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.