The long awaited marriage between TiVo and Comcast is official. Boston is the first market where TiVo licensed software starts appearing on Comcast DVRs. The TiVo “premium” service will cost Comcast customers an additional $2.95/month over their existing $12.95/month DVR subscription fee. In addition to standard TiVo functionality, the Comcast version allows subscribers to browse and search for content by keyword on both linear and VOD programming. The Comcast TiVo service will not offer some of TiVo’s broadband content initiatives, including Amazon Unbox. Comcast says additional markets will be coming on line during 2008.
The Comcast/TiVo alliance is a high profile tru2way partnership. True2way is the rebranded CableLabs ‘OpenCable’ initiative, whose goal is to provide a platform for easy integration of third party applications to cable networks. Comcast appears to be taking the lead with tru2way, having brought much attention to it at the most recent CES. Tru2way may prove to be quite an interesting development. If its goal of easy integration between third party developers/consumer electronics and cable networks proves to be reality, we could see a slew of innovation and new products for cable MSOs. Such a reality could offer some differentiation, and perhaps build competitive advantage for the cable industry. We’ll have to wait and see though. Even the TiVo/Comcast partnership was a long time coming. It took three years to get to market – an eternity in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. Is it too late to matter?
Check out this Boston Globe (source for post image) post for more details about the Boston market launch.
Also, check out Will Richmond’s analysis at VideoNuze.