YouTube, through TiVo, coming to television

March 17, 2008

TiVo, the maker of digital video recorders, announced an agreement with YouTube last week that will deliver millions of Web videos directly to users’ TV screens.

“TiVo’s strategy is to bridge the gap between Web video and television and make as much content available as possible for our subscribers,” Tara Maitra, TiVo’s vice president and general manager for content services, told the “New York Times.”

When it is introduced this year, the YouTube service will be available only to TiVo users who have up-to-date hardware — a Series 3 or HD set-top box — and a broadband connection.

Of the 4 million TiVo users nationwide, more than half get their set-top boxes from a cable operator. Of the 1.7 million who bought their box directly from TiVo, only about 800,000 have the necessary broadband connection.

Users will be able to log into their accounts and gain access to playlists on the video-sharing site directly from their televisions. The company also plans to let users subscribe to video feeds from across the Internet by using an R.S.S. reader.

The integration of Web video and TiVo was a result of YouTube’s decision, made public last week, to open the YouTube platform for outside developers. The platform promises to make it easier for other sites to upload and manage videos.

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