TiVo, Entone Take a Run at Global IPTV Market

TiVo and Entone have woven together a video platform that they’ll use to pursue deals with IPTV service operators around the world.

The deal, announced Wednesday, will initially focus on the matchup of Entone’s Kamai-branded IP media players (pictured above) with TiVo’s user interface and a cloud-based service platform.

The integration will allow Entone to combine TiVo with boxes with or without local DVR storage, but the initial focus of the deal will be on helping IPTV operators deliver cloud-based apps and services, including cloud DVRs, Entone CEO Steve McKay told Multichannel News.

Entone and TiVo plan to show off their integrated handiwork at their respective booths at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam, which kicks off on September 12. Mckay said the Entone/TiVo combo will be ready for commercial deployments later this year.

The agreement appears to represent TiVo’s first that will factor in potential cloud DVR services. Last week, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said his company doesn’t care whether DVR storage is based in the cloud or in the home, but still believes that local storage still hold some advantages.

“We don’t really have a proprietary stake in where the storage resides. Our whole business is about providing the user interface and the user experience and the applications and the overall value that comes from a framing of the TV content, not where the storage resides…a lot of the TiVo service is already in the cloud,” Rogers said, in an interview

The Entone partnership also represents the next leg in TiVo’s IPTV strategy. Com Hem of Sweden, the first operator to offer TiVo in a managed IPTV services deployment, is testing its coming TiVo offering on Samsung-made boxes with a small set of customers.

Entone claims to have more than 150 pay TV customers around the world, representing a mix of tier 1 and 2 cable and IPTV providers. Recent wins include Volia, the largest cable operator in the Ukraine; LIME, the Caribbean division of Cable & Wireless Communications; TriCounty Telecom of North Carolina; and Sunrise Communications, the largest private telecom provider in Switzerland.

"With extensive global IPTV deployments, Entone is the perfect partner for TiVo to build on our momentum with service providers worldwide," TiVo VP of technology strategy Joseph Weber said, in a statement.

Entone adds to TiVo’s list of third-party hardware partners. Cisco, Samsung and Pace have all licensed TiVo’s Hardware Porting Kit for DVR platforms with in-home storage that tie in the traditional TiVo platform. Because the initial focus is not on a product with in-home DVR storage, Entone's implementation does not use the TiVo HDK, McKay said.

The TiVo partnership is one weapon that Entone has recently added to its pay TV arsenal. In July, it announced the integration of its hybrid media gateway with the LG Electronics SP530 Media Player, creating a platform capable of supporting both authenticated subscription TV services and OTT applications.