Light Reading

Comcast: 'AnyRoom DVR' is Live in 20+ Markets

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/1/2010
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Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has launched its AnyRoom DVR service in more than 20 markets -- initially to its Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)-based digital video footprint.

Comcast debuted the multi-room DVR service in its Oregon and Southwest Washington markets today, but a company spokeswoman confirmed to Light Reading Cable that it's also live in about 19 other markets, including Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Augusta, Ga.; Little Rock, Ark.; Mobile, Ala.; western Massachusetts; southern Florida; and the Bay Area.

Comcast is starting off the service in its Moto systems, which make up the bulk of its cable footprint, but does intend to offer the service in its Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) markets, too, as it upgrades its interactive guide. Comcast's AnyRoom DVR service is "rolling out market-by-market," the MSO official said, but did not provide a timeline on when it will be available across the board. [Ed. note: We're trying to confirm what Comcast is charging for the product, though pricing may not be the same in all its markets.]

The launches will help Comcast get on equal footing with multi-room DVR services already offered by DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

The rapid expansion of AnyRoom DVR was expected. Last month, rumors that the deployment was imminent jolted the stock of Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), which, along with Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), makes the MoCA chips that power the boxes the MSO's using for the multi-room DVR offering. (See Entropic Surges Off Comcast DVR Scuttlebutt .)

According to Comcast, its AnyRoom DVR can support up to three additional HD boxes hanging off the home network. The new guide that comes with it also features a "Watch in HD" button that maps the viewer from a channel's standard-def feed to the one in HD. Comcast is also coupling the deployment with a Web-based app that lets subs manage their DVRs remotely via PCs, iPhones, iPod Touches, and other supported Internet-connected devices.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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