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Cablevision: Network DVR In April
Will stop buying physical DVRs by the end of the year...
by Karl Bode 04:01PM Thursday Feb 25 2010
When discussing the company's new "PC to TV Media Relay" service with Broadband Reports yesterday, Cablevision told us to stay tuned for a looming announcement about the company's network DVR (or RS-DVR) service. As it turns out, we only had to wait a day. Addressing the media during a conference call to discuss Cablevision's latest earnings report, Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge stated that the company will be deploying the network DVR service in April.

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Network DVRs eliminate the need for a traditional set top DVR by storing the content on servers at local Cablevision offices. According to Rutledge, deployment will occur in three phases. At first, users will simply be able to pause live TV, a system Cablevision has been testing in employee homes for some time.

In April, a limited-function network DVR will be deployed, followed up by additional features as the year rolls on. By 2011, the traditional Cablevision DVR will be dead. "By year-end we intend to cease buying physical DVRs as we begin deploying our network-based DVR solution throughout our footprint," Rutledge stated on the call.

Rutledge didn't offer any hints as to pricing, but Cablevision has previously stated that the service would offer users around 160 gigabytes worth of storage, with prices somewhere around $9.95 a month.

Cable operators have long dreamed of remote storage DVRs, but the road toward deployment has been littered with legal battles with the entertainment industry. Cablevision conducted a 1,000 person trial of a network DVR service in 2006 that worked essentially the same way as a traditional DVR -- except that 80 hours of video content were stored on Cablevision servers.

But then Cablevision was sued by the entertainment industry (GE, NBC, CBS, Walt Disney, ABC; and others), who, fearing a loss of ad revenue and control, claimed the system violated broadcast and copyright laws. In 2007, a Federal judge ruled against Cablevision, preventing Cablevision from broader deployment. Cablevision won subsequent legal rounds, and last summer the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, granting Cablevision the green light to deploy the service.

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Frank
Premium
join:2000-11-03
somewhere

1 edit

specs and price?

anybody know the specs and pricing? ie:

-- storage limit in sd hours
-- storage limit in hd hours
-- pricing?

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit

Re: specs?

Not announced yet, though Cablevision has previously stated they hoped to keep it somewhere around current DVR service pricing, with 160 GB of storage to start (which I noted above in the article).

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: specs?

said by Karl Bode:

Not announced yet, though Cablevision has previously stated they hoped to keep it somewhere around current DVR service pricing, with 160 GB of storage to start (which I noted above in the article).
Once they get rid of the physical DVR, that price will start to climb. I guess people who want their own DVR's and the ability to increase storage without hire monthly charges will have to get a Tivo.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

Nsane_iceman
Premium
join:2001-02-26
North Richland Hills, TX

Supreme Court

"...the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, granting Cablevision the green light to deploy the service."

So if the Supreme Court doesn't want to review the case, the "defendant", Cablevision in this case, gets the green light?

That's interesting... Good for Cablevision and maybe the customers.
--
Avatar by: dandelion | Disarm you with a smile. | Tell me, tell me what you're after. I just want to get there faster.
ksuderman

join:2001-10-21
Poughkeepsie, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Supreme Court

Yes. The case was to prevent CableVision from rolling out the service. Since the Supreme Court won't hear the case there is nothing (legal) preventing CV from starting the roll out.
--
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.
viperlmw
Premium
join:2005-01-25

1 recommendation

said by Nsane_icemanCa :

So if the Supreme Court doesn't want to review the case, the "defendant", Cablevision in this case, gets the green light?
~snip~
When the Supreme Court refuses to review, the latest judgment/ruling from the previous court (typically an appellate court) then stands and takes effect. In this case, Cablevision had won it's last round, so that's the ruling that takes effect.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Supreme Court

you beat me to it..
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
The case was heard by other courts... you just can't file with the supreme court.. that's just the last step in other courts on the ladder.

