US cable TV wants channels unbundled
US cable and satellite providers signaled Tuesday that they wanted to unbundle their channel packages to stave off the incursion of Internet video and a tough economy. DirecTV, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and others are pushing the FCC and others to alter retransmission fee systems and let them sell access by the channel so that they can lower the actual cost of selling TV services. At costs as high as $4 per month just for ESPN and now with normally free-to-air networks charging for access, they argued to Reuters and others that they were forced to charge high prices.
TiVo Premiere Elite to give quad-tuning to all
TiVo in a recently unearthed FCC filing (below) has already shown that the Premiere Q is coming to regular users. The quad-tuner DVR is only coming to providers like RCN and Suddenlink, but a new model, the Premiere Elite, will hopefully be sold "directly to consumers" instead of pushed through cable subscriptions. It would arrive sometime later in the year.
TiVo Premiere Q, Preview arrive with new iPad app
TiVo unveiled its first major set-top box updates in some time with its highest end DVR, a new entry box, and an updated iPad app. The Premiere Q is the first quad-tuner set-top box and, as hinted earlier, can tune or record as many as four shows at once, giving a whole home access to DVR. Those who want to use IP-based video can stream three HD feeds at once, either over Ethernet on the local network or the Multimedia over Cable Alliance format.
TiVo Premiere Q and Preview slip early
A premature reveal late Saturday has shown two new TiVo set-top boxes and a major update to the iPad app. The company will lead off with the Premiere Q, a quad-tuner version of the current Premiere devices that would be aimed at multi-room recording. The DVR could record as many as four feeds at once and take as many as three simultaneous IP-based streams in HD, either regular content over Ethernet or using the newer Multimedia over Coax Alliance standard.
Cable companies take out Hulu Plus from TiVo DVRs
While the Hulu Plus service is available on TiVo Premiere DVRs, it will not come to TiVo devices offered by cable providers, it was revealed on Tuesday. This includes Suddenlink, Cox and RCN, because of licensing fees. Netflix, a streaming service accessible from TiVo DVRs, cannot stream through a box leased by a cable company because its contract prevents it from doing so. A Hulu spokesperson confirmed this is also the case.