updated 08:25 am EDT, Thu October 30, 2008
TiVo Gets Netflix Movies
TiVo today revealed the surprise addition of Netflix for TiVo (link active soon), its own adaptation of Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. The update will give TiVo's DVRs access to streaming versions of the roughly 12,000 movies available online and will include both the standard-definition versions as well as the recently unveiled HD versions of some titles that will first be available on the Xbox 360. Like earlier implementations, users must manage their online movie queues from a web browser but can play movies or TV shows in any order from TiVo units.
Accessing the feature requires any one of TiVo's HD-capable devices, including the original Series 3 as well as the TiVo HD and the TiVo HD XL. The company will roll out the service to a smaller test group in November and should make it available to all TiVo owners in December. The feature won't add to the cost of a TiVo subscription but will need both a Netflix subscription worth $9 per month or more as well as a 5Mbps broadband connection or better to avoid a significant delay in buffering the movie.
Netflix's deal with TiVo further cements the movie rental firm's attempts to stand as an alternative to online services such as iTunes and VUDU, which both offer HD but are each limited to single set-top boxes for TV viewing. Earlier in the year, Netflix successfully struck a deal with Microsoft for the Xbox 360 and has already launched its Watch Instantly service with LG, Roku and Samsung on their own media players, giving it much wider device reach than Apple, VUDU or others.