Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DVRs, On-Demand, and Profit

Image from source, TVSquad
We have an outrageously high cable bill here at Chez Greenlee, what with the bundled cable TV/internet/digital phone package. We've also got the HDTV box and most of the premium channels, and the On-Demand roster of programs to choose from. But the best $10 we spend on the package is the DVR.  I hear that people love their Tivos, but the standard Cox Cable one works for me.  It's great to let a program record for a little while, joining in to watch about 20 minutes in. That way, you can zip right through the commercials.  But that little luxury might be coming to an end.

Why? There's no profit in it.  The more people view their favorite shows on DVR, the fewer commercials get watched.  With On-Demand and online video, there are usually a limited number of commercials that you can't skip. This isn't really too bad, since you don't have to slog through three minutes of product pitches when you watch that way. But if they disable fast-forwarding on DVRs, we'll have no choice. 

One thing that isn't mentioned in the excerpted article below is something they've already done, at least on our particular model of cable box.  They recently upgraded the software (the old version looked about as sophisticated as the old Prodigy online service), which changed the way the DVR works.  You can still fast-forward in multiple speeds, but stopping it where you want has become a whole lot trickier.  The faster you go, the more likely it is that you'll be catapulted backward about 30 seconds.  More often than not, you catch at least part of the last commercial before the show comes back.  Maybe they could charge a premium for that last slot?


'Hawaii Five-0' Premiere the Most DVR'd of All Time, But It Doesn't Really Matter

As DVR penetration continues to grow, at around 40 percent now, its presence gives one rookie show something to crow about. In a season where there are no breakout stars among the newcomers, it's something to note that the premiere of CBS's 'Hawaii Five-0' is now the most DVR'd show of all time, according to The Washington Post. . .

Read more at: TVSquad

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