Telewest has launched TVDrive, the new high definition, personal video recorder service it announced last Fall. The company claims to have the first HD-PVR service combo in the U.K.
Telewest currently passes 4.7 million homes, and has 1.8 million residential customers of its TV, phone and Internet services. If successful, the service will no doubt be rolled out to the customers of NTL, with which Telewest just completed a merger. The combined companies now pass 12 million homes, which represents half of all U.K. homes.
Telewest is using the Explorer 8300DVB HD PVR from Scientific-Atlanta (now part of Cisco Systems). S-A said its 8300 is the first HDTV-capable cable receiver in the U.K., supporting Telewest’s launch of HDTV content on the latter’s Teleport video-on-demand service.
The 8300 DVB HD PVR is S-A’s first PVR with three video tuners, which will give Telewest’s customers the ability to record two programs while watching a third. The box also incorporates a DOCSIS tuner for high-speed data access.
The PVR user application was designed and developed by Telewest and runs on middleware provided by SeaChange International, which obtained the technology from Liberate Technologies. Conditional access security is provided by Nagravision. Overall client software integration services were provided by Scientific-Atlanta Europe.