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Netflix in talks with cable companies to add app to set-top boxes

updated 09:58 pm EDT, Sun October 13, 2013

Negotiations could lead to Netflix video on cable boxes in future

Cable providers in the United States could be adding Netflix to its set-top boxes in the future, according to a new report. The streaming video service is said to be in early-stage negotiations with cable services to introduce the app to customers, which would in theory allow subscribers to directly use Netflix without switching to another living room device, such as a game console.

The report by the Wall Street Journal mentions that Comcast and Suddenlink are in talks with Netflix, with both cable services currently in favorable positions to add it to devices. Suddenlink currently provides TiVo DVRs to customers, which could allow it to operate in a similar manner to a trial by Virgin Media in the UK. Comcast could in theory allow Netflix to operate on its X1 platform, which allows for apps on the set-top box to use an Internet connection for data, but there are not currently any video-based apps on X1 at the moment.

Though the addition would be a benefit to customers, such a deal could potentially prove costly to cable providers. Customers using Netflix could stop subscribing to some channel packages, losing the providers revenue. Netflix also asks for cable providers to use Open Connect, an optimized video content delivery network, a system that cable companies may not necessarily want to deal with.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    I don't think it's too accurate to say that ISPs won't want to deal with Open Connect. From what I can tell from a brief Google search, it would allow ISPs to save commodity bandwidth when customers stream Netflix content. Not only that, but for Comcast, this could enable them to push Netflix streaming to their dedicated On Demand infrastructure, which could significantly reduce bandwidth consumption for a lot of consumers.

    I hope Cox does this as well.

  1. Cold Warrior


    Joined: 01-01-01

    The problem is that the major cable tv providers are looking to sender-pays for streaming guarantees. They want netflix and others to pay. Wrapping netflix in house could hurt this scheme. I think the move to cable boxes is going to be for the providers that aren't behemoths.

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