A TV Sidetrack

While rolling through posts and linking all over the place. I found myself on techcrunch and their determination that paper based TV Guides were on their way out.

Im not going to argue the decline of TV specific magazines. See ya.

What I will argue is that the “traditional” tv listing sites are the way we will receive our tv information in the future. They wont.

Why ? Because they dont pass the couch or bed test.

It aint gonna work if we cant lay in bed or vegetate on the couch and get the information we want. A magazine. A Newspaper. They are vegetation enabling material. Having to walk over to the PC to plan or check out what I might want to watch is like throwing away the remote and manually getting up and changing the channel. If i want a work out, I will go to the gym.

As always, kids are the exception. A laptop in a dorm room or kids room can be the TV and info device, but even then, its not the scenario that will win over the long term.

Here is why.

First, LCD/Plasma TV prices are falling faster than anyone ever imagined. This will make it affordable as a combo TV and full featured PC monitor even to kids.Did i mention they were kick ass game monitors as welland HD games are starting to take hold ?

which means the PC to be used for online info is being tied up playing games or actually enjoying full screen TV.

2nd. Kids and adults multitasking are switching from their PCs to their PDA/Phones to do their realtime IM’ng and TXTing. Not that PCs arent used for IM and email, they are, but thats mostly while using PC bound applications. So the PC isnt “at hand” all the time like it used to be. Yes,people will still surf while they watch TV, but the chances of them surfing on their PC as opposed to a “vegetation compatible” device (ie, one you can lay in bed or on a couch with), is declining. The more power we have in our PDA/Phones and we will have an ever increasing amount of power, the less we will chain ourselves to our PCs.

3rd. The same HDTVs that can act as PC monitors for you , are available to video distributors as well. Meaning your cable or satellite programming guide can offer you the same depth of information right on your TV. Dont want to mess with your remote to surf your way through everything…. Well there is a reason TVs are shipping with USB and FireWire ports and keyboard connectivity is one of those reasons.

Plus there are some great features here and coming from cable and satellite. DirecTV offers a sports, news and kids mix. Six channels playing side by side for each genre . A quick peak and I can easily see whats going on. A quick link, and more information will be available. True, its one way for all but simple interactive responses, but Im a believer that more indepth responses to whats on the tube will come from PDA/Phones and not from a PC.

4. Your remote control is going to get a lot smarter. A USB port, some cheap memory, a little screen and a roll mouse is all it will take to download all the program guide informatin andlistings in a user interface you feel comfortable with. Get recommendations. Program your own channel. Surf at will. Click on the program you want, have the recommendation autoselected, or have your personal network programmed to play. All from your little remote.

5. And of course handheld devices will get fasters, smarter, better connected and moreapplication savvy. Applications will be written that will download programming guides, just like your tivo does, but allow you to customize everything to your liking.

Combine that with thebluetooth compatibility they already have and the possibilities are endless. Turn it on and link to the 20 dollar bluetooth compatible remote control box sitting by the couch that turns the channels for you when you click on a show in your phone. Program it to automatically change the channel , ortake over the Tivo. Easy and breezy with endless possibilities

Now some people may say that this is the equivalent of what techcrunch is suggesting, but with the access from a handheld. I dont see it that way. There is a trade off in using handhelds. Its vegetation compatible, but its less “community” friendly than a PC. We can do all that we do on a PC when we surf from our phones, but we choose not to because of the hassle factor.

The handheld future also will provide less connectivity to web videos and user generated content than the current PC based sites do.

All this talk of going to your PC to pick your shows and then connecting to an IP TV feed (internet based IPTV) is nonsense. Aint gonna happen in the home. In the office , ok. I buy that. Its an easy way to link to a stream of a TV show while you are at work. At home, its too much work.

There is a reason traffic to the TV portion of the sites listed isnt that high. Because TV is supposed to be easy. Its supposed to be an “alternative to boredom” (thank you Aaron Spelling for the quote).

I also want to make one last point. As a country, we areTV savvy. In particular, Americans are well trained in “TV Analysis”. We all have been in “do I want to watch this” training for most of our lives. We canwatch and analysis mere seconds ofa show and determine if its something we want to committ to a Phase 2 on. Phase 2 gets you to the next commercial or until you recognize a keeper or turner trigger. Channel surfing is a sport that I think most of us take pride in. Doing research about TV shows. Well, Im not a believer. I want to nest when i watch.

