Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Remote Storage DVR or Stealth VOD?
The battle between Cablevision and the big Studios and Networks over the former's planned Network DVR (nDVR) will have a profound impact on the home network. The case will very likely set a precedent for distribution of protected video that will reverberate throughout the value chain. If the content providers win, will you need a new license to use a Sling Box or stream music from your home computer to a WiFi-enabled iPOD?
The plaintiffs are accusing Cablevision of disguising an unauthorized VOD service as nDVR to avoid additional licensing fees. It seems to me that what counts is the consumer experience. If it walks like a TiVO and quacks like a TiVO, it's a TiVO. In other words, the physical location of the storage medium shouldn't matter so long as the same services are provided to the user, with the same restrictions.