TiVo Alticast last month announced that they will work together to make it easier to bring TiVo’s software and services to set top boxes. Alticast is a vendor if middleware for Java-based DVB-MHP, OCAP/tru2way technology and Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J). They’re all ways to implement software independent of the host hardware – both tru2way and BD-J evolved out of MHP (Multimedia Home Platform). While all Blu-ray players support BD-J, and in the US OCAP/tru2way is deploying on cable systems (and the similar ACAP is intended for ATSC broadcast receivers), in most of the world MHP dominates.
Why is this significant? Well, based on the press release I think this signals a coming push by TiVo to leverage the work done for the Comcast & Cox deployments in the US to bring the TiVo interface to an assortment of set-top boxes worldwide:
“Teaming with Alticast allows global video providers to offer the unique combination of TiVo’s award winning user interface, advertising solutions, and broadband television functionality on set top boxes running Alticast’s industry standard embedded software for ITV applications,” said Joshua Danovitz, Vice President and GM of International at TiVo. “We hear from cable, satellite and IPTV operators around the world that they want better middleware solutions capable of quickly bringing TiVo applications to market and Alticast is in the pole position to fulfill this need. We look forward to their cooperation in making the TiVo experience available on a broad range of platforms, both in the United States and around the world, similar to the way that we have developed platforms for Comcast and Cox.”
I’ve been saying this for a while, that having the OCAP/tru2way version of the TiVo system could have an impact far beyond the US cable market. Having a portable implementation will allow TiVo to partner with hardware vendors and service providers worldwide. Working with Alticast should help get TiVo in the door, as well as smoothing the implementation issues. As TiVo has said that all tru2way cable DVRs in the US are potential TiVo systems, now, in theory, any DVR running MHP, or combo Blu-ray/DVR units, are potential TiVo systems.