Showtime Networks has announced that they will offer a service that will let consumers download-to-own episodes of the network’s proprietary programming. The system relies on Microsoft’s new Vista version of Windows, using its Media Center PC features. The network plans to demonstrate the service at CES in Las Vegas next week.
The camel’s nose continues to nudge its way under the IPTV tent. Here is another content producer who is willing to let consumers put their programming on a computer hard drive, and then view it on different devices throughout a home using a network. Yes, the content will be protected with Digital Rights Management technology (that’s called “copy protection“, folks), but it’s a step in the right direction. While major movie studios are likely to drag their feet about making their content more readily accessible to consumers, it’s actions like this that will help shape customer opinions and expectations, which in turn will bring pressure on all producers to be more flexible with their content.
I’ll be at CES next week, so you can expect to hear from me about interesting new developments about HDTV and related technologies. So stay tuned!