Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 17-08-2011
Online video STB maker Roku is dipping its toe into the TV Everywhere game in the US partnering with cable, satellite and IPTV providers on a service that users would sign into using their pay-TV account credentials.
"There are many stories in the media about over-the-top video (OTT) and cord-cutting, with Roku frequently mentioned as being at the forefront of this movement," the company said in its blog. "At the same time, most Roku users have a video subscription service from a cable, satellite, or a telco provider and for them, Roku is a complimentary solution for video and music entertainment. With that in mind, video providers are introducing 'authenticated' channels."
The initiative requires a linking process similar to that used for other subscription channels on Roku, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus.
The first such offering to go live is EPIX, which features movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, with titles like Iron Man 2, and Hot Tub Time Machine plus original comedy, music and sporting events.
Since Roku streams to televisions, not tablets or PCs, some may wonder where the value is in delivering the same channel via Roku that the subscriber gets via the cable remote.
"EPIX subscribers can now take advantage of their Roku player to watch movies and original shows on demand, in HD, on any television in the house," explained the blog. "This is a great solution for a second TV where there may not be a cable connection, or for Roku users who might prefer to browse the EPIX on demand selection using the familiar Roku interface."
Also, in EPIX' case, now users can watch movies on the TV in HD that were previously only available online at EpixHD.com. "No need to hook your computer to your TV anymore," the blog helpfully clarifies.
An EPIX TV subscription is currently available to Charter, Cox, DISH Network, Mediacom, Suddenlin, and Verizon FiOS customers. Those without subscriptions can get a 14-day free trial.