One of the major hang-ups for people switching from a cable provider's DVR to TiVo is that the retail TiVo doesn't offer the cable provider's video-on-demand (VOD) channels. So, while you can get plenty of options from TiVo's built-in video service providers--Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon, and (soon) Hulu Plus--you can't order, say, a prize fight or even the bevy of "free" VOD options available on most cable systems, thanks to the technical restrictions of TiVo's CableCard technology.
Well it looks like that sticking point may soon be unstuck as Comcast and TiVo have partnered up to offer access to cable TV, broadband content, and Comcast's Xfinity On Demand library through TiVo Premiere boxes. Here's how it works: get a TiVo Premiere at retail and Comcast will install it with its cable service at no additional charge for its customers. These customers will then have access to Comcast's Xfinity VOD content as well as their regular programming and Internet services that are available on retail TiVo Premiere units. (This is similar to the deal TiVo announced with Cox last year.)
No tuning adapter or any other special equipment is required; all you'll have is a CableCard installed in the Premiere. Again, these are just regular Premiere boxes, so if you already have one, you should be good to go, too. Of course, you will have to have Comcast as your provider and be in one of the large, select markets with the service. The first is the San Francisco Bay Area with a plan for additional markets to follow.
No dates were announced for the roll out.
So, tell us Comcast customers: does this deal make you want to get a TiVo (which requires an up-front cost and additional monthly service charge)? Or are you sticking with your stock DVR?