“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
Kind of misstatement there. Content Creators had and have total control of how their product was destributed. Creators created content. They sold it to sell it to one of two major market paradigms: (a) major networks that broadcast it to the public over the air (OTA) using advertisers as the revenue source to fund operations, or (b) cable/satellite/fiber-optic distributors that charge the consumer directly for context.
Kind of an aside story, ignore it if you aren't interested.
About a month ago we went through the annual dance with our cable provider of about 20-years since we moved here from my last overseas assignment. Our bill was going to go from $103 per month (mid-tier cable, phone, and 25/6Mps Internet**) to about $175 per month for the same plane. The Dance occurred and we took the cable box into the store we could get new discounts for a year and out bill would go to $127 per month. They of course viewed it as a $50 "savings" instead of a 22% rate increase. We had only one cable box in the Family Room and no DVR.
Nope wasn't going to happen. So we dropped phone, lowed the cable package to "Economy" (which had pretty much all the channels we watched anyway), and kept high speed internet at the same rate. Our rate is now $83 per month so now they are actually generating about 20% LESS revenue per month and the only thing we lost was (a) phone service which was no big deal as my wife and I both have cell phones, (b) a whole bunch of channels we never watched, and (c) "On Demand" prime-time network viewing (basically you can select pretty much any show to watch on your schedule instead of the "broadcast" schedule.f
Now I just place my laptop next to the TV, connect and HDMI cable and watch shows in HD streamed from the network website so I can still watch shows on my schedule and not be tied to specific dates/times.
I've already spec'd out the components and will be doing a HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer). It will have dual tuners (allows you to watch one channel and record another) and a 2 or 3 TB hard-drive to function as a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) or as it's commonly called a DVR. Once that's fully up and running cable can go away without much impact on viewing options all together. The biggest headache will be noting all the places we've used the cable companies email as the primary email contact for personal use and other businesses (doctors, dentists, pest control, cell phone company, etc, etc, etc) and switch them over to Gmail (or Yahoo or Hotmail).
Case = Silverstone ML04
CPU Intel Core i3-4130
Hard Drive = Western Digital Green 2TB or 3TB
Optical Drive = DVD or Blu-Ray
Memory = Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB DDR3
Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H (Micro ATX)
OS = Windows (not sure yet whether 7 or 8)
Power Supply = Corsair CX430M
Solid State Drive = Samsung 840 Evo 120GB
Tuner = Hauppauge 1213 Dual TV Tuner
Graphics = Zotac GeForce GTX 650 1GB
Wireless = TP-Link TL-WDN3800 Dual-Band
Bump the memory to 8GB
The plan is by this time next year when the current "discounts" expire, we won't be using the cable company for anything except high speed internet (unless Verizon FIOS, which is in the area offers a more competitive rate for internet.)
**Speed tests actually show a consistent 30/6.5Mps connection.
So is it illegal for my to build my own HTPC and watch content at my own schedule or distribute it to my mobile devices (such as smartphones or laptops) in my home our outside my home?
How about "Slingbox"? The device allows you to take OTA content from an antenna or a cable box output and make it available to your devices outside the home to your mobile devices. Neighbor down the street has one, he's in the Air Force and while deployed overseas they put a second cable box in the back bedroom. Using Slingbox he could distribute his home cable service to watch. With the IR blaster he could even set his own channels to watch.
Slingbox.com - Turn Your Laptop, Smartphone or Tablet into a TV
You can doubt it all you want. The founder of the company is an engineer and designed the system using thousands and thousands of dime sized antennas in an array. When a consumer accessed their account they were assigned one - and only one - antenna to view content.
The banks of antennas were scalable, subscriptions grow - add another bank of antennas. The rest of the playback (network storage and input/output) was also scaled.
They DID NOT record one copy of the OTA broadcast and retransmit it to different customers. Each individual customer was watching their own individual feed from an individual antenna assigned to them.
You might want to do some research on the company and the legal documents that explain how it worked. Here is a good repository of background information -->> American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. : SCOTUSblog
Again false, as per the legal pref's - Aereo would use network location information to determine if you were withing the broadcasters geographic area. If you were outside the area the stream would not be available.
Let's say you are a New York City customer, while in the NYC area you can access your account and watch content on the equipment you have leased. However if you travel to Washington DC for business when you access your account you would be notified that you were out of the viewing area and that the service was not available.
Services were only available inside the geographic broadcast area based on FCC reception maps.