Time Warner Cable is apparently planning to test a service that will allow viewers to go back to the beginning of a programme that is currently on air.

The proposed service, currently known as Startover, will enable a viewer to rewind a show to the beginning, as long as it is still being aired. Unlike a digital video recorder, however, there will be no way to fast-forward through the programme or skip commercials.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the initiative is a development of the Time Warner ‘Maestro’ project, which ran into rights issues over network-based personal video recorder functions.

However, even the Startover initiative could face similar problems, and may only be available where the relevant rights have been cleared. Some rights holders apparently have concerns about network-based storage, while users of digital video recorders with local storage can freely store and replay programmes.

While Startover may address the irritation of missing the beginning of a programme, it still ties the viewer to the channel schedule, and many cable customers may see it as a poor substitute for a personal video recorder.