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> If none of those tactics work, pay-TV subscribers could someday be required to sign into their accounts using their thumbprints.

This feels like an idea from some idiot corporate suit who said "Well there are fingerprint readers on phones, let's use that to lock down accounts" without understanding that your app just gets as "Yes" or a "No" when you ask the phone to scan a fingerprint. The apps themselves don't get to the see the scan.

> The pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year, according to Parks Associates. By 2024, the number could grow to $9 billion, the research firm said.

BULLSHIT, we heard this SAME argument about piracy. Piracy/Account sharing DO NOT equal a 100% loss in sales. I'm willing to concede there are some people stealing who would pay but I can promise you it's nowhere near 100%.




> I'm willing to concede there are some people stealing who would pay but I can promise you it's nowhere near 100%.

Hell, if the situation with games is any indication there are people who will pirate the game after paying for it to get rid of always-on requirements or other intrusive DRM.


I can tell you I know a number of people who pay for Netflix/Amazon Prime/Apple TV+/Hulu/HBO/etc and then turn around and pirate the same content because watching it though Plex/other is simply a better experience.

And frankly, I 100% understand where they are coming from:

1. What platform was I watching show X on?

2. Oh Platform X removed show Y? Well it's also on Platform Z but now I can't remember where I was in that show.

3. Oh, every Platform has a different UI/UX? Great...

4. Internet slow today? DDOS against Platform? Guess I'm not watching anything

5. Oh that's right, Platform X only work on Set Top Box A or B but not C... Guess I'll just watch this on my Phone since I can't get it on the TV

6. Going on a flight? Going to be without internet? Don't want to stream it on cellular? I hope Show X is on a Platform that supports offline watching.

7. Paid service != No Ads, you've got to deal with Hulu's BS and/or pre-roll or self-promotion crap

I know Apple TV is trying to address some of these issues and so is Amazon Prime Channels but it's all a Russian nesting doll of terrible.

All of this stands in rather stark comparison to using Plex/Emby/Jellyfin/etc:

1. All my content in 1 place

2. Content never removed except by owner, track show progress across all clients easily

3. Constant UI/UX even across platforms

4. If you are local there is no lag, remote will depend on your own internet

5. Apps for almost every platform (Phone, Web, TV, Tablet, Gaming Console, Roku/Chromecast/Fire stick, etc)

6. Offline sync options

7. No ads, no pre-roll (unless you set a custom one yourself)


Another issue: they all want you to have proprietary non-free DRM software in your web browser that is a big pain to install. None of these services "just work" like you'd expect, and users have to spend a lot of time configuring their browser for services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. And in the end all that configuration work just ends up making your browser much less secure with code from untrusted sources like Google Widevine (a company whose objective is to serve you ads that are personalized as much as possible by tracking your every movement and click).

Firefox tries to sandbox Widevine but this code is from a dirty company and you can bet it's trying to break out of that sandbox.


This is like, one of my top reasons for thinking there's undisputed superiority (FOR THIS USECASE) in Apple's platform. They own the full stack, so there's nothing to install and it does work exactly like you'd expect it to. Yes yes you have to then own their devices and I know not everyone is in love with that but if you want to consume content, that you pay for, and not fight against the tech you're paying for, it's either Apple or buying blu-rays


I suppose that addresses the grandparent’s concerns about ease of use, but it makes the problem of running opaque proprietary software controlled by the platform operator even worse.


It's not just the browser—my Apple TV will sometimes refuse to play a Neflix video because it claims I'm not connected to an HDCP TV. Of course I am, but some negotiation on the HDMI port failed and I have to switch away from the Apple TV and then back to it to force a renegotiation.

Surprise, surprise—I never have that problem with the Plex app.


8. If you watch using (most) web browsers you'll be limited to 720p

E.g. Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23931


I really cannot understand how I pay for a service and still get ads. It's ridiculous.

I'm talking about Hulu and Prime. Hulu, I kind of get. It's cheap. I pay $1/month using some special I bought into last year.

