One of the first ‘built-in’ broadband applications on TiVo was Yahoo! Photos. However, Yahoo! closed down Yahoo! Photos in favor of Flickr, after acquiring the latter. Many users expected TiVo to replace the Photos application with a Flickr viewer, and there was a hint that Flickr support is being developed for Australia. However, instead of Flickr support TiVo has added support for Photobucket and Google’s Picasa Web Albums. They officially announced availability this morning with this press release:
TIVO DELIVERS THE BEST WAY TO VIEW & SHARE PHOTOS ON THE TELEVISION â€“ NOW IN HD
TiVo Teams Up with Leading Online Photo Services to deliver Memories to the Living Room
ALVISO, CA â€” December 3, 2007 â€” TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced that all broadband-connected TiVo DVRs can take advantage of viewing and sharing their digital photos directly on the television set. By working with two of the most popular online photo services, Photobucket and Picasa Web Albums™ from Google, TiVo subscribers can easily access their own digital photos as well as those shared by friends and family using the Emmy award-winning TiVo user interface. Photos will be displayed at the highest possible resolution on each TiVo box, meaning TiVo Series3™ and TiVo HD subscribers can see their memories in full high definition.
â€œAt TiVo weâ€™re focused on the entire entertainment experience, from movies to music, and in this case – memories,â€ said Jim Denney, Vice President of Product Marketing at TiVo. â€œBy working with these well-respected and popular photo-sharing partners TiVo enables families to share their pictures in new, fun ways. TiVo continues to show our commitment to differentiated product offerings by allowing subscribers to share their memories on the best picture frame in the house – - their television.â€
â€œPersonal media sharing is clearly moving beyond the desktop,â€ said Alex Welch, President of Photobucket. â€œPhotobucket helps its users creatively express themselves and share their lives with friends and family. Be it through cell phones, computers or TVs, we aim to offer our users the best service for searching, uploading and sharing this content. TiVo gives our audience an excellent way to bring Photobucket into their living rooms.â€
Among other features, TiVo subscribers will be able to customize their photo viewing capabilities by searching community photos of interest by keyword, all using the intuitive TiVo search interface. For example, sports fanatics can create a custom slide show of their favorite team or player and dog lovers can sit back and enjoy a slide show composed of literally hundreds of puppy photos from around the world, all with the power of the peanut-shaped remote.
“Families and friends who use Picasa Web Albums to stay connected with each other’s lives are often looking for more ways to share those important photos,” said Mike Horowitz, product manager for Picasa Web Albums at Google. “Broadband-connected TiVo DVRs provide a fun way for people to view their own favorites or bring their photos out for everyone in the living room to see.”
TiVo subscribers can access the photo sharing application through the Music, Photos, Products & More screen on their TiVo DVR, and is offered at no additional charge as part of the existing TiVo service subscription fee. TiVo boxes are available at leading consumer electronic retailers including Best Buy and Circuit City. See www.TiVo.com for details.
I’m interested to see if ‘full high definition’ means 1080i (since the TiVos don’t output 1080p), since that’s what most of the industry means by ‘full high definition’. Existing high definition HME applications, such as the local TiVo Desktop photo application, display at 720p. I also wonder if we will see Flickr support in the future, especially if Australia gets it. (There is a basic Flicker viewer available today via Apps.tv.) In any case, it is good to see support for these applications, especially with HD support.