Comcast, Samsung Electronics and Ucentric Systems announced plans for a joint field trial of a multiroom, Multi-TV Digital Video Recording (DVR) system.
The digital set-top DVRs are manufactured by Samsung and will incorporate Ucentric's DVR and home media networking software to deliver a host of new services, including a Multi-TV DVR solution.
The trial is expected to begin in mid-2003 with select Comcast customers in the Philadelphia area.
"This trial with Samsung and Ucentric reinforces Comcast's commitment of delivering to its customers the best services and technologies available today," said Steve Craddock, senior VP of new media development for Comcast. "DVR provides important control and convenience benefits to our customers. This field trial will provide a better TV viewing experience throughout the home, not just on one TV."
Digital set-tops from Samsung, integrated with Ucentric's Multi-TV DVR solution will provide Comcast's trial participants digital recording capabilities as well as a full programming lineup on multiple TVs throughout the home. TV viewers will be able to conveniently select and control individual video recordings from a single in-home recording library shared among multiple television sets.
In addition to enabling DVR capabilities throughout the home, the digital set-tops allow cable TV multi-system operators to offer additional feature-rich services, including a music jukebox, photo album and other potential revenue-generating services.
The Samsung set-top boxes are said to store content and deliver DVR and other digital entertainment services to multiple TVs in the home using IP-based "thin" network media clients.
Ucentric software enables the sharing of hard drives, tuners and other resources among connected TVs, providing network operators the ability to offer DVR and other multimedia services to multiple TVs in the home at significantly lower capital costs.
"This Multi-TV DVR solution … holds the promise of delivering a whole-house video and multimedia solution for network operators as they provide DVR and all digital TV services throughout the home," said Chong-Ho Choi, Samsung home media solutions team strategy and marketing VP.