(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Cablevision Says: Let Us Be Your TiVo

from the might-make-some-a-bit-unhappy dept

For all the problems Cablevision has had in recent years with it's business, you have to give it at least some credit for trying to be a bit more innovative than many others in the cable space. While their satellite TV experiment was a complete disaster, the company recognized it was in a land grab for "triple play" users and actually was willing to set up a bundle that basically priced their VoIP offering at zero. It was also the one cable company to break ranks and say that a la carte cable sounded like a good idea. Finally, while it's been particularly nasty to the competition, Cablevision has also delivered much faster broadband speeds than just about any other cable provider (they were also one of the first cable companies to embrace their own broadband offerings). Well, now they're going out on a limb again, and are going to test a centralized DVR offering that works like a TiVo, but with all the storage being back at Cablevision. This isn't a new idea, of course. Time Warner had planned just such a system a few years ago... but it got neutered after many content partners freaked out. Of course, times have changed a bit, and perhaps TV execs may finally be realizing that giving people what they want is a good thing? Then again, perhaps not. The article covering the story expects many of the content firms to fight back against this device -- as if users don't already have plenty of options with similar functionality.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Crossbones, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 5:39am

    As a Direct TV installer, I am swithching over a lot of people evey week for the simple reason that they want a DVR. There are a few cable companies that DO offer a type of digital video recorder but what I am hearing from the former cable customers; the cable provided recorders do not work as well as the TIVO and the Direct TV DVR

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    MB, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    ...and when cable's out of service?

    I use Cablevision as my ISP and TV service provider. When cable experiences outages, which happens a bit too frequently, I lose both TV AND Internet. The wonderful thing about my TiVo with its local storage is that I can watch it when the Cable's out because it's just another peripheral. We'd never buy a workstation PC with all of our files located at Cablevision, and it's not just beacuse of security concerns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Brian, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 7:12am

    I have had 2 Time Warner DVR's for several years and they work great. Now if only my roadrunner service would stay consistant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dave, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 7:54am

    Re: ...and when cable's out of service?

    I lost Cable for 3 weeks after Wilma Passed through Florida. I got my Power back on, and was able to watch stuff on my Tivo, although I could not get new content.

    My friends who had Comcast's DVR, EVEN THOUGH it was in their house, and able to power on, it could not play their recordings, beacuse it was dependent on a signal or something from Comcast, which was still out.

    This is just one of the many reasons I'll stick with my Tivo (and maybe buy a second one)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 7:58am


    Cable DVRs, especially scientific atlantic, suck major @$$. Ultimate TV with Direct TV was the best system I even owned.

    Unfortunately, the place where I rent now doesn't give me a south western view, so I can't get Direct TV. Boy does cable suck. Specifically,

    1. All the good channels, including SciFi, are in analog, not digitial.
    2. Outages happen on a daily basis. With Direct TV I only lost a signal twice in three years, both times during severe Florida storms.
    3. The quality of the digital channels, except HD ones, suck compare to Direct TV.
    4. Every week, the cable feed loses about 20 seconds of audio of the show "Lost" during critical dialog. This probably happens with other shows too, but I watch few shows.
    5. The DVRs suck compare to Ultimate TV or even that mediocre Tivo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ibeetle, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 8:31am

    Basic... very basic

    Yes it is great that Cablevision is doing this. I live in a Cablevision service area. I suspect it is from pressure from future competitors. I also live in a Verizon heavy area. And the big V is about to start offering T.V. service for about half the price of cable.

    Although I am sure this discounted price is only temporary. Just to suck you in. Then Verizon raises the price on you. Like they do on everything else they touch.

    However I am still keeping my Tivo. Apparently the Cablevision PVR has only the very basic functions. As Tivo adds features and functions it seems to be turning more into a audio/video appliance. Although Cablevision maybe a bit more attractive to those looking for a bargain. In my area Cablevision is only $4.95 a month compared to Tivo's $12.95 and that is per unit. Cablevision only charges $4.95 extra no matter how many T.V.'s you have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    JG, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 8:52am


    Crossbones, are you installing anymore TIVO DVR's non HD, or are these all the new DTV DVR?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Dave, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    Host DVR

    I've believed for several years that the big win for the DVR space will be from the host. Why limit your viewable recorded choices to, well, what you've recorded. Instead, give me everything you got when I want it.

    The limitation to this concept has always been the business models in place. Which is what killed the Mystro project, mentioned in the article. Times are 'a changing and there's now $ to be had in timeshifting TV. As I see it, all media will eventially be available over a network for a price.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Margaret, Aug 19th, 2006 @ 2:59am

    TV channels subscription


    I hope I'm talking to the right person. I work in a company that distribute foreign TV channels to its subscribers, and would like to add more channels - 30 to 40 channels from your company.

    Could you please let us know your package. Also, if you are the right company to talk to, do you have 'Right to cover West Africa'?

    Thank you for your response

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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