TiVo Inc. said Tuesday that it is taking steps toward allowing its PVRs to access content from the Web. The personal-video-recorder company will also allow subscribers access to certain multimedia options it once reserved for premium customers.
TiVos representatives confirmed that they are working toward a future that will allow their personal-video-recorder devices to access music and movies downloaded from the Internet. Currently, the boxes only allow content to be recorded from television broadcasts, although a Home Media option also allows those recordings to be scheduled via the Internet. Users may also view pictures and listen to music stored on a PC.
On Tuesday, the company said it would make those Home Media options part of the companys $12.95 monthly subscription. In addition, TiVo reduced the price that it will charge to include a second TiVo box inside the home, from $12.95 to $6.95. Retailers will also offer a ten percent discount to attempt to woo users to buy the TiVo box, which will retail for as low as $129 after a mail-in rebate.
The Home Media options include Internet scheduling, the ability to watch stored content on one TiVo on another television in the home, and the ability to view pictures and listen to music stored on a PC.
TiVos eventual shift to becoming an Internet-connected service was tipped off last year, when the company acquired Strangeberry, a service designed to allow users to view Internet video streams. “The [announcements] are a building block in developing a foundation to working to those things,” a TiVo representative said. “StrangeBerry is part of that”.
The New York Times reported that the new Internet streaming service would become available by next year. The TiVo spokeswoman declined to confirm that report, saying only that the “availability is unclear”. To date, TiVo has not signed any public deals with content providers to make movies, music or other services available to its subscribers, and the comapny has not disclosed how those services would work.