TWC sets stage for launch of network DVR with rollout of cloud-based program guide

Tools

Clearing a path for the launch of a network-based DVR service, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said Thursday that it launched a new cloud-based interactive program guide.

twc cloud

TWC introduced a cloud-based program guide.

The MSO said its cloud guide, which is similar to Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) X1 guide, is available on more than 2 million set-tops and will expand to more than 6 million set-tops by the end of 2014.

TWC set-top supplier Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS) told analysts in October that some of its major customers will launch network DVRs next year that will allow them to offer subscribers additional storage capacity.

"We've been working closely with lead customers to develop and deploy network DVR capabilities to augment in-home DVR functionality. We expect live deployments before year end, with larger scale service in 2014," Arris CEO Bob Stanzione said on the company's third-quarter earnings call.

TWC has been testing new home video gateways from Arris that contain six tuners and 1 terabyte of storage space. "We're hoping to get that in front of a meaningful number of customers over the next year," COO Rob Marcus told attendees at a UBS conference earlier this month. 

The cloud-based program guide that TWC unveiled Thursday features a new "What's Hot" section that shows popular titles and a video-on-demand portal that contains box art from TV shows and movies. The MSO said it is delivering the guide in "true HD," with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is the only U.S. MSO that has deployed a cloud-based DVR, but Comcast has been testing a network-based DVR.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) has said that it plans to make announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas that involve cloud-based DVRs, and Cox CTO Kevin Hart told FierceCable in October that the MSO is studying how it may be able to use cloud-based servers to offer subscribers additional DVR storage capacity.

For more:
- see the TWC release

Related articles:
Comcast testing cloud DVR app for iPad and iPhone
Arris: 'lead customers' to launch network DVR service in 2014
Cox CTO Hart talks about plans for 1-Gig Internet, cloud DVRs and results of FlareWatch trial
Cloud TV steals show at Cable-Tec Expo
Time Warner Cable bleeds 191K video subs and Internet growth slows in Q2 2013
Time Warner Cable recruiting chief architect for multiscreen video transport
Time Warner Cable to deploy 'souped up DVR' in second half of 2013