Hathway offers India's first cable PVR

News Corp-backed Indian cable operator Hathway has become the first in its sector to offer a PVR, launching its Digital Box PLUS offering based on NDS’ XTV technology.

The service gives subscribers who choose the new set-top box the ability to record one channel while viewing another, as well as access to on-demand content, and is “well positioned to ofer additional, advanced, next generation solutions in the future,” the companies said in a statement.

While DTH operator Tata Sky (also partially backed by News Corp’s Star TV) has a PVR offering, Tata Sky+, Hathway is the first cable operator to launch such a service on its digital platform.

The Indian cable sector has been slow to develop, characterised more by local “cable-wallahs” than by consolidated larger operators. Hathway is one of the few operators even to have a digital platform up and running. While there are some 71 million cable homes in India, just 6% of these were digital this time last year, according to figures from the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa).

Hathway was the first cable operator to launch a digital platform, in 2006.

K. Jayaraman, Managing Director & CEO, Hathway Cable & Datacom Private Limited, said: “We are the first Indian cable operator to launch Personal Video Recorder technology in the digital Indian cable TV market. This launch further reinforces Hathway’s vision of being a single point access provider, bringing the converged world of information, entertainment and services into homes. New services such as the XTV DVR reinforce our commitment to remain a market leader by offering innovative converged services.”

Sue Taylor, NDS Senior VP and GM, Asia-Pacific, said: “Hathway continues to prove that it is India’s leading digital cable provider, by creating an exceptional viewing experience for its subscribers. This is the first step towards a fully converged service that will offer broadband TV and a suite of next generation solutions to Indian viewers.”