Video services

RCN Rolls TiVo's Whole-Home DVR

Here's a look at what's making waves around cable.

  • RCN Corp. beat Suddenlink Communications to the punch with the launch of TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s whole-home DVR in Washington D.C. RCN has already deployed the TiVo Premiere, and is the first cable op to deploy TiVo's non-DVR box whole-home streaming. (See TiVo's Crafting a Whole-Home DVR.)

  • Barnes & Noble launched its new Nook Tablet Monday, touting a seven-inch "reader's tablet" with a color screen and an emphasis on media consumption. Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu LLC 's Plus service come pre-loaded, along with Pandora Media Inc. and a handful of classic games. Like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s Kindle Fire, the US$249 Nook isn't trying to go head to head with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad, but in instead promoting a lean-back experience, complete with HD entertainment, and access to the "world’s largest bookstore." There may be an opportunity for cable to play in Nook's video sandbox as MSOs such as Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) gear up for Android. (See TW Cable Puts Android in the Picture.)

  • Motorola Mobility LLC already has two Xoom tablets on the market, but there's a rumor circulating that Moto is working on a version with home automation in mind. The Verge reports that a new Motorola tablet, code-named Corvair, is already being tested with cable companies for home control applications. That would certainly fit with Motorola's recent home automation moves and it would create more cross-over between the company's mobile and home businesses. (See Verizon Gambles on Home Automation.)

  • Last week's attempt by TW Cable to do a legal end-run around Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA) -- part of the MSO's bid to secure the right to stream Viacom content to iPads -- has come to nought. A Texas court has denied TWC's request to dismiss a suit over the operator's 2004 carriage agreement for Viacom-owned CMT. The Texas court will continue to hear the carriage agreement case, but separate it from a broader suit concerning streaming rights. (See Viacom & TW Cable Renew iPad Fight .)

  • Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) has launched a video portal that aggregates content from a host of third-party sources. Frontier says the portal, called TumTiki, offers access to more than 700,000 video titles, including content from Hulu, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and others. TumTiki is available to everyone; no Frontier subscription required.

    — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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