TiVo – Big in Japan?

Earlier today PVRBlog found a little teaser of a news byte:
TiVo to launch in Japan by 2006 – report

TiVo Inc. (TIVO) is expected to launch its digital recording service in Japan as early as next year, according to a published report Sunday. The Alviso, Calif.-based company will form a Japanese unit and is looking to partner with local cable television networks and Internet providers as part of the deal, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

This isn’t much of a surprise for anyone who’s been watching the company. At CES this year Mike Ramsay mentioned expanding overseas as part of the business plans for TiVo – and, IIRC, Europe, China, and Japan were mentioned specifically. And if you watch TiVo’s careers page you’ll see jobs like this one: Japanese language UI Designer. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out if they’re hiring people to develop in other languages that they’re probably looking at that market. There have been others like that in the past too, I think I remember seeing one position that mentioned German.

I found the original Japanese article on Nikkei.net – the index and the article. Unfortunately it requires a subscription – but I put my credit card on the line. :-)

The article:

Monday, March 21, 2005
TiVo Looking To Enter Japan As Early As Next Year

TOKYO (Nikkei)–TiVo Inc. plans to start offering its automatic digital television recording service in Japan as soon as next year, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Sunday.

To this end, the U.S. firm is seeking to tie up with such leading Japanese companies as a cable television network and an Internet access provider, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Ramsay.

The company is slated to form a local unit soon and begin operating as early as 2006, Ramsay said. TiVo may also partner with a Japanese home electronics manufacturer to secure the digital video recorders necessary for its service.

Such details as the fee schedule in Japan have yet to be determined. In the U.S., digital video recorders (DVRs) sell for as low as 99.99 dollars, and the subscription fee is 12.95 dollars a month.

Customers only have to input into their DVRs such information as the title or featured actor of the program they wish to record. This data is sent online to TiVo, which uses its software to search for the program and then digitally record it.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Monday edition)

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  • anonymous

    “Tie up” might not be the most fortuitous translation.

  • megazone

    That’s their own translation. *shrug*