Digital video recorders (DVRs) may have gotten an initial push thanks to TiVo (News - Alert), the groundbreaking DVR that moved the viewing public to a time-shifted model. But DVRs certainly haven’t been limited to TiVo, and now no cable experience is complete without some form of DVR—usually provided by the cable provider.
With set-top DVRs now in homes across the country, the next evolution is now underway: The cloud-based DVR.
As a recent TechZine article, Clear Skies Ahead for Cloud DVR, by Roland Mestric, Director, Multimedia Solutions Marketing, Global Corporate Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) noted, network DVR solutions make sense to just about every stakeholder, whether cable provider, consumer or advertiser.
For consumers, cloud-based DVRs bring TV on demand for any device, and offer the possibility for unlimited storage instead of the current hard drive limitations of set-top DVR solutions. They enable parallel recordings, so no shows need to be missed. Further, cloud-based DVRs let consumers make recordings from any location, and ensure their recordings are safe, e.g., no failed DVR hard drives when it comes to the cloud.
For service providers, the benefits of the cloud are even more pronounced.
As Mestric details, service providers can leverage the scale of the data center to reduce capital expenditure on set-top DVRs, multiple tuners, and other equipment. Maintaining DVRs is also easier with a cloud model, reducing operating expense.
Further, there are incremental revenue opportunities by offering consumers time-shifted TV services and other value-adds that can only happen with a cloud model. Innovation in cloud-based DVR is just getting started.
A cloud model also benefits advertisers, as it is possible to enforce the watching of ads, and it generally increases TV viewing.
With the benefits of a cloud model so obvious, providers such as Alcatel-Lucent have been hard at work on industry solutions to enable efficient cloud deliver of content. Its Cloud DVR solution recently won the TV Connect Industry Award in the Best Cloud or CDN Service Delivery category. The company also received an Emmy recently for its work Cloud-based DVR technology.
“The pay TV industry as a whole is clearly accelerating its adoption of cloud technologies to improve operations, provide innovative services as well as satisfy users’ growing appetite for anytime, anywhere video,” noted Paul Larbey, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Video business.
Cloud DVR is on the rise.
Edited by Peter Bernstein