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
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (3) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
LightSpeed Looks to Plug the Gigabit Gap
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/23/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Parks Predicts HBO OTT Success
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, Universal, Intel and Microsoft, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.