My point is there should be differance between DVR and OnDemand.
If everything is recorded by default (which, it probably nearly already is anyway, when you take into account the millions upon millions of customers, I'm sure that a high percentage of everything broadcast across all channels / locales is already being recorded by at least one subscriber, which of course means it's being synced to the cloud DVR and stored centrally anyway - today!), then there is absolutely no need for local storage whatsoever. All it becomes is a matter of indexing.
Functionally, when people want to "record" something all they are doing in effect by saying "record this show" is simply telling Comcast you'd like to bookmark something that has already been (or, in the case of live, in the process of being) recorded in the cloud DVR library. You can then replay at your leisure, just as you do today. If you start the show halfway through and hit record, no biggie. You're simply bookmarking the already recorded / already recording show in cloud DVR. No muss, no fuss. Easy peasy.
It's a very simple design: Record everything possible by default in Cloud DVR. Get rid of hard drives in all DVRs. If people want "DVR service" their set-top-box is allowed to tap into the cloud DVR content. If they don't want "DVR service" that same set-top-box isn't allowed to tap into the cloud DVR service. Done.
If they are concerned about keeping around content that NOBODY has bookmarked / recorded, simply purge data after, say, a week or a month if there is no record requests at all.
This is the epitiomy of "Keep It Simple, Stupid".
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@igp6 wrote: The amount of space required for that kind of storage would be ridiculous wouldn't it?. And I'm pretty sure there would be some content providers who wouldn't like the idea. There would have to be some sort of time limit, say only buffer all the feeds for 24 hours (or 30 days, depending on what's feasible) on a regionally located cloud drive. Then when you chose to "record" a program, it would save to your personal cloud space.
I initially thought the same thing. But, think about it.
How would this idea be any differant, in terms of both storage and licensing, than a few million subscribers recording shows all over the place and it being synced to the cloud AS THEY DO TODAY?
There is no limitation on what I can record now. So how is it any differant then Comcast just recording by default vs recording on demand. Also, by only keeping a single-instance of each show recorded, verses having hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people all recording the same exact thing, you can save a TON of space. Likely enough or way more than enough to just record everything, once, by default.
I realize that I'm making a fair amount of assumptions (for instance, maybe Comcast already is de-duplicating data on the storage layer, so the savings aren't nearly as large), but I think it's at least a worthy thing to think about / discuss.
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This is increadibly stupid. I've got a better idea that I assume Comcast won't care about, but here goes:
- Remove hard drives from all DVRs and make Cloud DVR the only DVR.
- Record every possible feed live (cable, over the air, etc) and store all in Cloud DVR by default. (PS: And don't give me the argument of "well, how do we get local content to the cloud" automatically, because if you can record it now on your local DVR and sync it to the cloud, you can certainly figure it out.)
- By having all content recorded and stored centrally, you now build up a single-instance library of all possible content that any customer could want, rather than multiple (thousands, millions, etc) copies in the cloud and/or out in people's individual DVRs.
- If anyone wants to "record" a show, you just save a pointer from their on-prem DVR to the already-recorded copy in the cloud. Recording is no longer "recording", per say, it's simply taging a bookmark to the recording that is already in progress (in the case of live) or already saved (in the case of something recorded after it's first aired.
- If someone starts recording the show "in progress", it's now COMPLETELY immaterial if they started recording midway through, or if they were even tuned to the channel to begin with. Again, it's *already* recording / has been recorded and saved in cloud DVR.
- As a bonus, when people swap out a DVR, all the pointers could easily be transfered back down to their device. In fact, they probably don't even really need to live on the local box to begin with, all the local box needs to do is connect to Cloud DVR and access pointers to content stored in their account settings.
With my model Comcast gets immediate savings from each DVR by removing now irrelevant hardware (hard drives). Consumers save power by not having that extra few watts of spinning disk humming away in their entertainment center.
In fact, the idea of a DVR in general doesn't even really make sense anymore with this model. You just have a single box that you can (via license) allow to access or not access recorded content. You could call it DVR for simplicity, but all it would be is a box that is, or is not, allowed to access Cloud DVR.
Yes, in order to record and store every feed 24x7 will take up storage for Cloud DVR. But I've got to imagine it's easily offset by the cost savings of all these boxes you have floating around and by using a single-instance of each recording in the cloud (rather than millions of individual copies). You never know, you may actually use less storage overall as a result.
This design is stupid simple Comcast. It's 2016, why are you not doing this and instead choosing to play games with customers and causing discontent by removing features that you'd get for free with the design I've mentioned.
Bottom line, if this sort of technology isn't in Could DVR, than in my opinion Cloud DVR is dead on arrival. If it doesn't do everything I oulined above, scrap it and start over.
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