TiVo and Comcast Replay Broadcast+DVR Mating, Analysts Underwhelmed

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DVR maker TiVo and cable giant Comcast have closed a deal which will have TiVo’s services, although not their DVR boxes, offered through Comcast, with the TiVo brand. This replay of the familiar DVR+broadcast offering, first made popular by TiVo and DirecTV, is a badly needed boost for TiVo, who lost their DirecTV platform last year when DirecTV decided to offer their subscribers DVRs made by another company. (Speaking of replays, Aunty still adores her Replay TV, although granted you can’t hack it like you can a TiVo, which runs on Linux.)

Anyways, back to TiVo and Comcast. What is interesting to Aunty is the concept of having a DVR such as TiVo which is always on and connected to the Internet, with its own IP address, running Linux. Now this in and of itself isn’t news, but having your TiVo, or TiVo-branded DVR, provisioned by a cable company which is also an ISP, could be, well, interesting. Consider the potential for novel hybrid offerings (RSS feeds to your Wega!) And who wants to lay odds on when the first TiVo file sharing system, ala Napster, will spring up?

Meanwhile, Jupiter Research analyst Todd Chanko seems underwhelmed by the pairing. “I don’t quite know what’s in it for Comcast. It’s clear that any kind of deal TiVo can get a hold of is good for them,” he said, adding that “First of all, having a machine provide you with suggestions based on viewing, I find it kind of creepy.”

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