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Yahoo! Plans to Connect Services With Tivo 151

Posted by Hemos
from the the-slow-move-to-merger dept.
Mango Man writes "According to the NY Times, Yahoo! and Tivo plan to connect their services to help differentiate themselves in their respective markets. The first feature offered will be modest: Tivo users will be able to find programs in Yahoo!'s listings and send them to Tivo to record." Ladies and gentlemen, begin your merger rumours!
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Yahoo! Plans to Connect Services With Tivo

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  • by indros13 (531405) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @10:54AM (#13969313) Homepage Journal
    Although I applaud the idea of being able to record programs via a Yahoo! web program, what if someone else gets access to your TiVo? What kinds of precautions will be in place to keep someone else from signing you up for every rerun of Will and Grace or General Hospital? *shudders*

    • Theres about the same amount of precaution as you put into your email account.

      Its certainly not anything serious, but if your free with your account details then expect to get burnt.

      I would like something like this, being able to run a web app from anywhere in the world and configure my video would save my missus heartache ("OMG I forgot to set the tape" is a commonly heard phrase).
    • What kinds of precautions will be in place to keep someone else from signing you up for every rerun of Will and Grace or General Hospital?

      For this very reason, TiVo has developed a proprietary technology that will keep 50-year-old gay men from seizing control of your unit.

      (Hey, why is everyone giggling?)

    • Really? I find Yahoo's TV listings very hard to use. Even on a fast connection it is a real pain to see what is playing a day or two in advance. Keep hoping for Google to do TV listings.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:13AM (#13969448)
      I would be more worried about yahoo or TiVo selling the right to program your TiVo to the highest bidder. TiVo already does this to some extent but Yahoo might be even less motivated to keep TiVo's customers happy in the long run if it costs them potential ad revenue now.
    • great, so now I can get goatse'd on my tv?
    • "What kinds of precautions will be in place to keep someone else from signing you up for every rerun of Will and Grace or General Hospital?"

      a username and a password? the same things that keep people from accessing your webmail.. etc..
    • ReplayTV already allows you to control your DVR unit from the internet and has for years. As a previous poster stated, its just as secure as your password and login info, not a security issue for the company. If you choose "1234" (Spaceballs, right?) as your password, then you deserve to have all of yourMaximum Extreme Elimination Challenge shows replaced with Will & Grace.
  • by rco3 (198978) on Monday November 07, 2005 @10:55AM (#13969322) Homepage
    How will Yahoo know to send the info to MY TiVo? Will there be a mechanism in place to prevent me from sending record instructions to someone else's TiVo? Most importantly, can I get around those restrictions?

    I mean, I wouldn't WANT to set my buddy's TiVo to fill up its 80 hours with The Horse Porn Channel, but it might at some point become necessary... :-)
    • by Dionysus (12737) on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:00AM (#13969360) Homepage
      How will Yahoo know to send the info to MY TiVo?

      Same way TiVo is able to send programming instructions now on their website? It's not like each TiVo doesn't have a unique id. I would think all Yahoo does is just being a portal through the TiVo site.
    • You can program your Tivo over the web now by logging into tivo.com. The system is passive...in other words, your Tivo unit is not running a server. It simply logs into your account at tivo.com at regular intervals to see if you've left it any recording instructions.
    • "I mean, I wouldn't WANT to set my buddy's TiVo to fill up its 80 hours with The Horse Porn Channel, but it might at some point become necessary..."
      They got rid of that channel last month.

      Er.. uhm.. so I heard.
    • It doesn't matter. The service is still not worth the $15 a month. Tivo is great, on my DirecTV!
  • I wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dslauson (914147) on Monday November 07, 2005 @10:57AM (#13969336) Journal
    I wonder if this is in any way related to Google's possible entry into the DVR market as reported on slashdot [slashdot.org]?
  • by phpm0nkey (768038) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @10:57AM (#13969337) Homepage
    For a company that has been teetering on the brink of obsolescence for some time now, this is great news. Like the iPod, TiVo's real edge over its competitors comes from their spectacular user interface design. Even the most non-technical of my friends and family are able to figure out TiVo easily, and the remote is a triumph of engineering. Generic DVRs are killing them, though. As a Comcast subscriber, I am granted the deep displeasure of occasionally having to use their remote and their menus. I pity those who have to use Comcast's DVR as well.

