Cloud PVR spreads over Europe

Clouds over IL-RT50

Clouds over IL-RT50 (Photo credit: richardcox8592)

Good article in Broadcast Engineering: Cloud PVR spreads over Europe.

The “Cloud PVR” (Or DVR, if you’re in the US) is a bizarre sort of thing, designed to solve a legal problem, not a technological one.

It boils down to this – if a distribution company such as a cable of satellite operator, as opposed to a channel, allows you to replay a programme on demand that has been carried over their service, they then have to pay additional fees to the license owner(s) of that material. If you record that programme while it’s being broadcast and then play it back from your recorder, there are no additional fees due from that play.

Now, if you “outsource” your recorder to a third party, your cable company perhaps, and programme it to record that programme yourself, legally that is no different than having it in your house on the shelf under the TV. Or at least that’s the case the distribution companies are making.

Now, what’s the difference between the Video on Demand and the Cloud PVR architecture?


File on a hard drive in a media server – – – >; Distribution Network – – – >; TV

Cloud PVR:

File on a hard drive in a rack of virtual PVRs – – – >; Distribution Network – – – >; TV

It’s even more interesting. According to the article. In certain jurisdictions, if one person has chosen to record a programme, then that single recording can be used to transmit the programme to all subscribers who have chosen to mark that programme for recording. In essence, the architecture of that looks like this:

Cloud PVR with shared media:

File on a hard drive in a media server – – – >; Distribution Network – – – >; TV

Look familiar?