Yahoo! for Tivo or Not?

TiVo Inc. and Yahoo Inc. recently launched a collaborative service that allows TiVo users to program their digital video recorders remotely using Yahoo's television information Web sites. Under their deal, users can log onto any computer and use the Yahoo site to set TiVo to record TV programs and events.


The TiVo box had created lot of frenzy back when it was first introduced because it delivered on the promise of consumer choice and control over live TV viewing.


In the coming months, TiVo and Yahoo will also offer Yahoo services like photos, traffic, and weather available as part of the TiVo service. Subscribers with a TiVo Series2 box and a standard Yahoo ID may use the service, according to the company.


The CEO of Tivo, Tom Rogers said that they were giving Yahoo! Users—whether they were at the office or away from home—the ability to easily schedule recordings for later viewing.


The deal is looked upon as being beneficial to both companies because Tivo can use the existing customer base of Yahoo and Yahoo in turn can offer additional services to its customers as it continues to fight for its place in the market.


What does this mean to an average viewer like you and me? Does it sound totally empowering that you can record your favorite shows just with a click of a mouse? Once you click on "Record to my TiVo box", your request will be automatically sent to your home the next time your TiVo box connects. You have to allow one hour if your TiVo is connected to broadband through your home network, 36 hours if your TiVo uses dialup.


Or does it not matter if you miss an episode with so many re-runs on TV? Is it worth buying a Tivo box, which ranges around $50 to $200 even after recent slashes in prices? More importantly, will this deal get Tivo out of troubled waters?


Well, according to experts, the cable and satellite companies use their DVRs to help keep high-paying customers; TiVo uses its DVR as its sole source of revenue, so people seem to be divided over this issue about the deal being beneficial to Tivo.


The share market seemed to think the deal is good for TiVo because it is reported that its shares rose 13 percent on the Inet trading system on the day the deal was announced.


The deal is still looked at with much skepticism by some experts because they think that this deal does not offer that many new services that the consumer is already missing. They also maintain that the main problem at Tivo is that it is not able to increase its subscriber base. According to them this problem remains pretty much unsolved even after striking this deal.


Some time back TiVo Inc. had cut a deal with Comcast to customize its digital video recorder service for Comcast subscribers. Industry experts looked upon this deal much more positively.


So, inspite of this latest deal, analysts still question whether the company can continue to grow as satellite and cable companies develop their own DVR technology and offer lower subscription fees.


All we can do is just wait and watch. But one thing is certain, in this war of technologies; the consumer is the ultimate winner!


Check out the Yahoo/Tivo link here: http://tv.yahoo.com/onlinesch/tivo/introscreen?

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