Interesting! The streaming video service Roku, one of the companies most associated with the "cable cord cutting" movement, has just announced a deal allowing Time Warner Cable subscribers to stream the company's cable content to Roku's boxes—no CableCard required (take that, TiVo). You'll just need to keep your cable service, of course. Gotta work that pricey modem!
Roku's new deal, announced at CES today, basically allows the company to stream content from Time Warner's existing, and recently much improved, iOS and Android-based TWC TV service. That means live TV—and just live TV—streaming over the Internet (which means still no On Demand or DVR features). With the new deal a TV that has a Roku box but doesn't have an extra cable box will be now able to show live TV without any of the extra fees.
This deal comes as Roku continues to try and differentiate its boxes from Apple's Apple TV box by adding content from a broad range of providers including Netflix, Amazon, HBO and Blockbuster (Apple has Netflix and its own iTunes ecosystem). What is interesting about the Time Warner deal (and the HBO Go deal before it) is that it will only work for customers who choose not to cut their cable cords—which was initially one of the big charms of the Roku box.
Now if only TiVo would start making the same deals for its boxes—which have been trying to add streaming services on top of its market-changing DVR technologies for ages now. Oh wait, nobody else has a TiVo anymore? Sigh.