The roll out of XFINITY On Demand for TiVo customers in the San Francisco Bay Area is now complete and it seems to be a great success. The new feature cleanly integrates XFINITY On Demand into the TiVo UI just like any other video service. And now that the SF Bay roll out is out of the way Comcast & TiVo have turned their sights on the next target market: Boston.
This actually isn’t a surprise, as I’ve posted a couple of times, a while back Comcast made the comment that New England was high on their list of territories to follow the SF Bay. Why? Well, to quote myself:
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.
So they still have a number of those old units in the field that they’d love to stop supporting, and I bet many of the customers would love the added benefits of having a real TiVo to boot. And perhaps Comcast will be able to recycle some of the work they did on the head end for that project to support the new roll out. In any case, TiVo confirmed today via email that Boston is the next market that will see this roll out. They didn’t provide a specific time frame, saying only that Boston would see this ‘soon’.
As always, you can sign up to be notified when this is available in your area at tivo.com/comcast
Remember, Comcast controls when this is rolled out to a new area, not TiVo. TiVo has delivered their part, the software integration on the unit. The other piece is the head end upgrades to support the service, and that’s what Comcast needs to do for each service area where this is deployed. That’s why it wasn’t flipped on for everyone at once, and why it is getting a region by region roll out. So don’t bother TiVo with questions about when it will come to your area. Odds are they don’t know, and even if they do know they can’t speak for Comcast until Comcast is willing to announce their plans. If you need to pester anyone, pester Comcast.