The end times must be upon us because I never thought I would see Comcast allowing 3rd party set-top boxes to access On Demand. But that’s exactly what’s happening. TiVo and Comcast just announced Xfinity On Demand will soon be available on TiVo Premiere DVRs. The San Francisco Bay Area expected to be the first market with access, but others will follow as the service rolls through Comcast’s largest markets.
Surprisingly, in these select markets, Comcast will provide and install TiVo Premiere units but the On Demand service will be available on units sold at retail as well. According to the press release, “Comcast will install TiVo Premiere set-top boxes with its cable service at no additional charge” although monthly pricing wasn’t announced.
This move does cement the TiVo Premiere as the leading 3rd party set-top DVR. There isn’t another set-top box from even service providers that offer so much content through one user interface. The TiVo Premiere features complete access to digital cable through Cable Cards as well as online offerings such as Netflix, Blockbuster and Amazon, and now select units can stream from Comcast’s robust On Demand library. Now if only TiVo can finish the HDUI so there’s a bit of continuity throughout the service.
TiVo and Comcast Team Up to Offer the First Retail Cable Set-Top With DVR That Delivers Linear TV, Broadband Content and Xfinity On Demand Library All From One Box
Comcast to Help TiVo to Promote Solution With Retail and Marketing Support
ALVISO, CA and PHILADELPHIA, PA–(Marketwire – May 9, 2011) – TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services and advertising solutions for digital video recorders (DVRs), and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) (NASDAQ: CMCSK), one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information, and communications products and services, today announced they have entered into an agreement to enable access to Comcast’s robust 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 enjoy a fully integrated offering of On Demand programs, along with linear television and a range of broadband services, all accessible through TiVo’s user interface and intuitive search capabilities.
Under the agreement, Comcast will make its Xfinity TV On Demand service accessible on TiVo 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 plan to partner on promotion of this new service in retail and other sales channels. Comcast will install TiVo Premiere set-top boxes with its cable service at no additional charge for its customers when the service is available in those markets.
“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, President and CEO of TiVo Inc. “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.”
“We’re pleased to combine Comcast’s industry leading On Demand library with the innovative TiVo experience and provide our customers even more choice and convenience,” said Marcien Jenckes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast. “Working with TiVo to allow customers to access our Xfinity TV On Demand service complements our commitment to bring any content to any device, at any time.”