Time Warner Cable Web 1.0
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) this week unveiled a new Website (www.twondemand.com) that provides a searchable listing for all the content in its on-demand content library. (See TWC Bows VOD Web Search.)
The Web offers an easier interface than the television for searching through a vast video catalog, making the feature a useful value-add for digital cable customers. However, the initial Time Warner Web launch falls short of the compelling Web-centric vision shared by one of the MSO's engineers last year. (See Thinking Outside the Box.)
In a nutshell, the idea is to make a Website accessed through the PC, the preferred television management interface for cable customers, rather than a set-top box navigation environment. Customers could search and order VOD fare and program their DVRs with the ease of keyboards and mouse clicks, rather than fumbling with TV remote controls and program guide grids.
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is aiming to offer this functionality in short order through its Fancast.com. While the beta version of the site already offers plenty of video content to watch online, Comcast says Fancast is poised to become an integrated interface for all its customers video content needs, spanning all devices, formats, and screens -- theater, broadcast TV, computer, set-top box, DVD, DVR, VOD, and mobile. (See Comcast Fires Up Fancast.)
The good news with the 1.0 launch of Twondemand.com, is that Time Warner Cable puts itself on a path to do some of the same.
– Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News