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December 1, 2005

TiVo goes live with internet services

TiVo's efforts to blur the dividing line between computers and TV have increased with the introduction of services more akin to the Internet.

By CBR Staff Writer

US subscribers can use their TiVo remote control to buy movie tickets through Fandango Inc. They also can listen to radio programs, view shared photos through Yahoo and check traffic and weather.

The services will be available to the 300,000 of TiVo’s 1.3 million stand-alone subscribers who’ve connected the DVR to their home networks, but not to the 2.7 million who get TiVo through DirecTV. DirecTV has stopped promoting TiVo in favor of an in-house DVR.

It’s a different kind of offering, said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. The core reason someone buys TiVo is to be sure there’s always something good on TV. It’s become clear, though, that people are also looking at TiVo as something more than a DVR, something that manages digital media in the home.

TiVo forever changed the way people watch TV, making it easy to find and record your favorite programs. Now we’re extending that ease-of-use to enable our subscribers to easily discover and enjoy online services directly on their television sets.

By providing their ZIP codes to Fandango, users can call up text about local movie offerings and charge tickets to their credit cards. TiVo intends to connect the service to its movie ads so viewers who watch a trailer can instantly buy a ticket.

If you have a free Yahoo account, then you can use its Yahoo Photos service and use your TV to view photos that friends or family have put online. Also, Yahoo will provide local weather forecasts and traffic reports.

Those who sign up with Live365 can listen to streamed broadcasts of its user-created radio stations. Audio won’t be CD quality, but users who want better audio can pay for a premium service.

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