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CES: Time Warner Cable dials into Sony TVs

January 6, 2011 |  2:19 pm

Cut the cord? Time Warner Cable doesn't think so.

The cable operator signed an exclusive deal with Sony Corp. that would let Sony TV and Blu-ray users pipe in the cable company's offerings, via the Internet.

The agreement, announced Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, would let Time Warner Cable subscribers tap into the cable company's on-demand content without an advanced digital video recorder or set-top box.

The companies did not disclose pricing and timing of the joint service.

Time Warner Cable and other pay TV distributors fear that connected televisions threaten to give viewers the option of cutting their cable subscriptions and piping their entertainment via the Internet instead.

While the deal with Sony currently doesn't give non-subscribers access to Time Warner's video-on-demand programming, it demonstrates that it would be technically possible for the cable company to reach out to viewers who cut the cable cord but still have Internet access. For now, the deal simply lets existing Time Warner customers tap into its on-demand content without a DVR or advanced set-top box.

For Sony, the deal is part of a strategy to pack as many entertainment options as possible into its Bravia TVs and other Internet connected devices, such as Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3 game consoles. Sony already has Netflix's Instant Watch service, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube videos and its own library of shows and movies available for purchase or rent.

Sony also announced it would introduce a music subscription service on its Internet connected TVs, Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3 console in the U.S. within the next three months. Called Music Powered by Qriocity, the service rolled out last year in the U.K.

-- Alex Pham