Thursday, October 01, 2009

Time Warner Northeast Ohio "Starts Over"

No, our subject header isn't meant to imply that Northeast Ohio's cable TV giant is tearing out the cable and rewiring.

The local Time Warner systems are getting ready to mount "Start Over", a new feature for digital cable users that lets them join already started programs "in progress", returning to the beginning of the show they caught in the middle.

From a TWC press release:

Start Over is enabled by a software upgrade to the existing video on demand (VOD) platform and to the installed base of digital set top boxes. The Start Over system instantaneously captures live television programming for immediate, on demand viewing.

When tuning to a Start Over-enabled show in progress, customers are alerted to the feature through an on-screen prompt. By pressing “Select” on the remote control, the program is immediately restarted from the beginning. Commercials will appear in the same sequence of the show as in the initial telecast. Start Over-enabled programs can be restarted within the shows’ telecast window.

Since it's based on TWC's own "On Demand" servers, "Start Over" doesn't require anything more than a standard digital cable box...with no DVR, or advance planning needed.

The TWC release says "Start Over" will be implemented in the Northeast Ohio area over the next few days, starting next week:

Start Over will roll-out to customers in phases October 6 – 16. By Oct. 16, all eligible customers will have the service.

At start, "Start Over" will only be enabled on a list of 19 networks, mostly popular cable channels, with new channels being "added frequently". Not all shows on the networks in question will be enabled for "Start Over".

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) saw TWC's "Start Over" implementation many months ago, at the NorthEast Radio Watch World Headquarters in Rochester NY...one of the earliest markets to get the service.

In Rochester, we noted that it was enabled for local news on the NBC affiliate in the market, so we presume that'll eventually happen here in Northeast Ohio as well.

The complete list of initial "Start Over" channels is in the press release, which we are reprinting in full below...

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For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2009

Time Warner Cable Launches “Start Over”
Allows Customers to Restart Television Programs and Movies Already in Progress with the Touch of a Button


Akron, OH (OCTOBER 2009) – Time Warner Cable today announced the launch of Start Over, the company’s Enhanced TV feature that gives customers the ability to restart a program in progress without any pre-planning or in-home recording devices. Start Over, an exclusive product only available from Time Warner Cable, is being offered free to digital cable customers.

Start Over is enabled by a software upgrade to the existing video on demand (VOD) platform and to the installed base of digital set top boxes. The Start Over system instantaneously captures live television programming for immediate, on demand viewing. When tuning to a Start Over-enabled show in progress, customers are alerted to the feature through an on-screen prompt. By pressing “Select” on the remote control, the program is immediately restarted from the beginning. Commercials will appear in the same sequence of the show as in the initial telecast. Start Over-enabled programs can be restarted within the shows’ telecast window.

“Start Over delivers to our digital cable subscribers a new level of control over their television and makes it even easier to watch what they want when they want without any pre-planning,” said Vin Zachariah, Regional Vice President of Operations, Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio. “Start Over builds on Time Warner Cable’s long history of technological firsts that provides consumers with the power to take control of their television viewing. We are very excited to be bringing this convenience to our customers.”

For the initial launch, Start Over is enabled on 19 networks:
A&E
Biography Channel
Comedy Central
Disney Channel
Food Network
FX
HGTV
History Channel
History International
MTV
National Geographic
Nick
Nicktoons
Nick Jr.
Spike
TBS
TNT
TV Land
VH1

New channels will be added frequently.

Start Over will roll-out to customers in phases October 6 – 16. By Oct. 16, all eligible customers will have the service.

Some shows on Start Over-enabled channels may not be available with this feature. In this situation, the Start Over prompt will not appear on the screen.

Time Warner Cable's Start Over was named the winner of the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Innovation and Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Best Use of on Demand Technology over Private (Closed) Networks. Time Warner Cable, Big Band Networks, Concurrent Computer Corp., Harmonic Inc., and Scientific Atlanta shared the win for their partnership on this network-based time shifting application.

3 comments:

schafe said...

If they received an Emmy for "Start Over" in 2007, why did it take until the end of 2009 for us to get it?

Shawn said...

Anyone know if the HD versions of these channels will feature start over?

sportsboytony said...

The "start over" feature was fully operational in Syracuse a year ago (for beta testing).

http://news10now.com/cny-news-1013-content/all_news/central_new_york/?SecID=86&ArID=124748