So it appears that broadcasters have worked out that to compete with DVRs but have ads you need to have on-demand programming but without the ability to skip ads (NYT). The technology is basically a cable box that allows you to watch programs when you want (so you can time shift) but that wont allow you to skip ads. It is basically what they wanted Tivo to be but could never get that as people like to record to skip boring bits of programs as well.
What this will do will cut in to the DVR market for people who time shift shows they ‘must see’ but otherwise casually watch TV. But for those people who really hate ads, this will not be very appealing except that it will bring down DVR prices.
But the question I have is this: if this is such a good idea, why not put ads on iTunes TV programs, disable fast forwarding on those programs, and offer them for free? Sure, there are differences in the technology (e.g., ease of watching on a normal TV) and local advertising is impacted but commercially what is the big deal?