Wide Open West Shows its Moxi with Ultra TV

Mari Silbey —  February 23, 2012

Wide Open West Ultra TV service with Arris gateway

Cable provider Wide Open West (WOW) is beating Comcast to the IPTV punch with a new service called Ultra TV. Not that WOW is delivering TV over IP exactly, but it is deploying the Arris six-tuner IP gateway to combine standard TV delivery with lots of IP entertainment goodness.

WOW joins BendBroadband and Canada’s Shaw Cable in picking up the Arris Moxi gateway. Leasing the gateway will cost you $25 a month, but it comes with two media players for two TVs, and it takes the place of your cable modem and router. You get whole-home DVR service, and the ability to shift content from your PCs and mobile devices to your living-room flat screen. (Hello HBO Go) WOW also includes a Flickr app, news ticker and some basic games.

Thanks to an Arris SDK, WOW could add more custom apps to the Ultra TV service at a later date. Essentially, subscribers are getting a combined cable set-top and Roku box (or any other media extender you could name). If WOW wants to, it could even add Netflix, though there’s little incentive given the MSO’s competing VOD library.

Rounding out the tech specs, the Arris gateway for Ultra TV offers 500GB of storage space, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and DLNA support, in addition to its six TV tuners. The Ultra TV service includes remote DVR scheduling, and VP Steve Stanfill notes on the company blog that, while self-service install isn’t available today, it may be offered in the future.

5 responses to Wide Open West Shows its Moxi with Ultra TV

  1. PC/mobile shifting is mostly likely solely via DLNA and I suspect redirecting video from cool sites or apps like HBO GO will not be possible. At least not from the more locked down iOS platform.

    FYI At last count, Wide Open West had about 430,000 customers – about 25% more than RCN who’s implemented TiVo.

  2. I had the service installed at my place in Michigan yesterday. I haven’t played with it extensively, but so far I’m pretty excited about the product (as a previously huge TiVo advocate). The menus have occasional lag and jerky animations, but nothing I can’t overlook (yet, at least).

    My only big complaint right now has to do with the DLNA support. I have TVersity running on a few computers and the Arris boxes have no problem seeing and playing the video files I have on my server PCs, but I cannot fast forward or rewind the video files. For me, this is a pretty inconvenient detriment that you don’t really realize is inconvenient until you want to fast forward through the 2 minute opening sequence of DS9 or return to a position in a show.

  3. Ehh.

    What is with the obsession with PPV, VoD, etc.?

    I don’t care much about movies, refuse to PAY for PPV, and I record everything else. What am I really missing?

    Give me 3 or more tuners on the DVR, simple streaming extenders for other TV’s(no CC’s or tuners), and APPS for my PC, tablet, etc. for remote control/streaming/transfers FROM (read –> FROM) my DVR.

    and I’m done. TiVo is getting close. Just need to get those extenders out and release that streaming iPad app.

  4. @dean-l

    This WOW Moxi box gives you 6 tuners and 2 media extenders, plus the ability to add an external HD for extra DVR storage.

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