Time Warner Says You Can Start Over Again

from the sort-of dept

A year and a half ago Time Warner (or AOL Time Warner, at the time) ditched their relationship with TiVo to work on their own TiVo killer. The idea, called MystroTV, was that all of the functionality would be handled at the datacenter, but those using digital cable could watch any show from the previous two weeks of programming at any time. Of course, there were a number of folks in the broadcasting industry who didn’t want that to happen and put some pressure on Time Warner. Also, there were some huge technology hurdles to overcome. As a replacement for that, it appears that Time Warner’s cable division is about to start testing a greatly slimmed down version of this technology that will let users “start over” any show that they turn on in the middle. There aren’t many details, but the idea is that as you turn on the TV, if it’s already in the middle of a program, you can simply hit the “start over” button, and the show will pick up from the beginning. Again, there are some technical challenges to this (and it may still raise questions from content companies, of which Time Warner has a division who might not be happy as well). It also seems like a fairly weak response to a typical DVR which gives you much more functionality.

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Comments on “Time Warner Says You Can Start Over Again”

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Steve Mueller (user link) says:

It's No Replay, But...

While it’s certainly not as powerful as a DVR in some ways, it sounds like it will be better in one major way — you can start any show over from the beginning.

Every DVR that I’ve heard of has one or two tuners (although there’s that Sony PC in Japan that will have six or seven). This means that you can only start one or two programs over from the beginning — the ones the tuners are set to. This Time-Warner service wouldn’t have that restriction.

Even better, if you hook your DVR after the cable output, you can pause and rewind the show you started over. If you can only start a show over with the T-W service, that would be a pain if you just wanted to do an instant replay (something I do a lot on my Replays). That sounds like a useful synergy.

Mary says:

It's no replay, and DVR users LOSE!

For those with DVRs, it is AWFUL. The usual rewind, pause, fast forward and record buttons wouldn’t work on a channel that had gone to “start over” even though I was watching in live mode. I thus missed the last 5 minutes of a program when the phone rang. I guess I could have hit the start over button then re-watched the whole dang thing (since fast forward doesn’t work) but I gave up. I’ve warned TWC I’d be going to dish if this was going to continue- not that they will care!!

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