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TiVo and Netflix Hook Up 148

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the coming-soon-to-a-set-top-box-near-you dept.
thejoelpatrol writes "It's official. After denying that such a deal was in the works, TiVo and Netflix have finalized a deal to let TiVo subscribers download movies over their broadband connections. Several such services have sprung up recently, but none has the name recognition of either of these beloved entertainment-technology companies."
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TiVo and Netflix Hook Up

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  • Protecting content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:07AM (#10403124)
    The companies are planning to work together on technology that will secure this content, she said.

    This is no small undertaking. I've gotta believe the MPAA and other interested bodies will be up Tivo/Netflix collective arses about piracy. It will be very interesting to see how long it takes to make the MPAA & company feel safe....

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Companies need to get off their collective arses and start delivering moive-on-demand over broadband, or it will be worse for them in the long run.

      The relatively new MPEG-4 format allows people to rip DVD video into pretty small files that have at least the same quality as an old VHS tape, if not a bit better. That means a two-hour movie can be compressed to about 300 megabytes, give or take with still a good quality picture and good sound.

      The more widespread broadband connections get and the more advanc
  • I'll try it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:10AM (#10403134) Homepage Journal
    I have a TiVo and I'm a Netflix subscriber. I think this is a great idea, but the companies are crazy if they think I'll pay more for it. I already pay $13/mo for TiVo and $22/mo for Netflix, that's $35 total for these services. No way I'm paying more than that, just to download movies from the Internet.
    • Re:I'll try it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brento (26177) * <brento.brentozar@com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:18AM (#10403178) Homepage
      I think this is a great idea, but the companies are crazy if they think I'll pay more for it. I already pay $13/mo for TiVo and $22/mo for Netflix, that's $35 total for these services.

      There's a benefit, though. With your current Netflix subscription, you lose movie time when you drop your viewed movie in the mail and wait for another one to come back to you. Plus, the movie that's next in your queue may not be available, and you may have to settle.

      With the broadband delivery, there's less turnaround time, and the movie you want is always available. You don't have to worry about movies getting lost in the mail (which happened four separate times to me, and they billed me for all four when I cancelled.)

      On Netflix's side, I bet they'd be thrilled, because their costs would go down. Less shipping costs, less printing costs, no more paying people to sort incoming DVD's, etc. If they can cut their own costs while increasing services to the consumer, they might not raise prices anyway, and still raise profits.
      • Will the saving of shipping/sorting costs really be made up? They'll have to spend a lot of money on a network infrastructure to accomodate the load. Severs/pipes for pushing out movies to the NetFlix/Tivo subscriber base can't be that cheap.
        • Re:I'll try it (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jandrese (485) *
          Network bandwidth is _cheap_ compared to paying actual live people to open envelopes all day long. You are forgetting that labor costs are the most expensive part of most businesses, and I'm sure Netflix is no exception.
          • Re:I'll try it (Score:3, Insightful)

            by warpSpeed (67927)
            Network bandwidth is _cheap_ compared to paying actual live people to open envelopes all day long.

            Network bandwidth is cheap unless you are Cox, Adelphia, Time-Warner, etc. They may end up shutting people off for pulling down large movies on a regular basis.

            I would suspect that with the MASSIVE amounts of bandwidth that NetFlix could end up pushing it would be in their best interested to peer directly with the large cable providers so that both parties can reduce their costs.

            • Re:I'll try it (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mdfst13 (664665)
              It also depends on when the bandwidth is used. If you get your movie immediately *after* watching the previous one (which is how the mail based system works), then the bandwidth would be mostly used in off peak times. ISPs can give you as much bandwidth as you would like at 3 AM. At 6 PM, they would be scrambling to do so, but at that time you are either surfing the net or just beginning the movie.
      • by ahfoo (223186)
        But you see, here is the whole crux of the issue. If it really does cost next to nothing to distribute video over the Net, especially with the user subsidizing the connection, then how do you justify the prices?
        You can't --well at least not without resorting to sunday school guilt tactics that might sound nice in an on-line forum but don't do shit in the real world where the average person is far too cynical. So you can't convince the consumer that it's wrong to redistribute. The only thing you can
      • Re:I'll try it (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        With the broadband delivery...the movie you want is always available

        Is it really? I doubt the movie industry will let them get away with unlimited distribution of movies. I'm sure they are going to have to purchase a fixed number of licenses for simultaneous distribution. Once they reach that limit, the movie is out of stock until someone erases it from their TiVo. Of course, because it's on TiVo and not mailed, you will get a faster turnaround time, so the movie will be back in stock quicker (assuming th
      • If they can cut their own costs while increasing services to the consumer, they might not raise prices anyway, and still raise profits.

