Looking to merge virtually all traditional and new digital TV shows -- new and old -- into one service and device, TiVo has broadened its offerings. The longtime maker of time-shifting TV show equipment has struck a deal with Hulu Plus to be included in TiVo's new DVR machines.
For TiVo's new TiVo Premiere unit/service, consumers will be able to instantly stream TV shows to their TVs, or time-shift shows in the traditional mode, with TiVo's new unit. The Hulu Plus addition to TiVo Premiere will roll out in the coming months.
Hulu Plus costs $9.99 a month. The difference from the regular Hulu service is that consumers can get a deeper library of broadcast and cable shows, many of which are no longer on the air.
For a long time, TiVo's DVR efforts have been to serve consumers with time-shifting capabilities of TV shows that are currently on the air. The Hulu Plus deal complements that mission.
Tara Maitra, vice president/general manager of content services and ad sales, TiVo, stated: "TiVo is the complete TV entertainment solution. No other service is as robust or offers consumers the ability to access live TV, Web video and video-on-demand content from one box."
For many TV business analysts, Hulu.com, a venture whose partners include NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney, already replicates much of what TiVo and other DVR units do: time-shifted viewing.
Hulu is a free, ad-supported Internet service. But by striking a deal for Hulu Plus, TiVo adds the function of retrieving TV shows that are no longer on the air, or current shows' previous seasons.
Financial terms of the TiVo/Hulu Plus deal were not disclosed. TiVo has an estimated 3 million subscribers.