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.