August 5, 2005 12:48 PM PDT
TiVo hints at future enhancements
And while the company said it is not announcing, or even preparing to announce, any new partnerships, there's no question it is likely getting ready for working relationships with any number of content providers, as well as the more open-ended flood of content that will come with Internet access on TiVo boxes.
"We have over the last years talked about this vision of being able to access content over the broadband connection," Zinn said. "All of Series 2 DVRs have a USB port, and if you have a network adapter, your home network will recognize your TiVo DVR as a device (connected to the Internet)."
In a newsletter sent to subscribers recently, TiVo elaborated even further about what might be possible with its Internet-enabled service.
"Subscribers who connect their TiVo Series 2 box to their home network should expect some ridiculously cool things to come down the pipeline this fall," the newsletter said. Among those features are the ability to stream digital music from a computer to a home entertainment system, play games, podcast and schedule programming via TiVo's Web site.
Murray Arenson, a senior analyst at Ferris Baker Watts, said that while he is unaware of any specific plans, he thinks speculation about a partnership in which Netflix provided TiVo with content is "going in the right direction."
But he said that TiVo still highly values its customers' privacy
"We may need to know (who you are) so we can let the content provider know so you can be charged," he said. "But our philosophy (is) you have to let the consumer know how their information is being used. They have to trust us."
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