Netflix Inc. continues to expand the reach of its “Watch Instantly” video streaming service, striking a deal to make its movie and TV shows available to about 1 million TiVo owners who have high-speed Internet connections.
The partnership represents a bit of back to the future for Netflix and TiVo Inc. They originally announced a video-on-demand deal in fall 2004. That earlier agreement unraveled because of a combination of technology and rights issues.
Fast-forward to Wednesday’s news, in which Netflix said it would provide access to a digital library of about 12,000 movies and television shows on the TV, through the TiVo Series3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL devices.
The two companies begin testing the on-demand service today in several thousand homes and expect to make it broadly available in early December.
The new streaming service comes at no additional charge to Netflix and TiVo subscribers.
The partnership represents an attempt by TiVo to differentiate its service from the generic cable DVR offerings. In addition to recording, TiVo offers subscribers access to Amazon.com Inc.'s video-on-demand service, which allows viewers to buy TV shows and buy or rent movies. It also delivers YouTube videos free of charge. The Netflix agreement brings expanded selection of independent films as well as mainstream movies provided through its own deal with Starz, the premium cable service.
“In addition to TiVo subscribers having the ability to record everything off of their cable and satellite, now they have the ability to download movies on a rental or purchase basis,” said Tara Maitra, TiVo’s vice president and general manager of content services. “Our whole goal is . . . to be your complete source for all your entertainment content.”