Hot on the heels of its legal victory in August, Cablevision is going full steam ahead with its plan to roll out a network DVR early next year, offering up a few more details about the service to the Associated Press.
Cablevison’s network DVR would offer 160 GB of storage (roughly the same as a standard DVR) and would cost $9.95 a month (the same as a current DVR service), according to Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge. And rather than a box that requires company installation, there will be a new screen with the DVR interface for users to record and play back their TV shows.
Rutledge has said that the network DVR will save the company $100 per customer, but Tuna Amobi, an analyst with Standard & Poor’s, predicted that no savings would be realized until 2009 or 2010. That makes sense, given the roll-out timeline, but why is Cablevision being so stingy with the storage? The company will be getting it in bulk and distributing it without using installed hardware, so why can’t pass along some of those savings to customers?
Meanwhile, Comcast and Time Warner are both interested in developing their own network DVRs, but there are legal and bandwidth concerns that remain. Though Cablevision won its copyright infringement case against the Hollywood studios, the courtroom wrangling could continue on appeal.
Network DVRs also require a ton of bandwidth, a particular problem for companies with analog systems. Network management is the reason Cox isn’t hopping on the network DVR bandwagon just yet.