UPC launches digital video recorder to Irish market

14 Aug 2007

Liberty Global subsidiary UPC will today launch its eagerly awaited digital video recorder (DVR) service which will be offered to new subscribers for free and can contain 160GB of TV or 80 hours.

The company says the new DVR is one of the highest capacity DVRs available in the Irish marketplace and will come with free installation.

The service will cost €7.50 per month for new subscribers whilst existing subscribers will be charged a once-off fee of €49 for installation and €7.50 thereafter.

The new service will enable UPC’s digital subscribers to pause live television programmes and rewind without missing the rest of a programme.

UPC Ireland video and content product manager Simon Kelehan told siliconrepublic.com that the new DVR service will be available in Dublin from this week, in Galway and Waterford from next week and the company will roll out the service to its Chorus customers in October.

“We’ve been trialling the service with 50 users in Dublin and the 160GB hard drive space translates into between 65 and 80 hours of recording time.

“We view the DVR offering as a key plank in our customer acquisition strategy going forward. Unlike other operators that start with a top-end niche product, we are making this technology affordable and as available as possible,” Kelehan said.

He added that the cost difference from being a UPC analogue customer to a being digital customer is €4.50 a month.

The company last week revealed that triple play voice, TV and broadband packages now can start from €50 per month.

“We’re very optimistic about the DVR product,” Kelehan continued. “Where we’ve introduced the same set-top box elsewhere, over 50pc of digital customers snapped it up. Once you try it you can never go back. It changes the way you enjoy television.

“DVR capabilities and high-definition are fundamentally changing people’s TV experience. People who watch TV with DVR can watch their favourite programmes without being restricted by TV schedules. For example they can watch a number of episodes of favourite programmes back to back.

“In the US, the experience of cable operators who’ve introduced DVR capabilities is that satisfaction ratings are higher while churn ratings are lower,” he said.

Kelehan also revealed that UPC will be using the DVR launch to debut the company’s new electronic programme guide (EPG) menu which will enable easier browsing between channels and include new content boxes and screen shots to help viewers make choices.

By John Kennedy