Broadband Report: Web video on your TiVo?

June 8, 2006

TiVo announced Wednesday that customers will be able to view Web video on their TiVo-based DVR devices. The new service dubbed "TiVoCast" will work with the company's new Series 2 TiVo set top DVR boxes, as long as it's connected to a broadband network. The content will be available through TiVo's showcase menu.

"The range and quality of broadband video is exploding on the Web, but it's not TV until it is on the TV," said TiVo's CEO Tom Rogers in a press release. "With the TiVoCast service, we are once again transforming the television experience by bringing the rapidly expanding array of video content on the Internet into the living room."

Initially, the service will feature video content from the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association, The New York Times, Heavy, iVillage and CNET among others. The channel will also include the popular online news show "Rocketboom," urban programming provided by "H2O: HipHop on Demand," "Danger Rangers," and more unique shows. The deal will give content providers access to over 400,000 subscribers.

"Hip Hop and Urban culture fans are addicted to TiVo because there is so little content that caters to this large and growing audience," said CEO Will Griffin of Def On Demand in the release. "TiVo is a must-have because it allows our fans to experience their favorite content anytime and for as long as they want."

Elsewhere, the popular pop cultural Web site, Scifi.com is getting a makeover this summer as the Sci-FI channel slowly changes their online Web presence from a static news channel to a full blown interactive broadband channel featuring original and repurposed material from their network. To help do this they are branding their new broadband content SciFi Pulse.

Throughout the rest of the year, the NBC owned cable channel will give Web viewers a slate of new and original programming, including such fare as TV 360 Webisodes which will have content such as the recent live online psychic readings by Char Margolis, the popular videoblogs of Battlestar Galactica Executive Producer David Eick, and the online voting for "Who Wants to Be A Superhero?" -- where users will be able view online audition videos and choose one of the contestants for SCI-FI's newest reality series. Additionally, they will have a online film festival for short form film festival, provide a place where visitors will be able to view and vote on television pilots, and more.

HBO is doing something a little different with the launch of their latest series, Lucky Louie a new comedy from Louis C.K., TV series writer for shows like "Saturday Night Live", "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", and "Late Show with David Letterman" and movies including "Pootie Tang" and "Down to Earth." The pilot episode is available on the Web in its entirety, before it premieres this Sunday, June 11 and is also available at tv.com.

This week the one year old online video game network, Turner Broadcasting owned GameTap is rapidly expanding their online content beyond simply being a place where people can play old school games, this week the music industry has teamed with the online service to create several new exclusive music related television shows.

New music related programs include -- Quick Hit, a one minute interview show that features artists like Ice Cube, Da Backwudz, and others. GamePads a show where celebrities talk about how games impact their lives, GameTap 10, a celebrity-driven top 10 video game countdown, as well as live musical performances, and music videos.

"Since a lot of hip hop fans are down with video games, it's cool to appear on a show for GameTap where I can talk about the games I love and my latest project," remarked Ice Cube, whose new album, "Laugh Now, Cry Later," is being released on June 6th. "The Internet is changing the way artists do business and broadband stations like GameTap are the way to go."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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