Like all cable companies, Time Warner has held a tight rein on all content flowing through its pipes. The Internet, satellites and wireless technology are all major threats to this effort, but consumers are increasingly pressuring cable companies to loosen their grip.
Enter Roku, a small electronic device capable of pulling cable content and wirelessly streaming it to any platform in your home. It’s not exactly replacing cable – you still need a cable subscription – but a new deal with Time Warner announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) allows consumers to access as many as 300 channels of cable content via an app on the Roku device.
According to a report from Verge, the deal means Roku can replace a cable box and provide greater functionality for about $50.
The deal marks the first time the cable company has allowed its content to be accessed by a third-party, TV-connected device. Smartphones and tablets have had Time Warner’s app before—but only in conjunction with Time Warner hardware.
The Time Warner app will be available sometime in the first quarter of 2013 for Roku 2, Roku HD, Roku LT, and the Roku Streaming Stick. Actual number of available channels will depend on the user’s subscription.
Saratoga-based Roku announced today that it has surpassed 700 channels of available content, offering consumers more made-for-TV entertainment than any other streaming device. The company also announced that it streamed over one billion hours of entertainment in 2012.