There’s a lot of speculation about some partnerships between streaming device makers and streaming content providers and all of them are good for the industry. The biggest of which is the speculation that Wal-Mart’s Vudu and Roku are working to tie the knot and offer the former’s content through the latter’s devices. This speculation comes from the fact that the Roku boxes have shown up on Wal-Mart shelves. If that’s the first step in a multi-phase deal then the second could be a logical jump to a VUDU channel on the Roku boxes including, perhaps, some exclusive content for those who bought their boxes at Wal-Mart. (Blech.)
Meanwhile, other device makers are trying to cut deals with perhaps more potential. TiVo is pushing out quad-tuner boxes, the Premiere Q (up from two tuners in their Premiere boxes) with cable companies in various regions as well as the Preview which has no DVR in it and makes me wonder what the use of that would be.
In fact, I know quad-tuner boxes are coming to Time Warner in the Milwaukee area as we have ads playing that state as much. I don’t know that those will be TiVo powered as other TWC options aren’t TiVo branded in any way.
The Premiere Q also is set to feature HD streaming over Ethernet so you can stream from your favorite DLNA server right to the boxes. Well, it doesn’t specifically say DLNA, just that it can handle three HD streams on top of the four recording channels.
They’re also integrating their iPad app into the cable operator content so that video-on-demand stuff shows up in search results and can then be “flicked” from the iPad to the TV via the boxes. A nifty feature that just about everyone, including the Nintendo Wii U and Wiiblet (my name for the tablet-like controller) are going to have.
Companies on board here are RCN, SuddenLink and Charter Comm. However, if you’re a Comcast of Cox user, you can still get a TiVo and use it at home, they just gave up on getting it all integrated right into their own stuff.
This is all a step in the convergence of technology and the ‘three screens’ as far as I’m concerned. It’s good to see the PC/tablet and TV screens coming together finally after all this bickering over distribution rights, underhanded dealings and backstabbing. It’s about time they all started doing what they do best – trying to get as much money from us as they can. If they offer an all-in-one package that gets me what I want for a reasonable price, I might be in… though I’m still sawing through my cord at the moment trying to free myself from it.