Gamer Gal’s Insider is reporting that a ‘TiVo insider’ here at CES told her that TiVo and Sony are working together on a DVR add-on for the PS3 in the US. She reports than Sony and TiVo have extended their licensing agreement specifically for use on the PS3, but that the announcement won’t be made until E3 2008.
Now, we know that Sony is releasing a DVR add-on in territories that use DVB (which does not include the US) called the PlayTV. And leading up to that announcement there were rumors swirling that they would be using the TiVo software, of which I was highly skeptical. And Sony is a TiVo licensee. While they’ve long since stopped manufacturing DVRs that run the TiVo software, Sony does still build DVRs. And since TiVo has a number of fundamental patents on DVR technologies, Sony holds a license to use them.
I’m still skeptical about this, for all the reasons I posted before. Sony already has their own in-house DVR software and they’re very big on using their XMB (Cross Media Bar) interface across all of their product lines, so it seems unlikely that they would want to use the TiVo UI and disrupt that push. I can easily see Sony extending the license to allow them to use the patents and sell a DVR add-on, but actually using the TiVo interface seems more iffy.
But Gamer Gal specifically says:
An announcement is not forthcoming until E3 2008 but from what I heard SONY and TiVo will co-brand an add-on unit for approximately $100 that will bring TiVo functionality (DVR functionality) to your PS3.
If it will truly be co-branded then TiVo would certainly insist on TiVo specific features being included. TiVo has a working 3rd party guide data service that covers the US and Canada, which would certainly be required for Sony’s system. It could be anywhere on a spectrum from the XMB interface with some TiVo specific functions such as WishLists and Suggestions to the full TiVo UI on the PS3. If the latter then, as I said before, I think the most likely way that would happen is for the OCAP cable software to be ported to the PS3. The PS3 already runs Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) and both BD-J and OCAP are based on the MHP/GEM standards and have family commonality. And the hardware in the PS3 is vastly more powerful than that found in the OCAP cable boxes on the market running the software today, so that isn’t a problem.
I’m also skeptical because this is the first, and so far only, post in the blog – which appears to have just been created. So this could be a legitimate leak, or a made up troll.
This is firmly in the rumor category, but I’ll see if I can pick up any more info during the show. The show floor opens tomorrow.
Thanks to an anonymous tipster for the pointer.