TiVo and DirecTV developing HD DVR, extending partnership

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Television satellite provider DirecTV and TiVo have extended their current non-exclusive partnership to include the development of a new, high definition DirecTV digital video recorder (DVR). The two companies also extended their mutual intellectual property agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal is expected to bring TiVo's broadband and search capabilities to a wider audience. DirectTV currently has more than 17 million subscribers, while, as of July, TiVo had 3.8 million.

In 2005, DirecTV said it would stop marketing TiVo and instead offer a DVR made by NDS, a division of News Corp. “This agreement is really about reigniting that core DVR relationship,” said Naveen Chopra, VP of business development for TiVo. “The TiVo retail product has evolved substantially over the past two to three years. That version relative to the version that DirecTV was last making available is pretty different.”

The companies said the new HD DVR will be available in the second half of 2009. Chopra declined to discuss specific capabilities of the device, citing competitive reasons.

Though Chopra conceded that DVR technology often leads people to “fast-forward through a significant portion of advertising,” he added the partnership will also benefit advertisers.

“There are a number of ways to use both the traditional form of advertising as well as our new capabilities,” he said. “The crux of these capabilities is to continue to provide a compelling and enhanced advertising experience in a time-shifted viewing context.”

TiVo also currently has distribution deals with Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc.

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