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TiVo users in Bay Area tap into Comcast’s VOD streams

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 5:22pm
Mike Robuck

TiVo CentralTiVo and Comcast’s long-term relationship has been somewhat consummated with the news that Comcast is letting subscribers in its San Francisco system access its Xfinity on-demand content through TiVo Premiere boxes.

Starting yesterday and continuing over the next few weeks, TiVo said existing Premiere users and Comcast subscribers in the Bay Area would automatically receive an update to their DVRs that would allow them access to Comcast’s video-on-demand (VOD) library. TiVo also indicated that the service would be available in additional Comcast markets over the coming months.

The service, which was first announced last year, launched yesterday in the Bay Area, according to a blog on TiVo’s website. Last year’s deal covered TiVo users who had self-installed their own boxes, but Comcast also agreed to install TiVo's Premiere set-top boxes with its cable service at no additional charge.

A spokeswoman for Comcast said this morning that new TiVo customers have the option to either receive a self-install kit or have the TiVo Premiere set up by a certified Comcast technician.

Comcast and TiVo’s relationship has taken a long time to reach fruition. After announcing a partnership in 2005, TiVo and Comcast first paired up on a trial in Comcast’s New England market in 2007. The trial used Comcast’s TV Navigator, which was developed by TVWorks, to download TiVo’s software into the Motorola boxes, but the trial was never expanded to other markets or to Cisco boxes.

In December, Charter announced that it was launching TiVo Premiere in Texas, with a wider rollout set for the first half of this year, but in a February earnings call, Charter said it was pushing back the wider rollout due to its VOD systems being different than the ones TiVo had previously integrated with.

RCN has TiVo Premiere deployed in several of its markets, including Chicago, and last year, Grande Communications announced it was going with TiVo Premiere as its DVR of choice.

Cox Communications is also offering its VOD content over TiVo Premiere boxes, while Suddenlink has Premiere rolled out across 70 percent of its footprint.

On the other end of the TiVo spectrum, the company filed a lawsuit against Motorola and Time Warner Cable and recently cut the cost of its monthly service fee, as well as the price for its retail TiVo Premiere DVRs.

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