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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 08, 2013

CES 2013 Brings New Agreement between Roku and Time Warner Cable

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

CES (News - Alert) 2013 isn't just an opportunity to show off the biggest and best in new devices. It's also a great platform from which to make announcements related to those devices. For Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable and Roku, it was just such an opportunity as the cable systems provider and one of the best alternatives to cable got together to announce they would be working together a bit, and Time Warner Cable would be bringing as many as 300 channels to Roku for streaming.

This agreement represents the first time, reportedly, that Time Warner Cable television can be found streaming on a consumer device connected to a television, and the service will come at no charge for current customers. It will be available on Roku 2, Roku HD, and Roku LT players, along with the Roku Streaming Stick, so most who purchased a Roku recently can find their alternative here. What's more, Roku put out a blog post just yesterday saying that they'd be bringing in a whole lot more to their channel store by the end of the quarter, having inked deals with PBS, PBS Kids, FOX NOW, iHeartRadio, Big Fish Unlimited and Blockbuster On Demand. 

Image via http://www.roku.com/

Sounds like great news for cable cutters, right? Getting access to Time Warner's sweet packages through Roku might be the biggest inducement yet; access to cable channels via streaming would be enough to push over a lot of people on the fence. Well, no. As some may have expected, users will need to authenticate with their current subscription data, and users will be limited to only those channels in their cable package. Subscribers will also only be able to stream the channels on their home network instead of remotely.

So what good does this do anyone? Some have projected that this may allow users to drop their rented cable boxes and instead go to streaming. Since, for the time being, Time Warner Cable's Internet service is reportedly uncapped, it would represent a substantial benefit for users and may well keep them in the Time Warner Cable fold. For those with multiple cable boxes to their credit--running signals to multiple rooms--this may well be especially welcome as one room can stream content to a Roku while the cable box runs in another room.

While this isn't exactly the announcement that many were hoping for, every step is a good step, and we may well be seeing the dawn of an era in which all entertainment is put online for comparatively easy consumption, and prices--and commercial intervals--start looking like those offered by Hulu (News - Alert) Plus and even Netflix.

Want to learn more about how video is helping to transform the industry? Don’t miss Video World Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Video World Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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