Rovi is the company that used to be called Macrovision. It got its start as the annoying DRM for VCRs and expanded into all kinds of DRM over the years. In 2008, it bought GemStar-TV Guide and was then in the TV Guide producing business as well. While it eventually sold off the DRM/software parts of its business, apparently it just can't help doing what DRM companies know how to do best: breaking other technology. As reported on Slashdot
, Rovi has announced that it's shutting off its TV Guide OnScreen service between now and April 13 of the next year. Apparently a number of devices, including two key Sony DVRs, will no longer work
once the service is shut off. Not surprisingly, this is upsetting many owners of those devices:
When other companies decide to stop supporting something, they don't make older systems useless. Worse, Sony never came out with another DVR in the U.S. market. Why do we have to rent them? How do we get Sony or Rovi to provide at least a software patch to set the clock so the DVR can at least retain 1980s VCR functionality? Sony admits there is no fix. A thread on AVS forums has a bunch of information on TV Guide OnScreen. The TV stations who broadcast the data have been ordered by Rovi to disconnect the data inserters and ship them back.
Quite a legacy MacROVIsion has, huh?