Wednesday, January 5, 2005

TiVo Outlines its Competitive Strategy

TiVo unveiled its next generation service strategy for digital video recorders (DVR) using either broadcast or broadband IP networks. The company seeks to further differentiate itself from generic cable and satellite DVRs by offering consumers greater choice, bringing together music, home videos and digital photos, broadband and broadcast content on their own "Personal Entertainment Network." TiVo plans to pursue an open software platform which will enable third parties to develop applications and distribute content to the TiVo subscriber base. TiVo intends to roll out components throughout this year and into 2006. Key elements of this plan include:



1. Introduce new Content Delivery Service. TiVo is developing a new content delivery service that will enable TiVo Series2 subscribers to search and access broadband content. In conjunction with this effort, TiVo is also developing television commerce capabilities allowing subscribers to purchase products with a push of a button on the TiVo remote control.



2. Develop Entertainment Applications Platform to facilitate new services in the living room. These services could range from music services to network promotions to on-line video stores, etc.



3. Offer a TiVo HD Digital Cable Ready DVR. integrating an HD digital cable receiver and TiVo DVR in a single set top box. CableCARD technology will be built-in, giving consumers access to digital cable programming and other features of the TiVo service. The unit is expected to be available in early 2006.



4. Allow Portability, so that consumers can watch what they want, when they want, and, now, where they want. The Humax and Toshiba DVD recorders with TiVo service let consumers record their favorite shows and then burn them to DVD for playback anywhere they have a DVD player. With "TiVoToGo", consumers can securely transfer their favorite shows from a TiVo box to a laptop or portable media player in their home. The TiVoToGo service enhancement is available now as a service update and is included in the TiVo service at no additional charge.



5. Provide PC and Online Integration. TiVo desktop software 2.0 allows consumers to integrate music, photos and video into their TiVo experience. Online Scheduling lets subscribers schedule a recording on their TiVo box from anywhere they have internet access. This will be extended to make it easy to record broadband content as well.



6. Increase Personalization features



7. Promote its TiVo Series2 box, which ties into a home network.



TiVo also announced strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Sonic Solutions and AMD.



"As with digital music, we expect to see a continued shift in the control of TV entertainment towards consumers," said Mike Ramsay, Chairman & CEO, TiVo. "This means consumers will expect the increased choice in ala carte programming that Internet-based TV will offer, fair and reasonable use of the TV they pay for, and the ability to take their shows with them on business travel or family road trips. In short, consumers tell us that they want entertainment to fit into their busy lives, not the other way around."http://www.tivo.com

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