    TiVo is not only a well-designed product, it's an undervalued entity. TiVo has a smart, net-connected box in the living room; this is where every media company wants to be. I'm surprised it's taken this long for a big company to get in on the action. My TiVo ought to be downloading trailers for every movie in theaters, displaying show times, and letting me buy the ticket. It should be aggregating my RSS feeds. It should have an embedded BitTorrent client that downloads the latest video feed of This Week In Tech. When I watch an episode of The Simpsons from Now Playing, there should be a link to buy the DVD box set from Amazon. The only way TiVo will survive is by embracing convergence concepts. Hopefully this partnership with Yahoo! is the first step in this direction.
    • My TiVo ought to be downloading trailers for every movie in theaters, displaying show times, and letting me buy the ticket.

      I've already had it downloading trailers. I don't like them being there because it makes them stand out in the menu. I wouldn't mind it offering me show times and then letting me buy the ticket though.

      When I watch an episode of The Simpsons from Now Playing, there should be a link to buy the DVD box set from Amazon.

      Sorry, I disagree. I *pay* for the Tivo to remove ads, not create ne
      • TiVo doesn't remove advertising - you do by fast forwarding through commercials. Fair enough, I do that too, as do the vast majority (I assume) of TiVo users.

        However, even though you may not want advertising, there is a lot of research out there that says that people do, in fact, want advertising, as long as it is something they're interested in. Therein lies the problem - how do you know, ahead of time, what someone would be interested in? The solution up until now has been to target ads at demographic gro
        • Therein lies the problem - how do you know, ahead of time, what someone would be interested in?

          they have plenty of other options on the Tivo unit. One of them should be an opt-out. In my perfect world it would be opt-in. Obviously, that would never work to the advantage of the corporations so I'm fine w/opt-out.

          Of course I have no options to do that on a Tivo which is what sucks.
    • and the remote is a triumph of engineering

      Not the one for the DirecTivos. The back skip button is right above the TV power button. You get used to it, but I still accidently turn the TV off now and then. There should be criminal penalties for interface glitches that bad.

  • by mprindle (198799) on Monday November 07, 2005 @10:58AM (#13969353)
    Go to the Yahoo TV listings. Click on a show and look for "You can record this program to your TiVo.". Click on the Learn More Link to register for the service.

    Kage_
  • Tivo question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RandoX (828285) on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:02AM (#13969378)
    Don't have a Tivo, but wondered, does it require a separate internet connection or does it get the listings through the cable, like digital cable does? Either way, how long until there's some exploit and everyone has to start patching their Tivo on a weekly basis? Tivo antivirus, Tivo firewall. Surely there's enough storage and processing power inside one to be useful to someone who controls a couple thousand of them...
    • Re:Tivo question (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dionysus (12737)
      Don't have a Tivo, but wondered, does it require a separate internet connection

      Separate internet connection.

      I fail to see how TiVo is any more vulnerable than an average Linux machine. It should be even less, since the machine itself makes the connection to homebase. It doesn't allow incoming connection (you can open a terminal through the serial port, but that's it).

    • Re:Tivo question (Score:4, Informative)

      by kyouteki (835576) <kyouteki@gmOPENBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:08AM (#13969414) Homepage

      It acutally "dials home" with an internal modem nightly to retrieve data from TiVo's servers. Or, as an alternative, you can get a USB network connector and it'll grab stuff more or less instantly.

      If you read the Yahoo-Tivo signup page, it'll say, "Your request will be automatically sent to your home the next time your TiVo box connects. Please allow one hour if your TiVo is connected to broadband through your home network, 36 hours if your TiVo uses dialup."

  • The Missing Link (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cfulmer (3166) on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:07AM (#13969403) Homepage Journal
    This is very strategic and potentially very market-disruptive.

    There are any number of players trying to deliver video over the internet -- the Yahoo guy in charge of their video was quoted by the NYT as saying that we will have an unlimited number of channels in the future. The NBC Nightly news is going on-line. Major-league baseball has been streaming games all season. Every media company in the world would love the ability to sell directly to consumers without having to go through Blockbuster, DirectTV or cable pay-per-view. But, as long as the picture shows up on a computer screen and not on a TV screen, it'll be a niche market. But, if the same 36-in TV that you watched 'Lost' on ABC can be used to watch the 'Lost' you got from itunes, well, that's a different story. Tivo is perfectly positioned to allow this to happen.

