The future of centralized remote storage DVRs is now free of legal questions. And ultimately, I think it will provide the boost that will allow DVR capabilities for anyone with any cable (and probably satellite) box in their home.

Right now, DVRs are in about 30% of US households. What’s holding that back? Cost is one factor. There’s an additional monthly fee attached to having DVR capabilities in the box provided by the cable or satco. But a networked DVR is certainly cheaper for the provider, so it could certainly be cheaper for the consumer.

Another reason is simple inertia. Getting a DVR from your cable company requires you to request it and schedule someone to come install it. Lots of people just won’t bother with that. But with remote storage DVRs, you’ll one day just have DVR functionality added to your existing cable box, either automatically or just with a phone call.

Remote storage DVRs won’t change the TV landscape overnight. The technology needs to be tested, perfected and rolled out, but ultimately it will speed DVR adoption into pretty much every household.

Hollywood studios and television networks lost their bid Monday for the Supreme Court to block the use of a new digital video recorder system that could make it cheaper and easier for viewers to record shows and watch them when they want, without commercials.

The justices decline to hear arguments on whether Cablevision Systems Corp.’s remote-storage DVR violates copyright laws.

For consumers, the action means that Cablevision and perhaps other cable system operators soon will be able to offer DVR service without need for a box in their homes. The remote storage unit exists on computer servers maintained by a cable provider.

Industry experts say the new technology could put digital recording service in nearly half of all American homes, about twice the current number. That’s what has movie studios, TV networks and cable channels worried. DVRs allow viewers easily to skip past commercials.


Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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