TiVo Launches Web Video Service

NEW YORK TiVo said it would launch a new service, TiVoCast, aimed at nudging forward the long-rumored living room convergence of TV and the PC.

Users will be able to search for and select specific Web-based video content through TiVo’s menus and download it for viewing on their TVs, just as they do with recorded broadcast and cable programs.

“The range and quality of broadband video is exploding on the Web, but it’s not TV until it is on the TV,” said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. “With the TiVoCast service, we are once again transforming the television experience by bringing the rapidly expanding array of video content on the Internet into the living room.”

Initially, the potential for TiVoCast wil be limited to the roughly 400,000 TiVo subscriber homes that connect to the service using the Internet rather than a standard phone line. That number is expected to grow, however, as the newest TiVo devices are designed to seamlessly access TiVo’s functionality via the Web.

TiVoCast won’t allow users to pull any and all video from the Web, as users will only have access to content from companies that have partnered with the digital video recording pioneer.

To that end, as part of the TiVoCast launch, TiVo has struck several new content distribution deals, including pacts with the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, The New York Times, Heavy.com, iVillage and CNET.