Telewest Broadband has decided to challenge Sky's dominance of the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) arena with its own set top box due to be launched at the end of the summer.
The device will have 160Gb of storage (around 80hours) as well as three video tuners (one more than Sky+) and allow customers to record two programmes simultaneously while watching a third.
The set-top box will feature all the standard PVR options such as allowing customers to pause and instantly rewind live TV if their viewing is interrupted.
The Telewest Broadband PVR will also deliver high-definition TV (HDTV) content in the future - offering a significant improvement in picture quality compared with today's standard-definition digital TV broadcasts, especially on larger plasma and LCD screens.
Eric Tveter, president and chief operating officer at Telewest Broadband, said: “We will make our personal video recorder set-top box available later this year, putting a stop to missed soaps, interrupted films and arguments over which programmes to record. It's a fantastic box of TV tricks that people will wonder how they ever survived without!”
Eric Tveter added: “Telewest Broadband's unique combination of personal video recorder and television-on-demand services will mean our customers have the best of both worlds - freedom from the TV schedule with PVR control, and on-demand access to a wider selection of movies and TV content. It's not about offering people more TV, but giving them the freedom to watch exactly what they want, when they want.”
Pricing for the unit is yet to be confirmed however a spokesman for Telewest said that they were considering a rental option rather than the retail route Sky has taken with its Sky+ box. This he said "would reduce the intitial cost to the consumer at the beginning."