AT & T Tries Out ReplayTV

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AT&T Broadband is the latest MSO to test the mettle of digital video recording technology, agreeing to conduct a market trial in Denver and Boston with ReplayTV Inc.

Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. have also announced similar trials with ReplayTV and/or direct competitor TiVo Inc. Charter Communications Inc., Vulcan Ventures Inc., Motorola Broadband Communications Sector and ReplayTV are also collaborating. AT&T Broadband will conduct DVR trials with customers in neighborhoods with RF- enabled, two-way cable plant, company spokesman Steve Lang said. Subscribers will get direct-mail pitches, and the trial will involve about 5,000 customers in all.

A ReplayTV spokeswoman said there would be an 800 number to call or a Web site to visit.

AT&T Broadband wants to learn more about customer interest in DVRs, and operational and revenue effects on digital cable.

While there appears to be plenty of interest for DVR functions-to schedule, record, fast-forward and rewind programming-sales of the stand-alone boxes have been rather slow. The Yankee Group said research indicates consumers would be more likely to embrace DVRs incorporated into satellite or cable boxes.