        Don't forget this is a for-profit company, they'll charge more no matter what.
        • This is simply not the way companies work.

          They are for-profit - as such, their goal is to make as much profit as possible. While raising prices _may_ make them more money, that is not necessarily the case. If Krispy Kreme started charging $100/donut, they would make less money due to the customers you lose.

          Keeping the prices the same, while cutting costs, makes a great deal more sense. Profit goes up, and you don't have customers leave because of price hikes. Plus, it leaves you in a better position w
      • Re:I'll try it (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shokk (187512)
        Then just go to a local Blockbuster and sign up for their Freedom Pass service, also no late fees and a certain number of movies out at one tim. I used to love Netflix bu them the post office or Netflix or both decided that the movies would not arrive in my mailbox. After wrangling with them for months over the issue I gave up on it and went with the local service. Turn around time on movies is now 0 days, where Netflix always takes time to get the next movie to you. I've found that with that type of t
    • You forgot to figure in your BB bill, for me, that's $54 a month ($10 extra penalty for NOT subscribing to CATV)

      And if you get carried away, you BB carrier may TOS you for exceeding bandwidth.. :\
    • Re:I'll try it (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wallace_mark (83758) *
      I'd pay more. Easily.

      A movie out is $25 bucks for me. Three/month * is $75.

      But that ignores problems with Netflix. 1) the long latency time. 2) the fact that movies sit on my shelf for more than a month till I have time to watch them. 3) The number of times I've got 3 movies out that my daughter doesn't want to watch, but my daughter and I want to watch a movie.

      Dynamic Netflix would allow me to jump around in the queue overnight. I could d/l the movies we want to watch when we want to watch them.

      W
  • Couple of things. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eeknay (766740) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:11AM (#10403141)
    First, we have the inevitable piracy argument, that you can rip the movie fairly easily to a computer for all others to see, especially since there's no protection like a DVD could possible give.

    Second, what about all those different versions of movies? Will they offer, for example, the Return of the King Theatrical *and* EE version? The primary concern here is both the time it takes to download, since many people have varying speeds of connection, and whether or not TiVo/Netflix can keep up with demand from thousands (millions?) of customers all wanting the same movie when it just gets released.

    And in regards to length of movies, what about storage capacity on the TiVo? Won't it fill up awfully quickly given a certain amount of movies downloaded rather than purchased on DVD?
    • by the unbeliever (201915) <chris+slashdotNO@SPAMatlgeek.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:15AM (#10403161) Homepage
      I doubt people are going to keep these movies around on their TiVo indefinitely. Besides, how big could it be? TV recording is understood to be ~1gb/hour, one can assume these movies will be in the TiVo format, so the same size rules would apply. I doubt anything is larger than 4gb.

      Besides, if you run out of room you can always hack your TiVo.
      • Yes, but the 1GB/hour quality is horrendous (at least for stand alone, not DirectTiVo). I would NEVER pay to rent stuff that crappy. You get better quality renting an abused 5 year old VHS cassette that has been through way too many hungry VCRs. The only hope there is if they can do better compression on the server end (compression which would be too CPU intensive for the TiVo to do real time, yet the TiVo is capable of decompressing on the fly)
      • 1G and hour on the lowest quality setting.

        Tivo uses MPEG-2, which means it is likely they could upload a file-converted (but not recompressed) DVD movie with the original quality intact. That would put it at about 2G/hour.
    • You make a valid point though I think that if the ability to download movies drives the sales of more expensive Tivo units for new subscribers and perhaps some sort of profitable storage upgrade for existing customers Tivo won't be unhappy.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Tivo could easily create a distibuted download system. A great model would be to give users a discount on their bill if they agree to provide a portion of their bandwidth for sharing the movies. The P2P work has already been done it would be trivial to extend the Tivo OS to serve movies on a P2P network of other subscribers. Of course you'd have to have logic built in so the user was not affected by another user accessing a portion of a movie from their harddrive. All trivial I think.
    • And what happens when you want to upgrade your tivo to a new or competing model? I'd give good odds you can't just copy the movies across.....
    • Re:Couple of things. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tdemark (512406)
      First, we have the inevitable piracy argument, that you can rip the movie fairly easily to a computer for all others to see, especially since there's no protection like a DVD could possible give.

