Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Roku have announced an agreement to bring TWC's TV service to Roku streaming devices in the United States. TWC TV is an authenticated service available to subscribers of Time Warner Cable video service at no additional cost and is expected to launch on Roku this quarter. At launch, TWC TV will feature up to 300 live television channels.
Also announced were six new “Roku Ready” partners — Coby Electronics Corp.; Harman Kardon; Hisense Electric Co. Ltd.; TCL Corp.; Voxx Accessories Corp. and Westinghouse Digital — who join existing Roku Ready partners 3M; Element Electronics; Haier America; Hitachi America, Ltd.; Insignia, a Best Buy brand; OPPO; Sumar Intl., Inc. and TMAX Digital, Inc. (Apex Digital TVs) in using the Roku Streaming Stick to provide an integrated streaming experience for their customers.
Many of these Roku Ready partners have introduced their new smart TVs and devices with Roku at CES in Las Vegas this week.
Roku said it has surpassed 700 channels on its platform, offering consumers more made- for-TV entertainment than any other streaming device. The company also streamed one billion hours of entertainment in 2012.
With the new channels launching this quarter, viewers will be able to access the Amazon Cloud Player, Big Fish, Blockbuster On Demand, FOX NOW, iHeartRadio, PBS, Spotify and VEVO.
It is the first time TWC TV has been available for streaming on a consumer device connected to a television.
“The availability of a service like TWC TV on an open platform represents significant milestones for both Time Warner Cable and Roku as well as for the industry overall,” said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO, Roku. “More importantly, with TWC TV, customers will have more choice in entertainment than was ever possible before.”
TWC TV will be available on all Roku 2 players, Roku HD (model 2500R) and Roku LT players as well as the Roku Streaming Stick. TWC TV is available today on Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch), on PCs and Macs via TWCTV.com, and on a number of Android tablets and phones.
Channels available on TWC TV are subject to availability in the customer’s area as well as their video package subscription. Time Warner Cable serves customers in 29 states.
Noting that people keep their TVs for six to eight years, Roku said today’s consumer electronics require regular software updates and enhancements or they quickly become outdated. Even if the software continues to evolve, the hardware often needs upgrades in order to keep pace. That’s where, the company said, the Roku Streaming Stick is important.
Moving the streaming platform to a stick addresses the concern of Smart TVs or other electronics becoming obsolete shortly after purchase as the streaming stick can be replaced, as needed and for a fraction of the cost of the device. Additionally manufacturers benefit from a streaming platform that involves very little financial and technical investment.