Charter's OTT-friendliness, which has been one of its major selling points in Washington for a proposed Time Warner Cable merger, just got friendlier.
Charter President Tom Rutledge said Monday (Oct. 12) that its customers would be able to use Roku devices to access TV content on any Roku-connected screen in the house using the Spectrum TV app, which means the device will offer cable channels alongside streamed over-the-top (OTT) content on those sets. More info about the new Spectrum TV app for Roku is available here.
"We congratulate Charter on embracing consumers’ desire to stream the video they want,” said Andrew Ferrone, VP of pay TV at Roku, in announcing the agreement to make the Spectrum TV app a channel on the Roku platform.
The announcement also dovetails with cable operator arguments to the FCC that the marketplace is combining traditional and new online video content. It also comes soon after Roku introduced a new 4K-capable model, the Roku 4, and a new operating system for its streaming platform.
“We will continue to add greater functionality to the channel on Roku devices, including On Demand, and plan to make Spectrum TV available on additional consumer electronic set-top boxes and screens," said Rutledge in a statement.
Charter's support for retail devices fits into a broader, cloud-focused video and user interface strategy that will also include the Worldbox, a leased set-top platform that features Charter's new downloadable video security platform. Charter told the FCC that it had begun to deploy the Worldbox earlier this year. Cisco Systems, which is selling its CPE business to Technicolor, and Humax are among the known suppliers of the Worldbox. Industry sources confirmed earlier this year that Charter is also in talks to extend its downloadable system to TiVo boxes sold at retail.
According to Parks Associates figures, Roku led the streaming-device market in 2014 with 29% of U.S. sales.
-Multichannel News technology editor Jeff Baumgartner contributed to this report.