And while on the subject of TV. Check out a first crack at a trailer for a new HDNet show starring Dennis Rodman that we hope to have ready to go this winter on HDNet

75 thoughts on “A TV Sidetrack

  1. thank you good article

    Comment by Wireless -

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    Comment by mr hot -

  3. All this and I have NOT MOVED FROM BED – or, more importanly, I DID NOT get up to get the NEWSPAPER that is waiting outside my door –

    Comment by Mto -

  4. FYI, today using a Logitech Harmony remote you can download TV listings into your universal remote. Sweet little remotes also.

    Comment by L7 -

  5. How is IPTV “too much work” for the end user? That is simply not the case. IPTV makes things much simpler from a usability standpoint. I’m not sure you fully understand IPTV. Most telecom companies are starting to transition to IPTV because of the expandability, price cuts, and grand customization that makes completing normal TV related tasks much simpler for the end user. IPTV is going to be (and is) integrated into your current television via your local broadband service provider and you will not have to go to your PC to connect. With ICC changing a channel will be like watching regular TV with an instant channel switch. Instead of having to go through a completely different module to program a tv recording (via tivo etc…) you will be able to program everything in the same interface you select your TV channels in. To order more channels you don’t have to pick up a phone anymore to call your local service provider. Through the main interface, all you simply have to do is select the extra channels you want to add to your package. The best thing about it is that service providers can build their own apps on top of it. This means more customization so that TV guide interfaces like Qwest, which suck beyond any reasonable doubt, will be better suited to the end user. The usability factor and better program guides alone are worth it. Comcast’s, though way too expensive, offers a great “On-Demand” service via IPTV. Given how we tend to lag way off in technology from overseas countries, it’s easy to see that IPTV is going to take off. Let’s look at France: France Telecom Reaches 8.5 Million DSL Users, 306,000 IPTV Customers
    http://www.convergedigest.com/iptv/iptvarticle.asp?ID=18956

    Comment by A. Bitz -

  6. I wathced the preview of the Dennis Rodman show – as Peter Griffin (Family Guy) would say, “Freakin Sweet!”

    I say it’s GOLD! It can’t be any worse than that reality show were some rich dude fires people.

    Comment by philleto -

  7. Great idea as always. The crazier the programming the better it is.

    Comment by Juston -

  8. Personally, Mark, I still like my paper TV Guide. Especially the crossword puzzle in the back. Oh, and Mark, keep up the good work, and, let’s just hope you keep your big mouth shut and not get fined by Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Stern. (David, not Howard).

    Comment by Alex Wells -

  9. Wow, nice info you posted, thanks🙂

    Comment by Ambatchdotcom Seocontest -

  10. wow… am I hearing correctly that the Mavs paid money for Devean George from the Lakers? Tip: he couldn’t get on the floor last year… for the LAKERS! It seems like the plan for this offseason was to get rid of the promising young players (Daniels, Powell, Marshall) and replace them with habitually underperforming veterans (Croshere, George, Johnson). Is there a big trade in theworks along these lines? I’m sure we can trade Josh Howard and Mbenga and Diop and Dampier for a Steve Francis, maybe Allen Iverson? What’s Brian Scalabrine up to? Maybe we can convince Latrell Sprewell to show up as well.

    Comment by teeteringmavsfan -

  11. Well, Mav. Everything is good. But it will be only in the future. I hope in nearest future, albeit facts are declining it. I prefer PC to stay PC and TV to stay TV. No combos

    Comment by Barry -

  12. The way you think is amazing! So against the way some retail companies are thinking and the direction they are moving, but so right on and in touch with the “technology smart” consumer.

    Comment by JT -

  13. T.V. prices are falling crazy fast! I’m ready for another HDNET channel! The programming this time of year really stinks!

    Comment by Klingerrr -

  14. I feel that the PVR will obviate the need for a tv guide.

    Comment by Stuart -

  15. # 25

    Why are you bailing out Dennis…Again? He is a pathetic has been/ Sideshow. Similar to others like Ozzy Osbourne, Anna-Nicole, and Bobby & Whitney. On second hand, this might work.

