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Ucentric Multi-TV PVR

Nov 18, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: Ucentric Multi-TV personal video recorder from Ucentric in Maynard, Mass.
What it does: Ucentric Multi-TV PVR is an unbranded PVR software application that combines Ucentric’s PVR capability with its home media software to provide PVR functionality on more than one TV. The company plans to market the service to cable operators, satellite providers, set-top box makers and consumer electronics manufacturers. The software integrates into set-top boxes and enables PVR functionality on all the TVs in the home with the service generating from only one box. Including a PVR in each set-top box is too costly, said Michael Collette, CEO of Ucentric. “You solve two problems-how do I cost-efficiently deliver PVR services around the home and how do I cost-effectively get digital around the home, because when we apply the networking, you can stream PVR and all the digital services to other TVs,” he said.
How it works: The software can be embedded into a set-top box to create a so-called integrated PVR. The application runs on the server, or set-top box, and networks with client devices on the other TVs.
Marketplace: Research indicates a hunger for networked PVRs, Mr. Collette said. According to The PVR Monitor, 43 percent of PVR owners have two or more PVRs on TVs in their homes, a 35 percent increase from just four months ago. In addition, nearly three-fourths of PVR owners say they want such functionality on all their TVs. “Once you get used to pause, rewind and store, you get used to that relationship with the PVR,” he said. “They want it on all TVs.”
Availability: Ucentric is currently testing the technology with Comcast in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Collette expects more trials next year followed by early deployment activity of home networking and multi-PVR functionality by early 2004. “By applying home networking technology to the PVR, we are able to greatly improve the economics of PVRs throughout the home,” he said. “I think multi-TV PVR is the first really sensible, economic and compelling application of home networking.”