RCN Picks TiVo As Its Primary DVR

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RCN has struck a deal with TiVo to offer co-branded high-definition DVRs, slated for launch in early 2010, that will provide integrated access to the service provider's video-on-demand library as well as broadband-delivered content.

With the content available via broadband sources, such as Amazon.com's VOD service, RCN will provide customers "a vast library of programming not available through traditional cable or satellite services," the companies said in a joint statement.

"We are thrilled with this relationship because RCN is stepping up to be the first cable provider to offer the TiVo hardware and software as its primary DVR product," TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TiVo also has a longstanding agreement with Comcast, which expects to make TiVo the "primary" DVR option to customers in a yet-to-be-announced market and this summer will allow TiVo DVR customers in New England to schedule recordings online.

In addition, Cox Communications has been testing TiVo DVRs in its New England division but has not launched the service commercially, and DirecTV is working with TiVo to offer an HD DVR.

RCN's deal with TiVo goes further than those with other pay-TV providers in offering the full suite of broadband-delivered services. In addition, the TiVo DVR from RCN will let users access trademark TiVo features such as Season Pass and WishList (to automatically record shows based on keywords or other parameters) searches and receive personalized suggestions. Subscribers will be able to schedule recordings via the Web or with mobile devices.

The RCN-TiVo DVR will offer interactive applications, such as viewing pictures and listening to music stored on a home PC, accessing millions of songs from Rhapsody, and receiving weather reports and traffic updates.

"The TiVo DVR from RCN is a truly innovative convergence of video and broadband programming controlled through a single user interface that is simple, intuitive, and dramatically different from that of other DVRs," RCN CEO Peter Aquino said, adding that "TiVo brings us the best feature set at a very compelling value while also allowing us to deploy these new services faster than our competitors because we can leverage our current infrastructure."

Herndon, Va.-based RCN's primary service areas include New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Pa., Boston and Chicago. As of June 30, the company had approximately 430,000 residential and small-business subscribers.

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