My position that I expressed in my speech and that was inaccurately portrayed: PVR functionality should be provisioned from the headend for the following reasons (which ultimately will benefit consumers):
VOD servers cost much less
- If video servers @ $350/stream (Soon Component cost declining 40%/year
- @ 10% simultaneous use, costs $35/sub.
- PVRs cost >10X more
- When simultaneous use = 50%, server costs will have declined >5X
- Disk noise wakes my wife
- Replay box hot enough to fry an egg -- Is that a feature?
- Disk size limitations mean obsolescence, esp. with HDTV
- Available on every set-top in house Average of 1.7 PVRs/PVR household
- No pro-activity/anticipation required
- Records multiple concurrent shows
- NW storage could always have max. res.
- Uses existing deployed base
- Moving parts break more often
- Box complexity means more crashes & customer support costs
My basic thesis is that PVRs + Satellite will eat cable's lunch, and since it's unambiguous that cable needs to get the copyright clearances to offer programming from the head-end, they should start now. It is the case that I suggested that if a Supreme Court case was brought on the legality of each feature of PVRs were brought, some would lose. I also suggested an alternative business model to make everybody happy to avoid the all-or-nothing result that has been occurring in the RIAA vs. Napster wars.
I suggested that consumers pay 1 cent per commercial skipped (which is about the same as what advertisers pay). That would be equivalent to $10/thousand commercials skipped. I think that's reasonable. I also suggested that targeted advertising could be a win-win for all involved by delivering ads in areas that are of greater interest to the viewer so that there would be less incentive to skip and fewer ads would have to be delivered due to the higher prices paid for the targeted group. I also predicted that this dynamic combined with competition between satellite and cable would ultimately make both services free."