TWC’s enables cloud navigation on 2 million gateways

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 1:13pm
Mike Robuck

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that its new guide with cloud-based features was now on 2 million hybrid gateways, with plans to hit 6 million by the end of next year.

The new guide was paired with updated cloud-based navigation services, more program information, a new VOD portal and better search and recommendation capabilities.

The new cloud features are being deployed on DOCSIS 3.0 gateways. While Time Warner Cable uses boxes from Cisco, Samsung and Arris, it didn’t say what gateways were being used with the new guide, although it has said in the past that the cloud-based guide and navigation features were the first steps on its migration to IP. 

The new guide and new features aren’t using the Reference Design Kit (RDK), but Time Warner Cable has previously said that RDK-based hybrid boxes would come into play early next year. Time Warner Cable previously trialed hybrid IP boxes and a cloud-based guide in Syracuse, New York

“We’ve received great feedback on our new cloud-based guide features and are excited to deliver an even better television experience for our customers,” said Rob Marcus, who is currently president and chief operating officer prior to becoming CEO on Jan. 1. “We’re investing in improving our video service, making it even easier for our customers to enjoy all of their video choices.”

The new widescreen guide is delivered in true HD with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The on-demand portal collects all of the VOD programming into one area with box art and uses “intuitive” methods to better find programs. Earlier this year, Time Warner Cable struck a deal with Jinni, which uses a search engine to help customers find content intuitively. A spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable said the search and recommendation features were developed in-house and with vendor partners, but declined to disclose the vendors.

In addition to making it easier to search for favorite shows, and movies, the new “what’s hot” category highlights popular titles with box art lets customers can browse titles by genre. The search function now returns results after the first letter is typed, bringing up the closest matches first and then refines the searches as customers enter additional letters

The DVR manager was updated with rich graphics and simplified navigation of recordings and recording schedules, detailed information by series and programs, and simplified multiple deletion features.

In 2008, Time Warner Cable teamed up with ActiveVideo to allow subscribers in its Oceanic division to view Internet-based and traditional content on their TVs. The spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable said ActiveVideo wasn’t one of the vendors being used for its new guide and cloud-based features.  .

Two years ago, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said the company had deployed a cloud-based user guide in parts of Syracuse, Dallas and Los Angeles. That version of the guide used the company’s OCAP Digital Navigator (ODN) platform, which included a DOCSIS 3.0 connection. 

As a precursor to the cloud-based guide, Time Warner Cable launched its cloud-based video-on-demand application last year in Syracuse.  At the time of the launch, Time Warner Cable said the VOD application in Syracuse was a starting point en route to the deployment of IP-based set-top boxes in 2012 and early this year that would access cloud-based navigation.

In a third-quarter earnings call two years ago, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said the nation’s second-largest cable operator was looking at a cloud-based user guide.







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