TiVo and Charter partner on cable/IPTV hybrid

TiVo and Charter Communications have announced plans for a next-gen TV system, which will bundle traditional cable and IPTV services. On offer later in 2011, the system will begin with the TiVo Premiere DVR – including the companion iPad app – and then be followed with multi-room playback and non-DVR receivers.

From the off, Charter will offer the TiVo Premiere for regular DVR recording together with access to the cable company's on-demand TV catalog. The Premier UI will incorporate both the traditional system and any IPTV on offer from the new partnership, as well as online streaming video in a similar manner to Google TV.

After that will come "new devices, features, and third party applications" all using TiVo's search/navigation/discovery engine, in an ecosystem which Charter is hoping will be somewhat easier to use than having dozens of different STBs. No word at this stage on what the Charter TiVo Premiere will cost.

Press Release:

Charter Announces Next Generation TV Strategy With TiVo

Charter and TiVo Enter Into Strategic Relationship to Deliver Innovative IP Enabled Video Platform

ST. LOUIS, MO and ALVISO, CA, Jan 24, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), today announced that Charter is setting its strategy for the next generation of television into motion with TiVo Inc. Charter and TiVo have finalized a multi-year agreement that will leverage the TiVo user interface to bring a new and enhanced entertainment experience to customers using a hybrid platform that leverages traditional cable and next generation IP technologies. Through this agreement, Charter is making a significant commitment to deploy the TiVo service to enable an enhanced television experience for consumers.

The initial phase, which is expected to launch in Charter markets later this year, will utilize TiVo's latest generation high definition user interface and TiVo(R) Premiere set top box, as well as upcoming multi-room and non-DVR platforms. 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.

Consumer electronics research indicates rapidly increasing numbers of Internet-connected devices in the home, and Charter is developing the strategic means to become the advanced television solutions provider for customers, bringing simplicity to the increasing complexity of home communications and entertainment. This new generation of television service will complement Charter Internet and wireless home networking services.

"We're integrating formerly disparate worlds of traditional television and online content, and making it simple for customers to quickly find the content they're looking for, as well as greatly expand their entertainment choices," said Mike Lovett, Charter's President and CEO. "Our strategic relationship with TiVo is a significant step in Charter's multi-year effort to become the solutions provider for home entertainment and consumer information technology. With our superior IP infrastructure, we're leading the way with TiVo to create a user-friendly entertainment experience that leverages an open standards platform to enable IP content and bring a whole new world of applications to the television."

Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo Inc., added, "We are thrilled to have been selected by Charter for its next generation video platform, which builds on the distribution momentum we saw throughout 2010 for our products. Charter's strategic direction is highly aligned with the way we see consumer entertainment demands evolving. We believe Charter is uniquely positioned to offer consumers a ground breaking video service combining the best of traditional cable television with the dynamic world of Internet delivered video. We are pleased to offer a solution that seamlessly delivers DVR based video on demand, traditional network based video on demand, and the newest in broadband to the TV video on demand. While numerous consumer electronic players point to so called connected experiences on various platforms, our relationship with Charter underscores our mutual recognition of the importance of a fully integrated user experience in building a video platform that truly unifies all available content in a world of rapidly expanding choices for the consumer."

The following features are planned for the initial product:

– TiVo's high-definition user interface including integrated search:

Instantly scans across all channels and sources, including TV, VOD,

and available online content, to help find what customers want to


– Web applications: Allows customers to access local news, sports and

weather, as well as Facebook and Twitter(TM) updates, right from the


– OnDemand: Offers access to thousands of hours of video from Charter's

OnDemand library, including 900+ high-definition titles

– Online: Internet video from top destinations

– iPad app: Serves as command central, with an ability to browse the

program guide and recorded shows, schedule recordings, post on

Facebook or Twitter, schedule, search and browse for shows from

anywhere, and much more

– Control live TV: Allows pause, rewind, slow-motion, and instant replay

functions during live TV

– Multiroom DVR: View a common list of recordings and playback recorded

content throughout the home, pause a recorded program in one room and

resume playback in another, use trick-play functions on recorded

content and delete recordings from any room*

– Remote Management: Search and schedule recordings from the Web or from

a mobile phone

– TiVoToGo(TM) transfers: Transfer photos and movies from a personal

computer to the TiVo Premiere, for viewing on the TV set; or from the

TiVo Premiere to a laptop, media device, or smart phone, for viewing

outside the home*

– Automatic recordings: Records favorite shows each week with Season

Pass(R) recordings on the TiVo Premiere. In addition,

WishList(R) searches will find and record suggested programs based

on customer interests

– Content storage: Records up to 45 hours of high-definition (HD)

programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition programming –

equivalent to more than 16 days of content

– Full HD support: Offers full support for 1080p and 1080i HD formats

*Only video programming without copy restrictions may be transferred using multi-room viewing or TiVoToGo.