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TiVo Entering Download Universe

14 Nov, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Digital video recorder pioneer TiVo Inc. Nov. 14 unveiled a series of initiatives aimed at harnessing the growing electronic distribution platform.

The Alviso, Calif.-based service said it would soon offer its subscribers software that enabled them to transfer non-copyrighted, user-generated video and podcasts from their PC to the television.

Copyrighted movies, including most of the studios' top theatrical and DVD releases, would not be available.

TiVo does offer copyrighted content for viewing — not download — from numerous sources, including the NBA, The New York Times, CNET, iVillage, and just-announced CBS Interactive, including CBS.com, CBS Interactive and Innertube, Reuters, Forbes, dLife, Plum TV and Nano, among others.

Any non-copyrighted video content running in QuickTime, Windows Media Video and MPEG-4 would be downloadable via TiVo Desktop Plus 2.4, a software upgrade to the TiVo set-top box is available to subscribers for a one-time charge of $24.95.

The software is free to subscribers who purchased Desktop Plus 2.3.

“Broadband video is growing rapidly on the Web but the television will continue to be the key way viewers want to watch video,” said Tom Rogers, president and CEO of TiVo.

Separately, TiVo said beginning next year it would bow “unified search,” which allows users to scan across broadcast, cable and broadband content sources for video that can be recorded and put on a menu for viewing.

Other announcements included:

  • A deal with International Creative Management (ICM) to include the Hollywood talent agency's top TV show and movie recommendations allegedly selected by its actor and director clients.

  • An agreement with One True Media that would allow friends and families (and TiVo subscribers) to directly share videos between their respective TV sets.

  • Automatically transfer Web-based video not formatted for TV viewing as a software upgrade.

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