Suddenlink Communications is likely the first cable operator to offer the TiVo Inc. Stream, a video transcoding device that transmits live and recorded video to tablets and other smartphones connected to a consumer's home network.
Suddenlink is promoting the device on its TiVo page, but offers no details on when it will be introduced and how much it will cost. "We'll have more to say soon," a Suddenlink spokesman said via email.
TiVo introduced the Stream at retail on Sept. 6 for US$129.99, but hasn't announced which of its cable customers -- which include Suddenlink, Grande Communications and RCN Corp. -- will be deploying it. (See TiVo Goes to the iPad and Zenverge Chips In for TiVo Stream.)
RCN VP of Engineering and Operations Jason Nealis told Light Reading in late August that he's keen on the Stream, but his company is still deciding whether to lease it or support units that customers purchase at retail. His preference was leasing, to ensure that RCN maintains more control of the device. (See When Will Cable Turn Up TiVo Stream? )
Stream, when paired with the primary Premiere HD-DVR, fits into TiVo's whole-home architecture, allowing users to transfer recordings and watch live TV on up to four devices at once.
David Sandford, the VP and GM of TiVo's service provider business addressed some concerns about how Stream handles shows and movies that have been flagged by programmers or studios as "copy once." Sandford says that label does not restrict Stream from sharing live video within the home. However, content labeled as such cannot be copied and transferred to another device to be taken on the go. But copy once is the rare exception, typically used for some content from premium programmers like HBO. All programming from major broadcasters and most from cable TV programmers is tagged as "copy freely," Sandford adds.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable