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November 10, 2005


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I love our Replay and have almost moved completely off watching "live" television. Naturally I think this is the wave of the future but it's too soon to tell. If television content moves toward a download-to-DVR model, that would seem to reduce the need for V-chip technology, at least as long as parents keep control over the downloading account. Of course, parents might want to watch things that are inappropriate for children, but that could probably be better implemented as a function of the box rather than a code in the program. That way, if you thought that "The Sopranos" was fine for your kids but "Nip/Tuck" isn't, and they both have the same coding, you could set a password on one program but not the other. It would also eliminate the application of the decency regulations, at least to download-only content, since such regulations are predicated at least in part on the notion of a captive audience that may include children.


P.S. Today's papers are reporting that AOL is going to offer classic or niche television shows for download: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/business/14warner.html

Warner Brothers, which will run the service and owns a large body of syndication rights, says that it "wants to use the Internet to reach viewers rather than depend on the whims of cable networks and local TV stations."

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