Like a variety of publications and blogs, I came across Verizon’s DVR press release yesterday. However, instead of speculating how the telcos will battle the cablecos with new features or getting hung up on the underlying technology I’ll give you two different reasons why this a significant announcement.
I assume many of my readers are TiVo owners. As such, you realize these “new” media features (multi-room viewing, music & photos from PC) have been available for years to those of us in the club. Which brings me to point 1: A mainstream company (Motorola, by way of Verizon) other than TiVo is providing set-top box to set-top box multi-room viewing functionality. In addition to TiVo’s intuitive and powerful interface, much of their competitive advantage has been offering home media features… which are now being commoditized by competitors (Moxi and SciAtl are others).
Point 2 has to do with pricing. While we’ve seen two tiers in some cable markets for a HD DVR versus a SD DVR, charging for specific DVR features has never been as clear cut as it is now with Verizon’s new model (unless we count TiVo’s abandoned HMO fee). Pay $12.95/mo for X & Y, or pay $19.95/mo for X, Y, & download Z. This is just the beginning of a cell-phone á la carte pricing model era for DVR service (those wireless carriers plan to get in on the action as well: Verizon, Sprint, etc).
Not that I want to spend my day debating or correcting other blogs (and I know I make my fair share of mistakes), but I feel compelled to report the 6416 is not Verizon’s first DVR and in fact this model is currently deployed in many locations. Additionally, I wouldn’t characterize moving shows in-home from one room to another or onto PC TiVoToGo-style as “place shifting” though that is arguable. Maybe.