Time Warner Cable is developing a multi-room digital video recorder solution using Motorola’s tru2way set-top software.
Motorola developed the system, called Follow Me TV (FMTV), on its DCX3400-M and DCX3200-M tru2way-enabled set-tops.
TWC subscribers will be able to access content stored on their DVRs on any other tru2way-enabled set-top in their homes. Subscribers will have full DVR functionality on each TV screen. Customers will also be able to program their DVRs from a remote device.
FMTV supports multiple home networking technologies, including HPNA, HomePlug, and Wi-Fi (802.11n). TWC expects to use MoCA (Multimedia over Coaxial Alliance) for the home network.
Dish and AT&T have both demonstrated that multi-room DVR capability is an attractive feature, and cable companies are beginning to respond.
The largest MSOs are committed to spreading tru2way anyway, so it makes sense to peg new features on the effort. Cox, for example, is coupling the introduction of its new program guide with its formal rollout of tru2way capability. TWC is doing the same thing by piggybacking multi-room DVR on its tru2way rollout.
The announcement with TWC focuses largely on multi-room DVR, but FMTV is designed to not only distribute video from a DVR to ancillary TVs in the home, but to also connect PCs, gateways, home media servers and other electronics so that they can all share media. Content-sharing protocols supported include Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
Other whole-home media applications supported by FMTV include:
- On any connected television, watch recordings stored on any connected DVR set-top
- Pause, fast-forward, or rewind recorded TV programs from any connected set-top
- Schedule recordings, set parental controls, and manage personal program choices with an easy-to-use interface
- Bookmark a place in a recorded program at the touch of a button, then resume watching the program in the other room without interruption
- Connect third-party devices – such as network-attached storage platforms – and access this content from any room in the house
- Share content from digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, computers and mobile phones throughout the home with an easy-to-use interface
- Program a Motorola DVR remotely from a Motorola mobile phone.
The only thing Time Warner Cable said about the timing of the introduction of the service was that it would be “later this year.”
Louis Williamson, TWC senior fellow of engineering, said: “This is the first OpenCable tru2way system with home network extensions. It is fully interoperable, providing Time Warner Cable more flexibility and choice in determining what equipment is made available in its footprint.”