Cablevision Explores Networked DVRs

Cablevision Systems may be going its own way once again. Despite the popularity that other MSOs are enjoying with souped-up cable-DVR set-tops, Cablevision seems determined to launch a network-based DVR service instead. Cablevision has started rolling out dual-tuner digital video recorders from Scientific-Atlanta in a limited fashion over the past few months. But, after calling DVRs "an inelegant solution" during the company's year-end earnings call last week, Cablevision President and COO Tom Rutledge told financial analysts Wed. that he still aims to launch a networked DVR service later this year. He said a network-based service makes much more economic sense in the long run because it would spare the expense of truck rolls, digital box swaps and new set-top installations. Rutledge also indicated that Cablevision may have found a way around the copyright issues that have bedeviled other MSOs, such as Time Warner Cable. Although also intrigued by the idea of a networked DVR service, Time Warner scaled back its investment in a similar venture, Mystro TV, last year.
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