Charter, TiVo to deploy next-generation box


Charter Communications, the nation’s 4th largest cable operator, and TiVo say the multi-year deal will leverage the TiVo user interface to bring traditional cable and next generation IP technologies to viewers. The initial phase, to launch in Charter markets later this year, will utilize TiVo’s high def user interface and TiVo Premiere set top box, as well as upcoming multi-room and non-DVR platforms. Next, the strategy will include linear TV, VOD, vast libraries of Internet-delivered video and IP apps.

“We’re integrating formerly disparate worlds of traditional television and online content, and making it simple for customers to quickly find the content they’re looking for, as well as greatly expand their entertainment choices,” said Mike Lovett, Charter’s President and CEO. ” With our superior IP infrastructure, we’re leading the way with TiVo to create a user-friendly entertainment experience that leverages an open standards platform to enable IP content and bring a whole new world of applications to the television.”

Features planned for the initial product:
TiVo’s high-definition user interface including integrated search: Instantly scans across all channels and sources, including TV, VOD, and available online content, to help find what customers want to watch
Web apps: Allows customers to access local news, sports and weather, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates, right from the TV
OnDemand: Offers access to thousands of hours of video from Charter’s OnDemand library, including 900+ high-def titles 
Online: Internet video from top destinations 
iPad app: Serves as command central, with an ability to browse the program guide and recorded shows, schedule recordings, post on Facebook or Twitter, schedule, search and browse for shows from anywhere, and much more
Control live TV: Allows pause, rewind, slow-motion, and instant replay functions during live TV
Multiroom DVR: View a common list of recordings and playback recorded content throughout the home, pause a recorded program in one room and resume playback in another, use trick-play functions on recorded content and delete recordings from any room
Remote Management: Search and schedule recordings from the Web or from a mobile phone
TiVoToGo transfers: Transfer photos and movies from a personal computer to the TiVo Premiere, for viewing on the TV set; or from the TiVo Premiere to a laptop, media device, or smart phone, for viewing outside the home
Automatic recordings: Records favorite shows each week with Season Pass recordings on the TiVo Premiere. In addition, WishList searches will find and record suggested programs based on customer interests
Content storage: Records up to 45 hours of HD programming or up to 400 hours of standard-def programming — equivalent to more than 16 days of content
Full HD support: Offers full support for 1080p and 1080i HD formats

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s interesting to see TiVo partnering with an entire cable MSO for advanced set-top box functionality such as iPTV. Up to now, TiVo users, even with boxes provided by their cable company, have had to choose their cable company’s VOD offerings, or bring their own DVR and access online video from places like Amazon and Netflix. Cox and TiVo reached a similar agreement last August that will allow CableCARD equipped TiVo Premiere DVRs to access Cox’s VOD. This takes it to a whole new level, allowing TiVO to be the internet content provider as well.