    One big problem with this is bandwidth. Unfortunately, the people who lose by having more TV go over the Internet are the same ones who control bandwidth. Is your cable TV company going to say "Hey. Let's take some of the bandwidth that we're using to provide high-profit pay-per-view video and use it to fatten our Internet pipes instead"? Ideally, they'd be forced to by their competitors, but the main competition to cable modems is DSL, and all the phone companies are trying to do video as well.

  • Connecting your Tivo to an online broadcast directory like Yahoo's is fine--essentially working with an online TV Guide to program your Tivo.

    How about taking it the next step and including directories for video podcasts, iFilm, or even offloading your digital video camera while you're still on vacation, from the hotel room?
  • Boycott (Score:2, Interesting)

    No thanks, TiVo. I've been boycotting you since you denied me the right to save my shows as long as I like [pvrblog.com] and forced me to opt-out of a user profiling program into which I never opted. [com.com]

    I will be much happier when Google TV allows me to schedule recordings on my standards-compliant MythTV DVR that I built myself.
  • Mergers? (Score:4, Funny)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stineNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:14AM (#13969460) Homepage
    Ladies and gentlemen, begin your merger rumours!

    Interesting ... but what will the call the new company?

    Tihoo! or Yahvo!?
    • Interesting ... but what will the call the new company?

      Let's see:

      Yahoo! market cap: 53.10B
      TiVo market cap: 449M

      I think the new company will be called Yahoo! and TiVo will be a division/subsidiary at best.
  • C'mon, that would be an acquisition not a merger.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know about other moderators but I see a $hit load of comments modded at +5. Looks like we have a repeat of the MOD point plague.
  • Tivo is going to be hard to resurrect. Their death started accelerating when they started their DRM schemes recently (i.e., machines deleting recorded programs after a certain amount of time).
  • .. but I've been able to do that on my ReplayTV for years! I go to myreplaytv.com and can browse my shows, marks for record/deletions, etc. Of course, ReplayTv has been marketed for crap and has been sold/went bankrupt several times... oh well.
  • I still don't think that this is going to change anything for TiVo (good or bad). "Tivo users will be able to find programs in Yahoo!'s listings and send them to Tivo to record", but AOL users have been able to do this for quite some time, and I don't think that it has much benefit over Tivo's own selection page. I doubt Yahoo's will either.
    • I still don't think that this is going to change anything for TiVo (good or bad)

      In a sense you are right from a services point of view, but the most interesting part of the article comes at the very end where it says that payments between Yahoo and Tivo will largely be made in promotional trades. This is exactly what Tivo needs. Their profits have never been large enough to do any real large scale advertising or promotions since they started their business. This will give them a lot of much needed exposu
  • On Yahoo! TV you cannot add channels from two sources, such as satellite and cable, even though you can with the Tivo online scheduling service.

    I was going to show this Yahoo! thing to my wife to show her how to record shows by herself, but not anymore!
    • How does your Tivo handle dual providers? How does it know which channel to record on?
      • Whichever channel you tell it to record on. That's how it works for the same network multiple times so I assume that's how it would work with other multiple inputs. I get two each of NBC and ABC stations, one from CT and one from western MA. All the shows are listed separately, when searching it will say "ER (22 WWLP)" and then "ER (30 WVIT)" for example. When you set up a Season Pass you set it by channel. If you get a Season Pass to ER it will be a Season Pass to ER on WVIT (or WWLP). If ER gets res
        • I see your point. My local cable provides two sets of broadcast channels from the two local markets, but they are through the same provider. Looking back over my post, my question wasn't very clear.

          With TiVo, you can choose multiple TV providers (eg satellite and cable, or broadcast for that matter). You can edit the list of channels for each of them. TiVo online scheduling allows you to see exactly the channels you specified.

