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Time Warner Cable sheds light on cloud-based guide

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 2:18pm
Mike Robuck

During its third-quarter conference call this morning, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said the company has deployed a cloud-based user guide in parts of Syracuse, Dallas and Los Angeles.

The cloud-based guide provides improved search and navigation features over traditional grid guides. The guide first launched in Syracuse in the third quarter, according to a Time Warner Cable spokesman. The new guide is also a step down the pathway to IP migration.

“We expect to roll it out broadly in the next several quarters,” Britt said.

While Britt didn’t say which boxes were using the new guides, Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech said it operates on the company’s OCAP Digital Navigator (ODN) platform, which includes a DOCSIS 3.0 connection. Last year, Time Warner Cable upgraded its OCAP Digital Navigator guide to ODN 4.02-4, and it works with both its white-glove Signature Home and Whole House DVR home networking services.

Time Warner Cable has previously said it was using DVRs and boxes from Motorola, Samsung and Cisco for Signature Home.

After rolling out a whole-home DVR service this year, Britt said Time Warner Cable would focus on installing home gateways to improve its service and reduce its CPE spending in some configurations.

“We have no illusions that we can make all of our 14 million legacy set-top boxes sing and dance like an iPad,” Britt said. “In fact, it isn’t all that easy to invent a simple way to surf hundreds of channels with the remote control that isn’t a keyboard. However, we’re making incremental investments in the most recent generations of set-top boxes, that is those with vast processors, a DOCSIS connection and home networking capabilities.”

Other notable news from the call included a new marketing promotion that Time Warner Cable started last month in Los Angeles. Time Warner Cable Wideband 50 subscribers get 2 gigabytes of mobile 3G/4G broadband access per month at no additional charge, while Turbo Plus and Wideband 30 subscribers can get the same 3G/4G capability for an additional $10 a month. Standard and Turbo customers can get it for an extra $20.

“We just started marketing this capability last month, and we’ve seen an almost immediate uptick in the take rates for our higher-end broadband tiers in L.A.,” Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus said. “So early indications are that this approach to mobility resonates more than some of the earlier efforts we’ve made to sell standalone wireless broadband.”

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