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Time Warner 'Explores' PVRs, HDTV

Fri, 11/30/2001 - 7:00pm
Staff

Expanding its relationship with Scientific-Atlanta Inc., Time Warner Cable has ordered 625,000 Explorer boxes to fuel the MSO's digital plans.

The order is comprised of 475,000 Explorer 2100 model boxes, 100,000 PVR-enabled Explorer 8000s and 50,000 Explorer 3100HDs, which S-A claims can decode all 18 ATSC high-definition digital formats.

Financial terms were not disclosed, though an internal analysis of the order puts it at roughly $200 million, but that figure does not include volume discounts. S-A has also said it has received another order for the 8000-class box from a second "large MSO."

The orders served as welcome news for S-A, which reported declining sales and bookings during its fiscal first quarter, and the overall economy forced the company to cut about 750 jobs and consolidate substantially all of its Atlanta manufacturing operations in the company's facility based in Juarez, Mexico.

Time Warner Cable said the boxes will play a significant role in the MSO's aggressive plan to rollout video-on-demand and subscription-VOD to S-A based systems, which represent about 85 percent of the MSO's U.S. cable properties.

In separate developments that play up the AOL portion of AOL-Time Warner, S-A said it would equip Explorer boxes with AOLTV's "communications" features. The first version, which will be housed in all 2000-class set-tops, will enable customers to tap AOL applications such as e-mail, instant messaging and the company's Buddy Lists and chat elements.

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