Cablevision to the Cloud!

After years of wrangling, Cablevision has launched a remote-storage DVR service letting subscribers record and store programs on the operator’s network with no need for a local hard drive. Jeff Baumgartner confirmed with Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella that the service, called DVR Plus, launched in the Bronx last week with a price tag of $10.95 per month for 160GB of storage. Interestingly, the operator is marketing it as a whole-home DVR play, even though the remote storage angle could theoretically push the service into TV Everywhere territory. Today, DVR Plus is strictly available with a select group of set-tops, and the roll-out is still limited beyond consumer trials and the Bronx-area launch.

Cablevision won the right in court almost two and a half years ago to create a network-based DVR service. However, it compromised with adversaries by agreeing to market RS-DVR rather than a true nDVR offering. The difference? RS-DVR creates an individual copy of each program a subscriber decides to record. No one else can access that recording even if another subscriber wants to record the same show. Each recording must be created and stored separately on the cable network.

Ironically, now that Cablevision has finally launched DVR Plus, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. There are other options now for accessing your shows in the cloud.¬†All it takes is a few years to turn something that sounds revolutionary into a feature we all expect to get soon on any web-connected device.

5 thoughts on “Cablevision to the Cloud!”

  1. This is such a ridiculous requirement:

    “RS-DVR creates an individual copy of each program a subscriber decides to record. No one else can access that recording even if another subscriber wants to record the same show. Each recording must be created and stored separately on the cable network.”

    Outside of just being dumb in general, you would have thought someone would have made some ‘green’ argument not to do it (all the extra power for all of the extra storage, all of the extra storage, etc.). No – everything has to be recorded individually because it makes someone somewhere who doesn’t understand how dumb it is happy.

  2. It’s not so much about making anyone happy as it is preserving the fair use rights of the consumer. If it goes from one file to many than Cablevision is forced to negotiate VOD agreements with every content owner, if the storage is being controlled by the customer than it allows them to offer a TV Everywhere experience without additional cost (beyond the storage and streaming costs) Of course since Cablevision buys directly from the content owners, they may just increase prices anyway but for now this is a way around their system.

  3. I look at it like this:

    If I’m a customer and I set my network DVR to record Burn Notice on Wednesday night and someone else has already done the same why not just store that in one place and as people ‘delete’ that episode from their 160GB of allotted DVR storage online then when the count gets to 0 the one copy of Burn Notice on that channel is deleted? Once you’ve deleted it from your network DVR you couldn’t go back and get it again (killing the VOD argument).

    It’s not like, as a customer, you’re getting anything extra with that method (above). I don’t know if they were planning it that way but it seems like it could be done, everyone would get the same thing, and you’d save a lot on storage space and electricity..

    It seems like that would work with a lot less storage floating about.

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