Light Reading

Roku Tunes In TW Cable's Live TV Streams

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup, heavily slanted toward this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. is the first U.S. cable operator to strike a live TV streaming deal with Roku Inc. The deal centers on the MSO's TWC TV app, which features a lineup of more than 300 TV channels (including the major broadcasters), and all Roku 2 models, the Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku LT players and the new $99.99 Roku Streaming Stick. TW Cable said the app will become available this quarter. TWC TV is an "authenticated" app, meaning it's only accessible to consumers who subscribe to the MSO's pay-TV service. TW Cable also supports the app on iOS and Android devices, as well as PCs. TW Cable also has deals to stream its TV slate to connected TVs from Sony Corp. and Samsung Corp., but has yet to launch the app. (See Samsung Puts MSOs in the Picture and TW Cable, Sony Make IPTV Connection.)

  • Pace plc and Broadcom Corp. announced Monday what Light Reading Cable reported last fall -- that the companies have co-developed the Xi3, an all-IP HD client box that uses (but isn't limited to) Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit, an integrated software stack for hybrid and IP-only video devices. The box, based on Broadcom's BCM7428 chipset, features the 2.0 version of Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), optional Wi-Fi connectivity, and DLNA support. Pace expects to deploy the box later this year. Humax Co. Ltd. is also among the known developers of the Xi3. (See Meet Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top and Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top Unveiled.)

  • Dish Network Corp. has launched an iPad app that turns the tablet into a fancy remote control and can provide recommendations and list the most popular programs. The Dish Explorer app (here's a screenshot) integrates Twitter and Facebook and works in tandem with the Hopper, a whole-home HD-DVR that includes AutoHop, a controversial ad-skipping feature that's the target of lawsuits by the nation's major broadcasters. (See Dish's Ad-Zapper Can Keep On Zapping.)

  • Netflix Inc. posted its ISP video streaming rankings for December 2012, and Google Fiber was again a top the list. Among the changes from November's rankings, Charter Communications Inc. jumped two slots to the No. 2 slot, while Verizon Communications Inc. FiOS dropped from No. 2 to No. 4. Suddenlink Communications rose to the No. 8 slot, while Bright House Networks dropped to No. 10. (See Netflix Hearts Google Fiber.)

  • A Dutch court shot down Rovi Corp.'s patent infringement claims against Ziggo B.V. and its app for tablets, ruling that the patent in question does not meet requirements of innovation and is void under Dutch patent law, reports Broadband TV News. The court ordered Rovi and Starsight Telecast Inc. to pay €200,000 (US$260,653) to Ziggo to help cover legal costs.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    1/11/2013 | 6:24:34 AM
    re: Roku Tunes In TW Cable's Live TV Streams
    So... what are the chances the Roku app will let you watch something flagged as Copy Never, like Showtime, Encore, Starz, HBO, etc on Time Warner?-á I assume none of these channels are going to work for the moment?
    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/7/2013 | 10:51:39 PM
    re: Roku Tunes In TW Cable's Live TV Streams
    Sorry to answer a queston with a question, but why wouldn't you want to have that option?-á-áIf you own a Roku and like to have this blended traditional pay-TV and OTT experience, this is one way to acheive it without having to toggle back to a set-top box just to watch linear TV.-á I think we will see alot more of this on game consoles and other CE devices. Now, whether that's a primary reason to go out and purchase a Roku, maybe that's not enough, but I have a Roku and i would not mind having access to my live TV lineup on that device. Other Roku owners have some thoughts on that? JB
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/7/2013 | 9:56:26 PM
    re: Roku Tunes In TW Cable's Live TV Streams
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'm not seeing the consumer value in this Roku-TW Cable deal. If I'm already a Time Warner Cable subscriber, why would I want to use a Roku box to access my TWC cable programming? Just so I don't have to use a TWC STB and can access other OTT content? Not sure that's enough to get people to plunk down their money at retail. As least with iPads and Xboxes, there's lots of other stuff you can do with the device beyond TV. -á -á
    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/7/2013 | 3:47:59 PM
    re: Roku Tunes In TW Cable's Live TV Streams
    TW Cable's approach with streaming its TV service from the cloud should open up the CE floodgates... it's already got deals with Sony and Samsung, but it would seem positioned now to do the same on gaming consoles, other Smart TVs, Boxee, and so on.-á Cablevision would appear to be similarly positioned.-á-á Comcast, though, appears to be going into a different way with its AnyPlay transcoding approach.-á That's fine for in-home access and apparently a firmware upgrade will let it stream video outside the home. But Comcast will need to get the rights before it pulls the trigger on something like that, I suspect.

    The cable guys are making lots of progress, but alas Sling continues to-ábe among the few-átrue multi-screen (in-á& out of home) options on the market. JB
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