    You forgot Dan Rather.

    Comment by Don -

  16. Yeah, this information is indeed very valuable. Thanks guys.

    Comment by esquared -

  17. The Dennis rodman clip was trash — no self respecting woman would subject herself to that kind of treatment. But what can you expect from Dennis Rodman — he’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel — so is anyone who associates with him, Mark.

    Comment by Vicki Amick -

  18. very valuable information…I find greater value in your statement regarding the increase in demand for these high end TVs,”LCD/Plasma TV prices are falling faster than anyone ever imagined.” Most of consumer in the market will began the phasing process, and finally get rid of those bulky TVs. I think it’s time to add a few stocks to your watchlist, because the companies that make these tv possible will see their bottom line looking high and mighty in the next two years. Looks like your ROI in HDnet is approching the golden years!

    Comment by Teddy -

  19. it is very interesting , i want to have the same experience.

    Comment by wholesale art -

  20. Great thoughts Mark. Whatever happens in the average living room in America is going to have become easy and almost thoughtless. That doesn’t say much for America and our previously mentioned “waistlines” but that’s just the way it is. TV has always been a retreat from reality, work and normal life. We need to be able to enjoy what we want, when we want, how we want, but without really having to think to hard about it.

    Comment by Jason -

  21. Mark-

    Having Rodman in a reality show is a brillant idea, however you are butching the potential. You should revamp your entire idea, the trailer wasn’t entertaining nor funny. Most importantly, I think less than 50% of those who view it would want to view the rest of the show.

    A show featuring Rodman could be a huge hit, but nobody wants to see him assiting in “suck for a buck” excercises. What you should do is this:

    Create a blog entry, similar to your “Movie business challange.” Ask your readers to come up with ideas on how to implement Dennis Rodman in a Reality show. I guarantee your rating wills be higher than you will get with your current format. I have some ideas but would love to read 100s of others.

    Comment by Brad -

  22. .
    I’m sorry to report that Time Warner RR (road runner) is taking over Comcast. It means a hassel for cable TV, phone & internet. They’ll send the TV line-up soon. And here we go…..

    I had TW in NY, and it was down a lot of the time. Here, both Comcast & Verizon have been more reliable for the computer. Verizon DSL, obviously, doesn’t have cable TV. Charter does but not here. I might have to switch this to that and that to this. Hassel.

    tt

    Comment by tiptoe -

  23. Hey Mark,

    TechCrunch is really nice site, but I heard they were cought stealing content.

    BTW: Nice moves by mavs this offseason, Mo Ager looks great, but please no KMart😦

    Comment by Emil -

  24. so i use my PDA to get all my channel information to me, which usually makes its way to my night stand.

    I would say that most habitual TV Guide subscribers/purchasers are doing so as a matter of habit, and likely ignorance. You would be amazed how many people I speak with that do not know the amount and type of information you can find online.

    Its a training issue..I like that, training issue. But really now, my mother and step-father do not own a computer or any mobile device more sophisticated than a mobile phone with basic services. They use the Orange County Registers (SoCal Newspaper) TV guide, they dont even use the cable tv guide channel, which is more conveninet.

    I guess creatures of habit will become fewer and fewer, but until they are on the verge of extinction, traditional and legacy methods of communicating, reading, information collections, etc.. will remain in THEIR forefront.

    ciao

    wayne

    Comment by Wayne Downing -

  25. A Blue Tooth remore to control the 5 remotes I already hate? I don’t think so.

    Besides, I have bought every PDA and Smart Phone made in the last 7 years. I really don’t like them mearly as much as my remotes.

    Comment by Duke Williams -

  26. Much like Playboy, I get TV Guide for the articles…

    Comment by whocares -

  27. I’ll have to disagree that the paper tv guide is out. There is something inside of many of us that still clings to paper. While I read news on yahoo while im at work, i still enjoy the regular paper. And the idea of a full paper being delieved daily thru an electronic medium hasn’t really caught on yet. It’s the same with puzzle books. You can do an infinite number of Sudokus online or crossword puzzles, but there is some unknown factor of satisfaction when you do it a puzzle book.

    So I don’t think the paper Tv guide is on its way out just yet.

