No, I don’t mean TiVo is doing place-shifting. And no, I’m not referring to TiVoToGo. Or even the remote scheduling deals with Verizon or with RIM for BlackBerry – though those are close. What I am talking about is a new TiVo website aimed at mobile devices, m.tivo.com, available in beta today and available widely in a few weeks.
My personal opinion is that it is about time, and I mean that as supportively as possible. Back when TiVo first introduced online scheduling one of the first things geeks like myself did was try it from our mobile devices – PDAs and smartphones. And the main TiVo website has always been a little iffy on mobile devices, for various reasons. So there has long been a call to make the site work better on mobiles. And then when they launched the Verizon scheduling application it created a renewed call for generic mobile device support via a standards-based mobile-optimized website. So I’m really glad to see this announced, and I look forward to trying it out as soon as it is available.
The new site isn’t just limited to TiVo users, it is open to anyone with a mobile device with an Internet connection and web browser. You can browse TV schedules and search for programs. The descriptions sounds a lot like the functionality in TiVo’s Swivel Search or WishLists. You can search title, actor, director, and keyword – so when your out with friends and you can’t think of the name of that show with that actor you know, you can find it right away. And it also has TiVo’s recommendations engine, used in TiVo Suggestions, to suggest “If you like this, you may also like” entries. And, of course, TiVo owners will be able to then schedule recordings on their TiVo right from the phone.
The press release:
ANOTHER REASON TO GIVE THANKS – A FREE, NEW MOBILE WEB SITE PUTS TIVO SCHEDULING IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, YOUR NEIGHBOR’S HAND, EVERYONE’S HAND
New TiVo Mobile web site allows TV fans to browse, search, discover, and record television shows on the go, adding another great value to the already invaluable TiVo service
Alviso, Calif. November 25 — Heading out to holiday dinners, get-away vacations, or just being away from home no longer means missing out on your favorite television programming. That’s because TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs) launched TiVo Mobile, a free mobile phone-optimized Web site that allows subscribers and non-subscribers alike to browse, search, and discover television shows, regardless of mobile platform, carrier or browser. The site can be accessed with any Internet-enabled phone through any network, regardless of carrier, opening up the service to millions and millions of cell phone owners.
The new mobile site, located at m.tivo.com, lets television fans stay in touch with their TiVo® DVR when they are away from the living room, giving them the power to schedule recordings directly to their TiVo box from their mobile phone. TiVo is known for its simple, intuitive interface, and the TiVo Mobile web site delivers more of the same. The site is optimized for easy use on a small screen, offering the exceptional user experience TiVo fans know and love. Site visitors can search for programs by actor, title, director, and keyword, with additional functions including Daily Recommendations and Most Popular. Like TiVo’s famous recommendations engine, the TiVo Mobile site features an “If you like this…” tool to help users find new shows.
“TiVo started out making television a more convenient, personal experience, and this is the next step to give television lovers total control over their media. Whether you are standing in line at the bank or talking about a new show with friends at dinner, you can now find and record shows whenever, wherever, a perfect tool for everyone,” said Jim Denney, vice president of product marketing at TiVo Inc.
TiVo subscribers have the option to schedule recordings on their Series2™ or Series3™ TiVo boxes directly through the site, bringing a new level of ease to recording TV.
Anyone can browse, search and discover television shows, whether or not they have a TiVo DVR at home. The TiVo Mobile site extends on-the-go functionality to a large audience, bringing the freedom of TiVo scheduling to places it has never been before.
The new application joins an unmatched set of service features available to TiVo lovers, including content from Amazon Video on Demand and Jaman, as well as videos from YouTube direct to the TV set. Coming this December, thousands of movies and TV episodes can be instantly streamed from Netflix. The new mobile site also nicely complements remote scheduling through TiVo.com and TiVo Desktop Software, which allows viewers to transfer their shows to an Apple iPod, Sony PSP, or other portable players.
M.tivo.com is in beta beginning today and will be available on a wide scale within a few weeks.
The TiVo Mobile web site was built in conjunction with mobile application development agency, Mobui Corporation. More information on Mobui Corporation can be found at http://www.mobui.com.
# # #
About TiVo Inc.
Founded in 1997, TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO) pioneered a brand new category of products with the development of the first commercially available digital video recorder (DVR). Sold through leading consumer electronic retailers, TiVo has developed a brand which resonates boldly with consumers as providing a superior television experience. Through agreements with leading satellite and cable providers, TiVo also integrates its full set of DVR service features into the set-top boxes of mass distributors. TiVo’s DVR functionality and ease of use, with such features as Season Pass™ recordings, WishList® searches and TiVo KidZone have elevated its popularity among consumers and have created a whole new way for viewers to watch television. With a continued investment in its patented technologies, TiVo is revolutionizing the way consumers watch and access home entertainment. Rapidly becoming the focal point of the digital living room, TiVo’s DVR is at the center of experiencing new forms of content on the TV, such as broadband delivered video, music and photos. With innovative features such as, TiVoToGo™ and online scheduling, TiVo is expanding the notion of consumers experiencing “TiVo, TV your way.” The TiVo® service is also at the forefront of providing innovative marketing solutions for the television industry, including a unique platform for advertisers and audience measurement research. The company is based in Alviso, Calif.
TiVo, TiVoCast, ‘TiVo, TV your way.’ Season Pass, WishList, TiVoToGo and the TiVo Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc. and its subsidiaries worldwide. ©2008 TiVo Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to, among other things, TiVo’s future business and growth strategies including TiVo’s mass distribution strategy and retail bundling efforts, profitability and financial guidance, distribution of the TiVo service domestically with Comcast, DIRECTV, and Cox and internationally, growth and innovation in TiVo’s advertising and audience research measurement business, the timing and availability of broadband content, the results of TiVo’s litigation with EchoStar, how TiVo intends to exploit its intellectual property, TiVo’s future marketing spend and related activities, and financial performance. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as, “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “intend,” “estimate,” “continue,” or similar expressions or the negative of those terms or expressions. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include delays in development, competitive service offerings and lack of market acceptance, as well as the other potential factors described under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s public reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2008, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the fiscal periods ended April 30, 2008 and July 31, 2008, and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. The Company cautions you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect an analysis only and speak only as of the date hereof. TiVo disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.