Comcast prepares to launch network DVR in Boston

NEW YORK--Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will soon flip the switch on a network-based DVR similar to the product Cablevision launched in 2010.  During an interview with FierceCable at NBC's Rockefeller Center offices, Comcast SVP and GM of Video Services Matt Strauss said the service will be deployed very soon.

Matt Strauss, Comcast

Strauss (Source: Comcast)

"It's something we will deploy market by market this year. It's going to start initially in the Boston area, and it's going to be very soon," Strauss said.  During the interview, Strauss also previewed interactive TV technology Comcast will use to deliver programming from the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Comcast will offer the network-based DVR service to subscribers who have its X1 product, which relies on a cloud-based interactive program guide and home video gateway devices supplied by Pace (LSE: PIC.L). Boston was the first Comcast market to launch X1 in May 2012, when Comcast rolled out the service during The Cable Show convention.

X1 Olympics

X1's Olympics On Demand interface. (Source: Comcast)

During the Olympics, Comcast plans to use network DVR technology to test an "instant on demand" product that would allow subscribers who miss the beginning of NBC's primetime coverage to start the program over from the beginning. That service, which is similar to Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC) "Start Over" product, will be tested in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, R.I., Atlantic City, N.J., and New York, a Comcast spokesperson said. 

Comcast plans to call the "instant on demand" feature "Olympics Primetime Restart," Strauss said.

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