Time Warner Cable Launches its Start Over Service in Raleigh, SC

Time Warner Cable said Tuesday that it has launched its Start Over service on its Raleigh, South Carolina networks. The service, which is offered at no extra charge, allows customers to restart a program in progress without any pre-planning and without using any CPE-based recording devices. At launch, it is enabled on 10 channels: Fox Movie Channel, Fine Living, Hallmark, Boomerang, National Geographic, TruTV, Noggin, Biography, Showtime, and TMC East. However, Time Warner Cable says that it hopes to enable it on 50 channels by the end of the year. "Start Over delivers to our digital cable subscribers a new level of control over their television and makes it even easier to watch what they want when they want without any pre-planning," Time Warner Cable's VP and general manager for Raleigh, Chris Whitaker, said in a prepared statement. "Start Over builds on Time Warner Cable's long history of technological firsts that provides consumers with the power to take control of their television viewing. We are very excited to be bringing this convenience to our customers."

The Start Over service is enabled by a software upgrade to Time Warner Cable's existing VOD platform and installed base of digital set-top boxes. When customers tune to a Start Over-enabled show in progress, they are alerted to the availability of the service through an on-screen prompt. If they then press "select" on their remote control, the show is immediately restarted from the beginning. Commercials appear in the same sequence as they would have in the initial telecast, and shows can be restarted within their telecast window.

Time Warner Cable initially launched Start Over--which uses technology originally developed for a more ambitious network PVR initiative called MystroTV--in Columbia, SC back in 2005, and has since rolled it out in a number of other markets, including Charlotte, Wilmington, and Greensboro, NC; Rochester, NY; San Antonio, TX; and Hawaii. It says that it plans to launch it in a number of other markets over the course of this year. The service was the recipient of the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Innovation and Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Best Use of On-Demand Technology over Private (Closed) Networks. Time Warner Cable shared the award with technology providers, Big Band Networks, Concurrent, Harmonic and Scientific-Atlanta (now part of Cisco).

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