Is NBC Blocking Recording of My Programs in Windows Media Center?

29 May

Chris Pirillo uncovers some potential monkey business in Seattle.

I use Tivo, and I am getting tired of paying $13 a month just for a program guide. So I’ve been looking into some computer-based alternatives. Windows Media Center had been on my radar until some shows were blocked on May 12th. Users of Windows Media Center received and error message when attempting to record American Gladiators or Medium on NBC.

There was a huge backlash against Microsoft and NBC after this event. Microsoft denies blocking the shows, and NBC states that it was a mistake on their end. So both parties aren’t claiming that they are trying to control what people can and can’t record. OK, I will take their word on that. But the simple fact that something happened where the programs were blocked scares me. I am able to record anything on my VCR, why would I somehow be able to be locked out from recording anything at all regardless of the technology I’m using?

I’m crossing Windows Media Center off my list. With the capability for networks to block things, who knows what will happen down the road. Content providers still haven’t completely opened their minds to devices that can record things. Some guy in a suit may pound his fist down on the table and decide I can’t record Wife Swap.

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