Cablevision RS-DVR launch finally will spell end for conventional DVRs

When Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) launches its remote server DVR (RS-DVR) in coming weeks, it will spell the end for conventional thick client set-tops with built-in hard drives, Tom Rutledge, the MSO's COO said during a third quarter earnings conference call.

In addition to obsoleting thick client DVRs, which will remain in the field, the RS-DVR will empower the seven million thing client set-top boxes already in the field because "every one of those ... can become a network DVR ... without any truck trips and they can be modified as the product changes through time without any truck trips," Rutledge said.

The RS-DVR, a device that stores content in the network to be downloaded on consumer demand "is a superior product for a variety of reasons," Rutledge said. "Initially we're launching it with the same features that our existing DVR has with the big exception that it would be a whole-house product."

While conventional DVRs have 160 gigabytes of storage on a hard drive, the network DVR can "be easily upgraded from a storage perspective," he added.

While not offering a specific rollout date, Rutledge said the RS-DVR will be launched "this quarter" in Cablevision's New York City footprint and "our plan is to end the purchase of physical DVRs soon after this first launch."

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