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Charter Streams to Roku

Related: Set-Top’s Death Greatly Exaggerated

Charter’s OTT-friendliness, which has been one of its major selling points in Washington for a proposed Time Warner Cable merger, got friendlier last week.

The MSO’s customers can now access TV content on any Rokuconnected 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, Charter president Tom Rutledge said.

“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.

TWC has also developed an app for Roku that supports the MSO’s mix of on-demand and live, linear TV.

The announcement also dovetails with cable operator arguments to the Federal Communications Commission 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,” Rutledge said.

Charter said Spectrum TV will be available on Roku streaming players, its Streaming Stick and integrated Roku TVs. Charter’s Spectrum TV App is also available on iOS and Android devices.

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.

Roku led the streaming-device market in 2014 with 29% of U.S. sales, according to Parks Associates figures.
—Next TV editor Jeff Baumgartner contributed to this report.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.