The moment the LEDs on my VCR stopped blinking 12:00 I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. By figuring this out, I was in rare company and I gained just little bit more control over my life. Now, I could go out on a Thursday night and not miss the latest Seinfeld and Friends episodes. This was great until I accidentally taped over my wedding video! Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have the technology to unleash a whole new generation of time-shifted TV (TSTV) services based on the Cloud Video Recorder (CVR). Technology alone won’t ensure that we’ll never miss our favorite sitcoms or the big game, though. Certain regions have highly restrictive legislation that was created back when the VCR, the great-grandfather of TSTV, was born.
Before jumping ahead to the CVR, let’s give due credit to the next step in the progression. The DVR changed the time-shifting game because it is actually integrated with the TV service. It allows us to schedule recordings right from the program guide. I appreciate my DVR because it gives me more control over my busy life. It helps me fit my favorite content in at the times that are most convenient for me. It may be a statement about my attention span, but I also hate to sit through commercials. Being able to fast-forward through them makes me feel like I’m getting precious minutes of my life back. Something I’d happily pay for.
The VCR opened the door and the DVR made time-shifted TV available to the masses. My DVR does what I tell it to do and it’s pretty reliable, but it does come with some limitations. My family calls me the DVR Nazi because I often scold them for not deleting recordings they’ve viewed. Occasionally I’ll make an executive decision and delete some that have not yet been viewed. This isn’t as marriage threatening as erasing the wedding video, but does cause some tension. I love my DVR, and now I’m ready for more.
Everything Cloud is trending these days, so why not move the video recorder to the Cloud, too? Actually, CVR is a perfect application for the Cloud. Distributed resources can be used to maximize efficiency in recording content at the source and delivering it to users on their favorite device.
We have customers that have already deployed state-of-the-art CVR services using our CDN platform. Subscribers love the service and it’s actually changing the way they view television. The CVR adds a new layer of intelligence since it can be “programmed” centrally. Programs can be recorded automatically so that subscribers are able to view their favorites even if they forgot to record. CatchUp TV allows people to go backward in their program guide several days and sometimes even weeks. Smart Recordings can be updated when schedules change. There’s nothing worse than missing the thrilling finish to the big game because my recording ended before the game did.
In regions where content rights rules factor in the capabilities of current technology, we’ve proven that we can help service providers deploy cost-effective CVR services that people love. At Concurrent, we continue to work hard on new innovations to help the creators of content and distributors agree on a more modern approach to personal video recording rules and legislation so that everyone in the value chain can benefit. This way consumers like me can finally record programs without limitations, which means our families can rest easy knowing their recorded content is safe from the DVR Nazi.