and TiVo are finally joining forces to deliver more movies and old TV episodes to their mutual subscribers, consummating a relationship that was supposed to come together four years ago.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it calls for Netflix to provide
subscribers of its online DVD rental service and many of the 800,000
broadband-connected Tivo subscribers with the ability to stream movies and TV
episodes from Netflix's "Watch Instantly" service to TVs free of charge.
TiVo, maker of the popular digital video recorder, and Netflix said late on
Wednesday they were initiating a test of the new capability in several thousand
U.S. households and expect it will be broadly available in early December.
The collaboration fulfills a promise made in 2004 when DVR pioneer TiVo and
online DVD rental trailblazer Netflix set out to develop a system for delivering
video directly over the Internet. But they got sidetracked after Netflix couldn't
work out licensing deals with movie and TV studios.
TiVo ended July with 3.6 million subscribers and Netflix ended with 8.7 million
subscribers. The streaming service is available at no extra charge to any Netflix
subscriber paying at least $8.99 per month for DVD rentals - a prerequisite that
most customers meet.
TiVo will join other companies that sell devices that make it easier for
Netflix's streaming service to be shown on a TV set instead of a computer.
Microsoft has agreed to tweak its video game console, the Xbox 360, so it can
draw from Netflix's Internet library beginning next month. And both LG
Electronics and Samsung Electronics are selling Blu-ray DVD players compatible
with Netflix's streaming service.