TiVo User Interface Coming to Evolution’s HD-DTAs

Yes, you can teach Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs) some new tricks.

Evolution Digital, a vendor that’s primarily focused on cable’s tier 2/3 market, will evidently show off a “universal” high-definition DTA that provides a “user experience consistent” with TiVo DVRs at the National Cable Television Cooperative Independent Show later this month in San Diego.

Evolution, which distributes traditional TiVo HD-DVRs and DTAs to several MSO customers, revealed those details on a Web page teasing what the vendor will have in store for the show, which runs July 29-31. TiVo investor Sam Biller spotted the page and brought it to the attention to Multichannel News on Thursday.

DTAs are simple, one-way, digital-to-analog “channel zappers” that scores of MSOs are using to reclaim precious analog spectrum and move ahead with all-digital transitions. “Universal” DTAs are capable of operating on cable networks that use the Cisco Systems or Motorola/Arris digital video platform. The latest crop of DTAs is also capable of displaying HDTV.

“Now your lowest-cost box can deliver a feature-rich user experience on every TV,” Evolution noted on the site. “The MSO-branded Evolution Digital HD uDTA is a one-way DTA served by a traditional data carousel which provides a UI experience consistent with the TiVo STB. It provides a low-cost solution for operators looking to extend TiVo service to second and third TVs with a guide and navigation experience not normally seen on DTA devices.”

An Evolution spokeswoman said that Evolution will indeed show off the DTA/TiVo duo at the show "and have numerous customers ready to launch."

Rumors that a TiVo UI would be coming to DTAs first circulated in March at the NCTC Winter Educational Conference in Las Vegas.

Evolution cable operator customers include BendBroadband, Antietam Cable, WEHCO Video, TVMax, Cablemás of Mexico, WideOpenWest, MCTV, and Comporium, among others. While most of them are using Evolution DTAs, not all of them take the TiVo option from Evolution. Some that do buy TiVo devices through Evolution include TVMax, Comporium, and Toronto-based Compton Communications. Last July, BendBroadand was the first U.S. cable operator to announce the deployment of Evolution's new HD-capable DTAs.

TiVo is not the only UI option available on Evolution’s DTAs. Last August, Evolution announced that it is working to bring Rovi guides to the device category.

Last February, Evolution Digital inked a multi-year deal with the NCTC, which essentially gave the vendor a hunting license to pursue deals with the organization’s 1,000-plus members. The deal included price breaks for Evolution’s standard- and high-definition uDTAs and TiVo Premiere HD-DVRs.