TiVo (/ˈtiːvoʊ/ TEE-voh) is a digital video recorder (DVR)
developed and marketed by
TiVo Corporation and introduced in 1999.
TiVo provides an on-screen guide of scheduled broadcast programming
television programs, whose features include "Season Pass" schedules
which record every new episode of a series, and "WishList" searches
which allow the user to find and record shows that match their
interests by title, actor, director, category, or keyword.
provides a range of features when the
TiVo DVR is connected to a home
network, including film and television show downloads, advanced
search, personal photo viewing, music offerings, and online
Since its launch in its home market of America,
TiVo has also been
made available in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico,
Sweden, Taiwan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Newer models,
however, have adopted the
CableCARD standard, which is only deployed
in the United States, and which limits the availability of certain
1 History and development
TiVo digital video recorder
2.2 Subscription service
2.2.1 Service availability
126.96.36.199 United Kingdom
2.3 Hardware anatomy
2.4 Drive expansion
TiVo in the cloud
4 Competitors and market share
5.1 Privacy concerns
5.3 Opposition by content providers
5.3.1 Content flagging
5.3.2 Pop-up advertisements
5.4 GNU General Public License and "Tivoization"
6 See also
8 External links
History and development
TiVo was developed by Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay through a corporation
they named "Teleworld" which was later renamed to
TiVo Inc. Though
they originally intended to create a home network device, it was
redesigned as a device that records digitized video onto a hard disk.
They began the first public trials of the
TiVo device and service in
late 1998 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
After exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1999,
Mike Ramsay announced to the company that the first version of the
TiVo digital video recorder would ship "In Q1", (the last day of which
is 31 March) despite an estimated four to five months of work
remaining to complete the device. Because 31 March 1999 was a blue
moon, the engineering staff code-named this first version of the TiVo
DVR "Blue Moon".
TiVo DVR digitized and compressed analog video from any
source (antenna, cable or direct broadcast satellite).
integrates its DVR service into the set-top boxes of satellite and
cable providers. In late 2000,
Philips Electronics introduced the
DSR6000, the first
DirecTV receiver with an integrated
TiVo DVR. This
new device, nicknamed the "DirecTiVo", stored digital signals sent
DirecTV directly onto a hard disk.
In early 2000,
TiVo partnered with electronics manufacturer Thomson
Multimedia (now Technicolor SA) and broadcaster British Sky
Broadcasting to deliver the
TiVo service in the UK market. This
partnership resulted in the Thomson PVR10UK, a stand-alone receiver
released in October 2000 that was based on the original reference
design used in the United States by both
Philips and Sony.
UK unit sales in January 2003, though it continued to sell
subscriptions and supply guide data to existing subscribed units until
TiVo branded products returned to the UK during 2010 under
an exclusive partnership with cable television provider Virgin
TiVo was launched in Australia in July 2008 by Hybrid Television
Services, a company owned by Australia's Seven Media Group and New
TiVo also launched a special 2009 Christmas
that has a 320Gb hard Drive and comes with the HNP free.[clarification
TiVo Australia also launched Blockbuster on demand and as
of early December launched a novel service called Caspa on Demand.
TiVo also went on sale in New Zealand on 6 November 2009.
Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show incident set a record for
being the most watched, recorded and replayed moment in
The baring of one of Jackson's breasts at the end of her duet with
Justin Timberlake, which caused a flood of outraged phone calls to
CBS, was replayed a record number of times by
TiVo users. A company
representative stated "The audience measurement guys have never seen
anything like it. The audience reaction charts looked like an
electrocardiogram." In November 2017,
TiVo appointed Enrique
Rodriguez as new President and CEO.
TiVo digital video recorder
TiVo digital video recorders
Front view of a
TiVo Series2 5xx-generation unit
TiVo DVR serves a function similar to that of a videocassette
recorder (VCR), in that both allow a television viewer to record
programming for viewing at a later time. Unlike a videocassette
recorder, which uses removable magnetic tape cartridges, a
stores television programs on an internal hard drive that can only be
removed by disassembling the device.
