DirecTV Restricts DVR Pay-per-View

DirecTV will flip a switch on April 15 that prevents pay-per-view movies downloaded to a DVR from being watched more than 24 hours after the purchase. How's that for great service?

The company is blaming the sudden restriction on Hollywood, reporting on its web site, "Effective April 15, 2008, DVR recordings of PPV movies will be available for 24 hours of unlimited viewing after purchase. Major movie studios have required that satellite and cable providers alike may no longer allow their customers to view these recordings for longer than 24 hours."

We haven't heard about any other carriers dialing back alloted time on pay-per-view purchases from "unlimited" to a mere 24 hours, but we won't be surprised if they follow suit. The restriction is extremely inflexible, and makes pay-per-view a terrible option for families, weekends, and free time in general. Who hasn't settled in to watch a movie, only to be interrupted by a phone call, unexpected visitor or some other diversion? It happens. But if it happens while you're trying to watch a DirecTV pay-per-view movie on your DVR, you're out $4.

This serves as a reminder that the content on your DVR - pay per view or otherwise - can be manipulated by your service provider at any time. If you want full control, store your video on a hard drive that only you can access. -Rachel Rosmarin