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RIM Adds TiVo to Blackberry

Research in Motion announced Thursday that it has partnered with TiVo to bring customized TiVo services to RIM's Blackberry wireless devices.

"TiVo subscribers will soon be able to wirelessly control their TiVo DVRs using a BlackBerry smartphone—anytime, anywhere—and that is a powerful example of how our respective technologies can complement each other to serve our mutual customer," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research in Motion. "As the BlackBerry smartphone continues its evolution as a modern lifestyle device, the importance of home entertainment integration will continue to grow and TiVo will be the key in providing consumers with greater flexibility in accessing television content."

The TiVo Blackberry service allows TiVo subscribers to view and modify their recording schedules, but does not, at this time, allow them to view TV programs on their Blackberry. The limits some providers place on wireless data transfers –5 GB per month for Verizon, for example, before extra fees kick in on its Broadband Access plan—would make it difficult for RIM and TiVo to provide an option to view programs without some special arrangement with wireless carriers.

However, the announcement provides yet another indication of the interest in TV on mobile devices. Tom Rogers, CEO and president of TiVo, hinted that future applications could go beyond scheduling TiVo recordings.

"RIM and TiVo share a commitment to great user experiences, which cause our products to become seamlessly integrated into the consumer's lifestyle," said Rogers. "We also share a vision for the future of mobile entertainment services and we look forward to a variety of future innovations as a result of this relationship."

The first software application from RIM and TiVo is expected later this year.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.