TiVo DVR also automatically records programs which the user is
likely to be interested in.
TiVo DVRs also implement a patented
TiVo calls "trick play", allowing the viewer to pause
live television and rewind and replay up to a half-hour of recently
viewed television. More recent
TiVo DVRs can be connected to a
computer local area network, allowing the
TiVo device to download
information and even video programs, music and movies from the
TiVo polls its network, receiving program information including
description, regular and guest actors, directors, genres, whether
programs are new or repeats, and whether broadcast is in High
Definition (HD). Information is updated daily from Tribune Media
Users can select individual programs to record or a "Season Pass" to
record an entire season (or more). There are options to record First
Run Only, First Run and Repeats, or All Episodes. An episode is
considered "First Run" if aired within two weeks of that episode's
initial air date.
When users' requests for multiple programs are conflicting, the lower
priority program in the Season Pass Manager is either not recorded or
clipped where times overlap. The lower priority program will be
recorded if it is aired later.
TiVo DVRs with two tuners record the
top two priority programs.
TiVo pioneered recording programs based on household viewing
habits; this is called
TiVo Suggestions. Users can
rate programs from three "thumbs up" to three "thumbs down".
ratings are combined to create a recommendation, based on what TiVo
users with similar viewing habits watch. For example, if one user
likes American Idol,
America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars,
TiVo user who watched just
American Idol might get a
recommendation for the other two shows.
A limited amount of space is available to store programs. When the
space is full, the oldest programs are deleted to make space for the
newer ones; programs that users flag to not be deleted are kept and
TiVo Suggestions are always lowest priority. The recording capacity of
TiVo HD DVR can be expanded with an external hard drive, which can
add 65 additional hours of HD recording space or up to 600 hours of
standard definition video recording capacity.
When not recording specific user requests, the current channel is
recorded for up to 30 minutes. Dual-tuner models record two channels.
This allows users to rewind or pause anything that has been shown in
the last thirty minutes — useful when viewing is interrupted.
Shows already in progress can be entirely recorded if less than 30
minutes have been shown. Unlike VCRs,
TiVo can record and play at the
same time. A program can be watched from the beginning even if it's in
the middle of being recorded, which is something that VCRs cannot do.
Some users take advantage of this by waiting 10 to 15 minutes after a
program starts (or is replayed from a recording), so that they can
fast forward through commercials. In this way, by the end of the
recording viewers are caught up with live television.
Unlike most DVRs,
TiVo DVRs are easily connected to home networks,
allowing users to schedule recordings on TiVo's website (via TiVo
Central Online), transfer recordings between
TiVo units (Multi-Room
Viewing (MRV)) or to/from a home computer (TiVoToGo transfers), play
music and view photos over the network, and access third-party
applications written for TiVo's Home Media Engine (HME) API.
TiVo has added a number of broadband features, including integration
with Amazon Video on Demand, Jaman.com and Netflix Watch
Instantly, offering users access to thousands of movie titles and
television shows right from the comfort of their couch. Additionally,
broadband connected to
TiVo boxes can access digital photos from
Picasa Web Albums or Photobucket. Another popular feature is access to
Rhapsody music through TiVo, allowing users to listen to virtually any
song from their living room.
TiVo also teamed up with One True Media
to give subscribers a private channel for sharing photos and video
with family and friends. They can also access weather, traffic,
Fandango movie listings (including ticket purchases), and music
through Live365. In the summer of 2008
TiVo announced the availability
of YouTube videos on TiVo.