NOCMan
MacChatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
I doubt it will be good for customers. I'd rather see a thriving 3rd party market for dvr's. Cable companies could sell them like cellphones.
Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

What a load of crap

So essentially they will add a broken DVR service to the broken VoD service. At least now when their iO crap is malfunctioning left and right during peak hours, I can watch what I have on DVR, now I won't be able to watch anything??? And all for a bargain price of $10 a month!

Dread
On course
Premium
join:2005-02-28
Bronx, NY
kudos:8

Re: What a load of crap

said by Dodge:

So essentially they will add a broken DVR service to the broken VoD service. At least now when their iO crap is malfunctioning left and right during peak hours, I can watch what I have on DVR, now I won't be able to watch anything??? And all for a bargain price of $10 a month!
This man speaks the truth, IO is a terrible service this day in age.
--
Assuming Direct Control.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
$10 a month? I'd give anything for that! I have 4 DVRs in the home and pay $17.95 per month per box.. That would save me $36 a month!!

Jmartz

join:2000-07-20
Tenafly, NJ

Re: What a load of crap

said by fiberguy:

$10 a month? I'd give anything for that! I have 4 DVRs in the home and pay $17.95 per month per box.. That would save me $36 a month!!
Don't worry, Cablevision will probably charge per each box you enable access too.
brownk

join:2000-06-08
Katonah, NY

Bandwidth

They barely have the bandwidth to support their current offerings (in fact, I would argue they're already squeezing too much on). This should be fun to watch.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Beautiful Picture

As someone who has really come to despise Scientific Atlanta based DVRs, all I can say is, you made me really happy.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: Beautiful Picture

Maybe, but I would be skeptical.

Will you be allowed to use fast forward or skip ahead features? Similar to VOD, will NBC allow customers to be able to skip past the commercials, or will the remote DVR be locked down? Will the media server further compress the HD signal for storage and distribution, or is it the exact same signal you could expect to receive by watching live TV? How might this impact the overall network performance?

If anything, perhaps this move might generate more interest in third party DVRs that give the consumer more control. It doesn't appear that Cablevision will be passing any savings along to the customers, as they seem content on charging about the same amount for the remote DVR as they would for a local version.

I wonder if there will still be charges for HD set-top-boxes? The channels have to be unscrambled, so a box or cable card will still be required. This move is all about making more money, and very little to do with creating any real value for the customers.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Beautiful Picture

said by jmn1207:

Maybe, but I would be skeptical.

Will you be allowed to use fast forward or skip ahead features? Similar to VOD, will NBC allow customers to be able to skip past the commercials, or will the remote DVR be locked down? Will the media server further compress the HD signal for storage and distribution, or is it the exact same signal you could expect to receive by watching live TV? How might this impact the overall network performance?

If anything, perhaps this move might generate more interest in third party DVRs that give the consumer more control.
cable vision uses SDV and there web site says for some channels

Available to customers with a Scientific Atlanta digital cable box. The package is not available to customers with a Sony digital cable box or a CableCARD.

TwoCpus4me

join:2003-10-16

And

probably can't skip commercials, no 30-second skip, you name it. Network DVR blows.

Get a $69 Avermedia card and put it in your PC and you control the shows without your a$$ being tracked and monitored. Record two channels at once (per card).

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Re: And

...or turn off the TV and read a book.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by TwoCpus4me:

probably can't skip commercials, no 30-second skip, you name it. Network DVR blows.

That would be a concern. Once the DVR is on the network, it will be real easy to make sure users can no longer have control of skipping commercials. Cablevision could make deals with TV Networks to prevent that and also prevent the recording of shows they don't want recorded at all.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: And

said by FFH:

said by TwoCpus4me:

probably can't skip commercials, no 30-second skip, you name it. Network DVR blows.

