News has just hit the wire that TiVo has won a permanent injunction against Echostar, and the judge has ordered that Echostar disbale all PVR functionality in all PVRs in the field within 30 days. As you may know, I’m a Bell ExpressVu subscriber in Canada. Bell’s equipment is manufactured by Echostar. I called Bell this morning to see if Bell was affected by this lawsuit. The tech droid I got hadn’t heard of the lawsuit. He was unable to find any corporate position on it, but told me not to worry. I’m still trying to get an official Bell position.
The potential impact of this is chilling. I highly doubt that Echostar is going to want to shut it’s customers off, so I suspect that we’ll see some sort of licensing deal between Echostar and TiVo. Unfortunately, those costs will just be handed down to us customers, who already paid for a PVR that was more than a glorified Beta Test for the first nine months of it’s existence.