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INTX 2016: WideOpenWest Rolls Hybrid ‘eBOX’

WideOpenWest has become the first operator to rollout the eBOX, a hybrid QAM/IP device from Evolution Digital that is powered by TiVo’s software and user interface.

WOW is starting to deploy eBOX for its new “SW!VEL” service, which integrates the operator’s live pay TV service with over-the-top apps and services. It also gives WOW a new option that can complement a whole-home DVR offering based on an Arris-based platform that also allows for the integration of OTT apps such as Netflix.

Evolution Digital introduced the eBOX and WOW’s plans for it late last year, underpinning it with TiVo’s software, UI and search capabilities. Last week, Evolution Digital announced it would also fit eBOX with eGUIDE, an interface that runs on Rovi’s Fan TV software platform (Rovi and TiVo are merging under a $1.1 billion deal announced in April.).

Evolution Digital said eBOX can be configured to support an all-IP platform, including live linear, VOD, as well as a network DVR on a unified platform.

Brent Smith, president and chief technology officer at Evolution Digital, said his company is working on a cloud DVR product that would work with its “eVUE” IP video platform, which handles the ingest, streaming and content management for linear TV, VOD, and mobile services.

WOW is the first announced MVPD to launch eBOX. Smith said some “large” tier-2 operators have the device in their labs, and that he expects the company to move ahead with a “substantial number” of deployments of eBOX in 2016.

“We are thrilled to launch SW!VEL, as well as to become the first broadband provider to offer Evolution Digital’s eBOX, as integrated with TiVo’s cross-platform search capability, to our customers,” Cash Hagen, chief technology officer at WOW, said in a statement. “Entertainment consumption is evolving, and this solution helps customers find and enjoy content no matter what platform it is hosted on.”

“We are proud to partner with Evolution Digital to bring WOW! customers a great next-generation set-top box,” said Thomas Elam, vice president and general manager, TiVo North American Service Provider Business. “The TiVo user experience is unmatched, and we are excited to expand our offerings to include Evolution’s eBOX to cater to the changing needs of operators.

“We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Evolution Digital to further the tremendous successes of WOW,” added Thomas Elan, VP and GM of TiVo’s North American service provider business.