Light Reading
Time Warner Cable is shutting down its broadband TV service because no one watched

Time Warner Starts Over on BBTV

Alan Breznick
2/12/2007
50%
50%

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has come to the realization that maybe TV content is best displayed on -- wait for it -- a TV!

The MSO has ended an 18-month trial in San Diego that enabled high-speed data subscribers to view their entire basic cable programming offerings on their home PCs. Some 9,000 of Time Warner's Road Runner customers in two adjoining neighborhoods could watch up to 75 expanded basic cable channels on their computers for no extra charge.

Fewer than 90 cable modem customers a day, less than 1 percent of the trial subscribers, opted to watch any TV shows on their computers.

"It shows that viewers don't want their whole cable lineups on their PCs," says a Time Warner Cable spokesman. Although not terribly surprising, MSO executives termed the finding "reassuring."

Even those who did watch TV shows did not exactly turn to the PC as their first choice. Instead, Time Warner officials say, viewers largely used the service for "background channels" while they were working on their computers or as "the screen of last resort" when all the TV sets in the house were already in use.

The test was also expensive. Time Warner converted conventional video signals to streams of IP packets at two hubs and then sent them out to subscribers. The MSO used a transcoder to convert each TV channel into a stream of IP packets.

Time Warner executives say the approach works just fine technically. But they say it requires 75 transcoders, one for every channel, in each advertising zone where they deliver the service, making it cost-prohibitive on a larger scale.

Time Warner executives say they will continue to explore the idea of video delivery to the PC. Its data engineers in Herndon, Va., and video engineers in their Westminster, Colo., labs will develop a better scheme, but company officials declined to discuss any details right now.

"We're looking to see what customers do want to watch on their computers," says a Time Warner spokesman. "It's obviously not full TV shows."

In the meantime, Time Warner plans to expand its short-form Internet video service, "Quick Clips," to more cable markets. The free digital cable service allows subscribers to watch news stories, weather reports, and other short Web video content from various cable networks, including CNN, CNBC, and The Weather Channel.

Launched in Columbia, S.C., six months ago, Quick Clips has gained some early usage among digital customers. Time Warner officials say it regularly ranks as one of its five most popular, free, video-on-demand (VOD) offerings.

The MSO is expanding QuickClips to at least five other markets this year, including San Antonio, Greensboro, N.C., and Rochester, N.Y. Company officials say the service will follow in the path of "Start Over," another free digital cable offering that allows subscribers to pause and rewind TV shows already in progress within the program's viewing window.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
CoolLightGeek
50%
50%
CoolLightGeek,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:39 PM
re: Time Warner Starts Over on BBTV
I know of at least 2 engineers that have a much larger PC monitor than their TV screen at home.
But then again, the only thing they may be interested in watching on cable TV is PBS Nova.

People seem to forget that motion pictures started out as a deck of pictures on a roledex that only an individual person could view while turning a crank. The industry of cinematography progressed to shared entertainment with big screens and big sound.

When the the largest screen at home converges with the PC, the DVR and a broadband connection, then you will see a significant upswing in network demand. The difficulty is that those who provide the cable TV service want you to pick their premium packages as opposed to having you spend for premium content directly from internet download.

Its just like the cellphone industry: manufacturers build equipment that flexibly can handle this convergence and the service providers shut off most of the PC convergence features in the usually unsuccesful attempt to get you to buy their lame music and video features.

CLG
Michael Harris
50%
50%
Michael Harris,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:14:37 PM
re: Time Warner Starts Over on BBTV
Too bad they won't offer a high-bandwidth DIY option for the geek set.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Stephen Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
Is Rackspace the Best Next Move for CenturyLink?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 9/9/2014
T-Mobile Accuses Huawei of Espionage
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/9/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed