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Netflix streaming comes to TiVo

TiVo's high-definition set-top boxes for digital video recording will soon be able to stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows from the video rental site.

TiVo HD XL with Netflix

Netflix streaming will be coming to TiVo DVRs by the end of 2008.

The ability to stream Netflix movies and TV shows will begin beta testing for select TiVo owners immediately, with an official roll-out scheduled for early December. It will be available on TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series3 DVRs (not Series2 or DirecTV models).

The service will effectively be identical to the Netflix feature available on the LG BD300, Samsung BD-P2500, and BD-P2550, Roku Player, and--as of mid-November--the Xbox 360. That means that existing Netflix subscribers can stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows directly to their TV over a broadband Internet connection on an "all you can eat" basis, with no additional charges beyond the existing Netflix and TiVo service fees.

Interestingly, the TiVo/Netflix tie-up makes good on a deal originally announced in September 2004. At that time, the then-novel idea of streaming Netflix movies directly to TiVo set-tops generated a lot of industry buzz and consumer excitement, but nothing became of it. Both companies seemed to go their separate ways, with TiVo adding on-demand content from Amazon and (just last week) CinemaNow and Jaman, while Netflix's service rolled out on the above-mentioned devices from Roku, LG, Samsung, and Microsoft. More than four years later, however, TiVo owners will finally be getting their Netflix streaming.

Separately, CNET has confirmed that Netflix's nascent HD streaming capability will soon be coming to all Netflix-compatible devices, not just the Xbox 360. However, the Netflix HD library will be starting with a very small selection (just 300 titles), and will require significantly higher bandwidth than the standard-def streaming that's currently available.