Just as service providers get used to teeing up standard DVR and VOD services as competitive weapons, the new battlefront is already morphing into extending these services throughout any set-top-box connected television in the home. Comcast just announced the expansion of their AnyRoom On Demand service throughout New England. AnyRoom allows subscribers to start a VOD session in one room, and continue watching it in another room. The service is offered at no additional charge. The expansion comes on the heels of Verizon’s expanded effort to position their multi-room DVR product as a leading differentiating service. Multi-room DVR allows FiOS customers to watch and control recorded programs on multiple TV’s throughout the room. Verizon is marketing it as a single home DVR – no need to buy multiple DVRs. See Verizon’s latest commercial featuring NBA star Kevin Garnett below.
These new battlegrounds are setting the stage for the eventual connected home – a home where media of any kind can be distributed throughout to any appropriate networked device. It’s been the subject of many a PowerPoint deck or panel at your tradeshow of choice. We’re not there yet by any stretch, but these deployments are leading indicators of a future to come. Service providers will be challenged to ensure they too can offer these differentiated networked home product portfolios.