Cablevision Presses Pause Button on Network DVR

Cablevision Presses Pause Button on Network DVR

Michael Harris

June 9, 2006

1 Min Read
Cablevision Presses Pause Button on Network DVR

Renegade MSO Cablevision Systems turned heads in the cable industry by announcing plans to test a network digital video recorder (DVR) service earlier this year. Cable operators fancy the idea because using network servers would enable MSOs to offer DVR functionality to all their digital video subscribers without the expense of installing new set-top boxes with hard drives in each home. When making the announcement, Cablevision said its attorneys concluded the service would not violate programming copyright rules, as it would fall under fair use recording by consumers.

The movie studios, of course, disagreed and sued. Chalk up another one for the Hollywood knuckleheads. Moving DVR functionality from the set-top to the network is the best possible outcome for TV programmers because usage can be closely tracked and methods can be employed to modify ad skipping, resolving the issues that make the networks DVR-averse.

So, Cablevision filed a countersuit this week, as is to be expected. The MSO also said it would pause its planned service trial until the legal issues are clarified, so as to avoid the liability of potential copyright infringement claims. A court hearing is scheduled for October 30 to address the suits.

Ironically, Cablevision is the only MSO that has sided with the studios on the ˆla carte programming debate. So much for camaraderie.

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