DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is rolling out its new TiVo-powered HD-DVR nationally following a series of delays and an initial rollout in ten markets late last year. The broadband-connected product can record two shows at once, has enough space for about 100 hours of hi-def content, and can access about 7,000 on-demand titles. But there are some limitations, too. The user interface is based on the "classic" TiVo system rather than the more advanced UI that graces its Premiere platform, and the new box is not compatible with DirecTV's whole-home DVR service and doesn't support the satellite giant's 3-D service, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and some other Web-fed apps found on TiVo's retail platform.
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes pressed MSOs to stop blocking access to the HBO GO app on Roku Inc. 's streaming platform. Speaking on an earnings call Wednesday, Bewkes argued that a more open approach would help pay-TV operators battle a budding cord-cutting trend. An exec with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) told the The Wall Street Journal that the MSO is not allowing access to TV Everywhere apps on the Roku for now because it can't guarantee a "flawless experience" on the device.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s pursuit of a streaming video service that could rival Netflix's got a shot in the arm Wednesday when it inked a licensing deal with Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA). The deal gives Amazon Prime Instant members access to shows from Viacom properties such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and will expand Amazon's streaming video vault for Prime Instant to more than 15,000 titles. Amazon's broader Instant Video service offers up to 100,000 titles, including new release movies. (See Netflix Bracing for Clash With Amazon .)