Can’t Lick ‘Em?

Cox has apparently decided to join ’em. In a recent story in the L.A. Times, Cox will put their video-on-demand (VOD) service into standard TiVo personal video recorders (PVRs), eliminating the need for a separate set-top box. The TiVo box also gives access to online services such as Netflix streaming video and Rhapsody music.

This is significant because it shows that a cable company is willing to let go of control of the set-top box, presumably in a move to help retain existing customers and perhaps attract new ones with this convenient feature. Cox is not the largest cable company, but with 6 million subscribers in 18 states, it’s in a position to be a trendsetter for other cable companies. And the deal helps extend TiVo’s reach at a time when it is increasingly difficult to get consumers to pay an extra monthly fee on top of their cable bill.