News

'Start Over’ to Start On Comcast’s Systems

1/11/2008 7:00 PM Eastern

Comcast plans to begin deploying the Start Over TV service in some of its systems by the end of the year, the company said Wednesday.

The nation’s largest operator of cable systems is in negotiations to license the name Start Over from Time Warner Cable for a service that will let subscribers restart a TV program that’s already in progress, a company spokeswoman said.

The second-largest operator pioneered the service which allows viewers to jump back to the beginning of a program, if they begin watching in the middle of it.

A Start Over function was on display in Comcast’s demonstrations of its new on-screen program guide in a meeting room at the Venetian Hotel as an adjunct to the Consumer Electronics Show here, and was called out during a demonstration of Comcast services using what is now known as tru2way technology at the Panasonic exhibition at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Testing in trial markets is likely to take place some time in the middle of the year, said Comcast senior director of corporate communications Jennifer Khoury.

The first deployments in Comcast systems should start by Jan. 1.

Start Over is one of a number of “enhanced TV” services, which try to replicate functions of digital recording devices, now being offered by Time Warner Cable.

Unlike standalone digital recorders, however, viewers cannot race past commercials when playing back the video on their screens.

Comcast serves close to 25 million cable-TV customers; Time Warner Cable has 13.3 million basic-cable TV subscribers.

September