TiVo used to be nothing more than a digital video recorder, albeit a very good one. Lately, it's looking a lot more like Apple TV, which is to say an entertainment content hub that connects televisions to the Internet.
Earlier this month, TiVo partnered with Amazon to offer subscribers access to movies downloaded through Amazon's Unbox service.
And this week, TiVo announced a new way for subscribers to share personal videos using One True Media's online video post-production service.
The arrangement allows One True Media users to create a personal TiVo channel that will show the videos they've uploaded, edited, and scored online. They can then invite TiVo owners to subscribe to that channel, at no charge, using TiVo's Season Pass feature. The content creator's videos will then be available in the subscriber's Now Playing list, alongside professionally produced shows that have been saved for ad-skipping or viewing at a more convenient time.
One True Media's service isn't free, however. Subscriptions start at $4 per month or $40 per year.
TiVo may eventually integrate advertising into the service, according to a company spokesperson who indicated that such an idea was still being evaluated by the company. It's unclear whether ad revenue would be used to defray the cost of One True Media's service or to compensate content creators wishing to share their own commercial content.
Katie Ho, VP of consumer marketing at TiVo, suggests that televisions offer a better -- or at least more ergonomic -- video viewing experience than computer monitors. "Rather than posting on public sites or huddling around a computer screen, people can now enjoy these special and personal moments on the best screen in the house -- in the living room," she said in a statement.
Unfortunately for TiVo, companies like Apple are thinking along similar lines. Jonathan Hoopes, a financial analyst with ThinkEquity Partners, recently predicted that Apple TV could draw more customers than TiVo in a few years.