      Umm... how it is any different than Netflix today? I know people with Netflix accounts and all they do is order DVDs, copy them (removing Macrovision and Region in the process), and then send them back. These people have huge DVD collections and it really only cost them the media and a few months of Netflix.

      - Ton
      • Your argument makes perfect sense to me, but the content producers don't think that way. They say online music service is hampered by the threat of piracy, when all it takes is for one single person to buy a completely unprotected CD at the mall and start uploading, and the cat is out of the bag. How would offering a legit music service worsen matters? Go figure.
    • #1 Well, yeah but isn't it much more likely that content providers will agree with a closed set-top solution than a PC with some DRM features? MS is pushing the latter, so I guess they are at least in a better position than MS is . . .

      #2 Couldn't they just create some kind of closed bittorrent software within Tivio to deal with this? They control the hardware, so they probably could make it pretty secure from leachers. That way, the more demand, the more bandwidth.

      #3 Uh, yeah but it is probably not going
    • by GregGardner (66423)
      How can you possibly assume there will be no protection of the stream? I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that Tivo is going to try its best to encrypt the movie stream and you will probably have to hack your Tivo to be able to offload the movie off your Tivo and decrypt it.

      And I would say that it is much harder to hack a Series 2 Tivo than it is to decrypt a stream on a DVD. DeCSS has been around for years, printed on t-shirts, and implemented in perl in a few lines of code. Series 2 Tivo's em
      • I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that Tivo is going to try its best to encrypt the movie stream and you will probably have to hack your Tivo to be able to offload the movie off your Tivo and decrypt it.

        Very possible. But it will be trivial to take the video out and run it to a MythTV box to archive the movies.

  • Physical Medium (Score:3, Interesting)

    by F7F7NoYes (740722) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:12AM (#10403145)
    The deal with TiVo will give Netflix an alternative distribution strategy, Devar said. The company believes DVDs will continue to be the dominant medium for movies over the next few years, but the deal with TiVo gives Netflix a start down the road toward the delivery of movies over the Internet, she said.
    I work in the rental industry, In my opinion the masses still like tangible goods. While the DVD is dominant now, another physical delivery method will replace them, not delivery over the internet. It would work for a few demographics but even my grandmother owns a DVD player. She will not be getting this service however.
    • Re:Physical Medium (Score:3, Insightful)

      by erick99 (743982)
      Remember when your grandmother owned a VHS player and wasn't interested in a new fangled DVD player? The early-adopters pave the way and interest level for the rest of the population. Getting away from physical media for movies is a natural evolution of the industry. I will admit though, that a lot of folks will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into this particlular "future."
      • Re:Physical Medium (Score:1, Insightful)

        by F7F7NoYes (740722)
        But the early adopters in this case, the techies, are already getting DVD quality movies over the internet, and for a lot less that whatever this will cost. How is Napster 2.0 doing anyway?
        • It's not the quality that is at issue, it's the evolution of delivery. Napster is doing okay for the most part though iTunes and Real and others are doing better. Just more proof that "media less" is the future.
      • Re:Physical Medium (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GreyPoopon (411036)
        Remember when your grandmother owned a VHS player and wasn't interested in a new fangled DVD player?

        I must be getting old. No, I don't remember that because I don't think my grandmother was ever aware of DVD technology. What I remember is when my grandparents bought this new fangled VCR and couldn't even manage to

        1. Set the clock to make it stop flashing
        2. Scan through the channels
        3. Understand that in order to watch a movie, the video signal had to be on "VCR" rather than "TV" or "Cable" or "Ant".
        4. Understa
      • But fundamentally buying a DVD or a VHS is not that different, you go to the store and buy something.

        Buying a non-physical thing, having it download, and live somewhere in a box is a thing that's harder for a lot of people to grasp - or desire!

