Originally Posted by JHBrandt
I'm not too worried. It sounds like you're thinking the DVR+ could be programmed to "steal" info from the overhyped "Internet of Things" in your home - but it can't steal info that, say, your refrigerator can't provide. But if your refrigerator can provide data to an "evil" DVR+, it's probably spying on you already! There's no reason to assume Frigidaire is more trustworthy than Rovi.
I see it less as stealing, and more like clicking on the terms of usage. For example, Rovi not only partners with Channel Master, but Frigidaire, Mr. Coffee, Samsung, Nest and others. If using the Rovi guide means you have accepted their terms, then any Internet enabled device in your home that has wireless activated will freely be able to transmit and share data to their partners. Behaviors can be identified through statistics, and the more people providing statistics the more accurate the identification. If the RFID on a gallon of milk stops sending data, or is paired with data from another gallon of milk for one day, ever 7 days it can be deduced that the consumer is using a gallon of milk every week. If your smart TV is on for 3 hours every weekday at a certain time it can be deduced that a resident of that household is present at that time of day. Your smart Nest thermostat basically confirms that when the temperature programming adjusts to a comfort level that statistically, men prefer. It also knows when your wife or girlfriend is present because the thermostat adjusts to a statistically female-friendly temperature, and we all know that's an argument men don't win.
Where I am heading with this is that up until this zero hour occurs, all this data would have been sent through your Internet router to each of the companies using their Internet enabled smart device to collect data, and targeted advertising or other market schemes would be executed by those companies, or collected and compiled by a third party in conjunction with those companies. In a Channel Master/TiRovi scenario, your DVR+ becomes the central collection point for this data and sends it to Rovi, who then uses it in accordance with whatever marketing plan, research or other purpose already designed with their partners. In many ways it really is like Google data collection, with the DVR+ functioning similarly to the way your G mail, search history and browsing habits do for Google when you use the Internet.
How far into the future this is, I don't know. But from a technological perspective it's not farfetched, and in fact, very doable. But the ironic part of this is that if all this comes to be, the DVR+ will have morphed from a device specifically designed to allow the user to watch and record OTA programming to a device that is as intrusive from a privacy perspective as any other media delivery device. And the OTA aspect of the DVR+ shrinks as the above mentioned features are developed. Look at it this way: Channel Master doesn't make a cent off me (post-purchase) if I don't watch the Internet channels and get my EPG via PSIP. They might make a small amount if you only watch the OTA channels and get your EPG from Rovi, and a more yet if you purchase the available channels. But they could make loads of money by functioning as the vacuum Hoovering up full life spectrum data from the people who use the DVR+ in a whole house setup. So I think the whole house thing, which in itself is a great thing for DVR+ owners, is also a potential gold mine for Channel Master. So I'm guessing that when they do add the whole house feature it will also come with built-in wireless right out of the box. The OTA stuff could become almost an afterthought, as the programming packages become more robust and they become able to compete with the cable and satellite boys.