Comcast To Start ‘Start Over’

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LAS VEGAS -- 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 already in progress, a company spokeswoman said. The second largest operator pioneered the service that allows viewers to jump back to the beginning of a program, if they arrive 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 being called out in 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 senior director of corporate communications Jennifer Khoury. The first deployments in Comcast systems should start by January 1.

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

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.

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