That would be a concern. Once the DVR is on the network, it will be real easy to make sure users can no longer have control of skipping commercials.
BINGO! thats what its all about!
--
When I gez aju zavateh na nalechoo more new yonooz tonigh molinigh - Ken Lee

joebarnhart
Paxio evangelist

join:2005-12-15
Santa Clara, CA
Yep, commercial skipping will never be implemented. Already my Comcast box implements FF/Rew so poorly that it's a real effort to skip commercials. I soooo much prefer my mythbox.

But guess what? Since cable began encrypting the signals of all content that isn't freely available over the air, I can't USE my mythbox to record cable HDTV shows. And FCC is in the pockets of the cable companies and will do nothing to preserve my right to time-shift programming.

In time the cable companies will make our living rooms into their own pay-per-view theaters and I'll just get rid of the whole mess. Frankly if I never saw another TV show or DVD it wouldn't bother me.

TwoCpus4me

join:2003-10-16

1 edit

Re: And

I switched to OTA (Antenna) and use the Win7 Media Center as my DVR. All my content is free, mostly HD, and I control all of it.

Oh, forgot, NO MONTHLY BILL EVER.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
said by joebarnhart:

In time the cable companies will make our living rooms into their own pay-per-view theaters and I'll just get rid of the whole mess. Frankly if I never saw another TV show or DVD it wouldn't bother me.
You may not be one of the people I'm talking about, but it seems that more and more people are okay with this. More people are okay with OTHER internet providers charging per-show to view over the internet.. so what's wrong with cable wanting this? To be honest, I can say first hand that cable, at least Comcast, has been talking about charging customers for what they view for at least 10 years now..

Back in 2001, a company meeting, some of the higher ups were talking about a day of 100 meg to each home, IPTV, and charging people for what they want to view.. that's ppv on a much larger level.. where the future takes us is still unclear. I don't think enough people, in mass, are ready for electric service like billing on TV.. SOME people want ppv video as a whole, but I don't think the masses want that just yet.
cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA
well you can still record the encrypted channels, but it'll cost you. if the firewire port on the set top box is enabled and there isn't 5c encryption, you are set. otherwise, you'll need to get a hd-pvr and record from the array of ports coming from the back of the set top box. if they are really being dicks and enable hdcp, you'll need a hdcp stripper.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

1 edit

Well this is dumb...

Because one of the advantages to having the DVR located in the home it it still works when the cable is out.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket... TV, internt, phone, and now your DVR all dependent on that one cable connection to work.

Not me...
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Well this is dumb...

On the flip side, there is the same advantage of having the DVR on the network.. if the cable lines go down, you'll still record. If the power goes out, you still record.

I see what you say about all eggs in one basket, IF you are on a triple play, however, a DVR is a non-essential piece of equipment or service. If the DVR goes out, which they also do die, life goes on.

I see pros and cons to both methods.

Con - functionality is less responsive. Fast forward, etc. It's prolly going to be a lot like Ondemand service.

They can likely control your content more. however, they already can with boxes now. They already have the ability to expire programs recorded and simply delete them as it is.

Some boxes guide's can only go a few days unlike DVRs which usually can see 2 weeks in advance. This will make setting recordings harder on older boxes. (But there is likely a pro as well, see below)

Pro - what I said above.

Easier access and quicker deployment to controlling your "DVR" over the web.

Probably cost less than having multiple DVRs and all boxes can have access to the content and record functions.

Less equipment failures.

You'll likely be able to expand storage easier than you can now by simply purchasing extra space. Even today, they are capped out on the hardware they make available.

But still, recorded TV is not essential nor should it be.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

Re: Well this is dumb...

said by fiberguy:

You'll likely be able to expand storage easier than you can now by simply purchasing extra space.

But still, recorded TV is not essential nor should it be.
I think you hit the nail on the head here.

I am sure they will give you a few hours and happily charge you more every month for a couple hours more space.

I can plug any external SATA drive into my Tivo-HD to expand the space. I can also use it to DVR digital and HD OTA broadcasts...

Recorded TV is essential to my families entertainment.

As we like to say around here: Live TV is for suckers
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Well this is dumb...

In MY opinion.. I don't think they should charge for MAX space used..

I think they should establish a limit or dare I say, CAP.. or ceiling for a better choice of terms... BUT, they should charge you for the MAX space you use at any given time.. ie: if you only use 40 hours, then charge you for 40.. if you used a max of 120 hours this month, charge you for that. I think it should be up to the end user to establish a quota on how much space they'd like to use before the DVR kicks out older content. (Kind of like parental controls)

What WOULD be nice, and a VERY valuable "value added service" is if they'd let you take certain programs and download it from the web for burning to a DVD.. such as local programming from locals. I could see them saying "no" to OnDemand, HBO, and other networks.. but locals would be nice.. it's not like we can't do that now already anyway.

L Supreme
Premium
join:2004-06-05
Lowell, MA
said by b10010011:

Because one of the advantages to having the DVR located in the home it it still works when the cable is out.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket... TV, internt, phone, and now your DVR all dependent on that one cable connection to work.

Not me...
But don't most provders end up putting all their eggs in one basket in someway?

Can you go online, text or talk to someone if your cell phone provider's network is down?
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

Re: Well this is dumb...

said by L Supreme:

said by b10010011:

Because one of the advantages to having the DVR located in the home it it still works when the cable is out.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket... TV, internt, phone, and now your DVR all dependent on that one cable connection to work.

Not me...
But don't most provders end up putting all their eggs in one basket in someway?

Can you go online, text or talk to someone if your cell phone provider's network is down?
I don't get internet from my cell-provider or text, and I still have a land line because cellphones have proven useless in the past when local emergencies have occurred.
viperlmw
Premium
join:2005-01-25
Here's an interesting one. With DirecTV, you can record to you're box via Download on Demand, which is done via internet connection, not via satellite. So you can still record/watch if you have dish problems. However, I will say that, other than rain fade for 1-2 minutes twice over the last year, I have not had an outage.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

How About Latency?

The big problem with network DVRs is latency. When changing a channel takes a second or more, what's the lag going to be when you hit pause? Any real world experience reports?

•••
YellowDart

join:2003-07-09
world

1 recommendation

Can't see how this is not a boom to fios

Limited functionality on DVRs. No 30 second skip, latency etc.

No fast forward on commercials not to mention the extremely small free VOD or HD free VOD offerings.

This company is just trying to reduce capex and not improve customer experience. It is no wonder basic subs drop consistently quarter after quarter.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Can't see how this is not a boom to fios

said by YellowDart:

Limited functionality on DVRs. No 30 second skip, latency etc.

No fast forward on commercials not to mention the extremely small free VOD or HD free VOD offerings.

This company is just trying to reduce capex and not improve customer experience. It is no wonder basic subs drop consistently quarter after quarter.
Customers usually only stay for the year services are $29.95, after that they're gone. Cablevision lost a bunch of customers also due to Verizon's deal that just expired making the average bill for 1 year under $100 a month with 25/15 service. I could care less about these "widgets" or the media channel/network dvr... these are too little too late-- even if they provide them for FREE to basic subscribers. The low price for cable-tv doesn't wet a consumer's appetite to end up paying about double the price the next year for the service. Many consumers are already beyond "CABLE-TV" and will just use alternatives including acquiring content via the internet in addition to Over The Air broadcast tv.

DownTheShore
Honoring The Captain
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:14

If The Channel Guides and VOD Can't Load Timely...

...how long will it take to access your DVR shows from their storage sites?
dsteinschnei

join:2003-07-08
Fairfield, CT

160GB is unusable

6 months after connecting a SATA 1TB external drive to our our cablevision HD8350 we finally have enough content so that I can find something I want to watch. Going back to the capacity of the PVR by itself is a big step backwards