Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Grande Communications, TiVo, BBC iPlayer, TVonics, Vizio, Hulu

--Grande to Use TiVo STB to Combine Linear-TV, VOD, IP Video and Interactive TV Apps into Single UI
--TiVo Reports Higher Revenues and Losses, Beats Guidance, Loses More Subs
--Software Upgrade Brings BBC iPlayer to TVonics HD DVR's
--Vizio's New Tablet Features Hulu Plus

Because the [itvt] editorial team is catching up with a backlog of news--and has also been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • TiVo said Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Texas-based cable operator, Grande Communications, under which its TiVo Premiere will be the exclusive DVR promoted by Grande. "As a result of the new relationship, TiVo Premiere DVR's and TiVo's multi-room solution will become the foundation of Grande's advanced television offering, providing its customers with a best-in-class entertainment experience not available from satellite and telco offerings in market today," TiVo states in its press materials. "Scheduled to launch later this year, TiVo Premiere from Grande will bring together traditional television, Internet-delivered video and interactive applications as well as Grande's video-on-demand offerings, in one elegant user interface. The products offered by Grande will be based on TiVo's industry-leading family of whole-home and multi-room products." Said Grande president, Matt Murphy: "The ability to deliver a truly differentiated video service in an already crowded environment is by no means an easy task. For us, the search for a partner to help us bring the most dynamic advanced television viewing experience to our customers began and ended with TiVo. TiVo's deep understanding of how to successfully integrate cable and broadband content on a single set-top platform will enable our viewers to easily navigate, search and discover content from across traditional television channels, the Internet and our own VOD library in a simple, intuitive fashion that is unlike anything else available on the market today."
  • In other TiVo news: The company has released financial results for its fiscal second quarter (2012), ended July 31st: "Service and technology revenues were $49.6 million, compared to our guidance of $46 million to $48 million and up 18% compared to $42.1 million for the same period last year and $38.8 million in the fiscal first quarter 2012," the company states in its earnings release. "TiVo reported a net loss of ($19.6) million, compared to guidance of a net loss of ($25) million to ($27) million and a net loss of ($15.3) million in the year-ago quarter. Net loss per share this quarter on a basic share basis was ($0.17). Additionally, adjusted EBITDA was a loss of ($9.2) million, compared to adjusted EBITDA guidance of a loss of ($14) million to ($16) million, and to an adjusted EBITDA loss of ($6.5) million in the same period a year ago. TiVo ended the second quarter with approximately $628 million in cash and short-term investments, up significantly from the prior quarter due to the receipt of the first DISH Network settlement payment of $300 million." TiVo also provided the following guidance for the current quarter: "For the third quarter of fiscal 2012, TiVo anticipates service and technology revenues in the range of $49 million to $51 million. TiVo anticipates net loss to be in the range of ($27) million to ($29) million, and an Adjusted EBITDA loss to be in the range of ($17) million to ($19) million. This guidance includes ongoing licensing revenue from the DISH Network settlement." In addition, the company revealed that it now has 1.9 million subscribers, having lost 456,000 in the course of the second quarter.
  • Welsh set-top box company, TVonics, has announced a software upgrade that will add support for the BBC iPlayer and other Internet services to its DTR-HD500 and DTR-Z500HD DVR's. "The upgrade is available via free USB software upgrade, downloadable from the product support section on the 26th August 2011," TVonics explains on its Web site. "Once upgraded, you'll be able to receive future software and feature updates automatically via your Internet connection, so there is no need to manually update products to get the latest software upgrades. BBC iPlayer can be accessed easily and quickly through the 'red button,' as long as a network connection is established. You'll have access to on-demand BBC HD and SD programming and films, as well as radio, through an attractive and familiar interface."
  • Vizio, a company best known for its LCD HDTV sets, said Wednesday that its new Vizio 8" Tablet with WiFi will include an app for Hulu's $7.99-per-month premium service, Hulu Plus. "The WiFi-enabled Vizio Tablet comes equipped with unique features like a three-speaker configuration for enhanced audio in landscape or portrait modes, built-in universal remote app for home theater control and a HDMI port for HD playback on the big screen," the company states in its press materials. "The addition of Hulu Plus bolsters the entertainment value of the sub-$300 Vizio Tablet, making it one of the most affordable, media-centric, Android-powered tablets on the market."
North America