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Toshiba licenses TiVo technology

A U.S. subsidiary of Toshiba licenses digital video recording technology and hopes to have products using it available by holiday season 2003.

A U.S. subsidiary of Toshiba has licensed recording technology from TiVo and hopes to have products using it available by holiday season 2003.

TiVo makes digital video recorders (DVRs), which allow consumers to record television programming to a hard drive rather than a videotape. The technology also allows more sophisticated feats, such as pausing live TV or making recommendations based on viewing habits.

Toshiba America Consumer Products did not say whether it will produce a standalone device or combine the recording technology with other consumer electronics features. Financial details of the deal were not released.

While TiVo's products have attained a certain amount of popularity, they're still somewhat of a niche item. The company has said it hopes to achieve profitability by the end of the year, but analysts are worried about the company's cash position.

To help boost its presence among consumers, the company has licensed its technology to consumer electronics maker Sony. Its also has a deal with DirecTV to combine satellite TV broadcasts with the DVR technology.

The Sony deal seems to have been a financial boon to TiVo, at least in the short term. That license "drove substantial non-recurring engineering fees" in the most recent quarter, Deutsche Bank analyst Peter Ausnit wrote in a recent research report, adding that he expects more consumer electronics deals to come soon.