Cable Technology Feature Article
Netflix Opens Viewer Options with TiVo Integration
By Christopher Mohr, TMCnet Contributing Writer
Netflix recently announced in a quarterly earnings report that it was expanding its presence by integrating with TiVo (News - Alert). This move could be a huge breakthrough for home entertainment technology as it expands the options for viewing TV shows and movies to viewers, putting another nail in the coffin of appointment television.
Netflix, while available in the form of subscriptions for streaming, DVD or both, is putting greater emphasis on the former. The DVD-by-mail service that allowed an unlimited number of rentals for a monthly fee is an afterthought. Accessing information on the DVD service from Netflix’ main site takes some effort.
Eventually, the DVD service is going to be phased out. Cloud and streaming technology are making it less practical. What is becoming more practical in the DVD’s stead is to integrate with services like TiVo.
With the exception of certain live events like sporting events, awards shows or critical news, the number of reasons to watch television programming as it is scheduled is near zero. TiVo provided a huge convenience with smart recording that not only records what viewers want to see, but also what they are likely to want to see. If a show the viewer wants to see is not available, TiVo will record it when it becomes available.
Integrating this feature with Netflix opens up options for the viewer and provides huge revenue streams for TiVo and Netflix. If a viewer wanted to see the 1968 Steve McQueen classic, Bullitt, TiVo would likely have to file away the request and wait. It would likely be able to record when a cable channel like TCM aired it, probably no more often than once a year. If the show was available in Netflix’ streaming library, there would be no wait; the show could be recorded immediately.
So, it’s a matter of time before Netflix puts all the DVD-only titles it has into its streaming library. Integrating with TiVo could be a very profitable move for Netflix. It is more than simply another way to use the service; it is a convenience that many viewers are likely to embrace and a significant change in viewing habits.
Edited by Alisen Downey