SureWest announced it would migrate its platform to Microsoft Mediaroom late last year starting with its Sacramento customers, and now its added a few more "advanced digital TV" features to go along with the Whole Home DVR and four tuner DVR features (not to mention lightning fast channel change times) launched in January. Now subscribers can log into the website and schedule edit, or delete recordings just like they were at home, while Caller ID on TV resolves that minor annoyance of having to actually see the phone to know who's calling. It's far from the first provider to add such features, but we're figuring Kevin Johnson and Tyreke Evans appreciate the effort. Now SureWest, let's talk about some Windows Media Center and Xbox 360 integration, ok?
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SureWest Rolls Out Online DVR Manager and Caller ID on TV for Advanced Digital TV
ROSEVILLE, Calif., June 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) announced today that Advanced Digital TV customers in its Sacramento region can now enjoy an even better viewing experience with the launch of Online DVR Manager and Caller ID on TV. These new features bring greater flexibility and convenience to the market-leading TV service at no additional cost to qualifying customers.
"Online DVR Manager and Caller ID on TV join an already robust set of features offered with Advanced Digital TV, including Whole Home DVR, crystal-clear high definition (HD) and extremely fast channel change times," said Peter Drozdoff, SureWest's vice president of marketing. "These new additions to our video service are another example of our commitment to providing the integrated, easy to use, must-have features our customers demand. As a result, we are able to attract new customers and improve satisfaction and loyalty among our existing customers."
DVR programming from anywhere online - The Online DVR Manager allows customers to manage their DVR remotely from a web-connected computer, including scheduling new recordings, editing or canceling previously scheduled recordings, or deleting recordings. Customers can choose to record single episodes or entire series in the same way they do at home. The new Online DVR Manager feature is currently being offered free for Advanced Digital TV customers who have a DVR and a Digital Basic package or higher.
View incoming calls on TV - Caller ID on TV allows customers to see incoming caller information right on their TV screens. When a call comes in, a small, transparent bar will appear across the top of the TV screen with the information sent that identifies the number and person calling. They can choose to pause their TV programming to answer the call, or let it go to their SureWest Digital Phone voicemail. This feature is being offered free for qualifying residential triple-play customers.
Brisk sales and subscriber growth followed the initial launch of Advanced Digital TV in January 2010 to over 205,000 Sacramento area marketable homes on SureWest's fiber-to-the-home and copper networks. Through March, SureWest had over 3,200 Advanced Digital TV subscribers, representing 14 percent of overall video subscribers in Sacramento, and the company continues to see this momentum in the second quarter. Compared with SureWest's previous video platform, Advanced Digital TV customers have 37 percent higher take rates for premium channels and 33 percent higher for HD service. These customers are also more likely to sign up for a triple-play bundle, as evidenced by 12 percent higher monthly recurring revenues. Powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol (IPTV) software platform, Advanced Digital TV has the flexibility to continually evolve to meet the future needs of customers.
"The launch of our new TV service, combined with our symmetrical 50 Mbps high-speed Internet package, round out what we believe is the best triple-play package in the Sacramento market," said Drozdoff. "It also allows us to cost-effectively grow our subscriber base and revenues over our existing networks. We are constantly expanding the areas where we can offer these advanced services and features."
The Online DVR Manager and Caller ID on TV features will be automatically added to the services of qualifying customers during the month of June. Customers can take SureWest's innovative Advanced Digital TV service for a test drive at www.surewest.com/change and experience first-hand the exciting features that will take their home entertainment experience to the next level. Features include Whole Home DVR, which allows for watching and recording up to four streams on any TV in the home with just one DVR, a large selection of HD channels and HD On Demand, a sleek and user-friendly menu system, and live picture-in-picture preview to see what's on other networks before changing the channel.
SureWest Communications (www.surewest.com) is one of the nation's leading integrated communications providers and is the bandwidth leader in the markets it serves. Headquartered in Northern California for more than 95 years, the company expanded into the Kansas City region in February 2008 with the acquisition of Everest Broadband, Inc. and offers bundled residential and commercial services that include IP-based digital and high-definition television, high-speed Internet, Voice over IP, and local and long distance telephone. SureWest was the nation's first provider to launch residential HDTV over an IP network and offers one of the nation's fastest symmetrical Internet services with speeds of up to 50 Mbps in each direction on its fiber-to-the-home network.