Comcast to Bring TiVo to SA Set-Tops

Comcast, which is currently testing the digital-video-recorder device developed with TiVo on Motorola set-tops, plans to eventually deliver the TiVo DVR software on Scientific Atlanta boxes, as well.

“We want to get [TiVo] on all of our [set-top] platforms,” said Mark Hess, Comcast’s senior vice president of video-product development. He didn’t provide an expected timeline on an SA version of TiVo.

This week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Comcast and TiVo demonstrated the DVR service, initially running on Motorola’s 3400- and 6400-series set-tops. The code is written to the Java-based middleware created by TVWorks, a company backed by Comcast and Cox Communications. Called TV Navigator, the software provides a subset of OpenCable Application Platform programming interfaces and is intended to be a precursor to set-tops that support the full Cable Television Laboratories OCAP spec.

“Unlike other TiVo products, this works on industry-standard set-tops,” said Jeff Klugman, general manager of TiVo’s service-provider division.

That means the finished TiVo application for Motorola set-tops should, in theory, be much easier to port to SA, which is also working to get TV Navigator running on its set-tops, according to Ken Morse, SA’s VP of client architecture for subscriber networks. But Hess added that there are always kinks to iron out because even with a common standard, individual vendors’ implementations inevitably vary.

Comcast’s TiVo-on-Motorola application, currently being tested in Denver, is slated to go into initial market trials this spring. Comcast originally expected to have TiVo widely deployed by the end of 2006.

The operator hasn’t disclosed pricing for the TiVo service. Klugman wouldn’t discuss financial details of the Comcast deal, but he said TiVo will receive recurring revenue.