    Of course, I have a Tv tuner on my desktop so I don’t have to get up to do anything😀

    Comment by paul ellender -

  28. Why would you ever use a paper TV Guide when you can use an interactive guide designed for your specific TV watching habits? Only old age homes are using paper TV guides.

    Comment by fantasy football blitz -

  29. I think TV will ultimately shift to an ON DEMAND platform entirely, which would enable TV listings to be less linear. Looking at what many DVRs are already doing, the future of TV listing will be some sort of search function that will allow you to access show listings based on a number of categories like title, genre, actor, director, etc.

    The whole point of print TV Guides was to help people figure out WHEN a show was airing. In today’s environment, WHEN is becoming less and less relevant. It’s all about HOW a show is airing…on demand, on mobile, online, etc.

    I don’t

    Comment by Dan O -

  30. Mark,
    Why are you bailing out Dennis…Again? He is a pathetic has been/ Sideshow. Similar to others like Ozzy Osbourne, Anna-Nicole, and Bobby & Whitney. On second hand, this might work.

    Comment by Adam Lapidus -

  31. Don’t agree! I have laptop with wifi…

    Comment by Julie -

  32. Hey Mark

    I just posted the ONLY correct and possible solution to Movie challenge. Check it:

    http://blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000013073814/#c710258

    Rohit

    Comment by Rohit -

  33. Similar to the comment about YahooTV and scheduling recording on Tivo, I have started using EyeTV with a Miglia MicroTV device on a 20″ iMac. The TitanTV system allows me to remotely schedule show recording, and the latest EyeTV interface now supports a full screen FrontRow remote control driven interface that is perfect for the times when we want to “lay in bed or vegetate on the couch and get the information we want.”

    Comment by Rod K -

  34. I find this post very interesting.. I have just woken up, and laying in bed with my PowerBook surfing the net. KTLA news is on a small TV and I have my XM-Radio tuned to CNN Ch 122. It’s like a triple-Latte JOLT as I try to wake up from a great weekend on the beach. I’ve got LIVE AUDIO with the latest from the Middle East, LIVE Traffic for LA freeways, weather, discussion of mel gibson, and a good preview of what’s going on this week. All this and I have NOT MOVED FROM BED – or, more importanly, I DID NOT get up to get the NEWSPAPER that is waiting outside my door –

    This is why I keep my Laptop, TV and XM-R remotes within arms reach of my ‘Pirate Ship’

    JT

    Comment by Jim Toten -

  35. I find this post very interesting.. I have just woken up, and laying in bed with my PowerBook surfing the net. KTLA news is on a small TV and I have my XM-Radio tuned to CNN Ch 122. It’s like a triple-Latte JOLT as I try to wake up from a great weekend on the beach. I’ve got LIVE AUDIO with the latest from the Middle East, LIVE Traffic for LA freeways, weather, discussion of mel gibson, and a good preview of what’s going on this week. All this and I have NOT MOVED FROM BED – or, more importanly, I DID NOT get up to get the NEWSPAPER that is waiting outside my door –

    This is why I keep my Laptop, TV and XM-R remotes within arms reach of my ‘Pirate Ship’

    JT

    Comment by Jim Toten -

  36. Did you read my idea about the synthesis of the Alamo Draft House concept with wifi access . . . I thought that deserved some attention. Have you been to the Alamo Theater in Austin? It will get you buzzing with ideas.

    Comment by Paul Terry Walhus -

  37. I can go to Yahoo now and send a message to my tivo over the network to flip on a program at a certain time and record it. It’s pretty painless and easy to use. On screen would be preferable but this works good enough for me.

    Comment by Paul Terry Walhus -

  38. ^__^

    Comment by LaScheggia -

  39. TV Guide continuing on is ridiculous. It’s like reading “War and Peace”. The font is about size 4.

    Print is dead.

    tt

    Comment by tiptoe -

  40. So now we know what was in the fine print of Rodman’s Mavs contract.

    Digital/analog, wireless/wire line, cable/satellite, phone/PDA…no matter the media sex always sells, even when the sale is coming from Tara the accountant.

    Maybe SHE has the answer to the movie business challenge(MBC). Wait, she IS the answer to the movie business challenge.