        However this is a case of rental and not purchase - so I think it may do as well as pay-per-view (which it is just another form of).
      • When DVD players cost $50 as opposed to $500, and DVDs are easier to find than VHS, then there's substantially less kicking involved. Also, many people, such as grandmothers, are more interested in tried and true, stable and guaranteed to work, than cutting edge.

        Next, there is a certain dance involved in watching movies. Just as people still go to theaters, people like to go to video stores. They like to see what's out there, what people are getting, read the boxes. And it's simple and guaranteed. Jumping
    • I work in the rental industry

      So you work at Blockbuster?
    • Hyu-mons have a tendency to trend toward the "instant gratification" solution. TiVo and NetFlix will eliminate the technical hurdles - mostly because it's in their best interest to do so. The'll provide a nifty way to catalog the currently stored movies, to display status of the TiVo, etc. If you can get the TiVo working in the first place, the rest will be pretty effortless.

      BTW, your grandmother isn't in the target audience, so using her as support for your arguement is irrelevant. The entertainment
    • How much money does your grandmother spend on movies?
      • Oh. You have a pretty cool grandmother.

        My grandmother used to wrap pieces of pizza at the Gatti's buffet and put them in her purse. She would then offer us cold pizza from her purse when she came to visit.
    • You can't be serious. That's why no one ever rents movies, and the movie rental business was a complete failure.

      If you are comparing a download to a purchase of DVD, then you are right. If somebody wants to buy something (a movie or music), then they want a tangible object. However, comparing this to a rental I don't think people care if it's bits are on harddisk or a physical object. Either way, the bits will be gone in a couple days anyway.
  • by KrisHolland (660643) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:14AM (#10403156) Homepage Journal
    "The companies are planning to work together on technology that will secure this content, she said."

    Here is a clue, if I can view it then it is not secure nor will it ever be secure enough.

    DRM is the crazy idea of giving me the content, and also the key to view it, but though obfuscation somehow hide the decrypt process. It won't work in the long run [dashes.com].
    • Well the tivo2 is a bit harder to hack, but not impossible. Either way yes, its not totally secure, I heard somewhere something about how tivo is changing their new boxes, or possibly upgrading series2, to make it so pay-per-view movies and other broadcast-flagged content will automatially dissapear after 3 days, but still be recorded. Personally I see this as a reasonable comprimise. The new netflix movies will probably autodelete themselves after you turn them in in order to download new movies. Hopefull
    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:51AM (#10403343)
      No, DRM wont work in the long run, but its already been proven that the honor system doesnt work either. What do you suggest? They just give up? If that was the case then nothing would have locks, there would be no PIN code for your ATM access, and drivers licenses would be unworkable. Nothing works 100%, but things do work better than 0%, and anything which works better than 0% while doing its job is a success in this arena.
      • but its already been proven that the honor system doesnt work either

        The honor system would work if the movie companies where not trying to rape the public.

        I would use a distribution system, and pay for using it, if it was not so expensive. The average geek can download (rip) movies and music because the technology is avaiable to him/her to do so. That means that the technology is avaiable for the *IAAs to dramaticaly reduce their costs as well and give better products and service to their customers.

    • Just for the people that are, too ignorant, too lazy, or too risk adverse (yeah, yeah, or "think steewing is wong" -- joke, k?). As long as this group is signifcant, then so will the returns from investments in DRM.
  • by BRock97 (17460) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:16AM (#10403163) Homepage
    Chalk up another weapon in Tivo's arsenal for living room domination. One of the final strokes would be for them to make the Tivo the centralized media portal in the house with the ability to run clients on PCs, other TV's, and maybe even the Playstation 2, precisely what Microsoft is doing with Media Center Edition and the Xbox. For Tivo's sake, I hope they play this correctly as it has the possiblity to either make or break the company.

    I do wonder, though, if we won't see a similar announcement from Microsoft in the near future. After all, wouldn't a service like this fit perfectly into their growing living room plans? I would think so.

    For me, I would love to have this type of functionality from Tivo. The ability to not only stream shows that you have recorded, but movies that you have downloaded from Netflix to any client would probably make me invest in a Tivo setup.
    • I'm wondering how this really differs from the Media Center PCs with WMP 10 using Movie Central.. Can't you still download / rent the movies?

