TiVo Adds Ipreview Feature

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Personal-television-service provider TiVo Inc. announcedlast week that it will add an interactive preview feature called "Ipreview"early next year.

A special icon will tag live programming promotions fromTiVo's network partners. With one touch of their remote controls, TiVo customers willbe able to automatically activate their service to record shows as soon as they'retelevised and store them on the TiVo disk drive.

TiVo has been testing the service with some of its currentsubscribers, vice president of programming and media partnerships Stacy Jolna said.

"It's a powerful new arrow in the network'spromotional quiver to foster viewership," Jolna said. "It's as simple assee it, want it, get it."

NBC and Showtime Networks Inc. are the first programmers tosign up for the service.

"We thought it was an advantage to be on the groundfloor," NBC advertising and promotion president John Miller said.

The network produces roughly 10,000 on-air promotions eachyear, Miller said, adding that its goal is to encode most of them with the Ipreviewfeature. Primetime movies and other one-time events merit the codes more than daily showswould, he added.

Jolna said the "I" in Ipreview stands forpersonalization, as well as interactivity. The Ipreview tag remains invisible to viewerswithout the TiVo service.

Miller called the Ipreview feature "only a positive.Even if all of our competitors have it, it's still a positive."

He added that NBC, an investor in TiVo, wants to embracenew technology, "and not stick our heads in the sand and pretend that it doesn'texist."