Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Direct TV Learns its Lesson, Re-ups With Tivo

Tivo was once the DVR for Direct TV, but ended that relationship 3 years ago to bring consumers a generic DVR device. Echostar tried to copy the Tivo software but ended up losing its case in court. And Comcast sees the opportunity to offer Tivo as a choice of DVRs to its users and is expanding its rollout.

So as the on demand and viewer controlled world continues to gain traction, Direct TV has gone back to its former partner to once again offer the Tivo DVR to its consumers. "Under the nonexclusive pact, DirecTV and TiVo will work together to develop a broadband-enabled HD DVR service, slated to launch in the second half of 2009. The product will support the latest TiVo and DirecTV features and services, including TiVo's Universal Swivel Search and TiVo KidZone."

It seems a good deal for both Direct TV and Tivo, bringing an exceptional product in front of the consumer and offering them the choice of which DVR to take for their home. But is it too little, too late? Now that the Network DVR approach that Cablevision has pushed and was recently okayed by the courts, the next iteration of the DVR. Can the box in the home simply become a dumb device while the brains and content are centralized at the server? Perhaps Tivo is already thinking about how best to convert its decentralized software approach to a N-DVR device. In the meantime, this deal wants again puts Tivo in front of more customers and that sounds like a good deal.

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