Last week Comcast introduced a new service called AnyRoom in its New Jersey market designed to let multiple set-tops in a home access the same VOD content. It’s not multi-room DVR, but it’s a good step on the road to cable-based, in-home television networking.
First the basics: Users of the AnyRoom feature can make a selection from Comcast’s Channel 1 On Demand list and add it to the “Saved Programs” folder. Once a show is saved, it can then be viewed on any digital set-top in the house. (The service only works on Motorola digital systems for now.) Users can even start a show in one room, then move to another room and pick up from the same spot in the video. Digital cable customers with on-demand service need no new equipment and there is no fee for use.
The AnyRoom debut has been remarkably unremarked upon by Comcast. Head over to the Comcast online press room, and there’s not even a press release on the subject. Is this because the service has only been officially launched in New Jersey?
In any case, I find the news interesting because of the continued blurring of the lines between DVR and VOD service. TV is undocking from the TV set, and whether content is stored on a local hard drive or a cable server, consumers want the same flexibility to watch it anywhere they want.