Monday, June 29, 2009

Network DVR Closer to Reality

Cablevision's idea to move the DVR to the headend appears to gain some weight as the Supreme Court has rejected arguments by studios and content creators. "The media companies have argued that the use of network DVR, where the programs are stored on the cable company’s servers—in the cloud, as today’s lingo would call it—and “streamed” on demand when users request/record it, violates copyright laws" But is there really a difference between saving shows remotely or saving them on a centralized server. Probably not. My biggest concern is that the current DVRs used by cable companies offer a limited search and playback experience.

Unlike Tivo, their functionality and design are clunky. What's to change even though the programs are saved centrally. Ultimately, it is the software and viewer experience that will determine success. And perhaps it offers Tivo a valuable opportunity to offer its expertise to Cablevision to create a better user experience.

Or will the DVR become an outdated, obsolete product. Once content is available online for distribution across any platform, will the concept simply go away. Why copy for later when it is always available, always on-demand.

US TV prepares for $2bn ad shortfall

How bad will the economy be to TV ad revenue, both broadcast and cable, over the next few years; how about 2 billion dollars in the red. "The Global Media Intelligence report by Screen Digest, the media research firm, says some of the decline will be clawed back by US TV networks by online video advertising, which it expects to triple during the next four years...Screen Digest forecasts US broadcast and cable advertising revenues will fall from $69bn in 2008 to $67bn by 2013." That seems like an awfully big number to absorb. And its affect will certainly continue to hurt the job market and the economy at large over this time period. Online video advertising growth may offset this figure, but it is hard to expect it to have a substantial impact. Some may argue otherwise, but until advertisers feel comfortable with the research and measurable results, that growth may remain stalled.