RCN Takes TiVo To Windy City

RCN has launched TiVo Premiere in Chicago ahead of schedule -- beating incumbent cable operator Comcast to the punch in the Windy City.

RCN now offers TiVo Premiere in all its markets. The operator debuted the DVR in Washington, D.C., in May followed by New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Pa., and now Chicago. TiVo Premiere (code-named "Neutron") features an interface optimized for big-screen HDTVs and integrated search across linear, on-demand, recorded shows and broadband content.

In Chicago, RCN offers TiVo Premiere for an additional $19.95 per month with any bundle. Alternately, the operator is marketing a double-play bundle of cable TV with TiVo Premiere and 10-Mbps Internet service starting at an introductory $79.99 per month for 12 months.

Comcast, for its part, currently offers TiVo service (which runs on Motorola set-tops) in its New England region, which includes Boston. In October 2008, chief operating officer Steve Burke told investors the MSO would probably offer TiVo service in Chicago in the first quarter of 2009. Comcast spokeswoman Angelynne Amores confirmed that TiVo is not currently available to Chicagoland subscribers, with no launch date available.

RCN last year picked TiVo Premiere as its next-generation DVR that includes the ability to access RCN's 10,000-plus-hour video-on-demand library as well as access to broadband content such as YouTube videos and the Rhapsody streaming music service. Additionally, TiVo Premiere provides access to interactive apps such as local news, sports and weather, as well as Facebook and Twitter, plus music, photos and movies stored on a PC.

"Due to the overwhelming number of positive customer responses we've received with the rollout of the TiVo Premiere for RCN across other markets, we are very excited to launch it in our Chicago market ahead of schedule," RCN Chicago general manager Tom McKay said in a statement.

RCN will promote the TiVo Premiere launch in Chicago at the Northalsted Market Days street fair Aug. 7 and 8.