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Netflix in talks with cable companies to bundle streaming service

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings has been meeting with some of the largest cable companies in the U.S. to discuss integrating the company’s streaming product into cable services, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The site’s source said that at least one cable provider may experiment and offer the streaming service before the end of the year. If a partnership were to come from these talks, cable operators could offer Netflix as an additional on-demand option that would be added onto a subscriber’s monthly cable bill. The cable industry originally viewed Netflix as a threat to its $100 billion-a-year business, fearing users would abandon more expensive packages in favor of cheap online streaming services. Having Netflix as an added option could be appealing to many cable companies in an effort to retain “cord cutting” customers. “It’s not in the short term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term,” said Hastings during an investor conference last week. “Many [cable service providers] would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO.”

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TiVo releases Q4 results, announces transcoder and IP set-top box on the way

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Today TiVo announced its earnings for Q4 2011 and the full year, however the most interesting note was word of a few new boxes on the way. From the sound of things, the company will deliver a four stream transcoder similar to the one we saw demonstrated at CES (pictured above) capable of dishing out video to multiple devices (phones, tablets, etc.) within the home simultaneously. Also on the way is an IP set-top box coming to retail that sounds very much like the TiVo Preview multiroom extender, however it could include access to internet video services as well. As mentioned on Tech of the Hub, CEO Tom Rogers’ statements indicate the transcoder will enable both live streaming and DirecTV Nomad-style “high speed” sideloading of recorded content for offline viewing. More concrete are its positive numbers from the partnership with Virgin Media in the UK, and progress on a plan for Pace to develop TiVo-compatible set-top boxes for cable operators here and abroad. The Comcast partnership is also apparently progressing, with VOD access in beta trials and preparing to launch “soon” in the San Francisco area.

Gallery: TiVo network transcoder hands-on

Continue reading TiVo releases Q4 results, announces transcoder and IP set-top box on the way

TiVo releases Q4 results, announces transcoder and IP set-top box on the way originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 18:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TiVo Premiere Elite will bring quad tuners, 2TB storage to retail this year

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

When TiVo announced its first quad tuner DVR, the Premiere Q, fans were devastated to learn it would only be available via cable operators, and that it featured a smallish 500GB hard drive. Fortunately, the company has rectified both of those issues by announcing the TiVo Premiere Elite, a quad tuner Series 4 DVR with 2TB of storage built that will be available through TiVo.com, Best Buy’s Magnolia stores and authorized home theater installers. There’s no word yet on price or an exact release date, as all of this is still pending a waiver from the FCC allowing TiVo to sell the box without any OTA or analog cable tuners, making this a digital cable (or Verizon FiOS) only experience. It’s also THX Certified and most of the press release is dedicated to focusing on the high end nature of the hardware TiVo is unleashing. Also unmentioned so far is any retail edition of the TiVo Preview multiroom extender box, but we should get some hands-on time with this quad tuner edition very shortly during CEDIA 2011. For now, just check out the press release, included after the break, and for our European readers Engadget Spanish has you covered on the launch of the TiVo Premiere for ONO in Spain.

Continue reading TiVo Premiere Elite will bring quad tuners, 2TB storage to retail this year

TiVo Premiere Elite will bring quad tuners, 2TB storage to retail this year originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Sep 2011 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CE Oh no he didn’t!: Time Warner chief likens Netflix threat to Albanian army

Monday, December 13th, 2010
Think the relationship between Netflix and cable and content executives is amicable? Not. Even. Close. Certainly not after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blazed a trail into the living room on the strength of the company’s streaming television and movie content originally made possible by a shrewd 2008 deal with Starz. A move that netted streaming access rights to Sony and Disney content for an estimated $25 million — next to nothing compared to the traditional licensing fees charged to cable operators. That deal is set to expire in 2011 and could cost Netflix as much as $250 million a year to renew. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes thinks that Netflix’s days at the top are numbered having been made possible by an era of experimentation that’s now ending. “It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?” said Bewkes, “I don’t think so.” According to the New York Times, the comments were made last week as UBS sponsored a media conference in New York that it says turned into a “platform for executives to express their grievances and emphasize that they will now aggressively try to tilt the economic balance between Netflix and content creators back toward the media conglomerates.” Wow. Don’t worry though Netflix subscribers, we’re sure that the implied collusion is the good kind.

CE Oh no he didn’t!: Time Warner chief likens Netflix threat to Albanian army originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 13 Dec 2010 05:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video

Friday, May 7th, 2010

To call Mark Cuban eccentric would be akin to describing the ocean as wet, but what’s not so often acknowledged about the Dallas Mavericks owner is the sharp mind and commercial nous that have gotten him to the position of hiring and firing millionaire ball players. One of Mark’s recent blog posts, entitled “The future of TV … is TV,” got the attention of NewTeeVee, who sought to debunk his contention that VOD (video on demand) services from cable operators would become the primary means by which we consume digital media in the future. They cite the growing success story of Netflix’s digital distribution model, as well as the 12 million hours of March Madness video consumed via CBS’ web portal, in arguing that web streaming is indeed the great new hotness.

Mark’s response tackles Netflix head on, and points out that the company’s rapid growth is about to start working against it, with movie studios and other content providers likely to jack up prices and demand further concessions from the streaming service as it turns into a real competitor to cable companies. According to him, Netflix is presently getting its content at prices that are unsustainable, and his prognostication is that content owners seeking bigger levies — together with the expansion of VOD choice, which he sees as foolproof compared to the overwhelming complexity that web streaming entails — will lead to Netflix passing costs on to the consumers and losing out to cable operators. Irrespective of whether you agree with him, the whole exchange is well worth a read. Use the links below to get filled in.

Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 May 2010 10:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Roku Channel Store launches with 10 new channels available

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

One of our favorite set-top boxes, Roku, has just announced that it is launching the Roku Channel Store. The good news for you couch potatoes is that the first 10 channels are free. The open platform for sharing content on TV will allow you to share pictures and video, and listen to Internet radio and podcasts. New channels available to add right now are Pandora, Facebook Photos, Flickr and TWiT (This Week In Tech). Plus, since this is an open platform, developers can jump on the Roku bandwagon to add in getting more channels out.

But here’s the best part: Anthony Wood, CEO and co-founder of Roku, says, “Now content producers and distributors – from single person shops to billion dollar corporations – can deliver their content directly to consumers without having to go exclusively through cable operators, satellite networks or TV affiliates.” Less restriction could mean more of the content you want without paying premiums. When is it available? Existing customers will get a free and automatic upgrade and new Roku customers will get the upgrade as soon as they get their box going. If you own a Roku box and are currently subscribed, let us know what you think of the new channels.

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