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TiVo coming to Time Warner Cable, potentially lots of other providers

Nilay Patel

It's been a long, messy road, but now that TiVo's beaten a victory out of EchoStar in that seemingly-endless DVR patent lawsuit it sounds like the company is trying to exert some muscle -- it's already in talks to bring its service to Time Warner Cable, and sources have told Bloomberg the ultimate plan is to eventually collect royalties from every pay-TV provider in the US. That might sound bullying and even a little trollish, but keep in mind these patents have withstood pretty much every legal challenge EchoStar could throw at them, so TiVo's operating from a position of some certainty here -- especially since it's got license agreements with huge players like Comcast and DirecTV to use as leverage in negotiations as well. Of course, none of this solves any of TiVo's actual problems with its products, and the company's topsy-turvy balance sheet has some analysts thinking its ripe for a buyout by one of the bigs, so things could change dramatically at any minute, but for right now it sounds like your chances of getting the TiVo interface on your cable or satellite company DVR just went up, and that's almost certainly a good thing.

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