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TiVo’s 'Network PVR' Eyes Bring-Your-Own Cloud Model, Turnkey Approaches

TiVo’s budding “Network PVR” platform won’t rely on a cloud-based storage system that is built and managed by the company, but will instead require service providers to handle key elements such as storage, transcoding, local caching and connections to content distribution networks (CDNs).

“The operator could have their own storage, choose [a storage partner], and we can interface with them,” Joshua Danovitz, vice president, innovation at TiVo, told Multichannel News, noting that TiVo already uses a “federated” approach to deliver its underlying services to U.S. cable operators.

TiVo's cloud DVR will also require operators to implement the policies and manage the content rights governing the product.

But turnkey solutions could also end up playing a part in TiVo's go-to-market strategy, Danovitz said Wednesday. On cue, TiVo and Harmonic announced on Thursday morning that they will demonstrate a prototype of the TiVo nPVR service at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam that ties in Harmonic’s backend sytems. That test system will integrate TiVo’s cloud-based platform with Harmonic’s ProMedia Live multiscreen transcoder, ProMedia Package adaptive stream preparation app, ProMedia Origin HTTP streaming video server, and MediaGrid shared storage product.

Danovitz said TiVo already has “several different prototypes [of the nPVR] working around the world” on live, production networks, but declined to name those test partners. “We are in development and getting input from these operators,” he said.

Examples of TiVo’s pay–TV partners in the U.S. and around the globe include RCN, Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom Communications, Virgin Media/Liberty Global, Spain-based ONO, and Sweden’s Com Hem, the first cable operator to use TiVo in an IPTV environment, making it a logical candidate for TiVo’s emerging cloud-based DVR system.

TiVo anticipates that its new cloud-based offering will support traditional  DVR recording functions while setting the table for other forms of time-shifted “catch-up” and “start over” services and applications. TiVo said the cloud model will enable it to extend its interface to low-cost IP clients as well as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.