TWC's Cottrell: Primary goal of new streaming service 'is to allow customers to watch video without a set-top box'

Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC) General Manager of Video, Alix Cottrell, has published a video on the company's "Untangled" blog, further outlining the MSO's goals as it tests a new streaming video service in New York.

"The goal of the trial is to offer Time Warner Cable customers the opportunity to watch Time Warner Cable video without the need of a set-top box," Cottrell said, reiterating messaging points made by TWC Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus during the MSO's third-quarter earnings call last month. "It's not an over-the-top streaming service. It's delivered over our managed network."

The service comes with a robust bundle of 300 live channels and copious on-demand programming options. Customers get shipped a free Roku 3 streaming device, but Cottrell said they also have the option of using iOS and Android mobile devices. 

She added that TWC designed the service assuming that its customers already use SVOD services like Netflix and Hulu.

"We want to provide our services in the same place, so our customers aren't having to switch inputs, and unplug and replug different devices," Cottrell said. "It's an evolution of our existing service."

The picture quality, she added, "is as good as what you get with our traditional set-top box."

Cottrell also briefly noted some user-experience features. For example, when a user stops a stream and comes back to it later, the interface automatically bookmarks where they left off in the programming. This is a feature that is common, of course, with most SVOD interfaces.

Cottrell's comments about the new service are notable in that TWC has such a radically different perspective than most other pay-TV operators who are testing out streaming services.

Other services have mostly included small packages of primarily broadcast networks with small price points. These services have been targeted toward young broadband-only consumers as a means of integrating them into the pay-TV ecosystem. 

TWC, on the other hand, said its primary goal is to save money on CPE. 

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