Here's one to make US cable subscribers jealous.
Portugal pay-TV provider ZON Multimédia is launching a network DVR service that allows users to record live TV and play it back on multiple devices wherever they are. Powered by Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR)'s MediaHawk VX content delivery solution, the new Timewarp service supports viewing on TVs, PC, iPads, and iPhones. Consumers can record multiple channels at once, and Timewarp plugs in to ZON's existing IRIS solution for multi-screen content navigation.
The only apparent downside to the new service is that recorded shows can only be accessed for seven days after their air date, a provision presumably required by ZON's programming partners.
Network DVR has been slow to arrive in the US, with deployments hampered by content rights issues, and video playback largely limited to TVs in the home. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has been a pioneer with its Optimum service, but even that offering only started rolling out in volume recently. (See Cablevision's Expanding Network DVR.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), meanwhile, has said it will launch cloud DVR as part of its new X2 IP video service scheduled to debut this fall. Other pay-TV providers are approaching multi-screen video delivery in different ways.
For example, many providers are transporting content that originates in the home to users' mobile devices through syncing or streaming functions. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) uses the Sling-loaded Hopper DVR, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) has the GenieGO, and Suddenlink Communications is deploying the TiVo Stream. (See Comcast Tightens Its Cloud Embrace, Dish Slings Its Latest Hopper DVR, DirecTV Takes DVR Over Wi-Fi, and Suddenlink Activates TiVo Stream.)
For Concurrent, the win with ZON is more proof that its MediaHawk platform is gaining traction, particularly in Europe. Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) selected MediaHawk for its TV Anywhere service back in March. (See Virgin Plugs Concurrent Into Its Video CDN.)
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable