Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII): TiVo, Charter Communications, Microsoft, Vudu


--TiVo Secures Deal to Provide Charter with Hybrid-TV Platform

--Microsoft Files Complaint with ITC Seeking to Block TiVo DVR Imports

--Vudu OTT Service Launches New Version of its User Interface


Because the [itvt] editorial team has been busy this week working on the TV of Tomorrow Show 2011, we are covering recent news in round-up/summary form. We anticipate that it will take us a few days to catch up with all the news we plan to cover: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular daily news coverage will return shortly.

  • TiVo has announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Charter Communications that "will leverage the TiVo user interface to bring a new and enhanced entertainment experience to customers using a hybrid platform that leverages traditional cable and next-generation IP technologies...The initial phase [of the partnership], which is expected to launch in Charter markets later this year, will utilize TiVo's latest-generation high-definition user interface and TiVo Premiere set-top box, as well as upcoming multi-room and non-DVR platforms," the company continues in its press materials. "Beyond the initial phase, the strategy will encompass next-generation platforms that will expand the service with new devices, features, and third-party applications--all enhanced by TiVo's highly regarded discovery, search, navigation and recommendation features which allow Charter customers to experience the best of traditional and next-generation television, including linear TV, video-on-demand, vast libraries of Internet-delivered video and IP applications." Said Charter president and CEO, Mike Lovett: "We're integrating formerly disparate worlds of traditional television and online content, and making it simple for customers to quickly find the content they're looking for, as well as greatly expand their entertainment choices...With our superior IP infrastructure, we're leading the way with TiVo to create a user-friendly entertainment experience that leverages an open-standards platform to enable IP content and bring a whole new world of applications to the television." TiVo enumerates the key features of the solution it will be providing for Charter as follows: "1) TiVo's high-definition user interface including integrated search: Instantly scans across all channels and sources, including TV, VOD, and available online content, to help find what customers want to watch. 2) Web applications: Allows customers to access local news, sports and weather, as well as Facebook and Twitter updates, right from the TV. 3) OnDemand: Offers access to thousands of hours of video from Charter's OnDemand library, including 900+ high-definition titles. 4) Online: Internet video from top destinations. 5) iPad app: Serves as command central, with an ability to browse the program guide and recorded shows, schedule recordings, post on Facebook or Twitter, schedule, search and browse for shows from anywhere, and much more. 6) Control live TV: Allows pause, rewind, slow-motion, and instant replay functions during live TV. 7) Multiroom DVR: View a common list of recordings and playback recorded content throughout the home, pause a recorded program in one room and resume playback in another, use trick-play functions on recorded content and delete recordings from any room. 8) Remote Management: Search and schedule recordings from the Web or from a mobile phone. 9) TiVoToGo transfers: Transfer photos and movies from a personal computer to the TiVo Premiere, for viewing on the TV set; or from the TiVo Premiere to a laptop, media device, or smartphone, for viewing outside the home. 10) Automatic recordings: Records favorite shows each week with Season Pass recordings on the TiVo Premiere. In addition, WishList searches will find and record suggested programs based on customer interests. 11) Content storage: Records up to 45 hours of high-definition (HD) programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition programming--equivalent to more than 16 days of content. 12) Full HD support: Offers full support for 1080p and 1080i HD formats." 

  • In other TiVo news: Microsoft has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), accusing the company of infringing on four of its patents, and requesting that it be banned from importing its DVR's which are primarily manufactured in Mexico. The complaint is the latest salvo in a dispute that began over a year ago when Microsoft challenged TiVo patents that were being asserted against AT&T, a customer of Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV platform. Bloomberg's Susan Decker has more.

  • Walmart-owned OTT service, Vudu, has launched its next-generation interface, Vudu 2.0. According to the company, Vudu 2.0 offers: "improved browsing and navigation; faster access to more great movies; recommendations based on your viewing history; [and] a 2.0 interface optimized for HD viewing and next-generation controllers."




North America