TiVo owners will soon find YouTube on TV. The two companies on Wednesday announced an agreement to offer YouTube videos on a TV connected to a TiVo digital video recorder.
The new service will be available to broadband-connected subscribers of the TiVo Series3 DVR, including the new TiVo HD. Those users will be able to search, browse and watch YouTube videos on TV.
'Easy to Use Service'
TiVo users will also be able to interact with Google's YouTube directly, such as logging on to YouTube to get their playlists or favorite YouTube channels.
The agreement is a step toward connecting the "last mile" between Web videos and TV. TiVo Vice President Tara Maitra said the deal provides a "one device, one remote and one user interface" combining TV and Web videos into an "easy to use service."
Bobby Tulsiani, an analyst with JupiterResearch, said this is another step in YouTube's plan to spread its content and platform among a variety of devices and delivery systems. He pointed to deals putting YouTube on Apple's iPhone and Apple TV, and said the company is working on arrangements for other mobile devices.
That proliferation is not only onto other devices, but to other Web sites. On Wednesday, YouTube said it is providing application programming interfaces so developers can create Web sites or applications that offer YouTube content and functionality.
'A Bridge to the TV'
Essentially, the APIs enable other Web sites to become mini-YouTubes. The APIs allow direct uploading of videos to YouTube, posting of metadata such as comments or ratings, and a "chromeless" video player that can be branded.
The TiVo-YouTube deal "helps to cement a bridge to the TV," Tulsiani said, although "TiVo is not ubiquitous." He added that the model may not apply to other DVRs that don't have a broadband connection and mainly record broadcast programs.
However, a TV-based Web interface from a DVR has the potential to not only change Web videos, but traditional TV as well.
Hulu.com, a NBC Universal-News Corp. joint venture, launched Wednesday and offers full-length broadcast and cable-TV programs, as well as movies. It also shares content with such Web sites as MSN and Yahoo. Link Hulu's content to a DVR and programs could be watched on demand on TV, via the Web.