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September 13, 2005

Tivo and the Red Flag

This is disappointing news from PVRBlog if accurate. In the current release of the OS, Tivo will "redflag" certain shows from being transfered via Tivo2Go and will automatically delete after seven days. From the email of one Tivo subscriber, Tivo was "redflagging" reruns of the Simpsons.

If a rerun of the Simpsons is being "redflagged", I'm not sure what content won't be "redflagged". In my area, the Simpsons is shown at least three times a day on a couple different channels. If a show is in syndication, the copyright holders want to make sure it retains it's shelf life. If it's an original broadcast, copyright holders will want to protect its asset so it can make money in syndication. Besides the weather channel, I'm not sure who won't make use of this feature.

Given the amount of time I devote to TV, I watch the majority of my shows at least 7 days after they were broadcast. While likely not the average viewer, I tend to go on a television bender for a certain series that has been built up on my Tivo, and watch several episodes at a time. If this "redflagging" becomes ubiquitous, there's not much reason for me to have a Tivo.

I'll see how this feature plays out, but just in case, it's time to bone up on the latest news of Do-It-Yourself DVR at Build Your Own PVR.com

UPDATE: It looks like this was a problem with the broadcaster accidently sending a red flag for the show so it's still unclear how often this functionality will be used in the future. From the sound of it, it's up to the broadcaster rather than Tivo now that they've add this functionality to their product.

UPDATE 2: As Megazone points out in his comment below, Tivo may not be the only vendor implementing this technology.

Posted on September 13, 2005


Note that this is not unique to TiVo. ReplayTV agreed to the same MacroVision license a year before TiVo, and other DVR vendors have as well. MacroVision support is nigh-universal, and this is part of their all-or-nothing license.

Sure, you can always build your own MythTV or FreeVo box, but most people don't have the skill or inclination to do so.

Posted by: MegaZone at September 13, 2005 04:26 PM

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