TiVo's Global Gaze

10:30 AM -- TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) looks poised to take a bigger run at Europe after striking a partnership with Conax AS , the Norway-based supplier of set-top middleware and conditional access systems. (See TiVo Connects With Conax.)

Under the deal, TiVo and Conax plan to hawk a next-gen, DVB-based set-top box platform for operators around the globe. Conax says its security technology is already deployed in more than 100 million homes in north of 80 countries, including several in Europe and India.

TiVo and Conax hope their pre-integrated approach will offer speedy deployments to MSOs that are eager to offer hybrid, broadband-connected DVRs that can feed in video from TiVo's content partners. TiVo hasn't identified any of those for the global market yet, but in the US it offers Web-sourced movies and shows from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Blockbuster Inc. , and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), among others.

Although TiVo and Conax are touting the speed at which their MSO partners will be able to license and deploy the combo, boxes sporting TiVo and Conax technology won't be available for commercial rollouts until sometime in 2011.

Heading in, TiVo should already have some familiarity with Conax. Evolution Digital LLC, which has a deal to sell TiVo boxes to MSOs, has an exclusive deal to integrate Conax's conditional access technology into set-tops in North America. (See Evolution, Conax Sign Exclusive Deal, Conax: Blankom Must Go Through Evolution, and Evolution, Blankom Scrum Over Conax .)

The deal could expand TiVo's budding presence in Europe. The company, which introduced its line of "Premiere" DVRs and software last week, already has an in at UK MSO Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED). (See TiVo Building tru2way Version of New Interface, New TiVo DVRs Built for Web & Cable Content, Virgin Presses 'Play' on TiVo, and TiVo Coming to Virgin's Non-DVRs, Too.)

TiVo will be using those new products and distribution angles to pump up its subscriber base of 2.7 million. TiVo, by the way, reports fourth-quarter numbers Monday afternoon.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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