We’ve been tracking the whole home DVR movement for a while now. Just in the past six months, we’ve seen significant activity from cable companies with this value add service. That’s not great news for AT&T, who has successfully leveraged U-verse Total Home DVR for competitive advantage in video.
The latest entrant – Comcast. They announced the launch of their AnyRoom DVR product, which allows the viewing of DVR content on any ‘networked’ set-top-box in the home. Comcast customers will need one HD/DVR set-top box as the primary DVR and up to three additional HD set-top boxes can play back content recorded on the primary DVR. The service is being offered in limited markets in the Northwest.
AT&T may still tout a whole home DVR advantage. The U-Verse DVR product allows subscribers to control DVR features from any room where there is a set-top-box, including recording programs. AnyRoom DVR from Comcast and some other competing products only allow the playback of already recorded content from the ‘main’ DVR on other set-top-boxes throughout the home.
Comcast follows Cox, Mediacom, and DirecTV who have also recently launched whole home DVR products. Is the value add feature considered table stakes now, almost required for a competitive video product?