IPTV service providers, cable TV companies and many different kinds of set-top device and online companies are trying to figure out how to merge online video and TV content and viewing practices, and TiVo and Amazon separately announced offerings this week that take the evolution a little further. TiVo is now offering YouTube through newer TiVO hardware, and Amazon announced plans for a new online video-on-demand store.
The future evolution of set-top boxes like TiVo DVRs has been in question, but TiVo is looking to cement its place on the TV stand by tackling the online video/TV integration with a large, known player while some IPTV service providers are still approaching the integration tentatively. Meanwhile, Amazon possibly learned a few things from its unloved Unbox venture about how to more efficiently make movies and TV content available online. These moves bear watching for any TV service provider feeling pressure to incorporate online content, while wondering how such ventures from giant online retailers and well-known device companies could affect their bottom lines.