Time Warner Cable to offer web to TV link

NEW YORK Fri May 30, 2008 2:03pm EDT

1 of 2. People walk in front of the Time Warner Inc. headquarters building at Columbus Circle in New York October 13, 2005.

Credit: Reuters/Nicholas Roberts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Inc plans to offer subscribers an easier way to bring Internet video to their television screens as part of an overall home networking system, Chief Executive Glenn Britt said on Friday.

"Right now it's pretty hard to get Internet stuff on your TV," Britt said at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.

"We're actually going to have equipment we make available to subscribers," he said. "It's actually going to be a new wireless cable modem that will allow you to network everything in your house."

Britt gave few specific details on how the service would work or when it would be available.

"Within a relatively short time ... it's going to be very easy to get Internet TV on your big screen TV," he said, estimating it would take between one to two years to popularize such technology already sold by the likes of Apple Inc.

Apple TV lets users take a movie downloaded to their personal computer and watch it on their television screen.

TiVo Inc lets many of its subscribers select Web video from providers such as The Onion, the New York Times and CNET Networks. The video is downloaded from the Internet to a TiVo set-top box for viewing later.

But web-to-TV technology is still in its early days, due in part to the complexity of making web video look good on higher resolution TVs.

Consumers may also be hesitant to navigate the thousands of web sites that offer unique video, and to buy more equipment in addition to paying monthly cable or satellite fees.

Major cable operators have had success spreading such technologies among their large pool of subscribers, including the digital video recording technology that originally made TiVo famous.

Shares in Time Warner Cable, which recently announced plans to separate fully from Time Warner Inc by the end of the year, rose 2 percent to $30.57.

(Reporting by Michele Gershberg; Editing by Derek Caney)