Cogeco-owned Atlantic Broadband will roll out a leased version of TiVo's (Nasdaq: TIVO) latest Roamio DVR to about 250,000 customers scattered in western Pennsylvania, Miami Beach, Fla., Aiken, S.C. and parts of Maryland and Delaware.
This makes Atlantic Broadband, which signed on with TiVo last summer, the first service provider to commit to Roamio, according to reports in Bloomberg and Multichannel News. It will not, at least at the start, also participate in TiVo's relationship with Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX).
While it has not yet announced a launch date for Roamio--which includes, among other features, six tuners and a terabyte of storage--Atlantic Broadband is preparing its subscribers for the product addition on a website dedicated to TiVo which describes Roamio as "similar to the retail TiVo Roamio. The big benefit of the T6 DVR from Atlantic Broadband is that there is no upfront cost and that the T6 is fully integrated with Atlantic Broadband On Demand, bringing you the latest hit shows and movies. You also have the benefit of 24x7 technical support with Atlantic Broadband and should your T6 DVR fail to work, we will replace it."
An Atlantic Broadband spokesman told Multichannel News that the TiVo device would support "a range of over-the-top video apps" but did not specify Netflix as one of them.
Tom Elam, vice president/general manager of service provider business at TiVo, said in a recent interview with FierceCable that although TiVo can incorporate Netflix on its platform, it's optional for the operator to choose or discard.
"When we provide broadband features and applications and content such as Netflix, we make it optional for our different partners to choose what they want and what they don't. With Netflix generally, most of the operators view it as a positive to be able to include it," Elam said, calling Netflix an "SVOD channel, not that unlike HBO or Showtime."
Elam also delineated the line between TiVo retail and TiVo operator-distributor.
Operator-distributors, he said, are "partnering with TiVo to provide a best-in-class user experience to their customers. When we do that, the retail opportunity for TiVo goes away because the operator provides the product at a price point that's much friendlier to the consumer than our retail offering."
While not specifically talking about OTT content providers like Netflix, Elam noted that wide-ranging social media is an important component of the TiVo experience.
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