NCTA and TiVo Announce Progress on Switched Digital Adapter for TiVo DVRs

Monday, May 19th, 2008
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SDV solutions from TiVo, Motorola and Cisco currently undergoing CableLabs® testing; Cisco and Motorola tuning adapters on display at the 2008 Cable Show; TiVo HD DVRs with tuning adapter support on display at the CableNET and Motorola booths at the 2008 Cable Show

NEW ORLEANS — The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), today announced that after a series of successful informal interoperability tests TiVo and several manufacturers of switched digital external tuning adapters have submitted products for formal testing at CableLabs. The tuning adapter will enable TiVo Series3™, TiVo HD DVRs, and certain other one-way digital cable ready consumer electronic devices that utilize CableCARDs™ to access digital cable channels delivered using switched digital technology.

“The ability to turn concept into reality this quickly is a testament to how closely cable operators, CableLabs, TiVo and other cable vendors have worked over the last several months to develop this first-of-its-kind marketplace solution,” said Kyle McSlarrow, NCTA President & CEO. “We are extremely grateful to TiVo for the critical role it has played throughout and are confident that customers will benefit from this solution enabling full access to switched digital channels.”

Motorola and Cisco Systems have both developed external tuning adapters and are seeking qualification by CableLabs® before being delivered to cable operators for deployment. The tuning adapters are expected to be offered in the coming months by cable operators including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, and Cablevision in areas where switched digital technology is being deployed. The cable operators and TiVo plan to work cooperatively to alert TiVo subscribers about the availability or need of the new external adapter and to ensure that installation of the adapter and CableCARDs will be easy and seamless for the consumer.

TiVo has modified its software for its TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs to communicate with the external Tuning Adapter. TiVo announced that the modified software has been submitted to CableLabs for verification testing. Upon verification, the software upgrade will be made available to TiVo subscribers via a regularly scheduled update.

Switched digital technology enables cable operators to transmit individual channels to customers on an as-needed basis rather than broadcasting all channels to all subscribers all the time. Switched digital technology provides more flexibility for cable operators to utilize network capacity to deliver interactive digital services, high-definition (HD) channels, broadband Internet and digital phone service. The Tuning Adapter is intended to work on any Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Product (UDCP) that has a USB connector and necessary firmware.

“We are pleased with the focus and cooperation that CableLabs and the cable industry has exhibited from the outset and are eager to see this solution through to fruition so that customers can enjoy access to all switched digital cable channels,” said TiVo CEO & President Tom Rogers. “This undertaking is a significant step forward in our ongoing relationship with the cable industry to develop technology and provide solutions that improve the television experience of cable subscribers.”

“Cisco continues to develop innovative video technology that allows cable operators to provide a broad range of video entertainment options, including high definition and niche content,” said Michael Harney, senior vice president, Cisco, Service Provider Video Technology Group. “As part of our portfolio of advanced technology, Cisco will have on display the STA1520 Switched Tuning Adapter, which was developed in conjunction with CableLabs, our cable operator customers and TiVo.”

“Motorola is committed to accelerating the delivery of personalized media experiences,” commented John Burke, senior vice president and general manager for Motorola’s Digital Video Solutions group. “Working collaboratively, we have developed a solution that extends the reach of innovative interactive services to TiVo users and we are pleased to be able to showcase this solution at the Cable Show.”

TiVo HD DVRs attached to Motorola external adapters are currently on display in both the CableNET and Motorola booths at the 2008 Cable Show in New Orleans. The 2008 Cable Show, which runs May 18 – 20, is the largest cable and telecommunications exhibition in the United States.