On 7 June 2006,
TiVo began offering TiVoCast, a broadband download
service which initially offered content from places such as Rocketboom
or, The New York Times; now there are over 70 TivoCast channels
TiVo is expanding media convergence. In January 2005, TiVoToGo, a
feature allowing transfer of recorded shows from
TiVo boxes to PCs,
TiVo partnered with Sonic in the release of MyDVD 6.1,
software for editing and converting TiVoToGo files. In January, 2007,
TiVoToGo was extended to the
Macintosh with Toast Titanium 8, Roxio
software for assembly and burning digital media on CD and DVD media.
In August 2005,
TiVo rolled out "
TiVo Desktop" allowing moving MPEG2
video files from PCs to
TiVo for playback by DVR. As of June 5, 2013,
TiVo stopped distributing the free version of
TiVo Desktop for PC in
favor of selling
TiVo Desktop Plus. Users who previously
downloaded the free version of
TiVo Desktop can continue to use the
software without paying a fee for the Plus edition.
TiVo KidZone (later removed in the Premiere and Roamio devices) was
designed to give parents greater control over what their children see
on television. This feature allows parents to choose which shows their
children can watch and record. It also helps kids discover new shows
through recommendations from leading national children's
TiVo KidZone provides a customized Now Playing List for
children that displays only pre-approved shows, keeping television as
safe as possible.
The information that a
TiVo DVR downloads regarding television
schedules, as well as software updates and any other relevant
information is available through a monthly service subscription in the
United States. A different model applies in Australia where the TiVo
media device is bought for a one-off fee, without further subscription
There are multiple types of Product Lifetime Service. For
TiVo DVRS the lifetime subscription remains as long
as the account is active and does not follow a specific piece of
hardware. This satellite lifetime subscription cannot be transferred
to another person.
Toshiba and Pioneer
TiVo DVD recording equipped
units include a "Basic Lifetime Subscription", which is very similar
to Full Lifetime, except only three days of the program guide are
viewable; and search and Internet capabilities are not available, or
at least limited. All units (except satellite but including DVD units)
can have "Product Lifetime Subscription" to the
TiVo service which
covers the life of the
TiVo DVR, not the life of the subscriber. The
Product Lifetime Subscription accompanies the
TiVo DVR in case of
TiVo makes no warranties or representations as to
the expected lifetime of the
TiVo DVR (aside from the manufacturer's
Limited Warranty). In the past
TiVo has offered multiple "Trade Up"
programs where you could transfer the Product Lifetime Subscription
from an old unit to a newer model with a fee. A
TiVo can be used
without a service-agreement, but it will act more like a VCR in that
you can only perform manual recordings and the
TiVo can't be connected
TiVo service for local time, program guide data, software
updates, etc. or
TiVo will shut down the recording function.
TiVo service is available in the United States, United Kingdom,
Canada, Mexico, Australia, Spain and
Taiwan at present. Over the years
since its initial release in the United States,
TiVo Series1 and
Series2 DVRs have also been modified by end users to work in
Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and South
TiVo went on sale in New Zealand in the first week of November
TiVo Service is coming to an end in Australia on 31 October 2017
and therefore there will be no electronic programming guide and TiVo
recording features after 31 October 2017, thus making all Tivo
machines in Australia virtually useless.
TiVo service was launched in the
United Kingdom in the autumn of
2000. It sold only 35,000 units over the next 18 months. Thomson,
makers of the only UK
TiVo box, abandoned it in early 2002 after BSkyB
Sky+ integrated "set-top" decoder and DVR which dominated
the market for DVRs in homes subscribing to BSkyB's paid-for satellite
television service. Many manufacturers, including Thomson have
launched integrated decoder boxes/DVRs in the UK for other digital
platforms, including free satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV.
A technical issue caused
TiVo Suggestions to stop recording for S1 UK
TiVo customers in late September 2008, but this was fixed in late
Since December 2010, UK
TiVo units that were not already on an active
monthly subscription or lifetime subscription could no longer be
BSkyB who were operating the support for
TiVo no longer
had full access to the
TiVo systems to activate accounts.
