A View from Brad King

Why TiVo Still Matters

TiVo’s interactive tools are the company’s latest weapons in its battle with cable and satellite providers for DVR supremacy.

  • December 1, 2005

TiVo continues to tap dance around bankruptcy by pushing more new services into its users’ hands. The company’s latest features: ordering movie tickets and checking the weather, according to this Reuters report.

These are on top of other services TiVo offers: multi-room viewing for recorded shows, access to digital music and photos through the television, TiVo-to-go, which allows users to schedule recording from handhelds or watch recorded shows on mobile devices, and DVD burning capabilities.

Frankly, I’m a big fan of the service – even though I don’t have it myself (at least, I don’t have it through TiVo…there is other hardware and software available). A large reason for their innovativeness, though, is that they’ve been on the ropes almost since they came into existence. Instead of folding up their tent, however, the developers have continually pumped out the best applications. Who knows what is in store for the company over the long haul? But its product lines will surely live on in other devices.

So why does TiVo really matter? Because even its blatantly money-making applications are cool.

A few days ago I wrote about TiVo’s attempt to mollify advertisers and users by creating an on-demand service for commercials. Some readers bristled at the thought that they would ever purposefully watch a commercial, but they are wrong. Imagine this scenario: You’re watching football. Your belly grumbles. It’s time for pizza. It might be nice to pull up an interactive “commercial” menu of the pizza delivery restaurants in your zip code and the specials they’re offering – then click through to order your food.

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