The TiVo - Yours or Theirs?

by Jonathan Hassell

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Doth the spam never end? In this clever twist, the television viewer who likely purchases a TiVo to cut through the crap that currently is entertainment TV is included in a what must be a new distributed threat: a mass-videoing. The BBC and TiVo Corporation say that the preferable opt-in method of distributing content to large numbers of people was unnecessary, because the way in which the TiVo interface and features were designed make the delivered content completely optional. They say it's convenient. Right.

What is especially concerning is that the deal includes more of this same spamming in the future. It's akin to sitcom bombing. The article above mentions that the content pushed down by BBC was stored on a reserved portion of the system disk and did not affect other programs the user has recorded himself. What if this goes wrong? What if I miss Baywatch because CBS decides to send Diagnosis Murder to me? What will I do if my beloved ritualistic Friends episode is replaced by... The Nanny?

I paid for the full capacity of the TiVo model I purchased, not 85% or some other arbitrary number, with the rest being reserved for others who pay even MORE money to have access to that space. What's on my technology at home is my business and mine alone. Big Media has to respect that. But will they?

Who do you feel the TiVo is really meant for - the networks or the television viewer?