It might not seem a big deal, after all whats the difference between a disk in the home and a disk at the cable head? But the key thing is that the cable co can provide PVR technology to customers without the need to upgrade their cable box.
What is not clear from the article but likely to be even more worrying to the content providers is whether the cable co has to keep a separate recording image for every subscriber. If they are allowed to share the system becmes much cheaper as one disk can store the Jepoardy image for a hundred households.
On balance its worrying for the content providers but probably should not be as in the end the one thing we can be sure about is that there will be demand for new paid content and thus a business model to support it. My problem with my cable bill is not what I pay, its the fact that almost none of that money goes to pay the content providers I watch. Most of the channels are supported by advertising, not a share of my cable fees.
I pay $1200 a year for phone and Internet. By my reconing it should not cost more than $300 a house to run a last mile cable. So I am buying that cable again and again and again, four times a year.
In Europe I could get real high speed Internet for $300/year or so. Telephone is essentialy free now, its only legacy POTS customers that create cost. I am quite happy to pay the remaining $900 I am currently paying for my 'TV service' to content providers for ad-free content.
Just make it easy for me to buy and I will pay.
Monday, August 04, 2008