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NTL's PVR to be MPEG-4, HD compatible

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NTL's upcoming personal video recorder (PVR), also known as DVR, will be the MPEG-4 and high definition compatible Explorer 8450DVB from Scientific Atlanta.

The Explorer 8450DVB also features three tuners, enabling subscribers to record three programmes at the same time. NTL's merger partner, Telewest, is planning to roll out a similarly-specified box, minus the MPEG-4 compatibility, later this year.

"We look forward to offering cable customers the combination of MPEG-4 PVR and high quality Video on Demand services in 2006," said Shai Weiss, NTL's managing director for consumer products. "We wanted to leverage both this new technology and Scientific-Atlanta’s extensive PVR experience to enable us to deploy a first-of-its-kind MPEG-4 PVR platform for the UK cable customers."

Like Telewest's Explorer 8300 box, NTL's PVR will have a 160GB hard drive, USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity, and will be multi-room compatible. Multi-room functionality, if NTL chooses to enable it, will allow customers to play back programmes recorded on the PVR on any other Scientific-Atlanta set top boxes in their homes.

"In every market where we have helped operators launch PVR service, consumers have quickly embraced the choice, convenience and control delivered by this exciting technology," said George Stromeyer, VP and managing director of Scientific Atlanta Europe. "Incorporating three video tuners into the Explorer 8450DVB HD PVR will further differentiate NTL's PVR offering in the market and enhance the experience of PVR service for NTL’s customers."

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