TiVO Mobile Extends DVR Programming Capabilities to All Phones and For Free

Today, TiVO announced that mobile consumers with an Internet-capable phone, regardless of their wireless carrier, will soon (a few weeks) and at not additional costs, be able to access program listings and set their DVRs remotely. Previously this service was a paid service only available to Verizon customers and/or available to Slingbox owners as well.

Now, I’ve always understood the potential for the mobile phone to take on incredible on-the-go utility functionality beyond the market’s myopic focus on getting consumers to pay for and consume mobile content on their phones (i.e., downloading ringtones, games and graphics). Thus such things as mobile wallet/payments, mobile phones interacting with physical media (e.g., posters, newspapers, billboards, etc.), and certainly connecting to the mobile phone to the in-home environment, such as the TiVO example. While potentially serving a niche, it really comes down to adding value to the consumer. The mobile channel offers that potential. From the sound of it, TiVO is also taking into consideration the mobile context with its mobile site launch, as screen size affects navigation and search capabilities. What remains a bigger question is can TiVO survive, even with mobile capabilities, as it competes head-to-head with arguably inferior, yet cheaper alternatives from the cable companies.