Prime though? Every time someone tells me how Prime is comparable to Netflix, it's not. Netflix may autoplay stupid crap while you're looking for a movie (a UX issue) but they don't show me a video ad when I turn on the app, nor do they show me an ad between episodes.


The media industry is doing it's best to try to refragment itself as it had done during the heyday of cable. Whereby you had to have this package, that package and this addon, that addon to get the content library that you truly wanted. When the main competitors were only Hulu and Netflix, it was simple to sign u an dmove on with your life.

Now, the content makers want to have their own streaming services (Disney), pushing the consumer back to that $160/month+ territory for access to media. It's kind of sad to see really.


Sad, yes, but unsurprising. In the heyday of cable, consumers in aggregate proved that they are more than willing to stomach complexity and fragmentation to have access to a wide range of video content.

Sure, many people complain about it, and nearly everyone wants the same thing for less money. But it's been proven that despite the complaints and cost, people are willing to pay.


>> The pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year, according to Parks Associates. By 2024, the number could grow to $9 billion, the research firm said.

>BULLSHIT, we heard this SAME argument about piracy. Piracy/Account sharing DO NOT equal a 100% loss in sales.

The software, music, and video industries have been posting enormous "losses" in the billions like this for a few decades now. If they were really losing that much money, they would have all been out of business by now. Instead, last I checked, most of them are more profitable than ever.


I think I know the point you are making, but...

They use that number to put political pressure on the DoJ, FBI, and DHS to enforce their IP ownership claims. I get that 100% of their claimed loss would never be 100% of a potential revenue, but AFAIK there is no standard alternative way to calculate those "losses". From what I know, all companies use the same method when describing losses/damages due to hack/cyberattack.


>but AFAIK there is no standard alternative way to calculate those "losses"

This isn't the problem at all. The problem is that they're calling them "losses", when they aren't losses at all. "Lose" is a plain English word with a very specific meaning: it means you no longer have something that you used to have. These companies never, ever "lost" anything at all due to "piracy". You can't use the word to describe "something you don't have, and never had at all, but which you should have"; it doesn't work that way.

If they used a different term, such as "unrealized revenue", then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.


> it means you no longer have something that you used to have

No it doesn't. It means you lost out on potential revenues because someone decided not to pay for it. That's a loss. If people are consuming your content and not paying you for it, you're losing something in the transaction.


Or... Someone would have just watched something else that was free. It seems to me that actually they're getting free publicity


> It seems to me that actually they're getting free publicity

This is ridiculous. There's a subreddit choosingbeggars that's FILLED with people asking for free art for "publicity". It's insulting to content creators to hear this silly shtick.


Follow up on your analogy:

The cost to read this comment is $1 million. If you do not pay me, I am losing out on $1 million. AKA: $1 million in lost revenue (lolling to myself right now...)

Did you read this comment and not pay me? Who do I go after to get the money owed to me??! HackerNews, for not enforcing my price? You, for reading it? Your ISP, for allowing you to read it? Or myself, for being a moron?


Right now, you can only use a fingerprint to authenticate to the device. It's not so far-fetched to one day have the OS offer to link fingerprints to an app, and to let an app limit how many registered fingerprints is accepts (unified count across all devices using the account), or for the app to scan your fingerprint using the webcam. The OSes are DRM-friendly, so they'd play ball.


> This feels like an idea from some idiot corporate suit who said "Well there are fingerprint readers on phones, let's use that to lock down accounts" without understanding that your app just gets as "Yes" or a "No" when you ask the phone to scan a fingerprint. The apps themselves don't get to the see the scan.

I don't know what your point is, but that would work just as well for them too.


How would that work for them?

All I have to do is login once on my friend's device then from then on even if the app asks for biometrics it will work since it will be THEIR biometrics.

Also I can add 5 different people's fingerprints to my device (if that even what the companies are trying to prevent, which it's not).


The app just gets a "Yes, this is the owner of this device" or a "No, this is not the owner of this device."

What can Netflix do with that? It's not tied to an account.




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