TiVo users can soon watch Netflix movies on-demand

Finally following through on a partnership that was announced over four years ago, Netflix subscribers will soon be able to stream movies directly to their TiVo DVR.

A limited beta test has begun where TiVo users can browse more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes available through Netflix's "Instant Watching" service, where it streams video over the Web instead of mailing a DVD. The companies expect to expand the capability to all TiVo users by early December.

The addition of Netflix's streaming content to TiVo further bolsters the DVR's entertainment options as it battles to add subscribers and fend off rival devices from cable and IPTV providers. TiVo has long offered movie downloads through Amazon's Unbox service, and the company recently signed deals with both CinemaNow and Jaman as an alternative for movie rentals, as well as partnering with YouTube.


Executives from both TiVo and Netflix said they were pleased the partnership has finally come to fruition. After initially announcing their plans in 2004, Netflix struggled to gain studio approval to stream movies to customers, and it still has a relatively small streaming library compared to its DVD rental offerings. By the time Netflix managed to roll out its Instant Watching service, TiVo was already working with Amazon and others.

The new Netflix capability will only work with TiVo's newest high-definition DVRs, not older Series2 models. The Series3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL are supported, and the movies are streamed over a broadband connection. Users can browse their instant Queue, read synopses and rate movies, along with pausing, fast-forwarding, rewinding and re-starting video at any time with the TiVo remote.

The feature is provided free of charge to users who subscribe to both Netflix and TiVo. TiVo currently boasts 3.6 million customers, while Netflix counts 8.7 million.

TiVo isn't the only device that will feature streaming content from Netflix. Microsoft's Xbox 360 will include the option, with 300 titles also being offered in high-definition. Samsung Blu-ray players and a dedicated set-top box from Roku also feature on-demand movies and TV from Netflix.

TiVo did not say whether it would include high-definition content from Netflix.

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