It's no longer breaking news, but the Solicitor General has recommended that the Supreme Court not review Cablevision's case for Network based DVR service. Many believe this is a major victory for Cablevision and clears the way to begin offering the service toward the end of 2009.
Let's review - Network based DVR would place the customer's recording capability somewhere in "the cloud" (probably in the headend), rather than in the subscriber's set-top box. Why is this significant? It would mean that:
- Video on Demand (VoD) providers who thought they had a lock on the pause, rewind, etc. technology are concerned about their business model.
- Premium movie channels like HBO and Cinemax are worried that subscribers will record their offerings in-network where it will be easy for films to be viewed in highest quality and possibly shared (this is likely the biggest hurdle).
- IPTV and cable providers would only need to distribute a simple, inexpensive STB, saving on initial capital expendature (CAPEX). This also reduces the need for long-term commitments from subsribers and a far faster return on investment.
- Satellite providers are further challenged by offering a (largely) one-way product. It will be very interesting to see how DirecTV and Dish react.