Does Your Cable Company Offer TiVo?


While perusing the TiVo website recently in preparation for my upcoming TiVo Elite review, I was very surprised to find a page that detailed the number of cable companies that offered TiVo service. I wasn't really surprised to find the page so much as I was surprised by the number of companies that actually offer the service! There are a decent number of smaller cable companies that offer TiVo to their customers.

Even a few of the larger ones such as Charter and Comcast offer the service and Cox is working on a deal now.​

One of the important things to remember with cable company TiVo devices is that you're not getting a retail TiVo device. While the hardware is going to be very similar to what you would buy directly from TiVo, the features can be quite different. For example, with most of the cable provided TiVo devices, you won't get access to content partners such as Netflix, Pandora and others. This is a bit of a let down if you're a streaming content fan and if you enjoy using these services, you'll probably want to go ahead and purchase your own TiVo directly from them.

The companies that currently offer the TiVo service and hardware are:

  • Charter
  • Comcast
  • Comporium
  • Grande Communications
  • Northland Communications
  • RCN
  • suddenLink

Cox Cable is currently working on plans to make their on-demand services available to TiVo Premiere users in their major markets.

There's no word on when that plan will come to fruition but hopefully folks won't have to wait long. As well, I've received word that Comcast is working on TiVo Premiere support for their customers. If this deal comes through, Comcast customers will be able to purchase a TiVo Premiere device at retail, have it installed by a Comcast technician and have access not only to the company's video-on-demand services but to streaming services such as Netflix as well.

While most people can handle the installation of a TiVo device, being able to turn it over to a technician will be nice for those who feel intimidated by the process.

You'll want to be sure and check with your cable provider about their TiVo policies before requesting one. Many of them charge monthly fees in addition to any typical fees incurred when renting STBs from your cable company. As well, they will have different policies in regards to access to VoD services and streaming content. Most cable companies won't allow access to the streaming partners that TiVo offers so if these are important to you, you may want to look at a retail purchase as opposed to worrying about whether or not your cable provider offers the service.

A final consideration for you may be cost. While a retail TiVo device will cost more upfront, you have to factor in any monthly fees charged by your cable company to utilize the service. These fees vary from company to company. A TiVo purchased at retail has several subscription options so be sure and compare them all before laying out your hard earned money. Compare features by speaking with your cable provider and when you do, be sure and check on those recurring monthly costs.

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