      I thought this has been in effect for a while.
    • My series 1 Tivo already can run clients on a PC and stream to it (mfs_ftp can serve up .asx files to load in WMP, and then stream from there). Not bad for a machine with limited memory and only ~50 BogoMIPs of horse power.
  • by ej0c (320280) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:17AM (#10403176)
    I sure hope so, 'cause I'm getting tired of tracking those TIVO shares I bought at $35 thinking it was underpriced..
  • Whoa! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:21AM (#10403193) Homepage
    Wait, this is a pretty big deal, isn't it? This is basically the fabled iTunes Music Store for Video.

    I mean, yeah, there have been net video stores before, but none of them seemed terribly serious, all of them lacked a focus on appealing to traditional consumer rather than (well) people like us, and none of them possessed any pleasant sort of integration with more traditional video technology not based entirely on a computer-- all very much, interestingly, like the net music stores that existed before the iTunes Music Store...

    This has the potential to become a big deal and resecure the position as "the PVR" Tivo once had...
    • I believe iTunes was such a big thing due to their liberal licencing, they permtted the user to "own" the tracks by copying them permanently to an unprotected CD.

      A Tivo may be a nice, reliable bit of kit but ultimately, its a hard drive and as such will eventually fail or be upgraded. If this service locks the media file to the tivo unit - as it certainly will do - then it is more illiberal than iTunes.

      Services of this sort really need to recognise that the licence to play the file has passed to the
      • Well concidering that the service Netflix provides now you don't get to keep the media either I believe it's a good fit. For a rental service I don't mind the fact that the movie stays on the harddrive, or even the fact that it's drm'd and may get erased when I go to download movie#4 or whatever. As long as they tout it as a rental service and keep the cost down they should be good.
      • Except people rent movies and buy music. (Yes, people buy movies, too, but the rental business is still doing quite well). Don't compare this to a purchase, compare it to a rental.

        I have no objections to DRM on a rental. I have not purchased the material; I am only borrowing it for a couple days. I have no need or right to make a backup under these conditions.
    • ...the iTMS isn't actually much of a cash cow for Apple. It is the iPod that is raking in the dough. What does Tivo has that they make money off this deal? I imagine the MPAA isn't going to leave much margin to Tivo...

      Kjella
  • This will just last just long enough till someone cracks the copy protection that Tivo and netflicks agree on. Then the MPAA will come down with the iron fist and all bets will be off and it will just be a memory like Divx DVD's are.

    So its a nice idea but it will not last longer then 4 weeks till its cracked and ppl are back to buying plastic disks...

    • by DrXym (126579) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:37AM (#10403270)
      Whether the encryption is cracked or not is irrelevant really. It's not as if you're getting movies that aren't out on DVD. And a DVD is a much easier thing to crack than some format being sent between TIVO & Netflix.


      As proof of that, note that you can easily get DVD rips right now. So what's the point of cracking the TIVO system? And even if it is cracked, it seems highly likely that each movie would be digitally watermarked with your account number, TIVO box and other incriminating info. So releasing it out onto the P2P networks seems like a very foolhardy thing to do.


      The only benefit from a cracked system is perhaps you could build your own personal jukebox of movies. Again, it's not like you can't do that already so I wonder what the point is.

      • Is encoding each film on-the-fly with a subscriber's account number really feasible, hardware-wise? Surely the load on the servers doing that would be prohibitive.
        • I don't see why not. The speed of the system is obviously network bound, not computational bound. I'm assuming that Netflix would have a library of titles pre-ripped into the appropriate media format. Then it's a matter of sending them over the wire, encrypting / DRM'ing them as you go.

          I doubt it would be too tricky to twiddle the odd key frame to insert customer specific data. This could be done overtly as with those annoying dots that some film prints have these days, or covertly by changing some insign

  • Oh Man... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Omicron (79581)
    This is gonna push me over the edge. I've resisted buying a TiVo so far...and I've tried out NetFlix, but I don't like the slow mailing times to receive a movie...I'm more of an instant gratification kind of guy.

