Originally Posted by HoustonPerson
New lines of DVRs are now coming to market in Japan and Europe. The only "real" problem for a new line of DVRs for the USA is Macrovision huge license fees that OEM's have to pay. Sony (or any OEM) would have to sell several million units to over come those fees. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung can all have DVRs on the maket in short order - but the current fee structures prevents it - and that may be "exactly" the goal of Macrovison?
Previously Gemstar (and no one seems to know about Macrovision) was so intently "lawsuit happy" that no other company could come out with competing service. In otherwords, there needs to be real competion to Macrovison for the consumer to benefit.
Gemstar gave CE manufacturers three options -- (1) pay $$$$$$$ for a full license, (2) pay $$ per unit to use the EPG patents to make your own guide, and then provide your own guide information, or (3) pay $ per unit to use our
software with our
advertising and get the benefit of our
program information via TVGOS. Companies like Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, Moxi, and TiVo all went for option #1 or #2, while CE manufacturers like Sony went for #3.
By most accounts, Macrovision reduced their EPG patent licensing fees by a substantial
amount in the past six months or so. Furthermore, they are now making TVGOS information available for an added fee to EPG patent licensees. For the first time, CE device manufacturers have the option to to create their own guide that uses TVGOS information. IMO, the drivers for this change are PSIP and true2way.
With PSIP information available -- even if limited-- TVGOS is no longer the only game in town for program information over the airwaves.
Over the next 18 months, an array of true2way TVs, STBs, and DVRs will hit the market that all use the cable company's software and guide information. Cable companies already paid $$$$$$$ for a full license to the EPG patents, and/or pay a much
smaller per unit fee because they've already agreed to purchase millions of licenses per year. CE manufacturers like Panasonic and Samsung do not have to pay EPG patent or guide data licensing fees, because all that is borne by the cable company when the true2way software is used.