Comcast offering TiVo set-top box with TV, DVR, VOD, web content


They’ve entered into an agreement to enable access to Comcast’s library of Xfinity TV On Demand content on TiVo Premiere set-top boxes sold at retail. For the first time, Comcast customers in select markets will be able to use a TiVo Premiere box to get a fully integrated offering of On Demand programs, along with linear television and a range of web services, all accessible through TiVo’s user interface and intuitive search capabilities.

Comcast will make its Xfinity TV On Demand service accessible on Premiere set-top boxes in many of its largest markets, with the first expected to be the San Francisco Bay Area with a plan for additional markets to follow.

In each of those markets Comcast and TiVo both plan to promo this new service in retail and other sales channels. Comcast will install Premiere set-top boxes with its cable service at no additional charge for its customers when the service is available in those markets.

Some of the specific extras offered by the Premiere box:
* The new TiVo App for iPad lets you search, browse, discover and share without ever interrupting what you’re watching
* Schedule recordings remotely on the web or your mobile phone
* Transfer recordings to your laptop, iPod, iPhone, PSP, or other mobile device
* Transfer your favorite recorded programs to your computer and burn them onto a DVD disc
* Watch the hottest YouTube sensations or explore the virtually endless selection of videos on the biggest screen in your house
* Use FrameChannel to create personalized on-screen information service with relevant news, traffic, weather, sports and stock updates
* Find and watch free web videos for every interest under the sun
* Listen to your favorite audio podcasts on your TV or home entertainment system with Podcaster
* View photos from Picasa or Photobucket on the biggest screen in your home
Enjoy your PC or Mac’s photo libraries on your TV
*Stream music from Pandora, Rhapsody, Music Choice, or Live 365
Enjoy your PC or Mac’s music libraries on your TV

“Adding Comcast’s On Demand library to TiVo Premiere is a fantastic win for consumers because it will offer access to the ultimate television viewing experience with the programming viewers want. Traditional TV channels, On Demand and broadband delivered content will all be accessible with TiVo’s universal search capability and TiVo’s stunning HD user-interface,” said Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO. “And, this partnership will make it easy for our mutual customers to enjoy both their TiVo service and Comcast’s Xfinity TV with the more than 25,000 On Demand programs it offers along with the ease of Comcast arranged installation.”

RBR-TVBR observation: The race to offer the most bells and whistles is intense—intense enough that Comcast is willing to go outside of its own set-top box providers to give its customers the most possible. iPTV is driving the race as well, and offering easy-to-access web streaming favorites (audio and video) in one package will give the company a leg up in this race.