Light Reading

Time Warner Starts Over on BBTV

Alan Breznick
2/12/2007
50%
50%
Repost This

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.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
What's the Magic of Private Equity?
Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed