As expected, Atlantic Broadband on Tuesday became the first cable operator to launch a leased version of TiVo’s “Roamio” DVR lineup, unleashing it to customers in Cumberland, Md.
Atlantic Broadband said it will debut TiVo in Miami, Fla., and Aiken, S.C., later this year, and follow with additional market launches in “early 2014.” Atlantic Broadband, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada’s Cogeco Cable that serves more than 230,000 customers, also operates systems in western Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland and Delaware.
The MSO said it is building the TiVo service into its new double- and triple-play service bundles at no extra charge. Its bundle prices start at $99.99 per month. Existing DVR customers can upgrade to the new TiVo service for $10 more per month, the MSO said.
Atlantic Broadband is deploying a TiVo model called the T6, which is essentially a leased version of the Roamio Plus. The T6 packs six tuners, 1 terabyte of storage, a CableCARD slot, and an integrated video transcoder. The transcoding feature in the T6 will allow users to stream live video to smartphones and tablets hanging off the customer’s home network. The MSO confirmed that it has not yet enabled out-of-home streaming, a feature that TiVo added to the Roamio just last week.
The new device will also support over-the-top apps from Pandora, YouTube, Picasa and AOL ON. Netflix, however, won’t be part of that mix, at least initially. Multiple industry sources confirmed a report in The Wall Street Journal that Netflix and several U.S. cable operators, including Comcast and Suddenlink are in discussions about offering the Netflix service on MSO-leased boxes.
“Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to continuous innovation by delivering exactly what customers want, where and when they want it, all at a great value. The new TiVo service from Atlantic Broadband is a real game-changer for cable, and we’re excited to be the first to offer our customers the ultimate television experience,” said David Isenberg, Atlantic Broadband's chief marketing and strategy officer, in a statement.