Light Reading
TiVo, which has focused on high-end digital set-tops up till now, reaches down to put its user interface on low-end digital transport adapters.

TiVo Embraces Low-End DTAs

Alan Breznick
2/25/2014
50%
50%

For the first time in its history, TiVo is going low-brow.

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the DVR pioneer that has always focused on developing and deploying its service on advanced digital set-top boxes, announced a deal with Vyve Broadband Tuesday to develop "advanced capabilities" for the cable operator's new digital transport adapters (DTAs). Vyve, a two-year-old MSO formed by two former Bresnan Communications executives and originally known as BCI Broadband, will incorporate versions of TiVo's popular user interface and search and recommendation engine into low-cost HD-DTAs provided by Evolution Digital LLC . (See Top European MSOs Embrace Next-Gen Video.)

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DTAs are generally cheap, dumb, one-way digital-to-analog converters that a number of US cable operators have used to deliver digital video services to customers with older analog TV sets. In particular, such large MSOs as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Suddenlink Communications have deployed DTAs to convert their markets to all-digital services quicker and cheaper than they could otherwise, freeing up their analog spectrum for more HD channels, faster broadband speeds, and other digital services.

The big problem with the basic DTAs, though, has been their one-way nature. Due to this restriction, the small set-tops haven't been able to support premium channels, video-on-demand (VoD) services, pay-per-view, or even on-screen programming guides, thereby limiting what the cable operators can offer to their customers.

Fortunately for Vyve, Evolution's HD-universal DTAs (or uDTAs) are smarter than the average DTA. Unlike the basic models, these next-gen digital adapters can support both premium channels and on-screen programming guide grids.

Vyve aims to take the Evolution HD-uDTAs a notch or two higher by bringing in TiVo to team with Evolution. Plans call for Vyve, which has about 70,000 video subscribers and passes more than 300,000 mainly rural homes in eight states sprinkled throughout the US, to start deploying TiVo in April as part of its all-digital rollout. That rollout will also feature the launch of more than 140 HD channels in each market.

Vyve said the deal will enable it to offer "TiVo's best-in-class user interface" with "a new powerful guide and unique-to-the-industry recommendation features. In a statement, Vin Zachariah, senior vice president of residential services for Vyve, added that the pact will help the cable operator meet its goal of "proving next-generation broadband services to our non-urban markets."

For its part, TiVo said it viewed its initial foray into the DTA business as "a very important deal for the company." In his own statement, Thomas Elam, vice president and general manager of TiVo's service provider unit, said his company is "keen" to build on its new partnership with Vyve and Evolution so it can "rapidly expand" in the DTA area. He said TiVo also sees the potential to work with its partners to "provide additional products, such as whole-home solutions."

As luck would have it, TiVo will stage its fourth quarter earnings call with analysts late Wednesday. Look for more discussion of this new partnership in our coverage of the company's call and earnings report.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:31:24 PM
Evolution HD-uDTAs Clarification
In the original version of the story I posted, I failed to mention that the Evolution HD-uDTAs that Vyve is deploying are much smarter than the average DTA. Unlike basic STAs, these next-gen digital adapters can support premium channels and on-screen programming guide grids. Sorry, folks. I've corrected that in the story now.  
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:21:41 PM
Re: Everybody wins
I agree that this is a smart move by TiVo. It opens up a whole new market for them. Like Dan says, they should've done it earlier. Glad they finally wised up. 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 4:45:33 PM
Re: Everybody wins
Tivo has always seemed to have the best user interface for it's DVR products and now they can get a foothold into the 300,000 non-urban customers with the so-call low-end product. The question will be whether they can convice enough of the current customers to upgrade and buy the new offerings or to get new customer to order the expanded services available.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 3:31:24 PM
Re: Everybody wins
I totally agree with @Phil_Britt here. This is a smart niche play.

People continually want to watch when they want to, not the other way around. This is true anywhere, even in rural areas. 
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 8:10:16 AM
Re: Everybody wins
I think this is a great idea to address the consumer who has 1 DVR, but does not have U-Verse or another such service that will enable the networking of the device and instead has lower-end boxes for additional televisions. Could be a fairly large niche for the provider.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 5:48:52 PM
Re: Everybody wins
Probably the kind of deal TiVo should have done a while ago, but was too proud to consider. Great potential to expand its appeal into new households, assuming Vyve has an accurate assessment of its own market potential.

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/25/2014 | 2:34:57 PM
Everybody wins
TiVo  gets a new licensee for its software, Vyve gets more attractive product, cable companies get potential new customers for their digital services, and people with older analog TVs can now subscribe to premium services. Everybody wins.

On the other hand, if these consumers have the money to subscribe to premium services, wouldn't they have upgraded their TVs already?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Bumper iPhone Sales Boost Apple Profits
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.