Earlier this month, TiVo announced TiVoCAST, a new service — free to TiVo subscribers — that provides access to video content on the Web. The service includes content from the NBA and WNBA, the New York Times, CNET, and iVillage. It also has content for extreme sports, hip hop and other music, and the Rocketboom video blog. TiVo also pointed out that this new service will make it possible for content producers to make their programming available over the Internet to TiVo customers for free (with or without advertising), by subscription, or as pay-per-view.
One of the key parts of the announcement was this: “Just as television content is easy to find and navigate through the TiVo interface, the TiVoCast service makes it easy to enjoy Web-based video content.” As I’ve written here on a few occasions, this is exactly what will be required in order for IPTV to take off. Apparently, TiVo customers will be able to access the Web content right from the Showcases area of the TiVo menu system. If this works as described, it could open Web video content to a new and larger audience, and could even help drive other efforts to make IPTV easy to access.