RCN Pressures TiVo For More Apps Spotify, Twitter, Facebook?

Dave Zatz —  July 26, 2012


TiVo partner RCN posted a fairly meaty state of the union on DSLReports today. Not only does the cable TV provider cover plans to possibly support the upcoming TiVo Stream and IP-STB along with the release of a refreshed VOD experience featuring a sleeker HDUI look and video previews, RCN talks apps:

We have pushed VERY hard on TiVo to deliver more applications that run on the TiVo Set-Top. Since launch we understand that we have lost a number of applications (FrameChannel, Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Traffic , One True Media , etc..) While we really have only launched Pandora which is a awesome app, we want to see more.. We have applied HEAVY pressure and received firm commitments from TiVo that they are going to be deploying more apps. I can’t give details but they tie into :

  • Social Networking
  • Music
  • Games

I’ve seen some of the apps, and I’m excited.

One need only look across the pond to Virgin Media, who has presumably deployed more UK TiVo DVRs (1m) than there are US Premieres, to get a sense of what’s coming — Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify are already in rotation. And, who knows, now that Netflix and Starz have parted ways perhaps RCN might be able to entertain access for their cable customers.

Regarding games, well I’m not quite sold on casual gaming… whatever my TiVo can do, my iPhone or Xbox can do better. Not to mention it’s not clear that an app platform like Roku has managed to find much success by dabbling in this genre. So, as a retail TiVo customer, I’d prefer they focus more resources on speeding up the apps they have, including Hulu Plus and YouTube.

(Thanks, Sam!)

7 responses to RCN Pressures TiVo For More Apps Spotify, Twitter, Facebook?

  1. I don’t really care about the apps, but I can see why they might especially as other providers add them. I would like the SDK to be released so we can use things like Trakt.TV assuming we can find someone to write it.

  2. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what the SDK is capable of and who can publish apps… I’m not holding my breath on that front and assume it’ll mostly be curated stuff, perhaps with a healthy dose of business relationship. But it is sad that I choose to watch Hulu Plus via Roku on the same TV I have my Premiere because it’s quicker and more stable.

  3. While I agree that the TiVo and the Roku are not my go to game devices, I was hooked on SameGame and WordSmith for a little while.

    As for apps like Facebook or Twitter, I’ve never been sold using them on the TV. I would rather watch TVs or movies on my TV and use my tablet, smartphone or computer for social apps. Regardless, most apps that get ported to the TV don’t really take advantage of the screen real estate properly.

  4. I couldn’t agree more about games! That is the last thing we need on our retail TiVo’s. I would like to see more content options including Ultraviolet support and Amazon streaming. Improved handling of web videos would also be appreciated. With that said, I find my TiVo experience pretty decent these days and look forward to adding a Stream and IP-STB to my account!

  5. So a similar updated VOD experience/app mentioned by RCN has started rolling out to TiVo Premiere owners who have access to Xfinity On Demand:


    Sam, yeah Amazon Prime Instant streaming would be nice. But the current download method (for PPV only) probably would have better quality. Guess it’s always a trade off of some sort.

    Gabe, yeah what we really need with Facebook and Twitter is deeper, better “second screen” integration from the TiVo app. Although trending Tweets with a show wouldn’t be such a bad idea… as long it’s not in a silo-ed app, rather, more of an overlay would be desirable. But doubt we’ll see that.

  6. The comments about the IP STB were interesting. Two months ago the plan was to release it initially as an XL4-only accessory due to the live TV limitations.

    Now Jason sort of makes it sound like it’s starting off as a simple MRS extender at first with any live TV support coming later.

    But I suppose that may be RCN’s deployment method, and not necessarily the retail product plan.

    As far as Apps go… If they’re as unusable as the YouTube app or as crashy/hangy as the Netflix app, I’ll pass.

  7. It is probably due to licensing restrictions, but I don’t get why TiVo couldnt get Prime to work via download. I wish Netflix worked this way. I fast forward too much so streaming doesn’t work for me.