TiVO poised to transform television through debut of breakthrough personal TV service

Pause, Rewind, and Slow-motion of Live TV are Key Features

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (12/21/98) - TiVo Inc., the originator of personal TV, is poised to change forever the way consumers watch television through today's announcement of a breakthrough new service that allows consumers to pause, rewind and playback in slow-motion live television. The TiVo Personal Television Service is designed to work with every type of TV, cable, satellite or broadcast system and will be available in Q1 1999.

In preparation for its official rollout, TiVo also announced today it has begun field trials in the San Francisco Bay Area. Expanded field trials will be conducted with cable provider SunTel Communications (formerly Sun Country Cable) and leading digital satellite television provider, DIRECTVâ. TiVo will be displaying its Personal Television Service at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 7-10, 1999 in Las Vegas.

"The TiVo service is poised to change forever the way people watch television by enabling consumers to control live TV - making it possible for the first time ever to pause and rewind a live television broadcast," said Mike Ramsay, CEO of TiVo. "Finally, consumers can watch what they want, when they want and never miss a minute of the action. With TiVo, viewers get the maximum value out of their cable or satellite service."


TiVo provides the first truly personalized approach to TV viewing by taking a viewer's TV preferences and building upon them, intuitively learning their likes and dislikes. The service will automatically deliver the viewer's favorite shows and make suggestions about other shows that may be of interest. The TiVo service is designed to deliver only "the good stuff" so consumers can watch their favorite shows at their convenience without having to channel surf - making "primetime" television available any time of the day or night.

For the first time ever, TiVo enables full control of live programs as well as up to 20 hours of recorded shows through the ability to pause, rewind, instant replay and play back in slow-motion any broadcast. A friendly and highly visual interface will guide the viewer through the available programming options.

"TiVo is taking TV into a new era by providing a completely different viewing experience for the consumer," said Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communications Inc., a Bethesda, MD television industry analyst firm. "TiVo is adding long-anticipated features that bring more fun and flexibility to television. It has the potential to change the entire medium of TV for the viewer, the networks and the other stakeholders in the industry."

"We're very enthusiastic about TiVo and the potential it could have for TV enthusiasts," said Brad Beale, vice president of Advanced Products for DIRECTV. "Being involved in TiVo's field trials allows us to see firsthand how the TiVo service could enhance the television viewing experience for DIRECTV subscribers."


In addition to the control over live TV and TiVo's personalization capabilities the complete personal television service also includes:

  • The "TiVo-lution" video magazine, an on-air review of the most compelling programming across a variety of channels,
  • Network "Showcases" which provide a collection of the best programming the television networks have to offer, making it easier for viewers to select their choices,
  • "Couch Commerce" which allows viewers to shop via their remote control from the comfort of their own sofa.

    Collectively these features introduce the most robust personal television experience to the consumer and the television industry.

    ABOUT TiVo

    TiVo Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. is the originator and leader in personal television. TiVo's complete Personal Television Service allows consumers to take control of their television viewing by providing the ability to pause, rewind, instant replay and play back in slow-motion any live television broadcast. The service enables viewers to time-shift their favorite television shows, create a customized television lineup for anytime viewing and learn about other shows that may be of interest. The company was founded in August 1997 by former Silicon Graphics senior vice president Michael Ramsay and vice president James Barton, both of whom have been instrumental in earlier generation efforts of interactive video-on-demand systems and technology that has powered Hollywood special effects. TiVo's board of directors includes Stewart Alsop of New Enterprise Associates, Geoff Yang of Institutional Venture Partners and WebTV founding director Randy Komisar. TiVo can be reached on the Jeffs house! World Wide Web at www.tivo.com.