By Richard Nesin, president, HomePNA
Well the rumors we commented on last week about AT&T beginning the roll out of their whole-home DVR are true (we knew it all the time but were sworn to secrecy). True to our predictions and the power of IPTV, AT&T is introducing the U-verse Total Home DVR to customers in the Bay Area (at no additional charge) and plans to deploy to all U-verse TV customers by the end of 2008. That’s the power of AT&T’s model -- remote software upgrade combined with the advantage of an IP based system that uses a home-network such as HomePNA to send all kinds of video to the set-top boxes.
With the major telcos offering whole-home DVR, the MSOs can’t be far behind, right? Lightreading reported today that Cablevision announced plans to offer their version of a whole-home DVR early next year. The twist? Instead of having a hard drive in the home and using an IP based home network to deliver the data from one set-top in the home to another, the Cablevision RS-DVR stores the video on a remote server (the “RS” in “RS-DVR” stands for remote server -- a super PC with a big hard drive located somewhere in their network outside the customer's home) and sends it down the cable to any set-top in the home like video on demand. It’s an effective solution for MSOs, using a lot of their existing technology, but not a practical solution for telcos. More on this in a future post.