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Network DVR on the Horizon – Who, When and Why

Author: Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions

Network-based DVR has been years in the making, but cable companies are pursuing the technology with renewed momentum in the wake of Cablevision’s legal successes. After protracted battles in court, Cablevision launched its Remote Storage DVR (RS-DVR) service earlier this year, and now others are taking a closer look. In discussions with our own cable customers, we’ve seen interest in network DVR (nDVR) services spike recently, and more operators are now putting nDVR contracts out for bid. Comcast even went on the record in June saying that it will begin testing a network-based DVR service later this year or early next.

If the timeline for network DVR rollouts is interesting, so, too is the reason why cable companies are moving in the direction of cloud-based television. It’s not because they want to save on storage, but rather because they want an easier way to enable multi-device access. TV Everywhere initiatives marked the start of cable multi-screen delivery services, but the idea of giving consumers access to the content they record and not just content that’s available online is much more compelling. For consumers, network DVR with multi-screen access brings control and personalization. For operators, it offers a way to increase the value of bundled TV services, particularly as more online video content moves behind pay walls and can’t be accessed easily or quickly without authentication.

The network DVR timeline for most US cable operators reaches out 18 to 24 months from now, which means by the end of 2012 we should see numerous trials and regional service launches. DVR service will start to look a lot more like video on-demand, but it will also include more control and flexibility, not to mention new revenue opportunities for cable operators, and a boost in competitive advantage in the fracturing television market.

7 Responses

  1. […] "most" U.S. cable operators will trial and launch network DVR services in the next 18 to 24 months, predicts Motorola Mobility Inc. (NYSE: MMI) Director of Next-Generation Video Solutions Bob Scheffler. He […]

  2. DVR in the sky is a great proposition which will reduce device cost and expand feature sets. This was expected since service providers had to bring value through TV everywhere, VoD libraries and extended DVR options against growing popularity of OTT (Netflix, YouTube (has movie rentals now) and other Cloud based media services

  3. […] one of China’s largest cable operators, has deployed the M3 video server for both VOD and Network DVR. To efficiently and cost-effectively manage the rapidly growing library of content, Henan Cable has […]

  4. […] operators to support more VOD content, a greater number of switched digital video channels, and new network-based DVR trials – all of which have the potential to drive new revenue and keep cable providers ahead of […]

  5. […] are facing overwhelming demand for more narrowcast channels to support growing VOD libraries and network DVR trials. However, since few are ready to make the jump to CCAP today, there is clear need for a product […]

  6. […] Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions at Motorola Mobility spoke on Network DVR back in Aug and suggested “The network DVR timeline for most US cable operators reaches out 18 to […]

  7. […] narrowcast content. Greater density means lower costs even as operators light up more VOD, SDV, and network DVR channels. The APEX3000 is also highly modular, with hot-swappable QAM blades and power supplies, […]

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