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TiVo plans to bring TV programming to PSP and iPod

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Nov 2005 21:11 User comments (3)

TiVo plans to bring TV programming to PSP and iPod On Monday, TiVo announced plans to test a feature that would allow some subscribers to transfer recorded TV programming to either a video-compatible iPod or a Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). The announcement sent the company's shares up 4.5%. The feature will only be available to "stand-alone" subscribers however, and does not include the 2.3 million customers from DirecTV. After Apple released the latest iPod with video playback capabilities last month, a deal was announced between the company and ABC to offer some TV shows to iTunes customers one day after broadcast for $1.99 per episode.
Some fear that as services like this evolve, it could spell the end of advertising supported TV business model. One analyst said that TiVo's plans may cause concerns for content providers who want to make a profit off their shows either through online sales or DVD sales. However, there is little that could be done to stop TiVo.

"The TV industry has to embrace video on demand in cable, Internet and other forms of video distributions even though there are many ways these technologies allow distribution that doesn't make them any money," said Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research. TiVo will now need to invest in software to make transferring recorded programming to formats compatible with iPods and PSPs. The files will also be watermarked and it will be possible to trace them back to originating computers.

This is to discourage piracy. "The increasing popularity of mobile devices for viewing video such as Apple's iPod and the PSP device demonstrate the enormous consumer demand for entertainment on the go," TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement.

Source:
Reuters

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3 user comments

124.11.2005 4:33

If this takes off, expect your cable/satellite bill to rise sky high.

224.11.2005 4:44

and this explains it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 TiVo to bring TV programming to iPod, PSP Mon Nov 21, 1:11 PM ET TiVo Inc. on Monday said it will begin testing a feature in the coming weeks to let some subscribers transfer recorded television programming to Apple iPod digital music players or Sony's PlayStation portable devices, sending the company's shares up 4.5 percent. The new feature will only be available to "stand-alone" TiVo subscribers that are not among the 2.3 million customers from satellite TV operator DirecTV Group Inc. TiVo's move bypasses Apple Computer Inc., whose decision in October to sell music videos and ABC TV network shows started much debate in the media industry about the end of the advertising supported TV business model. One analyst briefed on the announcement said the new feature may raise "concerns" among program owners, who aim to profit from movies and shows either through DVD or online sales. But since TiVo employs open industry standards, there could be little legal recourse to halt their plans. "The TV industry has to embrace video on demand in cable, Internet and other forms of video distributions even though there are many ways these technologies allow distribution that doesn't make them any money," said Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research. TiVo, which currently serves about 1.3 million stand alone subscribers, is aiming to differentiate itself from digital recorder services offered by cable operators, even as it seeks to land more cable distribution deals. It currently has a deal with Comcast Corp. and has said it was actively pursuing similar deals. DirecTV plans to begin selling its own digital video recorder and will stop marketing those made by TiVo. It's unclear how many users will actually have access to these features, however. Analysts said there were perhaps "hundreds of thousands" of Series2 users. But TiVo has not disclosed the number of customers using Series2 recorders that let viewers send recorded programs to home computers. A TiVo spokesman said most of its customers are using Series2 boxes that are built with the ability to connect to a computer. In order to move recorded programming to portable devices, TiVo will be required to purchase software that translates the programming into a file that can be read on either the iPod or Sony's PSP. The files will be watermarked and traceable to originating computers to discourages piracy. "The increasing popularity of mobile devices for viewing video such as Apple's iPod and the PSP device demonstrate the enormous consumer demand for entertainment on the go," TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement. Shares of TiVo rose 19 cents to $5.46 on the Nasdaq in afternoon trading on Monday. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051121/tv_nm/tivo_dc

