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TiVo to Offer Web Video Through Its TV Boxes

Jun 7, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Digital video recorder pioneer TiVo introduced a product Wednesday that lets viewers watch Web-based video on their television sets, further blurring the line between TV and the Internet

Called TiVoCast, the free service will be available on the 400,000 TiVo set-top boxes that have high-speed Internet connections. TiVo also announced a series of partnerships with several owners of broadband video content, including the National Basketball Association, The New York Times, NBC Universal’s iVillage and gay-themed cable channel here! TV.

“The range and quality of broadband video is exploding on the Web, but it’s not TV until it is on the TV,” TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement. “With the TiVoCast service, we are once again transforming the television experience by bringing the rapidly expanding array of video content on the Internet into the living room.”

TiVoCast represents another hybridization of television, accelerating a trend that began last October with Walt Disney Co.’s historic partnership with Apple Computer Inc. to sell ABC shows such as “Lost” on the iTunes Music Store.

Since then, the popularity of Web sites featuring videos has exploded, with companies including Google Inc. Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo! Inc. offering both Hollywood and home-made clips.

The new product from TiVo may help it distinguish its DVR product from the knockoffs being distributed by the cable and satellite companies that used to provide the bulk of TiVo’s subscribers.

TivoCast will offer access to Web-video site partners including Heavy.com, which targets men 18 to34; technology Web site CNET.com; Danger Rangers, which offers online animation; H2O: Hip Hop on Demand; Union on Demand, an extreme sports on-demand service; and Rocketboom, a video blogging site. The company said it and its partners will have the ability to integrate advertising with the videos available on the service.