Netflix and TiVo to Team Up

Newsweek is reporting that Netflix and TiVo are soon to team up to offer a film on demand service. Netflix currently operate a DVD-by-post delivery mode, but clearly that doesn’t cater for the people at home who don’t really fancy waiting three days for their chosen film to show up.

In many ways, the two companies were made for each other – Netflix has a huge library of films, there are TiVo boxes sitting under thousands of television in the US.

The proposed service will allow subscribers to download DVDs directly to their TiVo box via their broadband link home, and then watch them on their television. No popping out to the video shop, no waiting for the post, no crowding around a PC to watch downloaded films.

TiVo’s first step in this direction was its acquisition of Strangeberry earlier this year – the company produced a technology that allowed TiVo owners to plug a broadband modem into the back of their PVR and download media from the internet. Since then, TiVo have made hardware and software upgrades to their platform, and improved security and other copy protection features.

If Netflix can get distribution rights to their entire library, then many people may never go out again – and the Netflix name will finally make sense.



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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?