Set-top boxes

TiVo Teams With Entone for IPTV

TiVo Inc. is teaming up with a new hardware partner. The DVR pioneer has announced a partnership with Entone Inc. to offer a new solution for IPTV operators that combines TiVo software with Entone's IP set-tops. Software from TiVo includes search and recommendation technology, networked DVR service, and "key elements of the TiVo user experience."

While TiVo is still aggressively pursuing its own hardware strategy, the company has also placed significant emphasis on its cloud-based platform in the service provider market. (See GCI, Pace Boost TiVo's Software Aspirations.)

According to this week's press release, TiVo has chosen to work with Entone specifically because of its existing IPTV deployments. However, Entone's focus on hybrid TV services is likely also appealing to TiVo as it seeks to expand its software footprint across a number of different delivery channels.

Entone products include DVRs, hybrid media players, and gateways with multiple configuration options, and the company recently broke into the retail market through a deal with LG Electronics Inc. (See Entone, LG Blend OTT With Live TV.)

In the retail scenario, LG is marketing an Entone streaming media player that delivers both over-the-top and linear TV services. Although LG has currently only committed to one Entone product, Entone can also integrate the media player with its gateway hardware. That combined solution would allow a consumer electronics company or service provider to deliver any combination of over-the-top, over-the-air, and managed pay-TV services.

With TiVo in the mix, potential customers now get a big-brand software solution to go with their many Entone hardware options.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable

albreznick 9/9/2013 | 9:40:48 PM
Re: Making IPTV more competitive Yup, I agree with you, Dan. Software is the way to go. Gotta get out of the box business. I also wonder about that monthly subscription charge. That's one of the things that keep us from going with TiVo at home. I don't want to pay for the box and shell out a monthly sub fee. Think that could change too? 
DOShea 9/7/2013 | 5:53:16 PM
Re: Making IPTV more competitive I think they will go entirely down the software route at some point. Since the DVR sector became more competitive, TiVo was always slower than other to add new features or drop its box prices to reasonable levels (I say this as an early customer and believer in TiVo). The interface is still great, or at least easy--software licensing makes a ton of sense.
albreznick 9/6/2013 | 5:34:58 PM
Re: Making IPTV more competitive Interesting questions, Carol. TiVo does have online video capabilities already, although not nearly as much as, say, Roku. What I wonder is whether TiVo will go totally into the software business and give up making any of its landmark DVR boxes anymore. Will TiVo even need to go retail directly anymore once it's lined up enough hardware and service provider partners? I would think not.  
Carol Wilson 9/5/2013 | 11:56:00 AM
Making IPTV more competitive it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Most IPTV players would welcome any increased functionality for their service, given how brutal the market can be. 

I wonder if there will be the ability to "TiVo" online video at some point? Or does that already exist?
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