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Another Hair Brained IPTV Idea


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If you happen to remember me from the old forums i did a lot of talking about IPTV and how to get it out to more people and how to improve all around. Well i have came up with something new that i think could be interesting and sort of has already been implimented around the US in a few places.

The whole idea of IPTV is to replace traditional media with user generated content right. Well the big problem with this is we just don't have the same resources that these billion dollar companies have. Sure consumer software is up to grade with some pro editing gear and the cameras are getting better but there is still things that can't be done with out major money such as a professional set, pro model dv cams, and lighting.

My idea takes the idea of Node 101 (http://node101.org/) and adds it to a large comunity based studio building that you could rent time in for a small fee to keep the place alive. You could have modular sets and pro lighting gear along side the good editing systems with things like final cut pro, motion, maya, etc and you could with a bit of creativity make a show that would be right up there with the big boys.

This idea takes the public access idea into the digital age of IPTV and could really be something that larger comunities could get into. Think about it. Being able to spend say 10 dollars a day for a 24 hour time slot to go in and shoot an episode of your show then maybe another 10 to come in an edit it on some high end machines running all the lattest stuff. Not a great plan for say a video blog where it's a fast process and more of a spur of the moment thing but for shows like Hak5 or other shows that use a homeaid set this could be ideal and could really foster creativity of new shows.

I will have more about this kind of stuff soon because as of July this year 90% of my media content i take in will be independent with the other 10% going to bands i listen to and movies. I am actualy still in the process of building my new "cable" box, RSS based newspaper, and sterio system that will power this life style. I am going to try this for 5 months and blog about my experiances of cutting my self off of the mainstream media grid.

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Sounds like fun, would you provide tuition at the same time? And how big were you thinking? It just sounds kinda like my art university to be honest.

The main issue i can see here is cost, buying a suitibale site, renovating it, buying the equipment, maintinence, health and saftey, hireing people to work there, sercuiruty, insurance etc And once you start investing money or taking out loans it becomes a buisness, which makes it a lot harder.

10 dollars a day... you wouldn't even pay the electric bill, let alone everything else. Look at studios that currently exist, and see how much they charge for time and/or use of there equipment.

Its a nice idea, and i'm sorry to piss on your parade like this, but if your going to do it, you should try and avoid as many of the pitfalls of the creative industrys as possible. If you can raise the money, find some good business people to help you set up the accounts/do the legal stuff, and get a good location, go for it.

I will have more about this kind of stuff soon because as of July this year 90% of my media content i take in will be independent with the other 10% going to bands i listen to and movies. I am actualy still in the process of building my new "cable" box, RSS based newspaper, and sterio system that will power this life style. I am going to try this for 5 months and blog about my experiances of cutting my self off of the mainstream media grid.

What brought this around? Its kinda intersting because I haven't actually watched TV for years. Just download what I want, when i want. Which completely alters your cultural outlook as issues you may not have heard about before become "mainstream", while the mainstream that was seems a distant and alien world.

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This is not something i am going to do nore do i think any individual could unless you had some major funding or connections. This is more of a concept or idea that could be taken as a group into some place like a Public Access station, University, etc and could be implimented that way. More of a non profit comunity based idea than a company or buisness.

As for why i am doing the cut off it's just something i think i can do with out really loosing anything and it would be a interesting test as to how good indy content really is compared to the mainstream and if it could hold my intrest for a long period of time. I have been pretty locked into to what people what call mainstream media for a long time and with the advent of podcasting, video blogging, and IPTV i have found much more creativity and stimulation. I am really just going into it as an experiment with myself as the lab rat and recording my findings incase anyone would be interested in that information. I think seeing what i see being cut off could really help indy creators to look at what they are doing and how they can improve to catch the mainstream.

On the personal side it's just because i think 90% of what is on TV these days is utter garbage with 0 creativity and soured by huge amounts of ads and trash tv. I sware most of my time watching tv is listening to someone try and sell me something or just plain depress the hell out of me. Sure there is good content out there but it's so burried in sludge that it's insanly hard to find and even when you do find it bang your hit with 10mins of ads per 30mins of show. Sure you can just download the shows from BT with out comercials but then you start treading in that legal murkyness that i would rather stay away from.

i guess it's not so much mainsteam content that bugs me because there are some really good creative shows out there like Family Guy, My Name Is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris but when it comes down to it the ads and garbage involved with those shows just bugs me and takes away from my ability to really enjoy them. How can i enjoy a TV show when right as things get good i get smacked upside the head with 3 comercials about medication or a new car.

This is what i love so much about IPTV right now is that yeah it may have an ad but they are right at the front or end and a lot of the time they are user created and short. I have 0 issue with a show like Diggnation that has like 3 tiny ads on the front of there show and then 40mins of excellent content. I am even willing to give Revision 3 my money as a member because of this. I am so dang willing to support ad free content and i know so many other people are as well but the main stream just won't give that to us. That is what i love so much about indy content is because it's created out of love and fun instead of how do we become millionaires. This is actualy why i am so down on Podshow as a company right now because i agree with what Eric Rice said in that podshow now is mainstream. They are all about ads, money, fame, etc that they forgot why they got into this in the first place is because they had something they wanted to say and podcasting gave them that voice.

Ok i'll hop off the ol soap box now :) but that is where i am coming from as far as my project.

