Deliberately sticking it to DirecTV and Dish Network, Time Warner Cable said it will start offering high-definition (HD) content through Start Over, a service TWC CEO Glenn Britt said the DBS companies simply cannot match.
In its analyst briefing accompanying the announcement of its Q4 financial results, TWC said it launched Start Over HD in its South Carolina division.
The company did not comment on how the rollout of HD on Start Over would track with the rollout of Start Over in general, but HD Start Over apparently will not be immediately available everywhere that Start Over is introduced.
As of the end of 2007, TWC was offering Start Over in seven of its 23 divisions. The company intends to have Start Over available in most of its markets by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, TWC had switched digital video (SDV) in nine of its 23 divisions at year-end 2007; it is installing it in nine more now, and it plans to have SDV in all of its divisions by year’s end.
TWC is using SDV to augment its ability to offer HD channels. For example, of all of its 23 systems, the company is offering the most HD channels in Albany and San Antonio, with a total of about 40 channels in each of those two. Of those 40 channels, 20 are switched.
The company also plans to beef up its VOD library. It currently offers about 50 titles at any one time. By the end of the year, it wants to increase that to about 200.
While some providers have been making available whatever HD content they can get in order to pad the number of total hours of HD available, or the number of total HD channels available, TWC vowed it would offer only quality content or channels that people might actually want to watch. It said it will have to do a better job to market the distinction.
The company also explained that all of the CPE it is now buying is HD-capable, the idea being that it can deliver HD services to customers immediately without having to perform yet another truck roll to upgrade non-HD CPE to HD-ready units.
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