    This combination could be dangerous for someone like me :)
  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Toasty16 (586358) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:44AM (#10403303) Homepage
    Now I can watch those movies that I'm too embarrassed to let the mailman deliver. Anal Assassins 5, you're next in the queue!
    • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Malc (1751) on Friday October 01, 2004 @09:07AM (#10403440)
      Don't worry: your choices will go in to their databases and you will shortly be receiving direct mail marketing material through the postal system. Your mailman will still be delivering embarassing material!
    • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

      by One Louder (595430)
      Don't bother - George Lucas really should have stopped with the first Anal Assassins trilogy.
  • by cpn2000 (660758) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:45AM (#10403308)
    The new company will be called Titflix ... ducks
  • by Idou (572394) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:47AM (#10403316) Journal
    Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that was going to be the next big road block MS was going to use to keep consumers from jumping to Linux. By adding DRM to Windows, MS could convince the proprietary content providers to sell their content through Windows. Since Linux is open source, it would be much harder to get large corps to trust a DRM solution for it. Then MS could use DRM as an excuse to force the hardware industry to only create DRM enabled hardware which would not be compatible with Linux. Not only would people not be able to legally watch downloaded movies on Linux, soon it would become increasing diffcult to find good, cheap hardware that was compatible with Linux.

    However, it appears that it is simply going to be easier to sell such content services through hardware specifically created for such purposes and not through modified pcs. Not even MS was able to get the PC industry to do a 180 (go from general to specialized hardware by limiting the user's control) fast enough. And, ironically, the specialized hardware approach to content services is being propelled even more quickly by the economics that embedded Linux is making possible.

    One might even get the feeling that an imaginary hand is leading Linux/Open Source to wider and wider adoption . . .

  • by BreadMan (178060) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:50AM (#10403339)
    I know that the nifty thing to do for netflix is to deliver the movie and not have to pay the post, but the existing netflix business model still has a lot of other long hanging fruit that could be picked by partnering with TiVo

    For example, why couldn't my TiVo:

    - Recommend movies for me based on my viewing ordering patterns
    I could see what TiVo recommends and just order from my TiVo.

    - Offer me the ability to order movies based that I'm currently watching
    So I could see a movie commercial-free and uncut if I don't like the way the network has edited it or I don't like the pan and scan. Or recommend a movie related to what I'm currently watching.

    - Let me search/browse the NetFlix database and order.
    The TiVo has the capacity to keep a NetFlix inventory. Ordering from the TV seems more comfortable way to interact with NetFlix.

    - Let me manage my NetFlix account
    What movies to I have, how many more could I request, what I've ordered.

  • by superid (46543) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:57AM (#10403381) Homepage
    Comcast allegedly has a magic number that triggers an abuse letter to subscribers. It's been purported to be around 100GB of transfer per month.

    I assume that the Tivo/netflix movies will be high quality and so probably won't be less than 4GB for a feature.

    So in a house with 3 teens and 5 computers I wonder how hard it would be to reach this cap via 10+ movies per month, heavy MMPORPG usage, the new comcast video mail, etc
    • The cable companies are going to have to get used to people actually using more and more bandwidth as time goes on. As more over the net products become available the bandwidth usage will go up.

      The smart move if for the cable companies and Tivo/Flix to start peering so as to reduce their networking costs.

    • Nitpick: MMorpgs consume a ridiculously small amount of bandwidth. Less than 1 k/s
  • DirecTiVo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RedX (71326) <(redx) (at) (wideopenwest.com)> on Friday October 01, 2004 @09:09AM (#10403460)
    Although it's not mentioned either way in this press release, I can only assume that the DirecTiVo will not be supported with this new service since a) there's no official support for broadband on these boxes, b) DirecTV hasn't released new features on these boxes in quite some time (ie. still no official HMO, no official 4.0, etc.), and c) this would compete directly with DirecTV's pay-per-view movies. It's a shame really that DirecTV doesn't keep these boxes up-to-date on the software side, the DirecTiVo is probably the best DVR on the market, particularly the model with HD support. Of course, rumor has it that DirecTV will be turning to an in-house DVR in 2005.
  • Frankly, this is bullshit. Just like last year's bullshit about TIVO hooking up with XM radio and the bullshit TIVO implementing some sort of burn-to-dvd capability (yes, I know they've been talking with the studios to work on some sort of TIVOGuard capability for DRM. Whatever.)

