It has been a long time coming, but TiVo Premiere using Comcast customers in the San Francisco Bay Area now have access to XFINITY On Demand content. Well, at least some of them. It started rolling out on April 9th and should be rolled out across Comcast’s SF Bay service area by the end of the month. So if you’re a Comcast customer in the SF Bay Area and you don’t have XFINITY On Demand on your TiVo Premiere yet – give it some more time. You can check for current availability in your zip code, and sign up for notification of future availability, at tivo.com/comcast.
As for Comcast customers outside of the SF Bay Area – you’ll just have to keep waiting. Comcast hasn’t announced any definite plans or schedules for expansion of XFINITY On Demand support for TiVo to other service areas. And this is 100% in their hands. TiVo has delivered their end, but Comcast needs to update their head-end systems in each service area before they can enable this. The only indication we’ve had is that New England is high up on the list to get this after the SF Bay roll out is complete.
New England is where Comcast launched the old ‘soft-TiVo’ project. The software-only Java-based TiVo interface that was downloaded to run on their standard Motorola DVR hardware. Despite several years of effort it just never worked well. The HW was under-powered, and with the TiVo interface running in Java on a virtual machine running on top of the native OS, it wasn’t a great performer. And Comcast never seemed to iron out the issues with the head end that was supposed to allow them to dynamically push the TiVo software to units in the field. While the effort was abandoned when Comcast switched focus to XFINITY support for retail units, the existing deployment of soft-TiVo units are still supported. Comcast is looking to finally phase them out by getting the users to migrate to a TiVo Premiere once they can do so without losing their On Demand. So they have an incentive to prioritize New England.
Beyond that all we’ve heard is that other service areas will see support “in the coming months”. You’d have to ask Comcast for more details – not that they’re talking just yet.