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Tivo and Digital Media Servers

Back when they came out, I said that tools like Tivo and Replay could change the face of television watching. A couple of years ago, I assumed that game boxes would be the new home media center. What I missed, though, was the end run that Tivo was doing around the game companies. With yesterday’s announcement that they would offer connectivity to computer platform, Tivo is placing itself square in the middle of the convergence world. Their strategy is simple: focus on the core engine and use the PC as a storage area. It is braindead simple logic. The Tivo box comes with a big hard drive but it is mostly filled with TV programming. Alternately, the box does not need to provide web surfing as attempts by companies like AOL and Microsoft have failed in that space, probably bringing on the realization that most people don’t want to surf on their television sets. Thus, Tivo leaves the download of music to computers for now. The reason I am saying for now is that I expect them to eventually offer a more widespread network connectivity set in the future. However, they realize that most Tivo users are probably already computer users and that they should set their box up as an in-between box. My prediction is that within the next couple of years, we will see them start offering more advanced services to store the data currently on computers. Once they have done that, we will probably see them offer connectivity to a few download services (along with connectivity out of box to the PC, leaving the hard job (connecting different devices like digital players and digital cameras) still in the PC realm.

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