According to Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus, the cable MSO will release a “souped up DVR” that has 6 tuners and 1 terabyte of storage space later this year. This announcement comes after the company’s reported loss of 129,000 pay TV subscribers in the 4th quarter of 2012. While there are many reasons for customer churn, it certainly doesn’t help that top pay TV competitors like DirecTV and Dish Network are leaving Time Warner Cable in the dust with their state-of-the-art flagship DVRs.
The new DVR, known as a video gateway, can convert cable channels into IP video—which means it can deliver content to multiple set-tops, connected TVs, laptops, tablets, and other IP devices in the home.
The new DVR will use a cloud-based interactive program guide, which provides improved search functionality and box art for TV shows and movies, unlike the current set-top based program guides.
The nation’s 2nd largest cable provider is looking to be proactive when it comes to winning new subscribers and keeping current customers, which means improving technology, added value, and enhanced customer service. Marcus rev
Marcus revealed that Time Warner Cable is planning to add “out of home” programming to its TWC TV app for Apple iOS and Android devices, which currently only lets subscribers access live TV in their own homes. So far, the only major pay TV provider that offers live TV streaming outside the home is Dish Network, which is the country’s 2nd largest satellite TV provider.
Still, it’s been too long since Time Warner Cable has offered a product or service that consumers would call “innovative”. As the nation’s 2nd largest cable company, there’s no reason it can’t be the leader in the pay TV industry with the largest share of pay TV customers. It’s a matter of caring enough to stay ahead of the competition. Right now, the cable MSO is playing catch up, which is not an ideal position when it comes to winning new subscribers or attracting new customers from other pay TV providers. That said, it’s never too late to improve. And who knows—before long, Time Warner Cable could be setting the new standard that other cable and satellite companies must follow just to stay in the game.