TWC Taps ‘Set-Back’ Box For Healthcare-Focused HD Video Service

A mountable, “set-back” box outfitted with a CableCARD that can support all pay-TV services will play a central role in Time Warner Cable’s deployment of a new HD video service tailored for healthcare facilities.

TWC said the new service, designed to interface with most bedside pillow speakers, provides linear- and on-demand HD content alongside an interactive programming guide, and features an anti-microbial remote control.

The aim of the service, targeted to hospitals, physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities and health clinics, is to mimic the HD experience that patients would find in their home, TWC said.

The service, delivered to a set-back box developed by ADB that is also being used by operators in hospitality venues, offers more than 100 HD channels, including premiums and music channels, thousands of hours of VOD, and an option for in-house branded content. The device also features an on-board mini DVR of sorts that lets the viewer pause live TV or fast-forward or rewind through a buffer that can hold up to 60 minutes of video.

“Our HD Video for Healthcare solution gives patients the television experience they want, which will ultimately assist administrators in improving satisfaction and drive higher Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores,” said Greg King, SVP and chief product and strategy officer for Time Warner Cable Business Services, in a statement.

As reported in this week’s issue of Multichannel News (subscription required), TWC and other cable operators have identified the healthcare industry as a key vertical for their respective business services products and were out in force at last week’s HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.

Healthcare is now the top business services vertical at Time Warner Cable, Satya Parimi (pictured at right), group vice president, product management, at TWC, said in an interview. After starting off by selling high-speed Internet and video services to doctor’s offices, operators such as TWC were in good position five years ago, when healthcare providers moved forward with their own digitization projects.

That has since evolved into cloud-based storage and security, services that TWC is supporting through Navisite, the cloud-services unit it acquired in 2011. TWC is also piloting a “virtual visit’ project in Cleveland and several surrounding communities.

Cable’s focus on cloud-delivered services and its broader technology arsenal “really changes the conversation” with the healthcare industry, Parimi said. “We’re no longer just the pipe guys.”

Overall, U.S. cable providers generated about $8.5 billion in commercial-services revenue last year, up from about $7 billion in 2012, and are on pace to reach $10 billion in 2014, according to Heavy Reading’s latest forecast.