My parents told me that this is impossible to do, that I can't just have the basic stations that I had as a child, before my mom caved and agreed to buy cable. Since I can't pick the stations I want (HBO, Showtime, Trio; ditching Spike, Animal Planet, and Speed), I'd rather not pay for 50 channels I never watch just to get my MTV and Vh1 (or the Viacom empire). Besides, I can catch all the music videos they don't play online anyway. So are my parents right?
Connected with this is the news that Cablevision, which covers my area, is now allowed to offer a DVR service through a user's existing cable box. It's on a remote server instead of an individual DVR that the customer buys separately. The Appeals court ruled, after two years, that this system does not violate copyright law. What's amazing is that in two years, DVR usage has grown from 1 in 14 homes to 1 in 4, which has got to be one of the fastest adoption rates for an emerging technology.
For consumers, this is great. I am one of what seems to be the last remaining household of my class and income bracket that does not have a DVR, and if I can access one, even with limited storage, my options for watching increase, especially as I only watch things online as a last resort.
While of course advertisers are all abuzz about how to get their message out there now that people are skipping commercials left and right, there is potential for new tactics:
That's actually pretty cool, from the advertiser's perspective. But then you can't rewatch old commercials and laugh.
Network DVRs also prop open the door to new methods of advertising. Cablevision could insert ads dynamically, customizing and updating commercial pods for different consumers and at different times.
“It allows advertisers to do things they can’t do on a physical DVR,” Mr. Rutledge [Cablevision's CEO] said. “Let’s say you record an episode of ‘Lost.’ Three months later you want to play it back. The advertising that was on ‘Lost’ is stale and no longer applies, but the capability to refresh the advertising exists if the content owner wants to do that with the cable operator."