UK cable operator Telewest Broadband has confirmed that it plans to provide video-on-demand and personal video recorder products in 2005.
The operator’s entire digital cable television service will be re-positioned around the video-on-demand service. The service, currently known as Freedom, will offer movies on demand and a catch-up television service.
The personal video recorder is likely to be provided by Scientific-Atlanta, which currently provides digital video recorders for many American digital cable services.
Competitor ntl has also said that it plans to launch a video-on-demand service. Ultimately, many commentators expect that Telewest and ntl may eventually consolidate their offering.
Video-on-demand provides a key differentiator for cable that satellite can not deliver, at least without a complementary broadband television service. It is also seen as a revenue driver, although experience elsewhere suggests that this requires careful presentation of services.