Bhaalu has to stop cloud PVR

Cloud PVR remains a tricky topic. Belgium courts had twice ruled in favour of Baahu, a cloud PVR service apparatently receiving its signal from the M7 satellite. Now another court has decided to kill the company by ordering it to stop within a month. The lawsuit was filed by the original broadcasters (free to air public and commercial).


Bhaalu allows users to select programs to record and streams to mobiles, PCs and TVs via an HDMI stick or a Bhaalu box.

In the two previous lawsuits it was deemed that Bhaalu is a product and not a service. This may be awkward as commercial FTA TV in Belgium is never unscrambled; so how could the signal be legally acquired. The court has ruled an illegal copy is made permitting 3’rd parties to breach copyrights (guess that’s the end user). That seems to contradict the view that Bhaalu is a product. Some more in-depth analysis is still sought.

There may be an appeal since this was not a higher court ruling.

Here are some links:

BroadbandTVNews: Belgian court rules Bhaalu has to stop cloud PVR service.

Metro (Dutch): Omroepen reageren positief op stopzetting Bhaalu (Dutch): Belgische rechter verbiedt Bhaalu-recorder

De Standaard (Dutch): Rechter trekt stekker uit Bhaalu

The actual verdict:



Save.TV – Ihr Online-Videorecorder in der Cloud

Recording free programs in the cloud, as much as you like, then download later (also to PCs). That is what is offering in Germany. Needless to say commercial TV operators did not like it and put them through court. RTL previously lost a case. But now Pro7Sat1 has apparantly succeeded in winning against Save.TV even after an appeal (which is pretty definitive). The details of the distinction between the two cases requires some further analysis.

Save.TV – Ihr Online-Videorecorder in der Cloud.

TV screen gets clouded

Here is another development of OTT and second screen to lure the user away from traditional service offerings: the new Philips cloud-TV service (NetTV3.0). Delivering many (niche) TV channels to the Philips smartTV user: pay and free alike. The user can also upload content. Second screen as key navigation means to the service: good move.

But is the service also streaming to the second screen? That would really move this beyond TV and into the OTT service operator arena. It seems not at least as per today. But isn’t this what the user wants? And what the user want he gets, one way or another.

Delivering content beyond the 1st screen is somewhat of  business focus challenge for a TV company. And the rights situation for content delivery to 1st versus 2nd screen is hardly transparent. Finally it will require a non trivial investment in delivery technology and capability.

Engadget on CloudTV and Cloud Explorer

BroadbandTVNews: Philips launches Cloud TV app.

Network DVR trends

Somewhat vague Videonet article pointing to the highly influential direction of Network PVR as a key function where operators can add value in the chain. Key added values of nPVR mentioned are:

  • Reduced CPE cost (yawn)
  • No CPE: STB “in the cloud” (better thinking)
  • Watch on any device (yes please)
  • Mix with catchup and VOD (good, but more a UI issue)

Key obstacle is and remains the rights situation, though the broad industry push may help get that resolved over the coming years; with some added value back to the content owner (presumably  this will cause a value shift towards higher value content). Of course the content owners will want more money, it will simply mean they will sell less low value content.

More network DVR, more cloud, and still more CPE? | Videonet

More network DVR, more cloud, and still more CPE? | Videonet.

And here is another modest quality article on the same topic:

Cloud PVR spreads over Europe

Note that cloud PVR is used by KPN in the Netherlands on a large scale on their IPTV network where it has the added advantage of resolving the bottleneck of modest quality ADSL lines, and Ziggo (Dutch cable operator) is also deploying this now.