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Comcast TiVo interface officially introduced in Boston

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Jan 2008 18:02 User comments (5)

Comcast TiVo interface officially introduced in Boston It's no secret that one of the most influential products in the last few years is the TiVo DVR, which has been the inspiration for an entire industry of products, mostly designed around particular cable and satellite television services. At one time, DirecTV even had a model that combined the TiVo interface and underlying operating system with DirecTV receivers, although they've since discontinued those units in favor of their own proprietary DVR technology.
Now U.S. cable television provider, Comcast, has officially introduced a DVR upgrade that takes a somewhat different approach and adds TiVo functionality to their own DVR platform. In addition to offering Comcast the opportunity to offer the TiVo interface without replacing existing DVR hardware in customer's living rooms, it may also prove to other cable providers that a partnership with TiVo can improve already popular DVR offerings.

The biggest difference between the Comcast and DirecTV TiVo offerings is the ability of cable operators to exercise the same amount of control over the DVRs as they do now. While the DirecTiVo had several key features, including USB support to easily add a wireless network adapter, disabled by default, the relatively open nature of TiVo's Linux based architecture, made if fairly easy to enable them using resources freely available on the internet.

"Being able to port (TiVo) software into somebody else's box opens up a way to begin total integration of cable services into TiVo," CEO Tom Rogers says. "A lot of elements make it quite important."

So far the TiVo DVR interface is only available in the Boston area, and only works on Motorola DVRs. TiVo is reportedly already working on a version for other DVRs manufactured by Scientific Atlanta. Part of the reason for the limited initial availability is an effort to fix some bugs which both company's acknowledge are still in the software.

"Some of these are bugs that were known and were deemed to be reasonable to get the product out there," TiVo General Manager Jeff Klugman says. "We have several additional releases of software that are planned over the next several weeks and months to address those issues."

There's been no word on when the TiVo DVR upgrades will be available in other markets, but Comcast spokesperson Jenni Moyer said "We expect to begin to make it available in additional markets later this year." Of course even this limited release is already 2 years later than originally forecast by both companies. Limited testing began last October.

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5 user comments

123.1.2008 20:37

When is Directv and Tivo gonna kiss and make up?I really hate their latest dvr offering.

224.1.2008 5:24

Comcast is evil.
TiVo should not get in bed with them.
For one thing, it'll take 20 hours to download your movies if you get Comcast involved.

324.1.2008 12:25

I've had a few technical issues with my Comcast Tivo DVR, but all in all I think it's a good addition. I just hope they can work out the bugs in a more timely fashion, as some of them are a bit annoying.

424.1.2008 14:25

I just wish Directv would get back with tivo because their current HD reciever(Directv)is pretty much garbage outside of getting the new mpeg4 channels.

518.2.2008 20:29

this all sounds very impressive however i am not a big fan of comcast and maybe this is a way that comcast sees that they can improve their crappy label.

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