TiVo Coming To FiOS*


TiVo has announced a “strategic relationship” with Frontier. And their first phase is quite unique. Whereas TiVo’s prior provider partnerships have exclusively powered cable television solutions, Frontier will be marketing the Roamio OTA to their Internet customers mid-year:

The new partnership will enable Frontier’s high-speed Internet customers to enjoy a consistent TV experience spanning major broadcast channels and over the top (OTT) content via TiVo’s unified cloud-based service, a whole-home gateway DVR, TiVo Mini, TiVo Stream. Multi-screen and remote scheduling functionality will be available through TiVo Web, iOS and Android mobile applications. Frontier customers with high-speed Internet service will enjoy an all-in-one DVR, a broad line-up of over-the-top applications, and a variety of top-tier streaming video services via a high-quality streaming solution.

While Frontier isn’t the first telco/cableco to hedge go after cord cutters and cord nevers with video services (see Cox, Cablevision), they will be the first to offer an over-the-air DVR for subscribers to record broadcast programming, like NBC and CBS, in conjunction with online services like Netflix. With an established customer base, TiVo presumably expects fewer marketing challenges than moving DVRs thru retail along with Frontier obviously anticipating a new revenue stream. Pricing details haven’t yet been released, so we can’t provide a comparison to a retail-acquired Roamio that currently runs $50 for hardware, along with an ongoing $15 monthly fee. Irrespective of cost, install assistance, etc it’s a forward thinking approach… that may not move the needle much for either company – at least not in 2015. Enter the more compelling second phase of this relationship.

According to one source within TiVo, it’s expected that Frontier will ultimately make TiVo available to their FiOS TV customers… which will baloon to about 1.8 million in 2016 once Frontier takes posession of Verizon’s Florida, Texas, and California wireline businesses. And, if pitched as Frontier’s exclusive or premiere DVR, the implications of this deal become much larger for TiVo. (What will Engadget’s Tampa-based Ben Drawbaugh do?)

Speaking of FiOS, Verizon’s long term commitment to wireline may be in question as they continue to divest themselves of fiber markets. Further, it’s not clear if the facility in Texas that develops the FiOS TV experience transfers with the Frontier deal or is associated with NY/NJ management. Sadly, I couldn’t get anything on the record from Verizon a week or three back. Yet a source within the company suggests internal uncertainty surrounding how the company will bridge the gap between FiOS TV and it’s other expanding video iniatives. Which is why my thoughts take me to TiVo… Without a clear focus or commiment, especially should the R&D group move on, TiVo could be a compelling, cost effective, stop-gap, set-top solution for Verizon …  until they figure out their next move.

21 thoughts on “TiVo Coming To FiOS*”

  1. So sad about the state of FiOS. I just feel like it’s hanging on, not evolving as much as it should, and obviously not expanding. If we had the option of Comcast I sadly might consider it now. Consider, but not switch. Yet.

  2. Could be pretty killer… despite higher long term costs and perhaps fewer OTT apps, for a cable set-top like this, I’d prefer to rent. So I can add/remove rooms as needed, upgrade, sidegrade, switch providers, etc.

    But no idea what will happen to the rest of Verizon’s footprint or, when, if anything. Karl Bode (DSLReports) seems to think they’d have unloaded it all if they could.

  3. I recently moved to a new building in manhattan with both FIOS and Time-Warner Cable, and I chose to stick with TWC. It’s cheaper and much faster with the new “MAXX” service.

    I get 300down/30up for $70/month from TWC. FIOS wants to sell me 75/75 for $75/month. They want a whopping $195/month for 300/300. The faster upstream is nice, but 30Mbps is enough to stream 1080p video in Plex, so I really don’t need more than that. Verizon seems to be bizarrely uninterested in competing with TWC here.

    Also they force you into a 2yr contract and are notorious for drastically increasing prices after the first year of that contract. TWC is contract-free, and while they do of course increase prices regularly, at least that’s applied to everybody.

  4. Chucky, check the original link they sent me, it’s even better.


    I think the only time I was required to sign a two year Verizon contract was my original install, which seemed fair to offset their expense in wiring up my old house. The last few times I’ve made changes, I’ve been given the option to do a two year deal or not. Obviously, the terms are a bit better if you do a contract and the better deals are if you bundle. I’m still right under $100/mo for cable, 50/50 Internet, and CableCARD. I just dropped SHO but still have HBO. The numbers are highly variable based on market, how long you’ve been with them, if you’re with them, your horoscope, or if you call in like Chucky and fight hard for the best possible rate. But I have heard a few reports like yours where they’re unwilling to budge on Internet-only plans and the numbers don’t make sense compared to the competition.

  5. Yeah, I don’t like that price variance either. It’s scummy. And Verizon really doesn’t even come close to TWC in pricing.

