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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TiVo Premiere and interface to bring DVRs to Charter Communications

TiVo and Charter Communications said  that the two companies have signed a multi-year agreement that will bring the TiVo Premiere and the Tivo interface to Charter services.The two will initially cooperate on a TiVo-branded Premiere set-top box, as the set-top provider did with Cox last year. TiVo also said that it would collaborate with Charter on upcoming "multi-room and non-DVR platforms".Charter will also develop a multi-room DVR technology, a feature promoted by AT&T for its U-Verse technology. Content will also be able to be transferred from a PC to the Premiere, a technology TiVo calls TiVoToGo.
The initial box will store 45 hours of HD programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition programming, TiVo said. Charter will be offering Premiere boxes to customers, and those devices will offer 45 hours of HD and 400 hours of standard-definition storage. In addition, users will be able to transfer content to their set-top box with TiVoToGo. Subscribers will also be able to access Facebook and Twitter. The Charter partnership will also bundle the TiVo Premiere iPad app, including local news, sports, and weather which allows a user to browse and schedule recordings, plus post on Twitter and Facebook.
The bottom menu includes several options, including Info, Guide, My Shows, Browse, and Manage. For more info about a show or celebrity, the TiVo app lets you explore biographical information without interuppting the show on the TV. To discuss what you're watching, the app provides a link to Twitter and Facebook.
There is also an advanced remote icon, which brings up a traditional remote interface. Slide your finger along the bottom of the screen to fast forward or rewind TV content.To access, download the free app from the App Store and enter the key from your TiVo box users must have a TiVo Premiere or TiVo Premiere XL box and an active, paid TiVo subscription.
"Beyond the initial phase, the strategy will encompass next generation platforms that will expand the service with new devices, features, and third party applications – all enhanced by TiVo's highly regarded discovery, search, navigation and recommendation features which allow Charter customers to experience the best of traditional and next generation television, including linear TV, video on demand, vast libraries of Internet-delivered video and IP applications," TiVo said in a statement.

As it did with Virgin Media in the U.K. earlier in January, TiVo will work with Charter to combine pre-recorded, broadcast, video-on-demand, and online content inside the box. The OnDemand lineup will pull from Charter's video library, while the online video will come from "top destinations". So far, however, TiVo has not announced the fruits of a partnership with DirecTV that has languished for several years. That "DirecTiVo" box is due sometime in early 2011.
Surprisingly, Charter said that it will allow access to "Internet video from top destinations." The company didn't say in its release what "destinations" will be offered to users, but the TiVo Premiere currently boasts access to Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and several other services that cable companies traditionally view as competitors to their on-demand offering.Users will also have access to the provider's OnDemand content from the set-top box.Charter will release an iPad app to complement its TiVo launch.
TiVo unveiled an iPad app that will allow TiVo Premiere owners to use their Apple tablet as a remote and TV guide.The TiVo Premiere App for the iPad provides access to all the content available on the set-top box - from TV listings and your DVR queue to show information and social-networking link-ups.The app will provide access to live TV and DVR recordings; to watch, just swipe and the show will start playing on the TV. When you're away, use the app to set up a TiVo recording.
TiVo has struck a multiyear deal with Charter Communications to bring its Premiere set-top box and interface to the fourth-largest cable provider.According to Charter, its deal with TiVo is designed to bring its customers "a new and enhanced experience." Charter said that its offering will have the features current TiVo users are accustomed to, including a programming guide, content searching, and live TV control.
A Charter spokesperson told that the company currently doesn't have licensing agreements in place with Netflix and the others, but it plans to offer the "full integrated TiVo experience" when it launches.Charter plans to release its TiVo offering "later this year." The company's spokesperson said that it should be comparably priced to its current service.
With Charter now on its side, TiVo is making inroads in both the cable and satellite markets.Back in 2008, TiVo announced a partnership with DirecTV that would see the satellite company's subscribers once again employ TiVo DVRs. Those DVRs were expected to launch in 2009, but were then pushed back to 2010. Last October, TiVo and DirecTV announced that the device would be available to customers in early 2011.

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