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Keep an eye on Tivo

Some disturbing news from Tivo-land bears scrutiny (if you’re a Tivo user anyway). Tivo provides a feature to content providers that enables them to dictate the terms under which it can be recorded. They can specify that a show can only be stored for two weeks, or that the person who recorded it can’t copy it to another device. This feature has come with assurances that it will only be utilized by companies offering pay-per-view content or video on demand over Tivo. It seems like usage of the feature may be leaking out, perhaps by accident.

2 Comments

  1. Since this is a MacroVision thing, TiVo isn’t alone. All the MacroVision licensees will need to support this. ReplayTV already did before TiVo, and it has shown up on cable box DVRs as well. MacroVision is pervasive.

    This isn’t new in 7.2, it has been in the TiVo code since 5.x. There may be some changes in 7.2, but the basic support has been in there for a while now. This isn’t the first time it has popped up accidently either, just the first time people made a big deal out of it.

  2. Eh, who cares? IMHO, TiVo is living on borrowed time. At some point, the content providers (who have as much clue as a brick) will deamand so many concessions that TiVo will become useless for the legit, law-abiding people like my parents.

    When they finally get sick of not being able to use their TiVo the way they used to, I will get a call or an off-hand remark at a family dinner. Within a few days, I’ll drop off a newly-minted MythTV boxxen and TiVo will have lost two more customers forever.

    The content publishers are fools, to the last, because they think “business, as usual” is a viable business plan.

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