AOL is planning to take on Tivo, according to NYTimes with a cable operator-centric approach to make reality the “holy grail” of television – a video-on-demand service with a huge programming library.
The essence of AOL Time Warner’s Mystro TV is a technology that uses a cable system itself to provide viewers capabilities similar to computerized personal video recorders like TiVo: watching programs on their own schedules, with fast-forward and rewind. But it also lets networks set the parameters, dictating which shows users can reschedule, and it also creates ways for networks to insert commercials.
Two senior AOL Time Warner executives said the company was hoping to begin rolling out service within two years. They said the company planned to sell the Mystro TV service to other competing cable operators, just as it sold HBO, potentially giving Mystro a central role as a gateway between television networks and viewers around the country.
So far, about 700K Tivos have been bought in the US.