TiVo and RIM are teaming up to bring TiVo-related software to the Blackberry platform, the two companies announced today at CTIA. At first it sounds like this will resemble the TiVo scheduling solution from Verizon, simply providing a pretty, TiVo-like UI on the Blackberry that allows users to remotely schedule recordings.
Personally I’d love to see TiVo exploit the XMPP support they’ve added to the units since the Verizon application launched and support real real-time scheduling on the unit and not the store-and-forward system used by TiVo Central Online web-based scheduling, which is what the Verizon system goes through.
Past the initial scheduling capability, the future sounds interesting:
The new relationship brings TiVo and RIM together to develop a variety of mobile entertainment services that marry RIM’s leading BlackBerry® smartphones with the content delivered to consumers through the Emmy-winning TiVo® service. Initially, BlackBerry smartphone users will gain the convenience of being able to discover what shows are on and schedule television recordings while away from the living room and on the go. Future collaboration between the companies will focus on software applications that further simplify mobile access to video content.
The first interpretation people are likely to make is place-shifting of content from the TiVo to the Blackberry. However, the current TiVo hardware doesn’t have the transcoding capabilities to support this, to the best of my knowledge. And improved TiVoToGo support doesn’t sound like it would fit with ‘mobile access’ – not to me anyway. Pre-synced content is not ‘mobile access’. TiVo is developing content partnerships for TiVoCast, maybe it is access to that kind of content through a TiVo-ish client? I don’t know, but I’m certainly curious.
It sounds like it’ll be a while before we find out. The first software to arise out of this partnership will be available later this year. See the press release for more details.