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TiVo Premiere available across 70% of Suddenlink’s footprint

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 3:14pm
Mike Robuck

TiVo’s Premiere box is now available to more than 70 percent of Suddenlink Communications’ subscriber base, while Virgin Media announced today it is adding TiVo boxes to some new bundles.

For the cable industry, TiVo remains a “frenemy.” Depending on whether you’re a cable operator that has directly partnered with TiVo – which includes RCN, Charter Communications and, to a lesser extent, Cox Communications and Comcast – or on the receiving end of a lawsuit (Motorola and Time Warner Cable), the DVR pioneer seems to have all of its bases covered.

Since the initial rollout in December 2010, TiVo Premiere has launched in more than 45 Suddenlink communities in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.

Thanks to software enhancements late last year, Suddenlink customers with three TiVo Premiere DVRs can now record up to six shows at the same time, watch recordings on any TV, start watching in one room and resume in another, and have up to 600 hours of recording space.

In addition to multi-room viewing of recorded content, Suddenlink’s TiVo Premiere users can also watch their recordings on any TV connected to a TiVo Premiere device. By using TiVo Premiere, Suddenlink is able to serve up content from its VOD library, as well as streaming video content from the Internet.

"TiVo has helped set us apart from competitors, and customer response has been good," said Suddenlink spokesman Gene Regan.

Virgin Media is also firmly aboard the TiVo bandwagon. Last month, Virgin Media said it had more than doubled the number of its TiVo users – to 435,000 in the fourth quarter after initially launching it in June.

Today, Virgin Media announced it was rebranding its consumer bundles with next month’s launch of its “Collections” packages, which will include TiVo DVRs in its standard product offerings. TiVo DVRs were previously available as a separate upgrade for premium customers.

Collections will pair TiVo DVR models with various data services, along with different phone plans and HD packages.

The “Essentials Collection” features a TiVo DVR with a 500 GB hard drive and a 30 Mbps data tier, while the “Premiere Collection” tier has the same hard drive plus an expanded HD package with a 60 Mbps data tier. The high-end “VIP Collection” comes with the 1 terabyte TiVo box and the 100 Mbps tier.

TiVo takes aim at cable with retail
Last week, TiVo cut $5 off the monthly service charge for its Premiere DVR customers, and on Sunday it started shipping its TiVo Premiere Elite for $100 less than its previous price of $499. The four-tuner Premiere Elite has 2 terabytes of storage and can record up to 300 hours of HD content.

With a one-year contract, the $14.99 monthly service fee is less than what some cable operators charge.

TiVo cut $50 off its two-tuner Premiere XL, which features 1 terabyte of storage and up to 150 hours of stored HD content, for a new price of $249.99. Lastly, TiVo’s entry-level Premiere box had its price increase from $99.99 to $149.99 but also got an upgrade in storage to 500 GB.

The TiVo boxes are available directly from the company or at Best Buy.

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