lot of folk don't like using computers in this way.
They prefer simplicity to capability.

PA


It also cannibalises the STB market - so don't expect the market to push the
idea.



  #8  
Old January 1st 13, 11:31 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Question about media streaming players

Dave Saville (for it is he) wrote:

But if as you say most streams are Flash, then if it can play one
stream why not another?


Because the box isn't showing you the stream using a browser just rendering
the page with an embedded video, as a PC would. It run a site-specific
application which is using the site's published [or unpublished] API to
access the video stream.

Another reason may be lack of support for a given codec.

Or don't these boxes, or internet TVs for that matter, have a browser?


Yes, they may have a browser, but just "a browser" isn't sufficient. They
need a plugin that can render the video stream, and in the case of Flash,
Adobe's Flash plugin is the only one capable of correctly rendering many
video sites, and Adobe don't make it available on every platform.

--
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Qua illic est reprehendit, illic est a vindicatum

  #9  
Old January 2nd 13, 10:55 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Dave Saville
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 138
Default Question about media streaming players

On Tue, 1 Jan 2013 22:31:49 UTC, alexd wrote:

snip

Yes, they may have a browser, but just "a browser" isn't sufficient. They
need a plugin that can render the video stream, and in the case of Flash,
Adobe's Flash plugin is the only one capable of correctly rendering many
video sites, and Adobe don't make it available on every platform.


That's something that I've never understood. I can understand charging
for whatever *produces* Flash content but fail to see why they are so
picky about *rendering* it. ECS aka OS/2 does not have a more recent
native Flash than V5 because Adobe wanted a really silly and very
large amount of cash to allow us to write a viewer. :-( Just greedy I
guess.

--
Regards
Dave Saville
  #10  
Old January 2nd 13, 12:47 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
alexd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,765
Default Question about media streaming players

Dave Saville (for it is he) wrote:

That's something that I've never understood. I can understand charging
for whatever produces Flash content but fail to see why they are so
picky about rendering it.


I would guess one of the reasons might be DRM, ie the security of a video
stream delivered with Flash depends entirely on the Flash player not
disclosing it, not on any innate security [cf PDF security].

--
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Qua illic est reprehendit, illic est a vindicatum

 




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