Cable Operators

Cablevision Rolls RS-DVR in Bronx

1/31/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Cablevision Systems is no longer offering
conventional digital recorder settops
to Bronx, N.Y., subscribers, following
the Jan. 18 launch of the network-based
Remote Storage DVR in the service area.

The service — DVR Plus — is priced
at $10.95 per month for 160 Gigabytes of
storage, which is the same as with Cablevision’s
conventional iO DVR service.
It’s the first launch of the RS-DVR across
an entire Cablevision market, according
to spokesman Jim Maiella.

Cablevision is touting DVR Plus as a
“whole-house solution,” available from
any digital set-top box in the home. For example,
if a show is paused on one set-top,
it can be resumed on another box elsewhere
in the house. DVR Plus lets customers
record up to four shows simultaneously
while watching a fifth recorded show.

The service also lets users pause live
TV, like conventional DVRs, for a maximum
of 15 minutes.

One of the primary vendors powering
DVR Plus is Israel-based Fabrix.TV, majority-
owned by telecommunications and
energy provider IDT, according to industry
sources. Cablevision and Fabrix.TV
have declined to confirm they are working
together.

Cablevision engineered a prototype of
the RS-DVR in 2006, only to be hauled into
court by a coalition of TV programmers,
movie studios and other content owners
who alleged the service violated copyright
laws. The MSO prevailed in 2009, after the
U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider
an appeal of a lower-court ruling that Cablevision
was within its rights with the network-
based DVR service.

Previously, Cablevision anticipated
rolling out RS-DVR as early as last April.
Chief operating officer Tom Rutledge
has told analysts that the MSO will stop
buying physical DVRs once the RS-DVR
is widely deployed — a potentially big
reduction in capital spending.

June