TiVo making its way to Charter

Later this year, TiVo's Premiere set-top box and interface will be deployed by Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable provider in the U.S.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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TiVo has struck a multiyear deal with Charter Communications to bring its Premiere set-top box and interface to the fourth-largest cable provider.

According to Charter, its deal with TiVo is designed to bring its customers "a new and enhanced experience." Charter said that its offering will have the features current TiVo users are accustomed to, including a programming guide, content searching, and live TV control. Users will also have access to the provider's OnDemand content from the set-top box.

Charter will release an iPad app to complement its TiVo launch. The company said that the app will be a "command central" for users, allowing them to schedule recordings, post updates to Twitter and Facebook, and search for shows.

Charter will be offering Premiere boxes to customers, and those devices will offer 45 hours of HD and 400 hours of standard-definition storage. In addition, users will be able to transfer content to their set-top box with TiVoToGo.

Charter said that its customers will also be able to access the many Web applications available on the TiVo Premiere, including local news, sports, and weather. Subscribers will also be able to access Facebook and Twitter.

Surprisingly, Charter said that it will allow access to "Internet video from top destinations." The company didn't say in its release what "destinations" will be offered to users, but the TiVo Premiere currently boasts access to Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and several other services that cable companies traditionally view as competitors to their on-demand offering.

A Charter spokesperson told CNET today that the company currently doesn't have licensing agreements in place with Netflix and the others, but it plans to offer the "full integrated TiVo experience" when it launches.

Charter plans to release its TiVo offering "later this year." The company's spokesperson said that it should be comparably priced to its current service.

With Charter now on its side, TiVo is making inroads in both the cable and satellite markets.

Back in 2008, TiVo announced a partnership with DirecTV that would see the satellite company's subscribers once again employ TiVo DVRs. Those DVRs were expected to launch in 2009, but were then pushed back to 2010. Last October, TiVo and DirecTV announced that the device would be available to customers in early 2011.