Digital video recorders from TiVo or ReplayTV make it easier than ever to ignore the networks’ programming schedules–not to mention their commercials. Now TiVo plans to use customers’ broadband Internet connections to further lessen their dependence on the traditional networks and turn their TV sets into what the company calls the “entertainment centerpiece of the networked home.” Tivo announced June 9 that it has added a streaming-music feature to its $12.95 monthly service package, allowing TiVo owners with broadband Internet connections to listen to new music releases via their televisions or stereos. At the same time, the company unveiled plans to let customers download movies over the Internet and store them on the TiVo’s hard drive for viewing anytime. “We’re fully committed to developing an entertainment experience you can’t get over normal broadcast television,” TiVo CEO Michael Ramsay told the New York Times. TiVo is probably wise to keep coming up with enhancements: free software that lets you turn your PC into a TiVo-like DVR is spreading fast on the Internet.
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