TiVo, ReplayTV Make Their Devices Less Useful

from the thanks dept

TiVo and ReplayTV have both announced plans to incorporate copy protection technology in their boxes that would let content providers set content to “expire.” The idea is to protect movie makers who are afraid to release movies to PPV channels where they could be recorded by users who then choose not to buy the DVD — or at least that’s the theory. However, as is pointed out in the article, this is a “feature” that makes the device less useful to people. They buy it in order to record stuff to watch it on their schedule, not the broadcasters’. By limiting that, the devices become less useful. Once again, instead of embracing what the technology can do to get more people to watch their content, they’re taking a backwards step, making their content less useful. While TiVo and Replay will claim they need to do this, that’s not true. If they’re smart, others will come along, refusing to take away features from customers.

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Comments on “TiVo, ReplayTV Make Their Devices Less Useful”

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Adam (user link) says:

On the other hand...

…by helping to create a system which makes the broadcasters of content more likely to actually supply content (by promising that people will be forced to occasionally pay for it again, rather then giving them an effectively perpetual license), they are serving their customers as well, and making Tivo more useful.

While you may feel that having forced expiry on content stored on the device only harms consumers, I would be willing to argue that it creates more incentive for broadcasters to provide content in the first place.

blairkincaide says:

Re: On the other hand...

“While you may feel that having forced expiry on content stored on the device only harms consumers, I would be willing to argue that it creates more incentive for broadcasters to provide content in the first place.”

Unfortunately I don’t believe this to be a likely incentive. Content will always be provided; adapted, reclaimed, imitated, and syndicated.

Griffon says:

Re: On the other hand...

Oh please this is just a standard complaint from broadcaster’s to justify forcing controls on what should be a consumer facing business. In the end broadcasters MUST release content or it looses all value from a loss of audience. The important thing for companies like Tivo to remember is at that end of the day the consumer is the true customer not the broadcasters who hate them and just want them to go away. Every time they forget that they create an opportunity for their competitors and risk loosing what is ultimately a very tenuous grip on their market share. Customer needs must come first and be the exclusive priority for any personal digital recorder, not the industry bully boys who are doing there best to kill all innovation through poorly designed DRM and other digital flags that prevent users from doing the most reasonable of things.

The sad thing is that replay (sonic blue) did understand this and tried to stand for the consumers, innovation and well profits through that and so they where sued into oblivion. Given that the pathetic sniveling and kowtowing to media industries is somewhat understandable, but look at where it leads… Tivo had to go to courts and ask permission to innovate because the sports media conglomerate has an archaic model and didn’t like what Tivo had on the table, going to court for simple innovation for the user? Madness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

The half-life of this new restriction, for the savvy tivo hacker, is about 1 day. Furthermore, current tivo users/hackers are starting to lock down their boxes so that the software necessary to implement this new “feature” will never get loaded on a tivo, whereas programming information continues to flow.

In other words, it will never thwart fully the activity it is intended to thwart.

It is a very surprising move, given TiVo’s shaky financial status.

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