    I guess an argument could be made that the difference between 300Mb and 75Mb downstream is actually fairly small, but to be honest I really do get a thrill downloading files at 30 megabytes/sec.

  6. I’ll buy what ever is the best product, at the best price. I suspect the FiOS TiVo will cost more than buying one out right, so I doubt I’ll get rid of my Roamio and rent one instead.

    I really hope that this means FiOS on demand content is coming to TiVo. Other than HBO Go, access to the on-demand content included with my FiOS TV subscription is the biggest missing piece of TiVo’s current offering.

  7. “F.C.C. Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Classifying Broadband Internet Service as a Utility”

    Don’t worry. Verizon’s super-smart lawyers will sue, and then all broadband will become free…

  8. “Be careful what you wish for, as net neutrality has emboldened the llamas.”

    No matter what happens, Verizon’s overly clever lawyers will always save the day for the public interest. In this case, Verizon will file suit in such a way that will corral all the lloose llamas…

  9. In a more perfect world, wouldn’t Comcast, TWC, the other wireless carriers, and the llamas be able to sue Verizon for screwing up their more profitable regulatory regime?

  10. Peter White (Faultline) at Rethink chimed in on the deal with similar assertions.


    TiVo has opened another US avenue for revenue with rural telco combine Frontier Communications. Day one, starting in the middle of 2015 it will be selling TiVo service and devices to its captive broadband base of around 2.4 million broadband lines, but that will change as it completes acquisitions with Verizon and AT&T and shift to 4.6 million US broadband homes. Its networks also pass a total of 7.8 million homes, and the addition of TiVo to its roster may well bring more of those homes on board…

  11. Ones experience with Frontier really depends on where you live. I live in a Frontier area (Rochester NY area) that has been a Frontier telephone area as long as “Frontier” has been around (since 1995) (we were Rochester Telephone (since late 1800s) – one of the areas in the country that were never part of AT&T).

    I can say without doubt that in the Rochester NY area Frontier’s Internet service sucks. No fiber and infrastructure so over taxed that they can not maintain DSL speeds. My 6Mbps DSL works great at 6:00am and could be used for one stream from any the various streaming service, however everyday by 6:00pm my 6Mbps drops to 1+/-Mbps and streaming doesn’t work.

    I have a Roamio I use for OTA and if Frontier could maintain 6Mbps 24/7 I think many more people would find an OTA Roamio + streaming service(s) an acceptable alternative to cable/satellite. But without infrastructure upgrades if Frontier tries to get more people to use streaming where they don’t have fiber the whole thing is going to crash and burn.

  12. Chucky, it is saldy or amusingly ironic. Of course, we’re nowhere near done as I assume there will be more lawsuits.

  13. “Chucky, it is saldy or amusingly ironic. Of course, we’re nowhere near done as I assume there will be more lawsuits.”

    Yup. Verizon will sue again, and we’ll all end up with free broadband, single-payer healthcare, and global carbon pricing as a result…

  14. With all the attention being given to Title II, the ruling by the FCC overruling a few state laws outlawing municipal broadband networks seems to have gotten a bit overlooked.

    But it seem to me that it’s going to be of pretty huge significance as time goes on. Especially if the next administration is also a D, it’s something that could really get built upon in interesting ways that benefit the public. Combine that with the Google utility pole implications, and monopoly wireline providers could gradually become an endangered species.

  15. I’ve been lucky to experience a major improvement going from Time Warner to FIOS. While they screwed up installation of FIOS TV they ultimately provided a great system. For me
    Higher upload speeds were a must.
    Losing Time Warners adaptor for switched digital video was long over due.
    MoCA now gives me promised transfer speeds
    It’s now obvious how much TW was compressing the video

    Downside was losing any analog signal but I expected it was only a matter of time.

    If they can continue improving the service and not screw it up I’ll be very happy.


  16. The continued challenge to every attempt by this Administration’s “Hands Off” approach to FCC regulation is going to lead to exactly what the ISP’s do not want (certainly of the next Pres is a Dem): the FCC putting ISP’s under Title II. It will be an ugly irony the ISP’s will have brought upon themselves. Title is not perfect, but if companies could not accept the much weaker rules approved by the FCC, and certainly won’t stand for this current close to but not quite Title II set of rules, then that leave only Title II as the only option.

    Of course, one could argue that FCC Chairman Wheeler is doing his best for his long-time cable co (who are also most of the ISP’s) buddies: stalling pressure for Title II designation long enough to allow a Republican President to be elected, which will ensure Title II is NEVER designated for ISP’s. I do believe every current Republican who is considering a run for the Republican nomination has spoken vehemently against Title II designation for ISP’s. Wheeler still doing the cable co’s bidding.

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