Compton Communications Becomes First Canadian Cable Operator to Launch Evolution's TiVo Offering

--Evolution Recently Abandoned tru2way in Favor of TiVo HD DVR's as an Interactive TV Platform

Evolution Digital--a division of Evolution Broadband, a reseller of digital equipment to independent cable operators--said Tuesday that Compton Communications has become the first Canadian operator to select its TiVo HD DVR offering. "Now that the TiVo HD DVR is a one-box solution in Canada, acting as the sole cable box, TiVo's brand recognition as the world's leading user interface and DVR made it the logical next step to enhance our product offering," Travis Campbell, marketing manager for Compton Communications, said in a prepared statement. "It has been Compton's goal to offer our customers the very best, cutting-edge entertainment choices available. With TiVo HD DVR's being CableCARD-compatible and no infrastructure or expensive equipment needed to launch, it was a clear decision."

Evolution has a partnership with TiVo that sees it offering small and mid-sized cable operators the TiVo DVR as a platform for interactive TV and over-the-top services. Earlier this year (see the article published on itvt.com, September 28th), the company revealed that it had abandoned a strategy based on tru2way headends and set-top boxes because the economics "simply don't add up" for tier-two and tier-three operators, telling Cable Digital News's Jeff Baumgartner that it now believes that broadband-connected HD DVR's from TiVo are a more cost-effective alternative than tru2way for smaller operators looking to launch advanced interactive TV services, even though it had lined up a number of overseas set-top box manufacturers to supply it with tru2way boxes. "Unless something changes dramatically, in terms of the economics and willingness of those that provide the hardware and software to accommodate the needs of a smaller system, we don't anticipate investing much more in tru2way," Evolution Digital president, Brent Smith, stated in an interview. "As it stands today, everything we've investigated suggests there isn't an economic solution to offer tru2way in markets below the urban centers."

Compton Communications says that it plans to begin rolling out TiVo HD DVR's in time for the holiday season, and that it will offer its customers "an attractive rental option" that will enable them to pay a low monthly fee for the boxes. According to Evolution Digital's Smith, Evolution will provide Compton--and other cable operators that decide to deploy its TiVo HD DVR offering--with extensive support: "Evolution's in the final stages of developing an operator portal to provide MSO's, such as Compton, with easy access to real-time support and launch tools," he said. "Evolution will be providing cable operators with tools such as marketing resources, training programs and material for both CSR and technicians, and logistics tools including an extremely user-friendly activation portal to activate and de-activate TiVo subscriptions."


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