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TiVo brings more web video to TV

Up until now, TiVo has made a select number of clips from internet content providers available on TV. Those clips use a MPEG2 format, and TiVo plans to add more, including video from CBS and Forbes. But TiVo is also unveiling new software that will allow anyone to play MPEG4, QuickTime and Windows Media clips on their TV sites from a wide range of online video providers. “People don’t care how a program is delivered,” said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. “But for a majority of people, it’s not going to be television until it’s on the TV set.” It’s interesting to note that TiVo’s software will not work with Flash video, which has quickly become the format of choice for media sites. Also, TiVo said it will unveil “unified search” next year that will allow viewers to search across broadcast, cable and broadband content sources. Press release with lots of details…

PRESS RELEASE — TiVo today unveiled a comprehensive broadband strategy
designed to put even more control in the hands of consumers by greatly
expanding their television choices, taking the concept that “It’s not TV
unless it’s on the TV” to a whole new level. TiVo continues to innovate and
lead the category by empowering consumers to select their own content and
bring it from the Internet to their TV, where they can enjoy it from the
comfort of their living room.

TiVo released five major announcements which demonstrate how TiVo will
allow consumers to get broadband delivered video right to their TV set and
include it as part of a simple and easy viewing experience. TiVo, the
creator of and leader in television services for digital video recorders
(DVRs), is the first and only DVR to offer this kind of access to broadband
video on the television set.

“For more than 10 years, people have talked about the TV and Internet
coming together,” said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo. “The dramatic
expansion of video options is being driven by the amount of video now
available via the power of broadband distribution. Not a day goes by
without an announcement about some studio, network, programmer, or Internet
company providing yet even more video content online. TiVo provides the
only approach that brings it all, broadcast, cable, broadband, together
into a seamless experience for the viewer. TiVo is the first to provide one
holistic viewing experience where you’ll be able to find what you want,
when you want it, no matter where it comes from. These announcements
further underscore ‘It’s not TiVo unless it’s a TiVo.’”

Highlights from TiVo’s broadband strategy announcements include the

* Unified 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.

* ICM – 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.

* Home Movies Service — 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.

* Autotranscode — 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.

* 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.

TiVo boxes are now available for free after mail-in rebate and service
commitment at leading consumer electronic retailers including Best Buy,
Circuit City and Radio Shack. See for details.

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