Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Kanata, ON, Rogers Digital, 8300-HD
They absolutely will have a drive, but you're right, network-based storage is the way to go. You need the local drive, though, for buffering (pause live tv, pre-fetch content to improve VCR-control responsiveness). If I'm watching movies OD I'd definitely prefer to download the full movie and not stream. Or at least have an option to do so. Streaming content quality is crappy right now. I put up with it for TV shows (especially since they are free -- ROD) but not for movies.
Although the idea of buffering locally (to improve responsiveness) sounds great, there was significant opposition, in general, about the network-based DVR feature, and it was only struck down (on appeal) when it was ruled that 1.2 seconds' worth of buffering content does not infringe on copyright. You'd likely need a 2-3 of orders of magnitude more buffering to do what I'm talking about.