Cablevision Drives 'DVR Plus' To Brooklyn


Cablevision Systems now offers the DVR Plus network-based digital video recorder service to Brooklyn subscribers, as the New York-area operator continues its multiphase rollout of the service.

The operator debuted the service in the Bronx in January, followed by Connecticut in April. DVR Plus went live in Brooklyn on Friday, June 24, Cablevision confirmed.

The DVR Plus service -- which works with any Cablevision set-top box -- is $10.95 per month for 160 Gigabytes of storage, the same price as Cablevision's regular DVR set-tops. That's enough to store up to 100 hours of standard-definition programming or 24 hours of HD programming.

In 2006, Cablevision was the target of a copyright-infringement lawsuit -- mounted by a coalition of TV programmers, movie studios and other content owners -- even before it launched the service commercially. The operator 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.

Separately, Comcast is planning a small network-DVR trial sometime later this year but has offered very few details.

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

Cablevision's DVR Plus can be used with several non-DVR set-tops, including Cisco Systems' SA 1800 SD, 1850 SD, 4200 SD/4200 HD, and 4250 SD/4250 HD boxes and Samsung HD set-tops.

The service includes a "pause live TV" function that lets users pause a program for up to 15 minutes. Customers who have just ordered DVR Plus must wait up to two hours for the service to become active, and must first initiate a recording before they can use the "pause live TV" option.

When customers use a Cablevision-supplied DVR cable box -- Scientific Atlanta models 8300 HD or 8300 SD -- they can play back programs recorded using DVR Plus. However, recordings made on those SA boxes are available for playback only on the box from which the recordings are made; furthermore, those HD DVRs can't be used to set DVR Plus recordings.