Archive for July, 2008

Living Without MRV and SDV

July 29, 2008

For a few months I have been doing other things besides thinking about TiVo and the digital video revolution in general. I still watch TV, and whenever I am where my TiVoes are, I watch through them like the old days. Well, actually the very old days its getting to be… ūüė¶

You see I live in a world where all digital cable channels except broadcast are copy never. That was not so bad when my cableCARDs always mysteriously tuned channels that were digital simulcast to their analog versions, but now my cableCARDs have been brought into the spirit of the modern digital cable era.¬† Thus all my nice series off SciFi and whatever else can not be MRV’d. This is especially acute since my¬†recorded content heavily shifted to digital cable due to the writers strike.

As my¬†poor TiVoes¬†are being thrown back to the era before MRV and my home network grows increasingly useless, is TiVo doing anything about this? Is anyone? Copy Flag rules were written to the extreme detriment of the consumer, and even the content provider who does not seem to have control over their content’s transfer rights. The cable companies are in complete control.¬†Few noticed much perhaps because there was no significant force to complain. I exist amongst a handful of TiVo users that this affects and apparently TiVo didn’t see the problem or has been too busy fighting and compromising on other fronts and couldn’t forestall this¬†clamp down of one of their major differentiating features.

My next beef is SDV. Where is the thingy? I bet it is no where to be seen. Now I get to record/watch far less of the content I pay for from the cable company than before; of course my rates have gone up to compensate the cable co for all those wonderful additional channels they provide which my TiVoes can’t pick up. I am very close to the point of asking for a rate reduction based on SDV and cableCARD use. SDV is a wonderful technology which the cable cos should be deploying for the benefit of customers in general, however individual customers that can not get the content should not be charged for it. That is only fair, and should be factored into the business decisions of the cable cos. (There are so few cableCARD users, that it won’t change anything.) This will be an individual battle though, because there are so few of us. Maybe if a few tens of thousands of complaints are raised with the cable cos and FCC some general policy will issue.

This article reflects that I haven’t followed what has been happening for¬†about three¬†months, and maybe I’ll poke around and see something significant has happended to make these complaints unimportant.