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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 24, 2011

Charter Communications Embracing Web TV Movement with TiVo Partnership

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

TiVo (News - Alert) shares made a nice early-morning leap on Monday after the media technology giant announced that it will be partnering with Charter Communications (News - Alert) to deliver its Web TV interface to cable subscribers.

For Charter, the multi-year agreement will enable it to enter a thriving new market by providing current and prospective customers with a hybrid platform that offers traditional cable programming as well as Web-delivered content, on-demand services and third-party applications like Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter.

Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont said that TiVo's next-generation HD user interface and set top-box will now be part of the company's primary multi-room and whole-house solution. TiVo will also expand upon its current platform by launching new devices, features and apps -- all of which will become available to Charter customers as soon as they are released.

"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," Mike Lovett, Charter's president and CEO, noted in a statement.

"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," he added.

Subscribers who sign up for the service will have access to TiVo's integrated search feature, which allows users to explore cable programming, video on-demand and Web content -- all at the same time. The set-top box is also equipped with Tivo's hallmark digital video recorder, which can hold up to 45 hours of HD content or as many as 400 hours of standard-definition programming. All TV shows, movies and recorded Web content can be accessed from any TV through the company's multi-room DVR.

Charter is not the first cable or satellite provider to partner with TiVo. Many operators have made similar moves in the past 12 months after first disregarding the Web-enabled TV movement, which they considered an impediment to their own success. Suddenlink Communications, RCN and Virgin Media (News - Alert) have each announced similar initiatives in recent months. Direct TV is expected to jump on board sometime in late 2011, according to MultiChannel News.

Want to learn more about business video? Then be sure to attend the Business Video Expo, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO East, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. The Business Video Expo highlights the latest strategies and technologies available to executives who are serious about leveraging emerging video communications capabilities to build competitive advantage. By bringing together the industry’s most innovative video technology vendors with end-users who are pioneering the use of video in the corporate environment, the Business Video Expo mirrors a burgeoning market -- no longer just a corporate novelty -- with a growing appetite for learning the best practices in implementing video to make business communications more engaging and effective. To register, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf