RCN Debuts TiVo's Four-Tuner DVR, Multiroom Option In D.C.

RCN is launching TiVo's Premiere Q four-tuner digital video recorder and Preview HD set-top box, offered as a multiroom DVR bundle, initially in its Washington, D.C., market.

TiVo Premiere Q and TiVo Preview are both available starting Tuesday, Nov. 8, to RCN subscribers in D.C. with other markets to follow. Pricing of the "TiVo Whole Home Bundle from RCN" was not available. RCN offers the standard Premiere for $19.95 per month (compared with $17.95 monthly for a generic HD DVR).

TiVo announced the four-tuner model and the multiroom DVR set-top at the NCTA Cable Show in June.

RCN was the first operator to offer the dual-tuner TiVo Premiere DVR, which it launched in May 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Suddenlink Communications, which also offers TiVo's Premiere DVRs, is expected to offer the four-tuner model and multiroom DVR solution at some point as well.

According to RCN, since its initial deployment of TiVo DVRs the provider has seen higher customer satisfaction, lower churn and increased video-on-demand usage in homes with TiVo Premiere.

"The TiVo Whole Home Bundle from RCN now allows our customers to take even more control of their TV-watching experience and entertainment," said Jamie Hill, general manager of RCN's D.C. system. "And the whole family can watch what they want to watch when they want to watch it, together in one room or simultaneously in separate rooms. It is abundantly clear that TiVo understands the future of television and offers up solutions that benefit both consumers as well as cable and broadband operators like RCN."

The TiVo Premiere Q can store up to 75 hours of HD programming, letting users record up to four shows simultaneously while watching a fifth recorded show. The solution for RCN lets subscribers watch linear TV and RCN's video-on-demand services and access online services such as Pandora Internet Radio.

As of July 31, 2011, TiVo had 1.928 million total subscribers, comprising 1.165 million "TiVo-owned customers" and 763,000 subscribers through pay-TV operator partners such as RCN. That was down 19% from 2.384 million total in July 2010 (1.366 million TiVo-owned and 1.018 million pay-TV subs).

RCN, a competitive provider of cable TV, broadband and phone service, went private in a $1.2 billion acquisition last year by private-equity firm ABRY Partners. The company's primary service areas include Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago and Lehigh Valley, Pa.