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TiVo for telly

Wed, 09/27/2000 - 8:00pm
Karen Kessler

TiVo, the pioneer of personal video recorders, will be for sale beginning October 1 in the UK. TiVo is expected to change many of the viewing habits of that island country.

The smart recorders don't use videotapes, (it uses a hard disk) and one doesn't really need to tell it what to record. It makes educated guesses based on your past viewing habits. Kind of like when one returns to an online bookstore, and the splash page is emblazoned with, 'Hello, Tony Blair! We think you'll like these books!'

Based on this, TiVo could reveal some interesting viewing secrets in British households…

PVRs are reportedly easier to program than their analog cousins, so Brits who have been baffled in the past can give the machine easy guidelines to follow when it trolls cable and satellite channel line-ups to store 40 hours of programming.

And who wouldn't like this? Brits can skip the nappy and sappy commercials. Advertisers are hip to this problem, though, and will evolve new styles of advertising to communicate their messages, possibly embedding ads in the programs.

Subs can also make a fish and chip run and record their favorite programs, even as they are still being aired, and pick it up where they left off. They can even double back and watch scenes in slow motion without missing the rest of a show.

Of course, all this comes at a queen-size price. UK subs can expect to spend about £275 ($399 U.S.) for the box and a monthly subscriber fee of £10.

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