The Poor Man's TiVo?


AOL Time Warner's response to digital video recorders--a system called Mystro TV--sounds really lame. Instead of allowing you to record anything that's on and watch it whenever you want, it would make available only those programs for which the company is able to obtain licenses. According to a story in today's New York Times, "Mystro TV needs to win the cooperation of networks, studios and the creators of shows." The system "lets networks set the parameters, dictating which shows users can reschedule, and it also creates ways for networks to insert commercials."

Screw that. Anyone who has tasted the freedom, flexibility, and range of options that TiVo allows will never be satisfied with this "Mother, may I?" approach. If DVRs threaten the viability of broadcast TV funded by advertising revenue, the solution is to produce programming good enough that people will be willing to pay for access to your channel, a la HBO.