A year after Apple TV delivered it, TiVo promises to bring YouTube to users’ TVs, too

“Pick up the remote, turn on the television — and watch YouTube,” Brian Stelter reports for The New York Times. “The user experience envisioned by technology enthusiasts came a step closer to reality on Wednesday when TiVo, the maker of popular digital video recorders, announced a partnership with YouTube that will deliver Web video directly to users’ televisions.”

MacDailyNews Take: Amazing. Where did TiVo ever come up with such an idea?

Stelter continues, “With the YouTube deal, TiVo becomes the latest entrant into the marketplace for porting Internet video content to television. Apple introduced a new version of Apple TV with similar features in January. “

MacDailyNews Take: Actually, Brian, in what is readily available and extremely easy information to access, Apple has offered YouTube via Apple TV since June 20, 2007. It’s all in Apple’s June 20, 2007 press release, conveniently titled YouTube Live on Apple TV Today; Coming to iPhone on June 29. In fact, nowhere in Apple’s January 15, 2008 press release regarding Apple TV 2.0 does it state or even imply that YouTube features have just been added. So, Brian, did you just make an innocent mistake or are you purposely trying to make TiVo look like much less of a latecomer or is it something else entirely? General incompetence? Perhaps just plain laziness? No, really, we’d like to know why this easily-researched mistake showed up in the hallowed pages of The New York Times when the date upon which Apple TV began offering YouTube is clearly presented, accurately dated, and readily available within seconds to anyone online?

Stelter continues, “The YouTube product will be available only to a subset of TiVo users who have up-to-date hardware and a broadband connection. Of the four million TiVo users nationwide, more than half receive their set-top box from a cable operator. Of the 1.7 million who purchased their box directly from TiVo, about 800,000 have the broadband connection. The company’s Series 3 and HD set-top boxes will support YouTube connectivity; earlier versions of the hardware did not support online video playback.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple has likely sold in excess of one million Apple TV units in less than a year (began shipping on March 20, 2007).

Stelter continues, “Sometime later this year — the company did not specify the date — a category for YouTube videos will be added to the TiVo interface.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, let’s say that TiVo gets around to it by June 2008. They’ll be bringing “a user experience envisioned by technology enthusiasts a step closer to reality” a year later than Apple already delivered it – an eon in tech terms – not a mere 90 or so days later as The New York Times incorrectly implies. Such a simple thing to get right – and a trivial matter to most – it nonetheless makes us wonder just what else is incorrect in the pages of The New York Times?

To reiterate for clarity’s sake: this is not about TiVo, YouTube, or even Apple TV per se, this is about The New York Times’ inability to report a simple, easily-checked fact correctly. If they can’t get an Apple TV date correct from an easily-obtainable press release, what else in wrong in The New York Times?



  1. Actually, AppleTV sales were estimated to be 400,000 back in December ’07 and another 400,000 were projected to be sold over the holiday rush. This was a conservative estimate, since the article was discussing how poorly the AppleTV was doing compared to Apple’s initial projections.

    This was of course before AppleTV Take 2, which has gotten very good reviews from most of the press, so they may have sold a million units already. Sure, not as many units as Tivo has sold since day one, but AppleTV has been out for just over a year and Tivo has been out for over 8 years. Last I heard, Tivo’s sales weren’t doing so hot though.

    According to Wikipedia:
    “TiVo has only a 30-40% market share in the USA of a total DVR market of roughly 10-12 million systems.” So that would put Tivo sales at around 3m to 4.8m units. Divide that by 8 years of sales and you’re looking at 600,000 units per year, less than what AppleTV is doing.

  2. TiVo should be bashed for stopping the innovation. I want easy access to shows from my Mac. Thank you TiVoDecodeManager for simplifying this for me. As for TiVo, I bought into it to bypass commercials… Ahem…

  3. MDN is becoming more and more moronic every day.
    It surely is being written by 14 year olds.

    Fair redirects and humorous comments are always nice to read at fan sites, but inability to analyse significance of events affecting apple is disappointing.

    Its a deal with google, remember. apple board member google. tivo in way more homes than apple -still a hobby and not a platform while apple is busy solidifying iPhone platform- tv,

    it is big.

  4. Some of the posters above seem to think that YouTube on Apple TV is no different than web access YouTube (Wii/Mac mini). It’s not. Furthermore, I suspect that it only because of the YouTube format updating done for Apple TV that TIVO can now offer this feature to its customers. I’m happy for TIVO and its customers, but credit for making YouTube a television experience does belong to Apple.

  5. @niji
    MDN’s remarks aren’t slam on TIVO as much as they are directed at the NY Times. The combination of fawning over TIVO’s “breakthrough”, combined with their mis-reporting of when Apple TV introduced the same capability, obviously drove the MDN team over the edge.

  6. I agree with MDNs take. The NY Times is supposed to report the news, and do it accurately. It’s not fair to Apple to be so far ahead, which also makes their stock more attractive, and then have the NY Times mislead the public and investors.

    People are thinking Tivo is right up there with Apple… Yeah right.

    Tivo may be in more homes for now, but Apple’s Mac, iPod, iPhone, and especially iTunes are in more homes than Tivo a hundred fold. Apple TV will be an extension of a system that millions and millions of people have.

    Apple TV is not a “hobby” anymore. It’s a finished product. iTunes content is what is lacking, but it’s getting better everyday. And the content in iTunes will sell more of everything, not just Apple TVs.

    One thing to note on Apple TV is that there has been no advertisements yet. Nothing.

    The article claims that Tivo has 800,000 people with the correct set up to get Youtube. Apple has definitely sold more than 800,000 units, and all of them already have Youtube. With no advertising.

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