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TiVo Testing Internet Downloads

12 Aug, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Digital video recording (DVR) pioneer TiVo is set to begin offering Internet broadband downloads of first-run programming from the Independent Film Channel (IFC) cable channel to select customers as part of a trial program between the two companies, according to sources familiar with the test.

Offered to a group of TiVo customers, the test is scheduled to begin Aug. 19 with three undisclosed IFC cable shows.

Downloading television programming and movies has long been a largely elusive dream of the Internet. But with increased broadband usage in the United States and media companies eager to explore alternative delivery channels, both technological and content issues appear to be receding.

TiVo took a hit this week when DirecTV reportedly announced it would stop marketing the service to its 14 million customers in favor of another DVR service, according to the Associated Press. TiVo has acquired up to 70 percent of its customers through News Corp.-owned DirecTV.

A TiVo representative declined comment, and an IFC representative was not immediately available.

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