Remote Storage DVR (2013)

By Stephanie Mitchko, Cablevision Systems LLC

Approximately seven years ago the team at Cablevision envisioned a system where our subscribers’ recorded content could be stored in a data center and played back over our network to their homes. The idea would eliminate the need for costly in home devices and move to a cloud environment.

We built a prototype that used commodity hardware along with a combination of vendor and in house developed software that would allow subscribers to create recordings of their favorite shows and store those programs on storage systems in our headend. After announcing our intentions, the content owners filed suit against us, claiming that our system was not permissible under the copyright laws. After several years of litigation, the courts vindicated the system, holding that it did not violate the copyright laws.

In January of 2011 we commercially launched our Remote Storage DVR (RS-DVR) product and marketed it as DVR Plus. Region by region we enabled cloud based services for all of our customers. This paper reviews the overall system and addresses some lessons learned. This will include both technical and operational detail on how moving content recording and playback to the cloud enables new features and portability for our customers. It will also define how this platform is technically extensible to support multiple advanced streaming services as well as Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI).

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