& cplSiteName &

Comcast Launches Cloud DVR

Alan Breznick
2/4/2014
50%
50%

Following in the footsteps of Cablevision Systems, Comcast has become the second major US cable operator to offer a cloud DVR service to its video customers.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the largest MSO in the US, announced Tuesday that it's launching the cloud DVR service in its Boston region to new Xfinity TV subscribers. The new network-based DVR service allows subscribers using Comcast's X1 IP video platform to download DVR programming to as many as five TVs or other video devices at the same time.

In addition, Comcast announced the launch of a live in-home video streaming service for Xfinity TV customers. The new video streaming service permits subscribers to stream nearly the MSO's entire linear TV channel lineup to IP-connected mobile devices, set-tops, and media gateways.

To deliver these new download and streaming features to subscribers, Comcast is also introducing a new Xfinity TV app for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iOS tablets and smartphones, as well as a dedicated portal for viewing on computers. With the new app, subscribers can reportedly download up to 10 recoded programs on their iPads and iPhones for later viewing, among other things. The MSO plans to offer the same download-to-go functionality for Android devices but didn't say when it will do so.

Notably, though, Comcast has stopped short of using its cloud-based technology to deliver out-of-home streaming to its video customers. While out-of-home video streaming is considered crucial to the success of TV Everywhere services, content rights issues have blocked most cable operators and other service providers from offering robust out-of-home streaming services so far.

Comcast, which seems to like to launch its next-gen video products in Boston after rolling out X1 there in May 2012, said it intends to extend its "X1 DVR with cloud technology" service to "additional markets" later this year. The MSO did not name the markets but, if past patterns hold, it will more than likely be another major Northeastern market like Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington, D.C.

The launch of cloud DVR service by the largest US MSO is significant because it signals another shift away from the clunky, costly set-top boxes on which the cable industry has traditionally relied for decades. Cloud-based delivery of DVR and other TV services promises to be a cheaper, more efficient way of bringing video content to customers. Cloud-based delivery also enables cable operators to reach a much wider range of set-tops and other video devices at the same time.

Besides Comcast, such major US MSOs as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Charter Communications Inc. are also exploring network-based DVR service. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), which pioneered the service and fought a legal battle for it that went up to the Supreme Court, has been offering cloud DVR in the New York metro area since 2010. (See Cablevision's Expanding Network DVR.)

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2014 | 5:12:52 PM
Re: Fact or fiction?
We'll try to keep a close watch on it, Michelle. What we do know is that cloud DVR has worked pretty well for Cablevision in the New York metro area. So there's every reason to suspect it'll do well for Comcast in Boston and elsewhere too. Let's see how fast Comcast deploys it across the nation now.  
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 10:35:12 PM
Fact or fiction?
This is quite an announcement! It's almost opposite what I would expect from Comcast. I'm very curious to know how well it works in these test markets.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:56:02 PM
Re: Cox?
If Cox does launch it, tho, I don't know if San diego would be one of the first markets. So how badly do you want this service, Mitch? 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 10:03:32 PM
Re: Cox?
Good question, Mitch. Cox, TWC and Charter all have it in the works. But it's not clear exactly when any of them will actually introduce it. I'm betting, tho, that Cox will be the first of the three, if that helps.  
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/4/2014 | 6:54:49 PM
Cox?
Any word on when the other MSPs will offer cloud-based DVR services? Particularly Cox (said this Cox customer, hopefully). 
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
NFV, SDN, Big Data – It's All About Automation
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 7/21/2017
Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/20/2017
Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.