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TiVo Launches Web Video Application

TiVo said its DVR subscribers will be able to watch video content from the Web directly on their television sets.

The capability, which was first announced at International CES in January and started last week, will be made available to TiVo users through an updated version of TiVo’s Desktop Plus PC software. This will enable delivery of Web entertainment content to the TV. The application uses TiVo’s Season Pass functionality.

TiVo users can subscribe to and watch a broad range of video content available through Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, including network nightly newscasts, The Sesame Street Podcast, Daily Headlines from MTV News and College Humor from CHTV, among other things.

TiVo said the application also gives consumers access to niche interest and hobbyist videos covering more specialized areas of interest than is possible on cable and satellite channels.

The Web video announcements follows news of another new capability that lets TiVo subscribers access YouTube videos directly on the TV via a TiVo DVR later this year. Upon launch of the TiVo-YouTube service, TiVo users will be able to search, browse and watch these videos directly on their television sets.

The new Web video capability requires TiVo Desktop Plus 2.6, an update to the Windows application which also converts TV shows recorded on a TiVo DVR for viewing on portable devices including iPod and Sony PlayStation Portable. TiVo Desktop Plus 2.6 is available for a one-time fee of $24.95, and is a free upgrade to earlier versions.

TiVo said it continues to work with Roxio on delivering equivalent functionality on the Mac platform.

With this new feature, users can choose Web videos downloaded on the home PC using Web browsers, RSS video clients such as iTunes podcasts, or other video download software to automatically copy to their TiVo DVR’s Now Playing List alongside recorded broadcast and cable TV shows.

TiVo is also providing an on-screen guide of select Web video sources as individual episodes or as a Season Pass. Subscribers can also use the TiVo service’s Season Pass functionality to get their own personal video folders on their PC, where they save their home movies and other video downloads.