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.

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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?

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