TiVo S1 subscription service was maintained for both lifetime and
monthly subscriptions until 1 June 2011. A community project known
as AltEPG was established in March 2011 with the aim of providing a
replacement for the discontinued subscription service. This project
now provides programme guide data and software upgrades for S1
On 24 November 2009, cable television provider
Virgin Media entered
into a strategic partnership with TiVo. Under the mutually
TiVo developed a converged television and
broadband interactive interface to power Virgin Media's next
generation, high definition set top boxes.
TiVo will become the
exclusive provider of middleware and user interface software for
Virgin Media's next generation set top boxes.
Virgin Media will be the
exclusive distributor of
TiVo services and technology in the United
Virgin Media released its first
TiVo co-branded product in
December 2010. On 17 March 2011,
Virgin Media enabled access to a
As of 12 February 2015,
Virgin Media has two million
50% of their television customers.
TiVo "peanut" remote
TiVo DVR was designed by
TiVo Inc., which currently provides the
hardware design and Linux-based
TiVo software, and operates a
subscription service (without which most models of
TiVo will not
TiVo units have been manufactured by various OEMs, including
Philips, Sony, Cisco, Hughes, Pioneer, Toshiba, and Humax, which
license the software from
TiVo Inc. To date, there have been six
TiVo units produced.
TiVo DVRs are based on
PowerPC (Series1) or MIPS (Series2) processors
MPEG-2 encoder/decoder chips and high-capacity IDE/ATA
hard drives. Series1
TiVo units used one or two drives of 13–60 GB;
current Series2 units have drives of 40–250 GB in size.
also partnered with
Western Digital to create an external hard drive,
the My DVR Expander, for
TiVo HD and Series3 Boxes. It plugs into the
TiVo box using an eSATA interface. It expands the High-Definition
boxes by up to 67 hours of HD, and around 300 hours of standard
TiVo users have found many ways to expand TiVo
storage, although these methods are not supported by TiVo, and may
void the warranty.
Some recent models manufactured by Toshiba, Pioneer, and Humax, under
license from TiVo, contain DVD-R/RW drives. The models can transfer
recordings from the built-in hard drive to DVD Video compliant disc,
playable in most modern DVD systems.
TiVo DVRs have coax/RF-in and an internal cable-ready
tuner, as well as analog video input — composite/RCA and
S-Video, for use with an external cable box or satellite receiver. The
TiVo unit can use a serial cable or infrared blasters to control the
external receiver. They have coax/RF, composite/RCA, and S-Video
output, and the DVD systems also have component out. Audio is RCA
stereo, and the DVD systems also have digital optical out.
Until 2006, standalone
TiVo systems could only record one channel at a
time, though a dual-tuner Series2DT (S2DT) box was introduced in April
2006. The S2DT has two internal cable-ready tuners and it supports a
single external cable box or satellite receiver. The S2DT is therefore
capable of recording two analog cable channels, one analog and one
digital cable channel, or one analog cable and one satellite channel
at a time, with the correct programming sources. Note, however, that
the S2DT, unlike earlier units, cannot record from an antenna. This is
due to an FCC mandate that all devices sold after March 2007 with an
NTSC tuner must also contain an ATSC tuner.
TiVo therefore had to
choose between adding ATSC support, or removing
NTSC support. With the
S2DT they opted to remove NTSC; the Series3 supports
NTSC and ATSC,
along with digital cable channels (with CableCards).
The Series2 DVRs also have USB ports, currently used only to support
Ethernet and WiFi) adapters. The early Series2
units, models starting with 110/130/140, have USB1.1 hardware, while
all other systems have USB2.0. There have been four major generations
of Series2 units. The TiVo-branded 1xx and 2xx generations were solid
grey-black. The main difference was the upgrade from USB 1.1 to
the much faster USB 2.0. The 5xx generation was a new design. The
chassis is silver with a white oval in the faceplate. The white oval
is backlit, leading to these units being called "Nightlight" boxes.
