With little fanfare, Rogers Cable has launched a multi-room personal video recorder (PVR) solution to customers in Atlantic Canada.

At the heart of the system is the Motorola DCX 3400m set top box which connects to the cable coming into your home and acts as a server or central hub to the rest of the system.

The Motorola DCX 3400m is a typical PVR featuring dual 1 GHz video tuners, HDMI 1.3 output, component output, eSata interface, optical audio outputs, Ethernet interface, and support for both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC HD decoding that adds a MOCA home networking component enabling the device to serve as a media hub in a multi-room situation. The DCX3400M weighs 6 pounds and measures 15 inches wide x 9 inches deep and 2.2 inches in height.



Once installed, the DCX 3400m then connects and communicates to one or more diskless Motorola DCX700 set top boxes using the cable wiring in your home. The DCX700 connects to your television in the same manner that existing cable set top boxes connect to your television and you'll need one for each of the secondary televisions in your home.



The DCX700 features include: a single video tuner, support for both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC HD decoding; HDMI output; front panel LED displays for Power, Data and Record, and the MOCA home networking technology necessary to communicate with the media hub. The DCX700 weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 10 inches wide x 5.6 inches deep and 1.6 inches in height.



While Rogers multi-room PVR is a nice idea, it has three serious drawbacks that we think will reduce its desirability.

First it’s very expensive. The DCX3400m sells for $450 and each additional DCX700 costs $250. For a four television home, that comes to $1,200.

Second, the DCX3400m has only two tuners meaning that you can only watch or record two stations at a time. If you have multiple television in your home, then two tuners is simply not enough. By comparison, the recently released Shaw Gateway Whole Home system can record a whopping six HD streams at a time.

Finally, the Rogers multi-room PVR has the ability to record a paltry 25 hours of HD programming. While 25 hours of HD may have been sufficient five or six years ago when HD programming was hard to come by, it's hardly enough for multi-television home with access to many HD channels.

Discuss the new Rogers multi-room PVR in Digital Home's Rogers Cable in Atlantic Canada forum.