    Comment by CW -

  41. I actually use the on screen guide for my Dish but as long as their are people who can’t figure it out (sad but true… my dad refuses to use it because he can’t figure it out) there will always be a paper tv guide. that’s my two cents…

    Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -

  42. Honestly Mark – is that trailer for real? You’re going to make a whole show out of that, and squander HD on that tripe? WTF?

    Comment by Bob Jones -

  43. Well, OK…Yes I agree with you on this one! I always tell my friends that eventually TV, Computer, Game Boxes (Xbox, Atari)! They all combine into one unit! Eventually, we walk into a room and say “COMPUTER” and it will respond, “Yes, Can I help you!”, And you we say I want to watch so, and so program and it will apply! Life is as good as we can imagine it! And this one we imagined with the first sequel of Star Track! But, I still can’t wait for it to happen! When can we say “COMPUTER”?

    Comment by Mitchell -

  44. But what a lot of people don’t understand on here, is that we represent a pretty savvy group of people ourselves. True, a few of us watch tv with a laptop or pc…but the majority of people do not, and money is in the majority. I think cable and sattelite company’s would do better making a remote with the listings presented right in front of you, on the remote. Many people feel comfortable watching their tv from 10 feet, but can’t read it! Do that, and I’ll buy it.

    Comment by Joah -

  45. Mark you forgot to insert the link to HDNet at the bottom of your post.

    Comment by JPosner -

  46. Ever heard of a laptop? Lots of people have their laptops next to them while watching TV.

    Comment by DaveR -

  47. Haha, as I was reading this article on my RSS reader, I was surprised to see that this one was written by Blog Maverick. To quote many sports analysts “the man apparently can not capitalize the I’s”

    I however, don’t think that TV Guides will go to the PC. They’ve been on the PC, via Yahoo and MSN and hundreds of other sites for years, and no one has given a damn. Where they will be is where they are now, the TiVo and the DishNetwork, to reference two. They’ll be there as a pretty GUI guide to get you to record more shows.

    Comment by Al -

  48. I didn’t have very high hopes when the clip of Dennis Rodman’s show started but, by the end, I was crackin the hell up. Man it’s like watchin a bad train wreck, if a train wreck could be hilarious. I’m not sure if America needs to be dumbed down anymore than it is but the show looks funny as hell.

    Comment by James King -

  49. I agree with the TV guide remaining on tv or tv remote for vegetation purposes. However, the guide needs to change its format.

    Does anyone else think its weird that we pick our media content by scrolling through a giant SPREADSHEET?

    Comment by Chris DeNovellis -

  50. damn mark, the woman who say that they have no wild side seem to have the wildest side. That is a funny ass show. Why in the hell are you not publisizing it more. Damn that show would be as funny as hell. It shows more american women are willing to get out there and do things. lol funny shit.

    Comment by nicholas kamau -

  51. Errata:
    Studies show that time watching TV is directly linked to your waist line. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/printerfriendlynews.php?newsid=40904)

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  52. Online video sharing, http://www.str8up.com , is really taking off like you said. I think a really good guide needs to bring good content to the user. Str8Up is doing a great job of that because kids in dorm rooms like to post their own videos on to the site and share them with friends and family.

    Comment by Str8Up -

  53. Man, that show looks horrible. Stay away from TV production and stick to tech, Mark.

    Comment by Ajay -

  54. Well that sounds good but I think we americans watch way to much TV. We studies time watching TV is directly linked to your waist line. Get up and change the channel….we need the exercise.
    I am going to have to pass on the Dennis Rodman show.

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  55. Watching TV is a waist of time in most of the times. We watch cartoons and unnecessary programs that spend our time, we become fat and lazy.

    Computers require at least thinking while TV requires watching:)

    Comment by Julia Dorofeeva -

  56. The TitanTV system allows me to remotely schedule show recording, and the latest EyeTV interface now supports a full screen FrontRow remote control driven interface that is perfect for the times when we want to “lay in bed or vegetate on the couch and get the information we want.”

    Comment by Tim -

  57. I got a laugh out of this post! For some of us, TV itself is on the way out.

    I digest most of my news, and entertainment online now a days! Of course, I work online… consulting for marketing and SEO (check out my ambatchdotcom SEOcontest Training site!)

    But as everything gets cheaper, maybe I will buy one of those big flat panel jobbies and hang it on my office wall so I can watch the tube while I bang away at my keyboard!