The 5xx generation was designed to reduce costs, and this also caused
a noticeable drop in performance in the system menus as well as a
large performance drop in network transfers. The 5xx generation also
introduced changes in the boot PROM that make them unmodifiable
without extensive wiring changes. The 6xx generation resembles the
previous 5xx model, except that it has a black oval. The 6xx is a new
design and the only model available today is the S2DT with dual tuners
and a built-in 10/100baseT
Ethernet port as well. The 6xx is the best
performing Series2 to date, outperforming even the old leader, the
2xx, and far better than the lowest performing 5xx.
TiVo systems are integrated with
DirecTV receivers. These
"DirecTiVo" recorders record the incoming satellite
stream directly to hard disk without conversion. Because of this and
the fact that they have two tuners, DirecTiVos are able to record two
programs at once. In addition, the lack of digital conversion allows
recorded video to be of the same quality as live video. DirecTiVos
have no MPEG encoder chip, and can only record
DirecTV has disabled the networking capabilities on their
systems, meaning Direc
TiVo does not offer such features as multi-room
viewing or TiVoToGo. Only the standalone systems can be networked
without additional unsupported hacking.
TiVo units (HR10-250) can record HDTV to a 250 GB hard drive,
both from the
DirecTV stream and over-the-air via a standard UHF- or
VHF-capable antenna. They have two virtual tuners (each consisting of
DirecTV tuner paired with an ATSC over-the-air tuner) and, like the
original DirecTiVo, can record two programs at once; further, the
program guide is integrated between over-the-air and
DirecTV so that
all programs can be recorded and viewed in the same manner.
DirecTV stopped marketing recorders powered by
focused on its own DVR line developed by its business units. DirecTV
continues to support the existing base of
DirecTV recorders powered by
On 8 July 2006,
DirecTV announced an upgrade to version 6.3 on all
remaining HR10-250 Direc
TiVo receivers, the first major upgrade since
this unit was released. This upgrade includes features like program
grouping (folders), a much faster on-screen guide, and new sorting
In September 2008,
TiVo announced that they have extended
their current agreement, which includes the development, marketing and
distribution of a new HD DIRECTV DVR featuring the
TiVo service, as
well as the extension of mutual intellectual property arrangements.
Since the discontinued
Hughes Electronics DirectTV DVR with
HR10-250, all newer
TiVo units have been fully HDTV capable. Other
TiVo models will only record analog standard definition television
NTSC or PAL/SECAM). The Series3 "
TiVo HD, and
TiVo HD XL" DVRs and
the Series4 "
TiVo Premiere and
TiVo Premiere XL" DVRs are capable of
recording HDTV both from antenna (over the air) and cable (unencrypted
QAM tuner or encrypted with a Cable Card) in addition to normal
standard definition television from the same sources. Unlike the
HR10-250, neither the Series3 nor Series4 units can record from the
DirecTV service; conversely, the HR10-250 cannot record from digital
TiVo models may be connected to a high definition
television (HDTV), but are not capable of recording HDTV signals,
although they may be connected to a cable HDTV set-top box and record
the down-converted outputs.
In 2008, some cable companies started to deploy switched digital video
(SDV) technology, which initially was incompatible with the Series3
TiVo HD units.
TiVo Inc worked with cable operators on a
tuning-adapter with USB connection to the
TiVo to enable SDV. Some
MSOs now offer these adapters for free to their customers with TiVo
TiVo has partnered with
Western Digital to create an external hard
drive, the My DVR Expander eSATA Edition, for
TiVo HD and Series3
systems. The external drive plugs into the
TiVo box using an eSATA
interface. The first version of the eSATA drive shipped was a 500 GB
drive that shipped in June 2008. In June 2009 the 1 TB version of the
drive began shipping. The 1 TB version expands the
TiVo HD and Series3
systems' capacity by up to 140 hours of HD content or 1,200 hours of
TiVo was not designed to have an external drive disconnected once it
has been added, because data for each recording is spread across both
the internal and external disk drives. As a result, it is not possible
to disconnect the external drive without deleting content recorded
after the external drive was added. If disconnected, any recordings
made will not be usable on either the internal or external drives.
