If you needed additional proof that retail tru2way is dead, look no further than the TiVo and Cox Communication announcement to bring Cox Video on Demand services to TiVo Premiere hardware. Unlike RCN’s on demand solution, Cox will ultimately link TiVo Premiere units acquired from them through upcoming cross promotional marketing OR units purchased via any retailer like Best Buy. Also, unlike RCN’s TiVo Premiere solution, joint TiVo-Cox customers will not have to give up Amazon VOD and Netflix streaming in order to access the cable provider’s on demand library. Score! Testing will begin this year, although it sounds like a full deployment to all Cox markets may not happen until 2011.
In discussing the plan with TiVo yesterday, I asked if this announcement implies that TiVo-Cox hardware plans (similar to the failed Comcast-Motorola-TiVo initiative) have been scrapped. Their response:
TiVo and Cox determined the quickest way to offer TiVo’s user experience and feature set while integrating Cox services such as VOD to all Cox markets would be to go down this path.
As for me, I’m a frequently frustrated Cox customer. Despite the glowing report they’ve submitted to the FCC, Cox has yet to prove that they can successfully implement and support their Cisco SDV tuning adapters (ZNF, TCF). Additionally, TiVoToGo and multi-room viewing are dead to me given Cox’s restrictive CCI Byte content restrictions. While compelling, I’m not sure access to their entire On Demand catalog is enough to prevent me from defecting to Verizon’s FiOS TV when we move later this year. Guess it’ll depend on timing… when will this service and TiVo’s modernized whole-home solution hit?
And, for some inside baseball news… TiVo has swapped PR firms – replacing Ruder Finn with Bite Communications. I figured the investors who track TiVo’s every move might want to know.