March 7, 2006 9:45 AM PST

TiVo looks to Verizon phones for TV recording

TiVo announced Tuesday that it has struck a deal with Verizon Wireless that will allow subscribers to program their TiVo digital video recorders from their cell phones.

Verizon Wireless subscribers will access the new service, called TiVo Mobile, through Verizon's "Get it Now" menu, which also provides access to Verizon's V Cast video offering, music download service, ring tones and games. TiVo Mobile will be available this summer. Pricing will be announced when the service becomes available.

Details of the contract between Verizon and TiVo were not released.

Digital video recorders (DVRs) record TV programs onto a hard drive, allowing viewers to pause and rewind live television and fast-forward through recorded commercials.

TiVo subscribers can already program their DVRs remotely from the TiVo Web site and Yahoo's TV guide. Cell phone users with Web access also can program their phones via these mobile portals.

"This arrangement will allow the growing base of TiVo subscribers to integrate control of their TV life with the most widespread piece of consumer electronics, the wireless phone," Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo, said in a statement.

The deal with Verizon Wireless is the latest in a series of new enhancements TiVo has made over the past six months to differentiate its products from other DVR products. Just last week, the company announced a new service, called KidZone, that allows parents to look for shows appropriate for their children and then separate that content from other shows recorded for adults.

TiVo has announced deals with mobile device makers, such as Apple Computer and Sony, to allow TiVo-recorded shows to be viewed on handheld devices like the iPod and PlayStation Portable. It also has introduced a service called TiVoToGo, which allows recorded video to be transferred and viewed on laptops.

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Barking up the wrong tree
I wish TiVo would stop messing around with all these crazy remote programming/viewing deals that I'm not sure anybody wants or needs and simply come out with a multi-tuner HD recorder that supports Cablecard. If I can't sit at home and watch TV, all the other stuff is pointless.
Posted by jhracing (14 comments )
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Yeah, I Hate this Fluff, too, but A Dual-tuner CableCard HD Box Exists ...
and was demoed at CES in January, at least. Of course, it will still be "later this year" before it will even show up in beta, much less be ready for Prime Time (literally) before the holiday shopping season next Fall (based on past experience and friends who work at TiVo, I'm guessing it will be on store shelves by September, but there's still plenty of time for them to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory). This will also be the basis for the long-awaited Comcast (and probably other cable MSO) box, so it will be a big step up in capability for the early adopters (with prices to match, of course). It will offer the ability to record HD from cable for the first time, not to mention finally provide HD capabilities on boxes that support all of the advances since the Dark Ages, like Music and Photos, copying recordings between boxes on a subnet, TiVo2Go (assuming anyone can ever burn a DVD) ... and the remote programming capabilities like those that this waste-of-a-story focuses on.

My wild-a$$ed guess is that these boxes will initially go for $249 (plus the monthly or lifetime subscription fee), depending on how big the hard drive winds up being (and HD capability means anything less than 250GB is going to suck, as far as the amount of HD content that can be stored). At least it's supposed to be able to have one additional external hard drive plugged in, but it will be married to the box, with content spread over both internal and external drives, so you won't be able to take some recordings to another TiVo on the additional drive. When they come out, expect the current low-end TiVos to be given away for nothing up front, and a somewhat higher monthly subscription fee (anything more than about $15 a month is probably not going to attract very many takers, though, given that you can get them for $49.99 after rebate, plus subscription fees, now).

TiVo, the company we love to hate, or hate to love.

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
How about getting Sonic and Tivo Software to work first?
I mean its been over a year and the offical dvd burning software for tivo2go still crashes when you use it with desktop > 2.0. Neither sonic or tivo will fix it and its ripping off customers.
Posted by capfan12 (101 comments )
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