          With Yahoo TV, it assumes that you only have one provider (just satellite o
  • by Xarius (691264)
    More on the death of TiVo after this commercial break!
  • I have TiVo (and now can't imagine life w/o it 11 months later) and I don't understand why this announcement is even remotely important. Why? Because when you have a TiVo and register your DVR through their web site you can do all the internet scheduling you want (https://www3.tivo.com/tivo-tco/index.do [tivo.com]). This Yahoo deal just duplicates that. What am I missing?
    • You are missing the fact that this is only the first step in a Yahoo-Tivo partnership that could get quite interesting down the road.
    • I have TiVo (and now can't imagine life w/o it 11 months later) and I don't understand why this announcement is even remotely important. Why? Because when you have a TiVo and register your DVR through their web site you can do all the internet scheduling you want (https://www3.tivo.com/tivo-tco/index.do [tivo.com]). This Yahoo deal just duplicates that. What am I missing?

      I felt the same way when I was an SBC DSL Internet user. Yahoo! started advertising SBC DSL as Yahoo! DSL, I was like what in the hell is the differe
  • ...or is TiVo one step away from being squashed by Apple's iTMS? What's to prevent Apple from offering a monthly subscription service with content from weekly TV shows (commercials included) being downloaded to your machine overnight through iTunes? After which, you can either sync it to your video iPod, or send it directly to your TV set (see the the new iMac models). Or, even better, run an s-video cable from your iPod to your set -- essentially giving you a super portable TiVo box that you can take wi
    • I don't think that scenario sounds all that appealing. This way, you'd have to pay for EVERY show you want to wait to download. Let's say you record 15 shows per week. Going by Apple's prices, that's roughly $30/wk. x 52, that's around $1500, no? My lifetime Tivo sub cost me $300. Oh and you wouldn't be able to pause live TV. Having to take my iPod and hook it up to the TV every time I wanted to watch one ofmy programs would be a major pain in the ass.

      I'm not saying Apple won't contonue to push the envelope
      • You are omitting one very important concept from your analysis.

        If someone could get all the shows they were interested in on ITMS, they could drop cable or satellite. TiVo already broke me of watching live TV. Everything I do is on TiVo now.

        Depending on where one lives and the line-up they have, that would save maybe $1000 per year in cable/satellite bills.

        I'm not saying it's a no-brainer, but it would be appealing to some people to drop cable/sat and go with all ITMS.
  • Just wondering (Score:4, Insightful)

    by max born (739948) on Monday November 07, 2005 @12:14PM (#13969918)
    Don't know why the TV producers don't embed their their content with some kind of banner advertising (that's either difficult of not worth the effort of removing) and distribute the content themselves over the net using P2P (like bittorrent). Thus bypassing Tivo, Microsoft, Yahoo and all the others and letting consumers decide how they watch it (big screen, laptop, mobile phone, etc.). Presumably they'd reach a wider audience and make more from advertising.

    Of course this would also bypass the current Neilsen rating system [nielsenmedia.com] and confuse advertisers but I'm sure they could find another method of rating popularity (e.g. number of hits/downloads, etc.).
    • I think you miss the point of P2P that worries the hell out of the *AA: It only takes *one* person to be bothered and technical enough to strip the advertising and put the show back up, and the world *will* choose to d/l the clean version. Hell, I bought my TiVo maybe 80% for the purpose of skipping ads and only 20% for the scheduling effect (I can work a VCR so...).

      One way to make it hard would be to have a 70% transparent banner over some relevent part of the program - and I suspect not many people would
  • by hexix (9514) on Monday November 07, 2005 @12:22PM (#13969982) Homepage

    As much as I would love to get excited about this and hope that it gives me new things to play with on my Tivo, I'm doubtful. Tivo already has their home media extensions library where apps on a computer can publish themselves on the network and display custom screens on the Tivo. From what i've seen so far, cool things can be done but it's very hard to make the interface useable.

    The highly regarded tivo interface already seems to be falling apart. They're trying to tack on too many sources for additional ad revenue. The main screen usually has two extra advertising items, which by no surprise are the ones that stand out the most. They're desperately trying to add on features to make the tivo more of a home media box than just a tv recorder. Which is cool, but they must have fired all their original developers and outsourced to india or something, cause the new features feel like tacked-on afterthoughts.

