TV's Biggest Program Recording Myth: Viewers Control The TV

We control the TV set. We control the DVR. Now Cablevision says there's another way.

Cablevision Systems intends to roll out a network-based digital video recording service that does away with the actual in-home DVR unit. It puts all the storage facilities at the head-end. All this comes to the dismay of the Hollywood studios and other content providers.

The studios don't like the fact that the operators, such as Cablevision, are in control. Truth is, studios don't mind it when consumers control their programming--they just don't want any intermediate parties controlling it.

Is there really much of a difference? Studios say it means operators like Cablevision are "retransmitting" signals. To studios, that's re-selling their programming, after deals have already been made with cable networks.



Of course, that is the relationship between content-owners and cable networks. After buying programming for a studio, networks go out and sell the network to the cable operator.

From the studio's point of view, the network is still in charge--and with traditional DVRs, the viewer is also in charge.

Cablevision says there's plenty of money to be made by everyone - including content owners. What does that mean? Charging even more to consumers for DVR service? Cablevision didn't say. But we get the drift.

Cablevision says network-DVRs are legal since viewers still make recording decisions. Studios say the key is program storage. They don't like anyone--particularly other companies--storing their programs on some big corporate servers.

Consumers can do the same thing on their own at-home servers. But as we all know. the intent isn't really to make money at home. The intent is to give it away free through file-sharing and outright piracy.

But networks and studios' digital deals with iTunes, Google, and the rest took out all the fun in that.

Cablevision then just wants to return life back to the old days---where viewers can see those who control their TV sets as fun, inventive, and greedy.

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