Cablevision to delay DVR service

Cablevision Systems announced last week that it would delay its planned digital video recording service until a copyright infringement suit to block the service is resolved.

Cablevision said it met with the plaintiff's attorneys and agreed to an expedited schedule of legal actions that will allow a hearing to proceed by the end of October.

The cable operator announced in March that it would launch a service this year that allows subscribers to record and store programs on its network servers rather than on the hard drives of user-owned personal video recorders.

Typical personal video recorders, such as those available from TiVo, have proven popular with cable viewers. Cablevision's proposed service also allows users to pause and rewind live programs without owning a recorder.

Last month, four Hollywood studios and the five major television networks sued Cablevision, contending it did not have the right to sell such time-shifting recording services. Cablevision filed a counterclaim defending its proposed service under the doctrine of “fair use” established in the 1984 Sony Betamax decision.