Broadband TV News has learned that the new KPN IPTV basic bouquet which offers two IPTV set-top boxes also includes a network PVR functionality. KPN customers can record up to 200 hours from six channels at the same time.

Broadband TV News understands that the new set-tops which KPN is now rolling out to its customers also include the Pause Live TV fucntionality in the cloud without a local hard disk.

The move makes KPN one of the first operators – if not the first – in Europe to use network PVR, a technology which is regarded to be highly controversial among broadcasters and content owners. KPN charges a monthly fee of €5 for the service.

Four years ago US cable operator Cablevision launched a trial with a network PVR service, which allows subscribers to remotely record programmes at the operator’s server rather than at a local hard drive in their home.

Hollywood studios and broadcasters were quick to jump into action, claiming offering such a facility would infringe their copyrights, and were seeking a ban on the service. The case came to an end in June, 2009, when the Supreme Court ruled it would not hear the case.

It was not the first time Hollywood has acted against new technical developments. In 1984, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the use of video recorders when it rejected a similar copyright challenge. Today, studio income from video sales and rentals (including DVD and Blu-Ray) exceed proceedings from box office sales.

With declining revenues from physical carriers the studios need to find new income from VOD and other electronic services. However, they still seem to be very reluctant to adopt new technologies and business models.

Until now, KPN has issued no technical details of the new service and the press department has not not yet returned our call.