Cablevision Pushes Network DVR Upgrades In TV Spot

Cablevision Systems is touting the ability to record up to four shows simultaneously its DVR Plus network-based digital video recorder service in a new commercial -- twice the limit of multiroom DVR offerings from Verizon, DirecTV and Dish Network.

The spot, "Secret Passages," began airing Oct. 26 in markets where the MSO offers the service. Currently, Cablevision offers the service to subscribers in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Connecticut.

In the commercial, an actor moves through his house via different hidden passageways -- for example, climbing up stairs in the refrigerator to exit into the family room -- underscoring the message that DVR Plus is available using any Cablevision set-top box.

"I can set, record and watch shows from any TV in my house. You can't do all that with FiOS," the actor says. Verizon offers a multiroom DVR service, which lets customers watch recordings using non-DVR set-tops but not schedule or delete recordings.

The DVR Plus service's ability to record four shows at once is "twice as many as FiOS and satellite," the Cablevision ad says. The spot ends by directing subscribers to channel 905 to upgrade to DVR Plus.

The multiroom DVR boxes from DirecTV and Verizon can record two programs simultaneously, while Dish Network's dual-TV receivers also support recording two shows at once. FiOS or satellite TV subscribers would need a second physical DVR to record up to four programs concurrently.

Not mentioned in Cablevision's ad is RCN, which is rolling out the four-tuner TiVo Premiere Q multiroom DVR option across its markets.

Cablevision's DVR Plus service is $10.95 per month for 160 Gigabytes of storage, the same price as Cablevision's regular DVR set-tops, which can store up to 100 hours of standard-definition programming or 24 hours of HD programming. Monthly set-top box lease fees still apply.

The "Secret Passages" ad was produced by New York-based Gardner Nelson & Partners, which produces roughly 70 spots per year for the cable operator. The 60-second spot can be viewed at

Cablevision launched DVR Plus, previously dubbed RS-DVR (for Remote Storage DVR) earlier this year, after a legal fight with content owners.

In 2006, a coalition of TV programmers, movie studios and other content owners sued Cablevision for copyright infringement lawsuit. The MSO prevailed in 2009 after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal of a lower court ruling that Cablevision was within its rights to offer the network-based DVR service.