TiVo Scoop: HD and 3D Downloads by Christmas?

TiVo owners could be in for an early Christmas present: HD and 3D downloads.

The licensee of the world’s top-selling PVR, Hybrid Television Services, has revealed to ScreenScribe.tv ambitious plans to not only make TiVo more popular in New Zealand but also to accelerate the rollout of its CASPA video on demand (VOD) service.

“It’s our goal that by Christmas this year CASPA will be across more than just TiVo devices,” Hybrid chief executive Robbee Minicola says.

That’s why Hybrid’s in talks with consumer electronics giants about making all of their Internet-connected devices, like flat-screen TVs and Blu-ray players, CASPA-compatible.

“We’re talking to every single manufacturer and as you can imagine, every manufacturer that’s incorporating Internet enablement in their devices is seeking a way to bring that Internet connectivity to life,” Minicola says.

“I would say if the customers start buying devices with CASPA on it, you could start to see HD and 3D content as early as Christmas – as long as we’ve got ISPs [Internet Service Providers] supporting that.”

CASPA already has about 4000 hours of movie, TV and music video content, through Hybrid’s digital rights deals with the likes of Universal, Sony Pictures, Paramount, Hopscotch, Granada, CBS and NBC.

Initially, unmetered CASPA downloads were limited to TiVo customers with a Telecom broadband account. But with Telecom’s exclusive TiVo window having just ended, Hybrid is encouraging every ISP to offer unmetered access to CASPA content.

“We’re locally hosted which means it should be relatively inexpensive or no cost at all to ISPs to deliver that content to their customers,” Minicola says.

“HD content probably is going to be about double the size of an SD file. And when you’re talking about streaming or downloading that does weigh heavily on the customer’s monthly broadband capacity.

“So as soon as we can get ISP relationships fixed, we are ready to deliver HD and 3D content to that market.

“The only thing that enables New Zealand to have 3D and HD content is making sure the customer does not pay twice: us for the content and excess fees on capacity with broadband providers. We don’t want them to get bill shock with their broadband plan – it’s just not a good look.”

Minicola says TiVo could offer HD and 3D downloads now through Telecom, “but we need to get a larger universe of customers across all ISPs and other devices as well as TiVo to substantiate the cost to get that system up and running in New Zealand.”

For more on Hybrid’s plans to become the Netflix of Asia, see Onfilm.

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One Response to “TiVo Scoop: HD and 3D Downloads by Christmas?”

  1. If they sort out the ISP thing and have recent HD offerings I may buy a TiVo

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