Time Warner Cable - Remote DVR Manager
Time Warner Cable - Remote DVR Manager
Launch the Site

See the TV Listings and DVR app in action.

Fi has had a long history of success working with Time Warner Cable starting in 2003, and continuing all the way up to 2010. With one of the most famous Flash sites in history in Road Runner, Fi and Time Warner gained international recognition and awards. When a new project came to Fi with the goal of leveraging Time Warner’s DVR capabilities through the Web, it was another opportunity to change the landscape again and set a new standard for interaction.

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The Process

Having worked with Time Warner Cable for many years meant that Fi understood the business and technology of the client very well. Fi acted as a collaborative partner in evaluating the landscape of existing DVR to Web capabilities of competitors like DirecTV and Comcast. Because of the head start of these competitors, Time Warner Cable’s solution would have to be that much more effective.

Kickoff meetings with the client determined an initial project schedule of 8 months. The team evaluated the best approach and decided on an iterative approach using SCRUM as the methodology. One of the biggest challenges was dealing with the enormous amount of data presented. With over 700 channels in two week increments, there were thousands of shows for a user to comb through. The solution was to provide many category browsing options, and provide a beautiful and smooth-scrolling grid that was far better than what competitors were offering. Additional Fi touches included a Live Progress Recording indicator and unique color scheme that adhered to the best web design standards.

The Technology

Fi built the front-end application using AJAX technologies, and assisted in integrating the XHTML templates into Time Warner's ColdFusion base. In addition, Fi collaborated with their back-end developers to produce a JSON data feed specification which would provide all content to the site. Fi's and Time Warner's extensive prior experience working together on Flash applications translated well to this first major AJAX project for Time Warner.

The site is fully dynamic and data-driven, based on the user's location and subscription status, and even the current time of day. Due to this volatility of the content as well as performance considerations, the TV listings data must be loaded asynchronously, or after the base page is loaded in the browser. Fi developed a bespoke JavaScript framework, based on the Prototype JS framework's HTML utilities, for building the pages dynamically. All the TV listings data is ingested as JSON or HTML snippets from the data services provided by Time Warner, and the site content is drawn by JavaScript. The result is that the minimum amount of data is loaded initially for each page, or each time the user moves through the navigation, improving load time and responsiveness.

The Results

Users could now control their DVR directly from the Web, record and delete shows, and search through thousands of shows using simple and intuitive navigation. The Time Warner team was enormously pleased with the final result citing it as one of their favorite projects to work on, and one of the most aesthetically pleasing products they’ve released in years.

Components

A collection of components from Time Warner Cable - Remote DVR Manager

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Client
Time Warner Cable

Release Date
June 18, 2010

Technologies
Adobe ColdFusion
XHTML/CSS
Scriptaculous
JavaScript
Ajax
Prototype

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