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TiVo lands PVR patents

Thu, 05/24/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

TiVo Inc. landed several patents this week, including one for its personal video recording software and hardware, it says. The announcement yesterday sent its stock from $4.94 to $8.50 a share.

But TiVo also announced net losses of $50.2 million or $1.20 per share for the quarter ending April 30. In January, it had reported a net loss of $81.5 million or $2 a share for the quarter.

The patent, on the company's Multimedia Timewarping System, covers methods of recording a program while playing back another or watching a program as it is recording, TiVo reports. The system also processes and synchronizes various multimedia streams such as a TV signal, including video, audio and closed captioning, and has a storage format that supports advanced Trickplay capabilities, it says. Trickplay entails pausing live broadcasts, fast-forwarding, rewinding, instant replays and slow motion.

Another patent covers a method for embedding data in a TV signal that allows it to survive conversion from analog to digital and vice versa. It also owns designs for remote controls and an integrated DirecTV receiver.

The patents put the company squarely in the PVR market and pits it against such competitors as Microsoft's UltimateTV and Replay TV, observers say.

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