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DVR Roadblock

10 Feb, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Time Warner in recent fourth-quarter financial results lauded 18 percent market penetration of its digital video recorder (DVR) subscription service.

The media conglomerate said it added 153,000 subscribers during the quarter, for a base of 862,000 members. The company also said it has 4.8 million digital video cable subscribers.

That said, my girlfriend this week ordered a set-top DVR from her cable company (not Time Warner) after repeatedly missing episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” “Alias,” “CSI: Miami” and “Without a Trace” due to the viewing limitations imposed by a daily 4:30 a.m. work-related wake-up call.

After granting the cable guy remote access to her house — despite just having seen the “CSI” episode about a cable guy stalker — she was informed that her service was good to go.

Nowhere, it seems.

The DVR set-top box apparently required a different type of programming from the cable company in addition to reprogramming her TV for 30 minutes.

And the DVR would not work.

Repeated calls to customer service produced repeated house calls and TV reprogramming stints with no improvement — let alone an operational DVR. As of this writing — a week later — she still lacks a functioning DVR.

I, too, was a brief DVR subscriber (with a different cable company) until realizing that I rarely recorded enough content to warrant the $10 monthly charge.

Let me rephrase that. I never recorded a single bit of content. In fact, it took several months before I even remembered that I had signed up for the service — that did work.

How's that for an early adopter?

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