United States International

Slaves to TV Ads?

Slaves to TV Ads?
by: Michael Geist

Michael Powell, the former chair of the United States Federal Communications Commission, received his first TiVo, a popular personal video recorder (PVR), as a Christmas gift in 2002. Within days, Powell gushed that the TiVo was "God's machine," predicting that it would have a transformative effect on how consumers watch television by allowing them to easily record programs, pause shows in real time, and quickly skip through unwanted commercials.

Years later, TiVo claims that its service is available in Canada, yet few retailers carry the product. In fact, notwithstanding the growing popularity of PVRs and the ubiquity of VCRs -- the CRTC estimates that 700,000 Canadian households own a PVR and Statistics Canada reports that over 10 million households have video cassette recorders (VCR) -- the absence of the TiVo is not the only difference between the U.S. and Canadian markets. In the U.S., using TiVos and VCRs is clearly legal. In Canada, it is not.

Read the rest of the article at: http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2007/11/20/TiVO/

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