However, the external drive may be removed (along with content)
without losing settings.
Various capacities of external drives have been shipped since the
product was initially released. There were reports of product
reliability issues, and a brief period of unavailability.
Western Digital 1 TB and 500 GB My DVR Expander eSATA Edition and
My DVR Expander USB Edition drives have been discontinued and replaced
Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB drive. This
drive has received a facelift from the previous generation, which now
sports a glossy finish, and a tiny white LED power indicator, along
with a push button power switch in the back. The biggest change is
that this drive now includes both eSATA and USB in one device. This
device is DirectTV, Dish Network, TiVo, Moxi, Pace, and Scientific
Atlanta (Cisco) certified. Press Release Seagate has come out with
their own DVR Expander drive called the Seagate GoFlex DVR which comes
in a 1 TB and 2 TB capacity.
TiVo has not approved the Seagate
product for use with
TiVo DVRs and they will not currently function
Users have installed additional or larger hard drives in their TiVo
boxes to increase their recording capacity. Others have designed and
Ethernet cards, a web interface (TiVoWeb), and figured out
how to extract, insert and transfer video among their
Other hacks include adding time to the start and end of recording
intelligently and sending daily e-mails of the TiVos activity.
TiVo still uses the same encoding, however, for the media files (saved
TiVo files). These are MPEG files encoded with the user's Media
Access Key (MAK). However, coders have written programs such as
tivodecode and tivodecode Manager to strip the MAK from the file,
allowing the user to watch or send the recordings to friends. These
projects are open source and for the most part are hosted on
TiVo in the cloud
On January 4, 2018
TiVo announced its next-gen platform, a catch-all
product for providers like cable companies. It's available for
multiple TV devices, including not only Linux- and Android TV-based
set-top boxes and traditional DVRs, but also DVR-free streaming
Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV, as well as phones, tablets
and PCs. The platform allows providers to take advantage of TiVo's
user interface, voice control, personalization and recommendations.
TiVo expects its user interface could provide an advantage over
competitors such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video in a world where
cord-cutting is increasingly popular. 
Competitors and market share
The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the
United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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While its former main competitor in the United States, ReplayTV, had
adopted a commercial-skip feature,
TiVo decided to avoid automatic
implementation fearing such a move might provoke backlash from the
ReplayTV was sued over this feature as well as
the ability to share shows over the Internet, and these lawsuits
contributed to the bankruptcy of SONICblue, its owner at the time.
Its new owner, DNNA, dropped both features in the final ReplayTV
model, the 5500.
After demonstrating the WebTV capability at the same 1999 CES with
ReplayTV demonstrating their products, Dish (then named Dish
Network) a few months later added DVR functionality to their
DishPlayer 7100 (and later its 7200) with its Echostar unit producing
the hardware while Microsoft provided the software that included
WebTV, the same software Microsoft would later use for its UltimateTV
DVR for DirecTV. The TiVo, ReplayTV, and DishPlayer 7100 represent
very first DVRs that were in development at the same time and were
released to market at about the same time.
SONICblue, the owners of
ReplayTV would file for bankruptcy after
being sued for its ability to automatically skip commercials and other
features that were thought to violate copyrights; Echostar (Dish)
would eventually sue Microsoft in 2001 for failing to support the
software in DishPlayer 7100 and 7200 with Dish ending their
relationship with Microsoft and cease offering the DishPlayer
7100/7200 to its subscribers and, instead, produce their own in-house
DirecTV would eventually drop Microsoft's UltimateTV and keep
TiVo as its only DVR offering for quite some time.
