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As TiVo's World Turns

5:10 PM -- TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s looking to advance its global TV service provider strategy after striking a deal to integrate its applications and software on to HD-DVR boxes made by France's Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH) (formerly Thomson). (See Technicolor to Integrate TiVo IPG.)

There aren't any service provider partners to speak of yet, but the initial plans call for Technicolor to port TiVo's software to the DSI803, an HD-DVR hardware platform that sports two tuners. The TiVo configuration will have a minimum of 320 gigabytes of storage -- enough for about 45 hours of hi-def content.

TiVo is trying to expand its presence with US service operators, but the Technicolor agreement "is relevant for our international strategy," says Joshua Danovitz, VP and GM of TiVo's international biz unit, noting that the Technicolor box referred to is based on Digital Video Broadcast (DVB), a standard that's not widely used in the US.

And the deal isn't a pairing of strangers. Thomson made some of TiVo's early-generation DVRs as well as some of TiVo-powered receivers distributed by DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) back in the day.

This time around, TiVo hopes this latest connection and the pre-work that will go into it will help reduce the development time and costs that have typically been required to bring the TiVo platform to pay TV operators.

And TiVo will use the deal to expand on an international strategy that has already netted deals with operators in Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. (See Telecom NZ Scraps Caps for Web TV .)

It's also the latest instance in which TiVo is supplying its software, but relying on others to handle the bulk of the hardware responsibilities. A recent example of that strategy comes by way of UK MSO Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), which will be using TiVo software in digital boxes (not just DVRs) made by still-unnamed hardware partners. (See Virgin Presses 'Play' on TiVo.)

It's still hard to tell how much of an effect TiVo's international efforts have had on the bottom line, since it doesn't break down revenues that way. TiVo's scheduled to post first-quarter results next Tuesday (May 25).

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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