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 Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive