It would work just like a regular DVR except all content would be recorded and saved on a personal Cloud drive in a FIOS data center.
Then we wouldnt be limited by # of tuners or drive space (or maybe limit customers to 5 GB per account). It would allow users to record anything they CURRENTLY subscribe to and then pull it up and stream it to their STB (similar to VOD). Programs would persist forever (or until deleted by user) on the Cloud DVR.
Some may say, "Isn't this what VOD is for?" Yes, it is similar to VOD -- however, VOD selections are sparse at times and they EXPIRE. Any program could be put on the Cloud DVR (not just what is provided by VOD). Additionally, a recording to the Cloud DVR would NEVER expire. It would stay FOREVER (just like on a traditional DVR).
For example, if I decide to record a movie from HBO to my Cloud DVR, it stays forever until I delete it (even if I unsubscribe from HBO later on).
Also network VOD recordings do NOT allow fast forwarding through commercials. The Cloud DVR would have no such limitations. Yes, the original commercials would be there, but they could be fast forwarded through (just like we can do now) on traditional DVRs.
Verizon could even do some cool back end "magic" with the Cloud DVR. For example, if I record CSI to my Cloud DVR and my neighbor records it to his, and 2000 neighbors in my city record CSI to their Cloud DVR, Verizon could just record it ONCE and let everyone share that Cloud "master" recording -- there would be no need to record it 2000 times. Verizon would have to save the "master" recording on their server until all 2000 people delete their personal recording and nobody wants it anymore. NOTE: Verizon might have to record a "master" recording at a "city" level, since local advertisers would probably object to the master recording coming from outside the locality.
- Cheaper STBs for Verizon
- Unlimited # of tuners
- Could allow a standard storage amount (5GB) and charge a small fee for additional GBs
- Subscriber wouldn't "lose" recordings if their STB goes bad
- Reduced power consumption
- Allow subscribers to add missed recordings to their Cloud DVR because someone, somewhere else on the network must have recorded it. Maybe allow users to do this up to 24 hours after the airing?
- In the future, could be streamed to other devices such as XBOX and mobile devices
- Less responsive: Streaming controls (fast FWD, Rewind, Skip) would need to be improved
- If network is down, there would be no access to Cloud DVR
- Verizon would have to build up a data center to make this work. However, I have a feeling it would be way cheaper to do this than have all these expensive DVRs out there.
- If Verizon has a glitch, and misses a master recording, then thousands of subscriber would be affected
- Could not use a "master" recording for manual recordings (but will still need to keep the manual recording feature).