TiVo Unveils Broadband Video Delivery Strategy

Dave Zatz —  November 13, 2006 — 12 Comments
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TiVo has announced a comprehensive broadband video delivery approach for both Series2 and Series3 units:

Peer-to-Peer Video Sharing

Working in partnership with One True Media, TiVo is offering a breakthrough new service feature which will provide friends and families scattered across the country with an easy way to share their home videos, by sending them directly to the television set. Rather than burning and mailing DVDs, friends and family will now be able to set-up their own private channel to send home videos directly to a TiVo subscriber’s TV set. (Available first quarter of 2007 @ $4/month for uploaders.)

Internet Video Transcoding and Transfer

TiVo subscribers who upgrade to this new PC software will be able to easily browse, transfer, and watch a vast amount of Web video, right on their TV sets, using the Emmy Award-winning TiVo service, even if the content is not originally in a format that televisions can display, by autotranscoding that video through their PCs. (Supporting Series2 units only. Available later this year for Microsoft Windows @ $25 or free upgrade to TiVo Desktop Plus.)

New TiVoCast Service Programming Partners

A fresh group of media companies, including CBS Interactive, Forbes and specialized health content, will deliver broadband programming directly to the television through TiVo’s revolutionary TiVoCast service. Launched earlier this year, the TiVoCast service delivers broadband video directly to the television sets of TiVo subscribers, turning Web video into television by bringing powerful broadband content previously available only on the PC. (Available later this year at no charge.)

Unified Video Search

TiVo unveiled “unified search,” launching next year, whereby consumers can search across broadcast, cable and broadband content sources through an approach that seamlessly integrates all video for easy access, menuing, searching, recording, and viewing. Consumers want content from many different sources and with unified search they won’t need to visit multiple devices to view that content – it can all be easily accessed in one place from the TiVo “Now Playing” list. (Available next year at no charge.)

ICM Celebrity Guru Guides

With broadband video choices, the number of TV options available became overwhelming, and celebrity talent became critical “key words” for viewers finding what they want. TiVo and ICM have teamed up to provide TiVo subscribers with TV show and film recommendations personally selected by some of the most well-known Hollywood actors and directors. These celebrity Guru Guides will offer subscribers the ability to have this content automatically recorded on their TiVo boxes. This demonstrates how TiVo continues to weave itself into the true fabric of the media industry, now providing a means by which entertainment talent can establish a direct relationship with TiVo viewers on their TV sets. (Available first half of 2007 at no charge.)

The Guru Guides, unified search, and transcoding initiatives aren’t so surprising or exciting to me — In fact, when I spoke with VP Jim Denney over the summer he alluded to using the PC for converting a variety of content for TiVo playback. However, the peer-to-peer broadcast functionality is extremely exciting, compelling stuff and I look forward to learning the dynamics. Still no full-length feature film downloads… Good thing the Xbox 360 has me covered! It the CBS TiVoCast downloads include something more than clips, say full-length shows, I’ll be interested.

(Thanks to Cassidy and Tyson for the tips!)

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12 responses to TiVo Unveils Broadband Video Delivery Strategy

  1. Geez. About time for the Tivo to Tivo part. That was planned years ago!

    Hooorah!

  2. ?and Tivo has also announced “Mac owners will be the first to get these new features.”

    Oh, wait, I mean Tivo has also announced “Mac owners? Neener-Neener-Neener!”

  3. But Mac users get a $24.95 discount too. ;)

  4. I’m skeptical of that part about “homemade movies”, it implies that you won’t be able to share regularly recorded shows, only shows sent to TiVo via TiVo GoBack

  5. Sorry, but…

    Just dumped my Tivo and not buying and S3. Instead, I’m opting for Cablevision’s DVR. Why? It doesn’t cost $800.00 (actually, it cost $5.00/month), and it doesn’t cost $19.95 a month for guide information that should be *free*.

    Does the interface (on the Cablevision box) suck? Yes, it does. But at $5.00 a month with NO commitment, I’ll see how this all shakes out in a year or so.

    Sorry Tivo. You’re just like a beautiful but high-maintenance girlfriend; looks only go so far.

  6. I’m with you Eric!
    @ Robert Aitchison, it is absolutely for home videos only. Not content you’ve recorded to you TiVo. The way I see it working is that it’s a PC application at the upload end and has nothing to do with your own TiVo. You finish making your home movie on the PC, and instead of burning it to a DVD that anyone can play, you transcode it into a .tivo file format and then send that to the IP address of your family member’s TiVo. I have to disagree with Dave Zatz… That is not exciting or compelling to me, especially at $4 / month extra subscription and possibly $25 for the codec… What’s wrong with DVDs? I’m sure the peer-to-peer file will have to be lower quality / more compressed than a DVD.

    If this is the best that TiVo can come up with, they’re not going to win back many customers who walked away from the $800 S3… especially as most of these features are *still* only available to S2 owners..! Where’s the killer app for the S3..???

  7. Years ago in the series 1 days over on the TiVo Community web site there was a guy who used to interact with all the people there who actually worked for TiVo. He was “our” voice to the folks who ran TiVo. I remember some improvements making it into software releases.
    I understand why TiVo does not do that anymore, but it seems to me they would look to that board, especially the TiVo underground section and implement some of the great things people have done. TiVo web to me is one of the best things that TiVo should implement or include the things TiVo Web can do in their TiVo software. They already have it wheer you can see programs recorded on your TiVo thru their little interface, why not expand it even more by letting people search and schedule directly from their TiVo? My series 1 TiVo has had TiVo web installed for 3+ years and tha box has never had a problem.
    Just a thought.

  8. rkrpmg.com – I haven’t seen it but isn’t the transcoding anouncement TiVo’s version of Videora? Overall, I agree there are many extremely overdue enhancements and the last upgrade seems a little buggy to me. Reeks of developer personnel changes.

  9. GadgetGav,

    You should read the press releases before engaging rant-mode, since that’s not how the video sharing works.

    Also, TiVo has said the S3 will be receiving an update by the end of the year to bring it up to feature parity with the S2 – save for TTG & MRV, which is a separate issue.

    Just what do you expect for a ‘killer app’ for the S3? It is an HD TiVo, that’s what its primary purpose is. Anything else is extra.

  10. This is a bold move with all of the legal troubles that are currently taking place.

  11. As a RSS comment subscriber and a commenter, overall, I’d actually prefer a CAPTCHA spam solution to the lack thereof. But I’m only one person, and there may be excellent reasons for not going in that direction. Just chiming in a single vote.

  12. In recent weeks, the bad guys seem to have come up with new ways to bypass Akismet (as confirmed by at least one other fellow blogger). However, we still successfully block dozens of spammy comments a day via this method and would prefer to give Akismet a chance to improve their defenses before resorting to a captcha.

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