    I love my TIVO -- don't get me wrong -- but I'll believe the TIVO/Netflix VOD stuff when I see it. And, frankly, I don't think I'll be seeing it -- ever.

    The TIVO's dead. Long live the TIVO.

  • by HomeGroove (527053)
    Quoth the article:

    TiVo subscribers would be able to visit Netflix's Web site and either stream movies over a broadband connection or download them to their TiVo boxes, Kelly said.

    I hope this is not the case. In order to be a success, I need to not have to get off my fat ass and go to the computer, sign in, browse, order, and then go to Tivo to watch a movie. The interface needs to be from the Tivo itself.

    • *boo-ga* Tivo Central
    • *boo-ga* Netflix menu
    • *boo-ga* Search by title
    • *boo-ga* A-N-C-H -> Anchor
  • I was hoping that this rumor was true, glad to see it. I don't see the MPAA getting too bent out of shape, I mean cable companies already stream movies directly to our tivo boxes...
  • This is the killer app to finally justify fiber to the home. Maybe Level-3 will finally see some justification for all the megamiles of dark fiber its been camping on.
  • At least as you know them today. If I can get movies via my Tivo, then there's no need to get dedicated movie channels that show the same movie 20 times a month.

    At least HBO/Showtime will probably increase the amount of original programming and make it edgier than existing cable. At least until the FCC gets wind of it.
  • by Osrin (599427) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @10:12AM (#10404002) Homepage
    Without either a digital output for 5.1 or 7.1 sound and a the ability to download and reply HIGH resolution movies this just isn't going to work. I have to hope that they push a new generation of hardware if they ever want to make this service interesting.
    • I think it can and will. Tivo has been progressive and creative and way out ahead of the curve (I believe I had one of the very first Tivo's six years ago) while at the same time maintaining conservative sanity, i.e., not spending too much time on the bleeding edge of the TV standards too early. Hence, while HDTV has been around for a LONG time, Tivo has only this year rolled out their HDTV offerings.

      While some demand digital outputs, and 5.1, and 7.1, the masses will respond (IMO). Tivo will be there w

  • The amount of press that this thing is receiving is ridiculous! How much are they going to charge per movie? And it will surely be DRM'd all to hell and expire in a short amount of time.

    ISP's are gonna bitch more than anyone else if downloading DVD sized movies takes off. My ISP (cable) is already throttling those they believe to be 'excessive' downloaders (1 hour of excessive downloading gets you two hours of slower than normal downloading). Other ISP's have been known to drop clients for 'downloading
  • Considering that (since I last checked) the latest generation DirecTV Tivo's STILL don't support HMO, I'm sure this option won't be around for this either.
  • How about HD? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:20AM (#10404699)
    To sell this to me, they'll have to offer better than DVD quality--like HD. But the HDTiVo doesn't even connect to the internet yet, and it is sold only for DirecTV, who may well see this as competition.
  • Has anyone considered the problem that this service will clog up the bandwidth normally used for filesharing, streaming video & audio, & downloading Distros etc?

    In the UK, with a 1MB downpipe, downloading 1 movie would use around 1/4 of available bandwidth for a day.
  • How is this business plan different from the old MP3.com's?

    MP3.com got shut down for essentially doing the exact same thing. The only difference is who 'owns' the material. In MP3.coms case it was the user, in this case it is Netflix.

    Does that make a 180 degree difference in the legality of this effort?
  • Maybe I'm missing something here, why is there so much concern over DRM? It's already way easier to rip a DVD then to access and convert a tivo video feed. On top of that the DVD has higher quality potential and special features. The Tivo version of it is probably going to be limited to VHS quality.

    Building more DRM into it just seems unneccesary overkill and would just reinforce the DVD solution, indirectly increasing their disposition to pirating it because it's easier in that environment.
  • I know I'm late to the party, but I've got a great idea for Tivo...

    Instead of requiring broadband, and wasting people's bandwidth (not that the idea is a bad one) why don't they send videos the same way they send channel listings???

    Tivo is a pioneer of buying 30-minute blocks where infomercials would otherwise go, and broadcasting digital info over it. I'm sure just about everyone has seen that static-looking broadcast, with the Tivo banner across it.

    Why don't they do the same for movies? With lossy vi

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