India's Bharti Airtel Launches NDS-Powered DVR Service on its Satellite TV Platform

Interactive TV and conditional access technology provider, NDS, said Tuesday that Indian integrated telecom services provider, Bharti Airtel, has deployed its XTV technology to power an integrated DVR service for its satellite TV platform, Airtel Digital TV. The platform, which launched back in 2008, also uses NDS's VideoGuard conditional access system, its MediaHighway middleware, and a multi-lingual EPG that was developed by NDS.

According to NDS, the new XTV-powered Airtel DVR service features:

  • full trick-play functionality (i.e. pause, rewind, fast-forward, etc.);
  • a 160GB hard drive, allowing viewers to record up to 100 hours of programming;
  • the ability to record one show while playing back another, or to record two shows simultaneously;
  • the ability to easily manage a personal playlist using the NDS-developed EPG;
  • the ability to customize the look-and-feel of the EPG through five different design themes, including children's and festival themes;
  • a downloadable companion EPG for mobile phones, that allows remote recording (note: remote recording can also be accomplished via the PC);
  • an Ethernet port providing a return path for two-way interactive TV applications in the future;
  • an HDMI port for high-end HD LCD TV's.

NDS--which says that over 25 million XTV-powered DVR's have been deployed worldwide--recently commissioned Media Partners Asia to conduct a survey of Indian DVR owners: according to the company, 88% of respondents said that a DVR makes TV viewing more enjoyable; 64% said that it enables them to find and watch more interesting programs; and 54% said that using a DVR has stopped them from arguing with their spouse over what to watch on TV. "With over 2.5 million customers, Airtel Digital TV is recognized for creating world-class products for the Indian market," Sue Taylor, general manager of NDS Asia Pacific, said in a prepared statement. The decision to launch an integrated DVR service based on XTV with remote recording facility will radically change the way its pay-TV subscribers view content, and enhance Bharti Airtel's reputation as a pioneering force in the telecom and DTH sector."