Thursday, March 13, 2008

TiVo joins YouTube redistribution network

TiVo DVRs will soon be playing YouTube videos. TiVo announced that YouTube video access would be available on the company's latest TiVo HD and TiVo Series3 models later this year. On-screen access to YouTube videos joins a host of other Internet-delivered entertainment options on TiVo, including Amazon Unbox video rentals, Rhapsody's subscription music service, access to Photobucket and Picasa photo galleries, TiVoCast Web videos, podcasts, and Internet radio. While ancillary to TiVo's primary mission of recording and playing back TV shows, the inclusion of such Web-friendly features helps the company delineate its products from the wide range of free DVRs that are available from local cable operators.

Recently I posted about the Convergence of Digital Media and here. The Network Seven ownership of the Tivo brand in Australia makes this service very interesting.

As for YouTube, its appearance on TiVo may be the first of many new venues. The TiVo news was timed to coincide with YouTube's announcement that it's expanding its APIs to allow third parties more direct access to the service. YouTube is currently available on a number of home and mobile devices.

Some of these devices include:

  • the Apple TV

  • the Netgear Digital Entertainer HD--as well as any product with a full-function (Flash-enabled) Web browser

  • the Nintendo Wii

  • the Sony PlayStation 3

In the handheld devices include:

  • the iPhone

  • the Helio

  • the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

Also, the new Skyfire browser promises to bring YouTube (and any other Flash video site) to a range of Windows Mobile phones.

I have both an Apple TV and a Playstation 3 both allow you to play YouTube videos these devices. Watching youtube on my LCD is awesome. You can even watch YouTube videos on your phone.

The latimes said ...
TiVo, which has more than 4 million subscribers, could make YouTube a television star.

YouTube has been a thorn in the side of traditional media ever since the video sharing website was created in 2005. Now owned by Google Inc., YouTube has faced criticism and legal trouble that it benefited from visitors copying TV shows and putting them on the site.

YouTube has also increased the fragmentation of where people, especially teenagers, get their entertainment, with many turning on their computers instead of TVs.

Note: This service will not work for older Series2 TiVos.
It will be interesting to see if TiVo will start filtering what content is available (considering there alliances with Broadcast Networks around the world).

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