After dropping a few hints in recent weeks, Suddenlink Communications has become the first cable operator to offer the TiVo Inc. Stream, a video transcoding box that ships live and DVR-recorded video to tablets, smartphones and other mobile video devices.
Customers in Lubbock, Texas, are the first to get the device through the operator, Suddenlink confirmed Monday. Customers can lease the Stream for US$10 per month, a spokesman says, adding that Suddenlink will provide some technical support for TiVo Streams purchased at retail if it is being used in conjunction with a Premiere DVR that's provided by the cable operator. The TiVo Stream retails for $129.99. (See Suddenlink Promotes the TiVo Stream .)
Suddenlink leases broadband-connected TiVo Premiere HD-DVRs in several other markets, including parts of North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, New Mexico and California, and it appears that Suddenlink will offer the Stream in those markets at some point.
"While supplies are limited at this time, we plan to deploy Stream in other markets as soon as additional quantities become available," the Suddenlink spokesman added.
TiVo Stream currently works with iOS devices, but support for Android is planned.
Why this matters
The ability to extend live TV and transfer recorded programs to mobile devices via the home network is rapidly becoming a competitive must for pay-TV operators. That work is also setting the stage for operators to offer access to live TV feeds outside the home, once they obtain such rights from programming partners.
Acceptance of Stream by Suddenlink could indicate that other cable operator partners, including RCN Corp. and Grande Communications, are getting close to following suit.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable