Time Warner expands enhanced DVR service

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - Time Warner Cable is expanding a new service that lets users watch an entire show even if they tune in late.

Time Warner's "Start Over" service, which began in South Carolina as a test market, works with more than 100 channels.  The service purportedly operates by automatically creating temporary recordings of these channels, and if the user switches to one of them in the middle of the show, he or she can go back and view it from the beginning.

"Start Over" functions like a basic DVR (digital video recorder), with pause, fast forward, and rewind controls.  Unlike Tivo and even Time Warner Cable's own DVR service, though, it does not require a monthly service fee.

The catch is that Time Warner, which services more than 20 major markets across the country, has built technology that prevents users from skipping over commercials.  The growth in DVRs has meant significant headaches for advertisers as it makes it easier for users to record TV and skip over ad breaks during later viewing.

The service is already available in New York City, Hawaii, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and according to the Associated Press will make its way to: San Diego; Syracuse; Portland, ME; Waco, TX; and Corpus Christi, TX by the end of the year.