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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 02, 2009

TiVo, SeaChange to Help Cable Operators Combine DVR, VOD

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

The Alviso, California-based company whose TV show-recording devices have become synonymous with the practice today announced that it’s eyeing a plan to integrate cable video-on-demand service into its own DVR experience.
Officials at TiVo Inc. say they’ve joined Acton, Massachusetts-based SeaChange International in a plan to help cable operators without OCAP/tru2way deployment plans to boost their offerings by quickly deploying TiVo (News - Alert) set-top boxes that seamlessly integrate VOD in a single, intuitive interface.
According to Tom Rogers (News - Alert), TiVo’s president and chief executive officer, the solution will help MSOs boost on-demand offerings by highlighting VOD titles within TiVo universal search results.
“And the beauty of this is that it can be achieved faster and at a lower cost than most solutions that have been available to cable operators to date,” Rogers said.
It’s also a fertile market.
As TMCnet reported recently, on the heels of a study that ranked digital video recorders as the second-most essential home technology, behind only mobile phones, an IT market research firm based in southern England today is reporting that global DVR homes will quadruple over the next five years.
With equipment prices falling rapidly enough that more and more operators are offering free or subsidized DVR boxes, Byfleet-based Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert) is calling for 208 million homes with the devices in 2013.
According to the Simon Murray, who authored the firm’s report, competition among operators who offer DVR services is intensifying. The service providers are vying to provide features such as the most capacity, high-definition compatibility and video-on-demand. In the United States, most platforms provide high-definition DVRs as standard, Murray said.
“DVR take-up works best where there is intense digital TV competition,” Murray said. “Platforms will not want to be left behind if a competitor is attracting new subscribers through DVR promotions.”
The firm says that there will be about 56 million DVRs installed around the world by the end of this year – or about 5 percent of all TV households and 18 percent of digital TV homes. Informa is calling for an additional 25 million DVR homes in 2009, and says that the top-five nations will account for the 208 million total DVR homes it’s forecasting by 2013.
TiVo officials say their HD DVR set tops, combined with SeaChange VOD capabilities, will provide a cost effective way for operators to further differentiate their service with TiVo service.
According to Bill Styslinger, president and chief executive officer at SeaChange, TiVo is synonymous with the optimal viewer experience and our collaboration is directly in line with SeaChange’s focus on innovating to help television operators leverage the infrastructure they have in place today to provide new services and opportunities.
“VOD has matured into a vital, core service and by offering another solution with TiVo, we’re once again sure to put operators of any size in a better position to deliver rich on-demand services fast and cost effectively,” Styslinger said.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan