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Suddenlink Takes Dip Into TiVo Stream

Suddenlink Communications is giving subscribers in the Lubbock, Texas, area first dibs on the TiVo Stream, a device that will let them watch live TV channels and DVR recordings on iPod Touches, iPads and iPhones over a home Wi-Fi network. 

Suddenlink, the first cable provider in the U.S. to offer TiVo Stream, will lease the device for a $10 monthly rental fee. The MSO’s supplies “are limited at this time,” a spokesman said.

Customers must have a TiVo Premiere DVR to use the add-on device. The TiVo Stream enables simultaneous viewing of live or recorded shows on up to four mobile devices without interrupting what is currently playing on TV. In addition, users may transfer DVR recordings to Apple iOS devices for viewing outside the home, as long as the content is not flagged for copy-protection.

Suddenlink said support for Android devices and access to video-on-demand content will be added later. TiVo last month began selling the Stream device at retail for $130.

“With TiVo Stream we’re giving our customers even more flexibility to watch TV programs wherever they choose,” Dave Gilles, senior vice president of operations for Suddenlink’s West Region, said in a statement. “With support for up to four streams at once, members of the family can watch various live shows in the house, the garage or backyard on TVs or mobile devices, and transfer many shows from their TiVo Premiere DVRs to smartphones and tablets for later viewing anywhere they are and at any time they want.”

Suddenlink has not disclosed how many TiVo subscribers it has signed up since launching the DVRs in late 2010.

The TiVo Premiere provided by Suddenlink, in addition to the trademark TiVo user interface, provides access to thousands of hours of VOD titles and select online content including from YouTube, Pandora and Picasa. The DVR features integrated search functions, remote scheduling apps for iPhone and iPad and full HD support. 

In addition to Suddenlink, TiVo's U.S. MSO partners include Charter Communications, Mediacom Communications, RCN, GCI and Grande Communications. British cable operator Virgin Media has delivered the biggest absolute numbers in terms of uptake for its TiVo-based DVRs, with the operator singlehandedly accounting for the reversal in TiVo’s net subscriber base into positive territory in the last 12 months.