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Time Warner tests IP video in San Diego

Time Warner Cable is letting its San Diego customers watch television over their home computer’s high-speed Internet connection.

Broadband TV, the six-month pilot project, is replicating the 75-channels of video content from Time Warner’s standard Advantage service. The service was rolled out this month to 9000 of the cable company’s customers in the test area who subscribe to both cable television and its Road Runner high-speed Internet service. To watch television on a computer connected to the Road Runner service, customers download and install a media player made for Time Warner by RealPlayer onto their computers.

Once the media player is installed, they log on to a special Web site using their cable TV account numbers. It takes up to seven seconds to connect to a channel. The show that is playing on that channel then streams on the computer screen. Viewers change channels with the click of a mouse.

Bob Jones, vice president of engineering for Time Warner’s San Diego division, said the key to high-quality video is keeping the data on the company’s private network. While the video travels along the same wires as e-mail and Web sites, it never leaves Time Warner’s lines.

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