    Michael Valiant
    http://www.ambatchdotcom-seocontest.ca

    Comment by Michael Valiant -

  58. good

    Comment by imdbcn -

  59. hi Darial,
    I think the future will be for LCD technology.
    I think in the next year LCD technology will make a revolution in the monitors industrial.

    Comment by carcasherdotcom seocontest -

  60. I was recently told that plasma technology will be abandonned and that th true technology of the future is LCD. Does anyone know which is which?

    Comment by Darial -

  61. Mark,
    Are you poo-pooing IPTV, such as Verizon’s new product and AT&T’s U-Verse? You are more technically savy than me, but they look pretty cool… convergence of internet services, TV programming, and wireless.

    Comment by Larry -

  62. Wow, amazing post. I really enjoy the reading ^_^.

    Comment by Ambatchdotcom SeoContest -

  63. Wow, amazing post. I really enjoy the reading ^_^.

    Comment by Ambatchdotcom SeoContest -

  64. We need to be able to enjoy what we want, when we want, how we want, but without really having to think to hard about it.

    Comment by Spa -

  65. Of course we are lazy. But what can we do with it?

    Comment by Patrick -

  66. Yes!! Definetly, we watch toooo much television, don’t we?

    Comment by LinkGratis -

  67. Re 911 -def good in theory but it would but the hospitals in the position of having to figure out which texts are legit and which are not causing a huge waste of hospital resourcres and maybe costing lives from gearing up for bogus texts, there needs to be some type of validation system.

    Comment by Brian -

  68. That’s like saying yellow pages and banking won’t primarily shift online, and itunes isn’t the killer distribution channel for music. Of course tv guide magazines will go away. Sooner or later Comcast and other cable sites should let me customize a tv guide with my interests and favorite channels, it should be available when I turn on the tv, send me email updates (that I can sort into my gmail label), be available online, and automatically record shows that I like. It’s stupid to pay for a magazine version of something when you can get better options and service through other channels (hopefully free).

    Comment by CD -

  69. Wow with all this technology aren’t we starting to get a little lazy? Wait, I mean really lazy.

    Comment by Tom -

  70. Wow with all this technology aren’t we starting to get a little lazy? Wait, I mean really lazy.

    Comment by Tom -

  71. Interesting little tidbit: In a recent Tracy McGrady radio interview he said of the NBA Finals

    “it seemed like it was rigged, all the calls [Dwayne Wade] was getting.”

    No surprises here, but nice to hear it from an actual NBA player/superstar.

    To listen, go to: http://www.sportsradio610.com/Article.asp?id=93926

    Click on Tracy McGrady and it’s at about 6:00 in.

    Comment by R Parr -

  72. You sh*t canned Rodman after he said he doesnt like owners in the locker room, and now you got him working for you again, how’d you pull that one off.

    BTW, in regards to the TV listings there is a fellow in Michigan who owns the patent on displaying TV listings on electronic devices as you can imagine he has made a killing, hitting up VCR makers and everyone else for royalties.

    Comment by RazorbaGuy -

  73. I disagree . . . Get rid of the paper. My kids and I use our laptops and pocket PC’s to checkout tv listings. My wife hates the paper because it messes up the rooms. Carry a pocket pc or a laptop. We love it!

    Comment by Chris Dowell -

  74. We agree, it is basically impossible for the TV to ever go out of style. It’s a great feeling in life to lay on the couch or bed and check out some shows.

    Comment by Dan -

  75. Much of this change to a more digital delivery system is already in effect. See Gemstar’s (the company that owns TV Guide) annual report for brief info on some of their initiatives http://library.corporate-ir.net/library/11/111/111956/items/194610/AR2005Gemstar.pdf Clearly delivery systems adjust with the needs of the culture – but information in itself is what people are buying and as long as TV Guide can deliver it in a way that relates to their consumers, they will continue profitability. However, I wouldn’t be expecting them to turn their backs on print any time soon…their bottom line is heavily cushioned by their print buying “blue hair” base – otherwise known as your grandparents – otherwise known as the people sitting at home retired looking for something on the tv who can barely set the time on their VCR’s (yes, they still use VCR’s).

    Comment by Ryan -

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