TiVo broadens service to allow downloads of Internet-based content

16 Nov 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) In its ongoing bid to be a central conduit of media, TiVo plans to broaden its digital video recording service later this year so users of its set-top boxes can download videos from the Internet and watch them from their television sets.

The new feature, one of several announcements TiVo made, comes as homemade clips and Hollywood movies are all becoming more popular on the Web and an increasing number of tech giants are tackling the barriers to deliver video from a computer to the comforts of a living room.

'Broadband video is growing rapidly on the Web, but the television will continue to be the key way viewers want to watch video,' said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. 'Our overall goal is to provide as many types of content in as many formats to be displayable on the television through TiVo.'

TiVo's new broadband offering, however, will work only with downloaded videos that are not copy-protected, such as most user-generated clips and many video podcasts.

Feature films and videos purchased from online stores like Movielink or Apple's iTunes will not be supported, though company officials said they are seeking to offer such protected content in the future.

The service feature will be implemented by the end of this year through an upgrade to the TiVo Desktop software, which some subscribers already use to view photos from the Web and listen to Internet radio. TiVo said it will take downloaded videos that have been placed into a computer's TiVo folder and automatically convert them into an MPEG-2 video format so the videos can be viewed on TVs and searchable via TiVo boxes.

© 2006 The Associated Press

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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