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Internet Video

Internet DVR Firm: We’re Totally Legit

7/11/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Now users can take their streaming Internet
video to go — a development that may not thrill
some content owners.

Software developer MediaMall Technologies said its
PlayLater application, which turns a Windows PC into
a digital video recorder for online video, is 100% legal,
akin to conventional DVRs.

“PlayLater is a legal technology that is designed to
let individuals watch legal online content at a time of
their choosing,” MediaMall said in a statement posted
on its website. “Just like the broadcast DVR and the
VCR before it, PlayLater is designed for personal use
and convenience.”

A key reason the New York-based company can
claim it’s not aiding and abetting piracy: Programs
are playable only on the PC used to record them.

Still, it may throw a monkey wrench into onlinevideo
advertising models. Internet video sites frequently
force users to sit through online-video ads.
But with the PlayLater software, ads can be skipped
just as with a regular DVR.

The software, released in late June, can record
streaming video from about three dozen Internet
services, including YouTube, Hulu, Netflix,
BET, Cartoon Network, CBS, CNN, Comedy Central,
ESPN and ESPN3, Fox News Channel, MTV,
Nat ional Geographic Channel, Nickelodeon,
OWN, PBS and PBS Kids, Syfy Rewind, TBS and
TV.com.

Currently, PlayLater is available as a “preview release”
free for 14 days. When officially released, the
service will be $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
On setup, PlayLater automatically installs Media-
Mall’s PlayOn application, designed for viewing online
video on TVs, but use of that product requires
an additional fee.

The PlayLater software records shows streamed
over the Internet in real-time, just like a conventional
DVR, and users must play them back using
Microsoft Windows Media Player. MediaMall recommends
users have an Internet broadband connection
of at least 1.5 Mbps.

September