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TiVo Ups Pending 'KidZone' Features

14 Mar, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Digital video recording (DVR) pioneer TiVo March 14 announced enhancements to its pending KidsZone, a personalized TV area for children, slated for a midyear launch.

The updates would allow parents to automatically pre-select from a menu of children's educational and informational programming. In 1990, Congress mandated television broadcasters provide at least three hours of educational programming per week — much of which is aired early in the morning or on weekends.

A recent national survey conducted for Comcast Corp. found that among frequent on-demand and DVR customers, 85% seek out appropriate children's programming and 63% have “fewer conflicts” about what to watch.

About 47% felt VOD made it “easier to negotiate” homework, chores and TV viewing with their kids.

“The use of kids VOD is off the charts,” said Page Thompson, SVP and GM of video services for Comcast.” “Last month alone, there were 19 million kids programs viewed.”

The survey found that 77% of frequent VOD users watch kids VOD nearly daily; 72% watch on a weekly basis and 85% watch monthly.

To assist with the KidsZone, TiVo has partnered with the Parent's Choice Foundation, the nation's oldest nonprofit evaluator of children's media and toys, and The Parents Television Council, which targets harmful and negative messages directed at children on TV.

Two weeks ago, TiVo announced a similar deal with Common Sense Media, a non-partisan group offering information on children's media and entertainment.

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