Other distributors' competing DVR sets in the United States include
Comcast and Verizon, although both distribute third-party hardware
from manufacturers such as
Motorola and the former Scientific Atlanta
Cisco Systems with this functionality built-in.
boxes fitted for FiOS, allowing high-speed Internet access and other
TiVo is compatible with the
FiOS TV service because
when the TV programming arrives at the home via
FiOS Fiber to the Home
network, it is converted to CableLabs specification QAM channels
exactly as those used by cable TV companies. AT&T is an IPTV
service that is incompatible with the TiVo.
Despite having gained 234,000 subscribers in the last quarter of
2011, as of January 2012
TiVo had only (approximately) 2.3 million
subscribers in the United States. This is down from a peak of 4.36
million in January 2006. As of January 31, 2016,
TiVo reported 6.8
TiVo collects detailed usage data from units via broadband Internet.
As units are downloading schedule data, they transmit household
viewing habits to
TiVo Inc. Collected information includes a log of
everything watched (time and channel) and remote keypresses such as
fast forwarding through or replaying content. Many users were
TiVo released data on how many users rewatched the
exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the 2004 Super Bowl.
TiVo records usage data for their own research and they also sell it
to other corporations such as advertisers. Nielsen and
also previously collaborated to track viewing habits. This data is
sold to advertising agencies as a way of documenting the number of
viewers watching specific commercials to their corporate clients.
TiVo has three levels of data collection. By default, the user is in
"opt-out" status, where all usage data is aggregated by ZIP Code, and
individual viewing habits are not tracked. Certain optional features
and promotions require the user to opt in, and individual information
is then collected for targeted show suggestions or advertising. Users
can request that
TiVo block the collection of anonymous viewing
information and diagnostic information from their
TiVo holds several patents that have been asserted against cable TV
operators and competing DVR box makers. Current discussion of TiVo's
litigation activity and impacts to TiVo's business appear on various
Opposition by content providers
In September 2005, a
TiVo software upgrade added the ability for
broadcasters to "flag" programs to be deleted after a certain date.
Some customers had recordings deleted, or could not use their flagged
recordings (transfer to a computer or burn to DVD), as they could with
unflagged material. The initial showing of this for random shows was a
bug in the software. It later was enabled on pay-per-view and
During early 2005,
TiVo began test marketing "pop-up" advertisements
to select subscribers, to explore it as an alternative source of
revenue. The idea was that as users fast-forward through certain
TiVo advertisers, they would also see a static image ad
more suitable and effective than the broken video stream.
At its announcement, the concept of extra advertisements drew heavy
criticism from subscribers. Some lifetime subscribers were upset that
they had already paid for a service based upon their previous ad-free
experience, while others argued that they had purchased the service
for the specific purpose of dodging advertisements. In 2007,
changes to its pop-up ad system to show pop-up ads only if the user
fast-forwards through a commercial that has a corresponding pop-up
GNU General Public License and "Tivoization"
Hardware restrictions and Tivoization
Free Software Foundation
Free Software Foundation (FSF) decided to combat TiVo's
technical system of blocking users from running modified software.
This behavior, which FSF dubs "tivoization", was tackled by creating a
new version of the GNU General Public License (GPL v3) prohibiting
this activity. The operating system kernel included in the
distributed under the terms of the GPL, and the FSF's goal is to
ensure that all recipients of software licensed under the new GPL are
not restricted by hardware constraints on the modification of
distributed software. This new license provision was acknowledged by
TiVo in its April 2007 SEC filing: "we may be unable to incorporate
future enhancements to the GNU/
Linux operating system into our
software, which could adversely affect our business". Regardless,
Linux kernel has not been changed to use GPL v3.
TiVo digital video recorders
^ International availability of the
^ "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: The 4th Annual Blue Moon
TiVo Community Forum Archive 1". Archive.tivocommunity.com.
Retrieved October 16, 2012.
^ a b "
Virgin Media Selects Tivo For Next Generation Tv Platform".
Virgin Media. 24 November 2009.
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