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September 07, 2004

Downloading Movies with a Tivo

According to this article in Newsweek, there are serious rumors floating around that Netflix and Tivo will jointly develop a service for downloading movies directly from the Internet.

The Netflix monthly service allows users to "checkout" 3 movie DVDs (or different set amounts depending on the service plan you choose) at a time and they are mailed to you, complete with a return-mailing envelope. Once you're done with a DVD, you mail it back and it sends you another DVD based on a list that you derive on their website. We've used it for over a year now and it is handy. Since the creation of a the movie rental business, this is the first year I haven't payed any late fees.

The article suggests that the joint venture would do a similar service all electronically for Tivo users. One of the drawbacks of Netflix is that depending on where you live, it can take 5-6 days to send in an old movie and receive a new one. By sending it electronically, it should only take a few hours on a high-speed connection.

This service sounds great and it will be interesting to see how the relationship will work and whether they will digitize all their titles. The Video On Demand (VOD) services out there right now depend on agreements with copyright holders to protect them legally. If Netflix/Tivo decide to do something similar, the number of titles available for download may be limited.

If they press ahead without getting an agreement with copyright holders, they are bound to spend a lot of time in court arguing whether electronic transfer of DVD content is a violation of copyright law.

No one should be too surprised that the two companies would want to work together. Mike Ramsey, CEO of Tivo is on the Board of Directors of Netflix.

I'm really looking forward to see how this new service would work. This is just the type of added services Tivo needs to have to survive.

(Hat Tip: TivoBlog)

Posted on September 07, 2004

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I didn't know that Mike Ramsey, is on the Board of Directors for Netflix. It's all coming together now :).

Depending on the price, I may end up purchasing the Netflix service. I look forward to hearing more details...


Posted by: Alex at September 8, 2004 02:44 AM

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