Remote DVR programming is nothing new, but it is new to local Time Warner Cable customers, and it's very exciting.
The cable company rolled out the service to local subscribers this week so I decided to take it for a test drive. It required a little tinkering, but I am now registered, plugged in, and even set my DVR to record "Bride Wars" (don't judge) from my iPhone.
To get started, go to the My Services page on Time Warner Cable's website, and if you haven't already, register for MyServices. If you're registered for their PayXPress Bill Pay system, that log-on won't work here. To register, you'll need your account number and your customer code, both numbers found on your cable statement.
After you register, sign in to MyServices and click on the MyTV tab and then click Manage DVR.
There are different ways to add programs. You can look for shows on a grid type schedule or search or browse for shows by show title or star. It's not lightning fast, but it works -- with a few minor glitches. For instance, I clicked "Show List" to see the current list of shows on my DVR and things grinded to a screeching halt. I clicked the "TV Listings" tab to go back to the TV grid and it took awhile, but loaded.
Searching for shows is also glitchy. Under the "Search" tab I entered bride wars in the Title search and it said no results. But when I typed in Kate Hudson in the Person search, Bride Wars appeared. Then I typed in Bride Wars and it worked. So it's apparently case sensitive (which is crazy) -- but only in the web version (a mobile search retrieved bride wars), which is even crazier.
When programming remotely from your mobile device, Time Warner Cable warns that it works best on smart phones, like iPhones and Blackberries. There's no app, though. You have to access through your phone's web browser, and every single time you access, you have to sign in all over again. So that's a drag (I highly recommend this iPhone app - 1Password - to keep from entering passwords over and over). And it's slow going, even with a WiFi connection. But if you're patient, it works. UPDATE: Time Warner Cable is currently working on an iPhone / iPad app.
I searched for bride wars and Bride Wars and Kate Hudson through the Safari browser on iPhone and got hits with each search. I selected the movie, read the movie information, and set my DVR to record it. It was slow, but it worked. A few minutes later I checked my DVR and there was Bride Wars set to record. (I'm really starting to wish I'd used a different movie as my test.)
This is probably not what you'll want to use as your primary DVR manager, but it's great to have in a pinch -- like when you're away from home and forget to tape a special or movie, or you're at work and read an article on a great TV blog telling you to watch some terrific show, but you know you won't remember to set the DVR when you're at home.
So give it a shot and let us know how it works. If you need more detailed instructions, there's more at Time Warner Cable.