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TiVo Stays On a Tier 2 Tear

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) added to its lengthening list of Tier 2 cable operator customers Thursday with the addition of Midcontinent Communications (Midco) , an operator that serves more than 295,000 customers in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. The deal will make TiVo the operator's exclusive supplier of next-generation video devices, including gateways, IP-only client boxes and mobile platforms. Midcontinent said it will initially deploy TiVo in South Dakota. (See Suddenlink Activates TiVo Stream and Mediacom Goes With TiVo .)

  • Staying with TiVo, the company has opened up a Developer Channel and unleashed a software developer kit that lets third parties create apps for TiVo gear, including the company's flagship HD-DVRs and second-screen devices. But it won't be an application free-for-all: TiVo will be the gatekeeper and have the final say on which apps are allowed onto the platform.

  • Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC) Chairman John Malone dropped another hint that the company's Starz Entertainment LLC subsidiary could seek a merger after the premium programmer is spun off later this year. "Everybody can use a big brother," Malone said at the company's investor day meeting Wednesday, reports Multichannel News, noting that HBO, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) have been rumored as possible suitors. Of recent note, Starz inked a deal to license its content to HBO Nordic, a subscription streaming service set to launch this month in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. (See HBO Nordic Aligns With Starz.)

  • Ceton Corp. says its Echo media extender will go on sale "around Thanksgiving" for US$179.00 in the U.S., with availability in international markets to follow some time in 2013. The Echo provides whole-home TV and DVR access by networking with CableCARD-capable Windows Media Center PCs. Ceton is also developing the Q, a six-tuner CableCARD video gateway device that integrates a full-blown Windows Media Center PC. Ceton's hope is that the Q, which will also talk to the Echo, will have mass market appeal beyond traditional Windows Media Center enthusiasts. (See Ceton Pitches Cable Set-Top Alternative .)

  • Set-top and modem repair giant Contec Holdings Ltd. is still battling its way out of bankruptcy, but that won't stop it from making an appearance at next week's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando. There, the company will show off QuickTest, a streamlined repair and performance platform that can process more than 100 devices per hour. (See Contec Nears Bankruptcy Exit .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:19:22 PM
    re: TiVo Stays On a Tier 2 Tear

    Ceton originally had plans to get the Q to market this year, but the introduction has been delayed until at least 2013 as it awaits some answers from Microsoft.  "It's possible the Q will launch in 2013, either as initially envisioned or perhaps re-envisioned," the comany said.


    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:19:21 PM
    re: TiVo Stays On a Tier 2 Tear
    Then we may be in store for a bit more than a reimagined product. But from what you say here Ceton appears to be in a tough spot. jb
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 5:19:21 PM
    re: TiVo Stays On a Tier 2 Tear

    While I'm sure that's a correct 'literal' read of the status of the Ceton Q, I think in reality the product is dead.  Presumably because of Microsoft's softening commitment to Windows Media Center.  Probably Microsoft quietly suggested that Ceton wouldn't be seeing any upgrades to the Windows 7 Media Center Embedded platform that Ceton was basing the Q on.  Without Microsoft's support, Ceton really can't go forward with a product like this.  And as we know Microsoft disbanded the team working on WMC some time ago.  So this was almost inevitable.  None of the other WMC Embedded products shown at CES almost two years ago have made it to market either.

    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:19:19 PM
    re: TiVo Stays On a Tier 2 Tear

    The question of positioning Xbox vs. WMC is a few years old. This appears part of a WMC 'not-dead-yet' narrative (borrowing words of plague victim in Monty Python and HG). 

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