Mixing cable, satellite, broadcast and the Internet

Here’s some news the TV industry doesn’t want to hear. According to The New York Times, the people at TiVo will announce “a new set of Internet-based services today that will further blur the line between programming delivered over traditional cable and satellite channels and content from the Internet.”

It is just one of a growing group of large and small companies that are looking at high-speed Internet to deliver video content to the living room.

The new TiVo technology, which will become a standard feature in its video recorders, will allow users to download movies and music from the Internet to the hard drive on their video recorder. Although the current TiVo service allows users to watch broadcast, cable or satellite programs at any time, the new technology will make it possible for them to mix content from the Internet with those programs.

“This is the fourth electronic video service, and it is an alternative to cable, satellite and broadcast television,” said Tom Wolzien, an analyst at Bernstein Investment Research and Management. Those traditional services, Mr. Wolzien said, “have been the monster gatekeepers, but this is a way for content providers to get past them.”

This TiVo announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following industry trends for more than a day. Oops. That might not be true. It seems like just, well, yesterday that Al Ries told AdAge readers not to believe in the idea of convergence. Don’t you just hate it when reality gets in the way of your assumptions?

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