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From where I'm typing its so murky all my lawyers have nightvision goggles and radar ;-)

I'm guessing your american then, because I watch a fair number of torrented shows from america, and your right. I cannot belive how often they break for adverts over there. 4 times in a 1/2 hour show?! WTF?! In the UK 3 breaks in a 1hr show, and even that annoys me. But do have the BBC, which is funded by a tax on TV sets. This means there are no adverts (expect for other shows and maybe other BBC channels). I did used to hate the TV tax, but now i realise its actually a damn good idea. There attitude to online music and TV is really good for a "mainstream" outfit.

The problem with Indy ideals is that everything costs money. DV cams, tape, storage, bandwidth & hosting, computers, editing software, sets and lighting doesn't come cheap. And neither does peoples time when you have to work around multiple scheduals. When people invest money in you and your idea, they're doing it because they belive in what your doing enough to expect some form of return for this. You can get grants, and NPO's helping you out, but these are small and few. So you need buisness.

Money does do strange things to you, simply because no matter how humble you are. You want a nice comftable house, nice food, cool toys and a good life. And if someone is offering you money to do something you enjoy doing, your going to take it. The trouble is that as soon as its someone elses money, they have a say in what you do with it. Piss them off and your not going to get anymore.

I'm interested in how old you are, not to be insulting. Because when I started my film making/photography degree i was of a very similar mind. I hated those people who sold out, hated how they'd let there work become more mainstream. But then you start having to think about bills, food, course costs. Everything costs money. So you have to work, usually really shit jobs (including one job that was 6AM to 6PM in a freezer... for 3 weeks, 7 days a week...). And when your working those jobs, all you can think of is hoping whatever your doing will work out and you can forget this ever happend.

So yeah, while a 90% of everything is shit, don't be to hard on the people who choose to become "mainstream".

Were Rage Against The Machine/South Park/Family Guy sell outs or were they working for change in the industry?

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There is some very interesting discussion going on here so I'll break from my vacation for a few minutes to add my 2 cents. I apologize in advance if I don't cover all of the issues raised here.

First of all, on the idea of a common studio space for vidcasters I have to say being one and knowing lots of them this has been a dream we have all had for a long time. I can't count how many times this topic has come up in discussion with other vidcasters. While I think it's a great idea and fully support it there are a few minor details that have kept it from coming to reality. This is not to say that I don't want it to happen so don't read it like that. But firstly there is the question of location. There are many shows that I believe could benefit from such a studio, however we are so spread out geographically that it seems infeasible. There seem to be a few IPTV hubs right now, first of which being Toronto which consistantly brings us great shows like CommandN, LabRats, and Openalpha. Then there is the west coast with vid/podcast networks like TWIT and Revision3. Then there's us, Hak.5 in Virginia, StepONE in Florida, AlmostAGeek in Hawaii, etc, etc. When we decided to convert part of our apartment into a studio it was because there were no other vidcasters in our area and building and breaking down the set every shoot day was getting tiresome. I am also a firm believer that a good vidcast set can be built out of a spare room with little money. Total cost of the Hak.5 set is probably in the range of a few hundred dollars. Secondly shows like CommandN don't really have a set. They shoot on the streets of Toronto or other interesting places and I think that adds a lot to the show. Openalpha is shot out of Jenn Cutter's bedroom with a nice backdrop, some lights, and a really kick ass camera.

So in the present, while I believe the major tech IPTV shows that have pioneered this landscape are already doing a great job on their own and while we could benefit from a shared studio things like geography and monitary and logistical issues come into play.

As for vidcasts yet to be seen I think one of the best things to do is take advantage of your local colleges resources. In film school at VCU you could schedule time using the green screens, or even borrow cameras and audio gear.

Ok, I'm getting a little long winded here and I want to touch on the 'quitting mainstream television for 5 months' thing because it's a fantastic experiment which I've been doing as well for the last year, but I have to run this second so I'll get back to this post later.

Sorry to cut it like that, looking forward to more insight on this thread.


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There are many shows that I believe could benefit from such a studio, however we are so spread out geographically that it seems infeasible

I totaly agree its a good idea how many video podcaster/IPTV could you get though your door. Lots of people would want to use it but there so spread out that many wont travel a hundreds miles just for a few hours or a day and the capital would be huge if you were to buy top quality equipment.

Although if you did find a prime location eg london for the uk (its easly with in a few hour buy train by most of the uk) more people would use the falcility but then the rent would be huge cause of the great loctaion. You could offer it to local bands ect to use as a recording studio seeing you would have the equipment used for podcaster aswell.

I cant really see this taking off this year or even next but as time goes by and standard TV gets worst and worst. IPTV will becomes more and more popular then would be the time to open such a thing like this.

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Renting the comunity studio out to bands for recording and maybe even shooting videos is a great idea. You could cut the big guys prices and get a lot of buisness that way and help fund the place. Studio time at big recording places is very expensive so this would be a good opertunity to bring in the comunity of local bands. Plus maybe a few relationships could foster and allow the podcasters/IPTV people to get music for there shows.

I also agree with putting them in big cities like where i am from maybe Omaha or Lincoln. Omaha espesialy has a lot of comunity programs like this so i think they would be open for it. Maybe even bring in some vols to teach video and audio classes for after school programs.

I know a lot of universities offer up things like this if they have a media program but i have looked around before and it's kind of hard to get in unless you are a student or know someone who is. I have also kicked around to see what kind of public access studio time there is around here and it's kind of slim pickings. There is some but a lot of there gear is outdated and setup more for TV than the web. I think renting out some Public Access space is a good idea but your going to have to have your own gear.

As for the other thing, my project i have opened the blog i will be posting on if your interested in following my journey. All i have up right now is my mission statement but i will have some tech stuff up soon. http://unplugsurvival.blogspot.com/

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