    For example, there's a cool new feature that will share a directory on your PC with video files so that it shows up in Tivo's now playing list. Very cool, until you try using it. First off, the files need to be in a format the tivo understands, and I can't fault them for that, it'd be hard to allow the tivo to decode every possible codec. Although, if they're serious about this home media thing, they really should at least try. I think it'll just play MPEG right now. Second, once you locate a video you'd like to watch, selecting it and hitting play doesn't play it. You need to first select the video so that you see the details, then you need to select "Transfer this video". After doing this, you will be given an option of watching it while it transfers, but on my 802.11b wireless network, the transfer isn't anywhere near fast enough to watch on the fly. Trying to do so seems to confuse the tivo, since this whole watching as a show downloads from the network feature is really just a crappy hack. If you do wait for the transfer, you can then watch the show, but it's now taking up space on your tivo, so what's the freaking point of having it on your PC?

    I'm sorry for getting a bit sidetracked on one particular feature, but I think it's indicative of a growing trend over at Tivo. They're trying to make a feature list instead of a good product. All the new features that sound really cool, starting with Tivo ToGo, end up working like total crap. I still can't transfer videos recorded on my tivo to my mac without hacking to the tivo. It's been almost a year.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say with this rant is don't bother getting excited about this. It'll just be a few tacked on a features that nobody will ever use because they're just a kludge implementation so that they can list it as a feature on their website.

  • Yahoo is investigating partnerships with other DVR makers in order to deliver content to the set-top box. Any DVR that has broadband capabilities would in theory be able to deliver vast catalogs of movies on demand, siphoning all the revenue left from the Blockbusters and NetFlixes of the world. That's serious bank.

    It's not just the Yahoos and DVR makers who are maneuvering around this eventuality: broadband providers, most notably SBC, will be aggressively marketing DVRs with enhanced services like Y

  • by Gruneun (261463) on Monday November 07, 2005 @12:32PM (#13970064)
    Obviously, I'll take just about anything that can resurrect some of the money I pissed away on them.

    Don't get me wrong, I love TiVo. I have the HD DVR, several DirecTV DVRs, and some standalone boxes in my closet. I can't imagine not having it. Myth, Freevo, and all the other clones are ok, but you can't beat TiVo for simplicity.

    However, TiVo is dying and will soon be dead. For the average person, the DRM isn't as bad as some other posters have pointed out and will be temporarily viewed as a nuisance until the behavior is commonplace. The nail in the coffin will come when the DirecTV contract expires and they're dropped as the sole DVR. DirecTV is sending up new satellites for local HD channels, they'll push HD harder than ever, new equipment will be necessary, and even the current HD TiVo will be incapable of taking advantage of the new signals. When the push comes, DirecTV would be crazy not to have a new, non-TiVo DVR and not a damn thing will save TiVo, then.

    Remember when Saturn started making cars and they were on top of the game with their no-haggle, reliable, safety-first, "made in the USA" reputation? They got complacent, cranked out the same boring cars year-after-year, and now even their sweet, new roadster can't pull them from a destiny of medocrity. That's TiVo, now.
  • I just want to know when I can get to my Yahoo mail and other web pages on TiVo. I've got a broadband connection. TiVo is a linux box, right? I just don't understand why I can't surf the web on it.
  • Until they re-support Macintosh, TiVO is "dead to me"

  • We used to all think that Yahoo! was going away soon. Now they're pretty much safe.

    We used to all think that AOL was going away soon. Now they're pretty much safe.

    We used to all think that Apple was going away soon. Now they're pretty much safe.

    We all think TiVo is going away soon, but they've partnered with Netflix, Yahoo, Comcast, etc. They're inking deals and still quite active. I think people would like them to die based off of their courting of the industries through DRM but perhaps that's a false sens
  • I'm wish there was some sort of open standard for this kind of thing. Personally, I don't like to use Yahoo (Using http://www.tviv.org/ [tviv.org] ) and I think I should be able to use any indexing service I like. Should be easy for Tivo to create some simple web service.
  • Wake me up when a PVR plugin that allows people to search for and record content on a *network* of PVRs is available. Mass integrated schedule service on a global scale, all accessable via my PVR remote, compressing files to XviD before transmission, and some sort of bandwidth limitation/quota system to make sure that bandwidth isn't abused (recorder only has to transmit file once, downloaders need to re-transmit twice, for example)

    I've got a hankering to watch the Australian nightly news, I'm sure someone

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