Is a networked storage device an actual storage device? Does it still count as “your” storage if there isn’t a physical box in your home?
These are the questions that may be decided — at least for the DVR — by the suits and countersuits surrounding Cablevision’s decision to create a network DVR. This functionality will allow users to record and save programs on their servers, as opposed to the current model of storing the programs on various TiVo-ish devices.
A veritible who’s who of heavyweight content providers are up in arms — they feel that the simple fact that there is no physical box for file storage means that this service is akin to “Video on Demand,” and therefore violates their sacrosanct copyrights.
Maybe. But more likely . . .
Analysts said the real objection to the new DVR service was that it would allow DVR use to expand rapidly. This, in turn, might make it more difficult for television and cable operators to maintain the prices charged for advertising, as DVR use often means viewers fast-forward through commercials.
The guess here is that they’ll probably lose, especially since Video on Demand is such a limited swath of the cable universe, but theoretically you can record and store anything out there on a DVR.
But there is also the issue of the user: if the functionality and the usage is exactly as a physical DVR box, what difference does it make where the shows are?
Theoretically, it would seem, none. So my answer to the question posed in the question in the title of this post is a resounding “yes.” (Whether or not it’s any good, is, of course another matter.)
So I’ll be watching with great interest to see what the courts think.