324.11.2005 10:00

http://news.com.com/FAQ+Behind+TiVos+play+for+iPod%2C+PSP/2100-10... FAQ: Behind TiVo's play for iPod, PSP By Scott Ard Staff Writer, CNET News.com Published: November 22, 2005, 4:00 AM PST FAQ When it comes to buzzwords, TiVo's announcement Monday was loaded: quick, easy, download, TV shows, mobile, PSP and, of course, iPod. But as with all breathless technology declarations (particularly those that come out just before the crucial holiday season), the devil is in the details. Here are answers to some common questions regarding TiVo's announcement that it will allow customers to copy their favorite TV shows to their portable devices: TiVo already has a service called TiVoToGo. What's new here? TiVoToGo lets owners of TiVo boxes transfer TV shows to their computers, including laptops. The content can also be transferred to gadgets compatible with Microsoft's Portable Media Center format. TiVo is expanding that service by permitting shows to be encoded and transferred to Sony's portable game machine, the PlayStation Portable, and to iPods capable of playing video. Isn't it already possible to transfer video to these devices? Yes, with various bits of software. But TiVo promises to make the process simple, as well as faster. For example, the company says an "auto-sync" feature will allow users to automatically update their portable devices each morning with shows taped the night before. If done well, this could be equivalent of Apple Computer's iTunes software, which streamlined the process of transferring music files from a PC to a portable player. Ease of use played a big part in making the iPod popular. Can TiVo pull this off? Why not? The software used on the TiVo boxes has been hailed as extremely simple but powerful. The company's business model has been a question mark, but its product has gotten rave reviews since it was first unveiled in the late 1990s. When can I start using the service? TiVo said beta testing will begin in "coming weeks" for owners of newer Series2 boxes who also own a video iPod or PSP. By April of next year, all subscribers should be able to use the feature. All TiVo users? Not entirely. Only those who subscribe directly with TiVo. The 2 million-plus owners who subscribe through DirecTV will not be included. So this applies to all TiVo subscribers who own a PC? That's another asterisk. TiVo ToGo does not support the Mac operating system, so this extension of the program also will not be available. A Mac version of the service is expected sometime next year. To recap: TiVo owners with a Series2 box who subscribe directly with TiVo and have a Windows-based PC and a video-capable iPod or PSP can use the service--when it's completed next year. I'm in that group. Where do I sign up? TiVo will add a link to its Web site in a few weeks seeking beta testers. Candidates will need to have a broadband connection, and the company will choose testers based partly on how respondents phrase their responses to some questions. Will it be free? Not entirely. TiVoToGo does not cost extra, but TiVo says subscribers who want to port shows to the iPod or PSP "will need to purchase certain low-cost software." This could mean the company is relying at least partially on software created outside the company. How much memory must my iPod or PSP have to watch a 30-minute show? The supported video will need to be encoded in the H.264 format, and that should allow for 30 minutes of video in about 200MB of space. How long will the process take? Some estimates have two minutes required for every minute of content--hence TiVo's plan for overnight encoding and transferring. The entire process involves recording the show, transferring to a PC, encoding it, then transferring to the mobile device. This sounds like a piracy nightmare for content owners. It could be, but TiVo says it will use "watermark" technologies that will allow any shows being swapped on the Internet to be traced back to the account holder who originally recorded the show. In other news: * Sober worm clogging inboxes * Tech firms focus on TV * Turning oil money into a Silicon Valley * CNET's Holiday Helpdesk: Top tech gifts and deals Apple just started selling a very limited number of shows for $1.99. It can't be thrilled to be facing competition from a company providing an unlimited number of free shows. This does represent competition for Apple and could also be troubling for companies such as Disney that partnered with Apple to provide TV shows for a price. So far there has not been an official response. This sounds like a tremendous opportunity for TiVo. Haven't 30 million iPods been sold? Yes, but only a fraction are capable of playing videos because they've only been on the market a few weeks. By next March, Sony expects to have sold 14 million PSPs. TiVo's shares gained 4 percent to $5.50 on Monday; less than two years ago they were selling for about $12.

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