Tomorrow's Newsweek carries a story about a new Netflix/TiVo partnership that sounds perfect for anyone that has a subscription to both TiVo and Netflix.
Subscribers who belong to both services will be able to download their Netflix DVDs over the Internet directly into the TiVo boxes in their homes, instead of receiving them in the mail.
There aren't many details, but the article makes it sound like the downloading and viewing will be instant when even on a good fast cable modem, it's likely a ~700Mb DivX encoded movie would take around an hour to download for viewing. Still, it beats having to wait several days for discs in the mail and having to return anything.
I'm curious how TiVo will be able to do this, given that it's likely to cut into movie studio profits from the sale of DVDs to home customers and video stores. Will Netflix be required to only allow x number of copies of a film downloaded, where x equals the physical DVDs they have purchased? Will they only let you have another movie when you delete the film off your TiVo?
And I hate to be an asshole that goes around saying "I told you so!" but I did float this idea two and a half years ago. I really wish my DirecTiVo could do this, because this feature alone would turn me back into a Netflix customer. It definitely sounds like a win-win for both companies, especially since just about everyone I know that has a TiVo also has a subscription to Netflix.