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Cablevision to test network DVR service

Cablevision plans to introduce a remote video recording service that will replace the physical digital video recorder in the subscriber's home.

The new Cablevision service, to be introduced later this year, will allow customers to store programs on servers located at Cablevision's facilities — rather than a home-based digital video recorder, Reuters reported.

The move is designed to cut the cost of installing and fixing digital video recorders, which are prone to malfunction, Cablevision said. The new service will operate over existing cable systems through customers' current digital set top boxes.

Though the company said it had not yet priced the service, it expects cost-savings to be passed on to customers. The company also must work out legal issues with program providers.

Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's COO, told Reuters that the new service replicates exactly the functionality of a physical hard disk recorder. He said nothing would be recorded on Cablevision's network unless the viewer orders it from the remote control.

Called RS-DVR (remote-storage digital video recorder), Cablevision will test the service in its Long Island, NY, market for 60 days. That will require little more than a software download directly to set top boxes. If all goes well, the operator is then likely to introduce the service to its estimated 2.1 million digital cable subscribers later this year.

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