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TiVo strikes download deal with IFC

For a long time, scuttlebutt has had it that TiVo was about to get into the digital downloading of content via the Internet.

Well, according to the Associated Press, the time may finally have come. The AP reported on Friday that the digital video recorder maker has struck a deal with the Independent Film Channel for a trial program that would give users access to several of the network's shows for downloading.

TiVo screenshot

TiVo spokesman Elliot Sloane told the AP that beta testers would begin getting the IFC shows next week.

Further feeding the frenzy, leading tech gadgets blog Engadget has posted screenshots of the beta service. The photos appear to indicate that the IFC show downloads would begin Aug. 19, even before the shows in question aired on the cable network.

Last week, TiVo tipped its hand about its plans for working with content providers to offer material for digital download in an update to its privacy policy. But for fans of TiVo's service--who are used to daily roller coaster swings in the company's fortunes and who on Thursday had to swallow news that it was --this news is surely a harbinger of good things to come.

In any case, TiVo is evidently on the cusp of some very good things, and some revolutionary technology. It just has to find a way to convince investors and potential partners that it is going to stick around long enough to make it worth their while to team up with it. With pacts like the one with IFC, it is definitely moving in the right direction.