FierceCable | May 17, 2016

BOSTON — WOW Internet, Cable and Phone has made the first deployments of Evolution Digital’s TiVo-powered eBox hybrid set-tops for its low-cost “Swivel” video service.

In a partnership announced last year, Englewood, Colo.-based WOW announced that will deploy TiVo’s video interface software on hybrid IP/QAM set-tops manufactured by Evolution Digital. The inexpensive HD set-tops deliver both linear and online video, without a DVR or CableCard.

The announcement was made from the INTX show in Boston today.

According to Tom Elam, who heads TiVo’s North American cable operator efforts, WOW is the first U.S. cable company to deploy a TiVo-powered device as a client and not a multi-room DVR.

The eBox, Elam told FierceCable, represents an evolution in strategy for TiVo, which says that it has only manufactured 60 percent of the MSO set-tops in the U.S. powered by its software. That number will continue to trend down, Elam said.

TiVo is now looking to partner hardware manufacturers like Evolution to provide operators like WOW with flexible, low-cost devices with IP capabilities that can fit into evolving cloud-based network infrastructures.

The eBox, Elam said, “can be deployed as an HD set-top or a zapper-class box. That same hardware, with a set of configurations changed, can be a client in our multi-room DVR. And as an operator moves to a cloud content strategy, it can be a client on a cloud DVR.

The solution, he added, can help drive down CPE costs.

“Installing and supporting [set-tops] has been one of the most expensive pieces of the business,” Elam said. “We’re trying to address that with our software strategy.”

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