Tech Talk Tuesday: Cutting the Cord

Updated: Tuesday, March 18 2014, 08:30 AM MDT
Tech Talk Tuesday: Cutting the Cord story image

By Lonnie Valencia

Television - The glowing entertainment hub of almost every living room here in the borderland.  For some, it’s the crowning jewel of the whole house- the high tech pearl we show off.  We brag about its size, we drool over every radiating pixels of clarity, and we can't get enough of the entertainment it brings into our homes.  All that wonderful programming television has displayed for us over the years is secretly hiding a brawl that is taking place behind the scenes.  In today’s Tech Talk, I’ll tell you who’s fighting, what they are fighting for, and why you’ll decide who wins.  Get ready because here comes the bell! Ding! Ding!

Television isn't going anywhere, but the companies providing you the programming are threatening to pull the plug.   Companies like Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC, 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOX), Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBCUniversal and CBS Corp. (CBS) are front and center in a coming U.S. Supreme Court hearing.  They're fighting to block a company called Aereo from selling live television programming over the internet. Now why is this a big deal? Two reasons!

One... Aereo is using little antennas to capture the broadcaster's (ABC, FOX, CBS) signals and resending it through the internet to their customers for profit. Normally when that happens you pay a retransmission fee.  Time Warner and Comcast cable companies pay a ton of money nation wide for that privilege, but Aereo has found a loophole of sorts. They say since they don’t rebroadcast it and their signal only goes to the individuals that subscribes, the fee doesn’t apply to them. So far two courts have agreed with them and they are very confident going into the hearing with the U.S. Supreme Court. If Aereo wins again then the  broadcasters ( ABC, FOX, CBS) will have a hard time keeping cable and satellite providers from using the same loophole to get out of paying their retransmission fees. This means broadcasters will loose millions of dollars just because of one company’s creative out of the box thinking.

Two... Some broadcasters have already threatened to pull the plug if things don't go their way. In other words, they would abandon the airways and charge for their network online. Other companies like Netflix have shown that their internet model can work and make money, so why can’t broadcasters do the same with their programming? This would stop Aereo from "stealing" their stuff for free and change the way we view programming forever. If that turns out to be the case, I guess I'll see my shows like Bones, The Following, and American Idol, streaming off my computer screen in the future.

So much fighting is going on to provide you (the consumer) with the signal to entertain you it makes my head spin. From millions of people cutting their own cord and switching to internet only services to the rise of companies like Hulu.  And now this court case all have television as we know it on the ropes of change.  Until the judges come out with a decision we will all just be stuck waiting. What do you think is the future of television? Would you like to see the change if broadcasters left for the internet?  Let me know in the comment section below.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Cutting the Cord
comments powered by Disqus

More El Paso Entertainment

'Perfect Guy,' 'The Visit' stronger than expected
LOS ANGELES >> "The Perfect Guy" and "The Visit" sailed past modest opening weekend expectations — and budgets — locking in debuts in the mid-$20 million range thanks in part to good timing and robust female turnout.
The Chamanas: El Paso-Juárez band releases debut album
The Chamanas are catching flight. The borderland quintet, which calls itself "a metaphorical bridge between the two cities," has made big leaps toward making a name for itself.
El Paso Chopin Festival kicks off Saturday
Dr. Lucy Scarbrough knows a thing or two about renowned composer Frédéric Chopin.
Coming up: Mexican Food Cook-Off, Zedd, Jason Aldean
Mexican Food Cook-Off: The annual event is set for 4 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Union Plaza, Downtown.
Nightspots: Things to do in El Paso
Aceitunas Beer Garden: 5200 Doniphan. 845-2277; Alumni Lounge: 2714 N. Piedras.
Tiempo calendar: Authentic Oktoberfest, Dog Swim Day
Today, Sept. 11 Authentic Oktoberfest: The second annual festival is set for Sept. 11-13 at the El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E.
Country crooners Gary Allan, Wynonna to perform at Inn of the Mountain Gods
If you are a fan of country music, pull on your boots, tighten your best belt buckle, hop in your pickup and take a drive up to Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, N.M.
Dining out: Places to eat in El Paso
Central Amigos Restaurant: 2000 Montana, $$, 533-0155. Classic Mexican food with great specials. Ardovino's Pizza: 206 Cincinnati, $$, 532-9483, ardovinospizza.
Block party gives El Pasoans one more week of summer fun
Mother of Pearl Vinyl, West El Paso's all-vinyl record shop, is getting to be known as the little record store that could.
Movie capsules: 90 Minutes in Heaven, The Visit, Meru
Compiled from El Paso Times staff and wire reports. Listings are subject to change.
Queen Elizabeth II surpasses Queen Victoria's long reign
LONDON (AP) — It was a day for the history books. But it was not in her majesty's temperament to make much of a fuss.
Los Angeles prosecutors set hearing on Diddy UCLA case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors have set an October meeting with a hearing officer to resolve a case over a confrontation Sean "Diddy" Combs had at the University of California, Los Angeles, in June, an official said Wednesday.
Stephen Colbert debuts on 'The Late Show'

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert began his tenure as host of the CBS "Late Show" Tuesday with a tribute to predecessor David Letterman, a brief conversation with rival Jimmy Fallon and a surprise cameo from Comedy Central buddy Jon Stewart.

Obama to award arts medals to Sally Field, Stephen King

WASHINGTON (AP) — Actress Sally Field and author Stephen King are among luminaries set to receive a National Medal of Arts or a National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.

Boston awaits release of new Bulger movie 'Black Mass'

BOSTON (AP) — On the streets of South Boston, where the name Whitey Bulger once evoked fear, the locals have become accustomed to books and movies that try to capture the life of the notorious gangster.

Come back often for updates of TV listings and El Paso area and Las Cruces entertainment stories. KFOX14 covers entertainment, programming and other entertainment related subjects. KFOX14 is dedicated to providing the best, timely and up to date entertainment news for El Paso and Las Cruces.

KFOX14 El Paso - Live Cast Watch live broadcasts of KFOX14 News seven days a week!
KFOX14 El Paso - Live Cast Like KFOX Scoop on Facebook!