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SkyBOX: Shooting Customers

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Nick, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Late getting home for your program? -- Just "Start Over"

    by Evie Haskell

    Here's a cool new product from the cable guys that (if things keep going in their current direction) could turn out to be even cooler for satellite. The product is Start Over, a Time Warner service that allows customers to come in at the middle of programs and, quite literally, start them over in order to watch from the beginning.

    Now this is something satellite clearly cannot do at this point. And, by all reports, customers love it. The advertising community loves it too because ... here comes the biggie ... it does NOT let viewers skip over commercials. If that was true just for the Start Over service, the cable guys would arguably have a strong advantage for their side. But what Start Over really represents is an early foray into the wired ones' world view of networked DVRs. Such DVRs would have programming stored at the cable companies' head ends. This means that viewers would never have to worry about setting up "season tickets" to record their favorite series or remembering to press a few buttons to capture specials and movies. They could just tune in and ... presto! chango! ... it's all theirs.

    This sounds like a big winner for cable. But now comes the fine print. First, in order to store programming at the head end, the MSOs must negotiate copyright agreements with programmers. Those agreements are currently ensnared in some nasty, nasty fights. Resolving these fights will likely be quite expensive for the cable guys. But let's say they get it done. They get the programming, store it on their headends, make it all available instantly to customers and ..... Really, really piss people off. Because like Start Over the cable-networked DVR would not allow folks to skip commercials. Anyone who's been used to a TiVo, or some of the current cable DVRs, would suddenly find their fast-forward button disabled. A consumer's right to skip commercials, something that's already widely accepted, would suddenly be snatched away.

    Do you think the cable customers are going to like that? Do you think the cable MSOs would really do it? At this point it sure looks that way and if you're a dish head ... well, just keep your fingers crossed and hope.

    www.SkyReport.com - used with permission
  2. Wayne

    Wayne AllStar

    Jul 1, 2003
    Interesting news story.

    I think cable customers without a DVR box might like it if there wasn't an extra fee associated with this feature.

    Also it would have to be easy to use. There are a lot of people who do not want to learn anything technical. They just want sit down, turn the TV on and watch their favorite program. If they were to come home late and the TV asked them a simple question like "Do you want to watch this show from the beginning, press OK", then it would work for these folks as well.

    I think current DVR users from both cable and satellite will not like it at all. Being able to skip commercials is a great feature of the DVR and anything less will not be acceptable.
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