Tivo vs The Web

Saul Hansell has a story today on Tivo’s plans to allow downloading of Internet video onto their DVRs. It’s an interesting strategy for Tivo although I think it’s not likely to be successful.

As much as I like my Tivo, I think it’s a lot more likely that I am going to have a PC in some form next to my TV in five years than a Tivo.

Tom Rogers, CEO of Tivo, told Saul:

Video is interesting for a certain segment to see on a laptop or PC. But for a majority of people, it’s not going to be television until it’s on the TV set.

A certain segment? – Yeah like over 50 million people in the US and growing every day. Like about 10 times the number of people who use a Tivo.

It’s not just kids. I know tons of people my age and older who surf YouTube, Google Video, and other online video destinations every day.

The fact is that watching video on the Internet is superior in many ways to traditional television, even with a Tivo. You can’t engage with TV delivered via a set top box. How do you email a TV show to a friend with a set top box? How to you comment on it? How do you favorite it? How do you subscribe to it? How do you embed it on your myspace page, blog, etc?

So instead of downloading Internet video to a Tivo, I think I’ll put a Mac Mini next to my TV and surf web video on my TV. That sounds like a lot more fun.